Fair fashion can be interpreted in many ways as many different criteria exist. I personally think that local production and homemade craftsmanship are important criteria that can make fashion fair. I have –as a Belgian Blogster- special attention for the ‘Handmade in Belgium’ designs. One of them that I would like to share with you is ‘La Ville Jewelry’
The artistic crew behind Jewelry label ‘La Ville’ exists out of the two sisters Sofie and Jolien De Ville.
Sofie is a textile designer and Jolien has a degree in product design, they complement each other’s skills making them the perfect team to creatively work together.
La Ville stands for creating new ideas and bringing them together in new, beautiful products with a focus on collars and necklaces. It is important for both of the designers to keep authenticity within their products while taking the environment in account.
Today, lucky me, I have an interview with Sofie and Jolien.
I really like the playful -yet sophisticated- style of La Ville Jewelry. The first designs of your label were the collars. Where did you find the inspiration for this specific design?
To give the right answer to this question, we have to take a trip to memory lane..
To find inspiration for a certain project Sofie went to Jolien for a brainstorm session. Sofie was very interested in putting an ancient craft technique into a modern application. Jolien pointed out the new trend of bib necklaces and decorated collars. Sofie took that inspiration and made her first collar out of textile. That piece of artwork became the foundation for our first collection.
Which girl or woman did you have in mind when you were designing the collars?
We have a classical, romantic collection with warm colors and feminine patterns that fit any type of woman at any age.
Our other geometric collection targets a younger audience because of its bright, daring colors and modern patterns.
If you could use a model to describe the ideal La Ville – woman, who would it be?
We believe every woman can be a La-Ville woman, you don’t have to have a perfect size “0” to wear our brand. The girl next door can also be very attractive and fashionable while wearing our jewelry.
In my opinion, the graphic elements in later collections makes the jewelry a bit rougher and -as you said before- works with another end-user in mind. Was that your intention when you were designing it?
We’ve noticed the geometric trend and fluo colors so we integrated that into our second collection. We knew we would attract another audience, making it interesting for us to broaden our target group. Because we wouldn’t want our other customers feeling left outside, we’ve decided to add new items and new materials to our romantic collection as well.
Who are your customers?
We have a different range of customers for every other collection. Though we’ve always had women from any age interested in both collections. It also really depends on where we sell our jewelry.
Do you make everything yourself?
Yes, accept for the material itself, the leather and the rhodium parts.
Can you tell something about the process : from scratch to jewelry?
We start by making a drawing of our patterns in Adobe Illustrator. After that we go to a fablab to lasercut our designs out of the leather. Then we “clean up” the models by removing excess leather out of the holes. All the models are being washed to avoid stains and odour of the burnt leather. Then the jewels are ready to be finished and to be assembled.
Where does all that takes place ?
Our kitchen table and local fablabs.
As you can read on my blog, I’m a fan of local production because that’s a very important criterion for my definition of fair fashion: to know who’s the person behind clothes or accessories and most important that the workers are well-treated during the process. What are the most important criteria for fair fashion to you?
That everyone in the production process gets treated with respect, fair wages, healthy working conditions and normal working hours. It is important for labels to also make the production process transparant and open to their customers so they know what they buy.
Do you believe that you’re a supporter of fair fashion with your work?
We do not believe in mass production. In our opinion it is better to buy less but take the quality and the story behind the product into account. There is a lot that goes to waste going from food to disposable clothing, accessories and electronics. We strive to create products that people can cherish and treat with respect.
As a young start-up label, we find it important to also support other upcoming local talent that put all of their energy and passion into their dream.
It’s like candy in my ear 🙂
Now one to feed the fashion mind :
What is your favourite clothing label that you find that fits the most with your beautiful jewelry?
We work together with the Belgian designer Red Juliet, her vintage-inspired clothing fit well with our dreamy collars and earrings.
Necklace : Color Flowers / Picture from Red Juliet
What is your personal favourite out of all your collections?
Jolien: Flower pendant because it fits well with a lot of what I have hanging in my closet
Sofie: Blue geometric long earrings and blue geometric pendant.
Thank u so much for this lovely talk ladies 🙂
Information about the pictures :
Cécile De Borggraef (model)
Morgane Gielen (photographer)
Sanne De Wolf (make-up and hair)
Silke Meulewaeter (stylist)
**If you’re free this weekend (19 till 22 march 2015), you can find the lovely ladies and their great designs on Maker City in Mechelen.**