BECAUSE MEETS: CHARLIE MAY
This article was originally published on BecauseLondon.com.
Upon entering Charlie May's Hackney studio it’s all too tempting to snap a photo of the statuesque fig plant occupying the far corner. But the designer's digital nous has already struck – the Grace & Thorn purchase has garnered 1,579 likes on her popular feed.
Uniquely, Charlie’s been all over the internet long before her line arrived. In 2008, while studying Fashion Design at UWE, the Devon-born designer started a blog called Girl a la Mode. “I just thought it would be something fun to do. At no point did I think it would become this big thing,” she explains. Well, it mushroomed – and serves as the perfect accidental platform for her label, launched in 2011. “Right off the back of my name it was out there in the digital sphere. All my blogger friends posted about it and it was quite seamless.”
Eight seasons in, Charlie is concentrating on preparing SS16, leaving her studio only for weekend retreats to Devon where her family owns a farm. If Resort 2016 is anything to go by, the movement between urban and rural plains seems to be an increasingly prevalent influence. Her latest collection is marked by technical bonded cottons alongside more traditional virgin wools – a ruggedly cool progression from the Demeulemeester-inspired “feely silks” of her debut collections.
Charlie has been playing with androgyny recently, attracting a growing male client base with her loose, dart-free designs. Men are buying the high-waisted trousers in larger sizes and wearing them low-slung. “I really love that [my clothes] can be worn by both genders. We’re planning on introducing menswear next year. It’s so easily transferrable.” Next, she’d like to make leather goods. “We have a couple of footwear designers that we’ve started talking to. And then bags as well, potentially. I guess that’s the next frontier.”