1. How did your collaboration with & Other Stories come about?
I was thrilled to be approached by & Other Stories to design a collaboration collection for them. &OS is a totally unique concept on the high street and I'm so honoured to be one of the first external designers to be asked to collaborate with them. & Other Stories have a minimalistic but very feminine aesthetic, which is totally in synch with my approach to design, so we were a match made in heaven working together. I love the way they feature lingerie in their stores as a key part of a woman's fashion wardrobe. This is exactly how I design my lingerie; I design it to fuse with a stylish ready-to-wear wardrobe and to be seen too! Stories wanted me to place as much emphasis on fit and quality in this collection as I do with my own high-end Alöe lingerie line. I was able to use beautiful and luxurious silks in the collection, so there has been no compromise on quality at all. It's so exciting to be collaborating with '& Other Stories' and for my designs to be able to reach a much wider audience.
2. What is it that makes & Other Stories stand out from its high street competitors?
& Other Stories is a boutique-style store on the high street selling beautifully designed, high quality products at affordable prices. They have a completely original and creative concept where they create multiple looks within their stores and on-line, much in the same way as a designer creates a moodboard. There is as much emphasis on beauty products, lingerie, bags and shoes as there is on the ready-to-wear. Working with external designers definitely brings an exciting element to the store and gives customers access to designs which may be unaffordable otherwise. It's an exciting shopping experience and encourages the customer to get creative with their looks.
3. Is the collaboration a one-off or an on-going partnership?
There's nothing confirmed right now but I'd love to work with & Other Stories again so watch this space!
4. What made you want to specialise in lingerie design in particular?
I've always had a passion for lingerie and loungewear. I wanted to create a luxurious line of lingerie and loungewear that would fuse with a stylish ready-to-wear wardrobe and be a fashion expression, designed to be seen and worn out. There's so much costume-style lingerie on the market but I find it so out of synch with the rest of my wardrobe.
5. Would you ever consider branching out into other product categories with your own label?
Yes, I have plans to launch an Alöe jewellery line. I always wear Chinese gold and have inherited some beautiful jewellery from my Chinese family. I love the idea of fusing traditional Chinese jewellery design with a more European aesthetic. But keeping it quite bling!
6. What are your plans to grow and expand the brand?
Alöe is essentially a luxury lifestyle brand. The brand is gradually expanding to encompass more lifestyle products. In the near future we have gorgeous silk pyjamas for sale this Christmas, sold in beautiful ribbon wrapped boxes and next summer 2014 sees a line of delicately embroidered and printed silk scarves introduced into the collection.
7. What is it about lingerie in particular that makes it such a special purchase for women?
Luxurious lingerie is a woman's feel-good factor, a loving gesture a woman makes to herself when she layers beautiful, silk lingerie underneath her clothes and against her skin. It’s her most intimate piece of clothing so it should be made in the most luxurious, fabrics and laces. I design each Alöe lingerie piece to be a keepsake. It is romantic; every piece is made in the softest, most luxurious washed silks and trimmed with the most delicate English laces.