We recently worked on a shoot for the children’s label Velveteen. While we set the scenes, Asia from Hollywood Hair created whimsical up-dos for our models. Founder and designer Laura Egloff is doing a very good job designing clothes with true artisan detailing from intricate beading to original block printing all sourced from India. Her designs are unique and so easy to wear for children that you wish she would put together an adult range. Velveteen is heading to New York for Playtime the international trade show for children’s collections in early August so we decided to chat to the talented designer before the big show.

Why Velveteen?

I knew from an early age that I needed to be a designer. I graduated school with top honours and promptly set off to study design at  Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York – rather than the expected path of an Ivy League University. My parents were both educators and despite their reservations, were supportive of my following my dream. After studying at FIT, I returned home to Los Angeles and fulfilled a promise to my parents to get a business degree. It’s taken me 15 years to extricate myself from the world of corporate finance and return to doing what I love but now I feel as though I have such an amazing balance of creative passion and business knowledge that I guess I owe a debt of thanks to my parents.

Some of the things you might do in a day? 

I try to break up my day by tasks. With two small children about (Alessandra is 3 and Gabriel is 1) I have to be very disciplined with my time. I usually work in my studio or take meetings for Velveteen from 8am to 3pm and then I try to take the kids outside somewhere or have them tag along with me on errands. I find that I’m most creative after they’re asleep or even when the whole house is asleep so I often work on design notes and concepts late into the night. It’s the curse of being creative.

Describe your style?

My true style is actually very bohemian and I love mixing easy basics with unexpectedly formal pieces. I grew up in Los Angeles and spent much of my life living or near the beach so my everyday style is sort of “hippie chic”. That said, I studied and envy so many amazing designers like Thierry Mugler and Alaia who use structure and form to create exceptionally refined yet effortless designs so my evening and formal style tends more toward mixing quirky pieces (my current favourite is an unbelievably oversized patchwork silk maxi skirt from Haute Hippie) with both formal and casual pieces like a soft cotton t-shirt and tuxedo jacket from Celine.

Can you name your three best traits?

I’m not sure I have three. I guess the traits I’m most proud of would include believing in the best of people until they prove otherwise, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. I’m also quite sensitive to other’s feelings and try to think about how my actions are impacting others. I’ve been trying to lead by example with my children but perhaps they’re still a bit too young for it to stick. I’m also quite happy that I’m a fairly relaxed person and would much rather have a good laugh with friends then take myself too seriously.

Who or what inspires you?

Children inspire me. Their amazing capacity for seeking out answers and creating little imaginative worlds all their own is inspiring. It’s one of the reasons that I love Velveteen so much – I love the children for whom we design and have as much respect for them as I do admiration for the development process that they’re undertaking. Childhood leaves a lasting impression on all of us and I want to encourage this to be a happy and supported time in all of their lives. It’s one of the reasons I’m so determined to partner with a great NGO in India to help create opportunities for children to go to school and build better futures for themselves. My sister does amazing work with Girl Effect and the Nike Foundation in Africa and it just feels like something that Velveteen absolutely must get involved in as soon as we can.

What achievements are you most proud of?

I’m proud of what we are accomplishing with Velveteen. It truly is the culmination of years of hard work and determination and it’s a lesson to myself, my children and hopefully everyone that you absolutely can follow your dreams if you work hard and refuse to be counted down and out. It would have been easy for me to stay in the comfortable and high- paying world of corporate finance but it would never have been even half as fulfilling. Velveteen isn’t just about doing what I love and creating beautiful fashion that respects children, it’s about the opportunity its success is creating to give back in bigger ways. I want my children to see the long, often difficult, road I’ve taken to build Velveteen and to see how rewarding the result is for all of our stakeholders.

Where is your all-time favourite place to visit?

Morcote, Switzerland. My husband used to camp there for summer holidays when he was a child and he started taking me there every year when we were dating. We were married in the tiny 400- year- old church that sits on a cliff overlooking Italy and it’s where we’ve taken both of our children to be baptised. It is peaceful and historic and comforting and, in the summer, the piazza is filled with the sounds of children’s laughter and parents exchanging the news of the day.

What are you currently reading?

I used to read constantly – one book every few days. Then I had children. I’m currently researching my next collections so I spend my free time tearing through the pages of Papier Mache magazine which is as close to a book as I get. The photography and styling is impeccable and so inspiring. I hope to read again one day. I also hope to sleep and have time for myself, but I suppose all that will come with time.

What are you listening to?

Mina Tindle. Day and night I listen to Minda Tindle these days. I’m in a bit of a rut but I have several of her albums on a playlist with Madelaine Peyroux and Carla Bruni and I’m feeling very French. I also alternate to an unending repeat of Rolling Stones albums. I’m going through a phase where I want to design a 1960s rocker inspired collection but I also want a french countryside feel to it.

One of the meals you love most

Anything Mexican as long as it’s properly Mexican. I’m a California girl and will not be fooled by poor imitations. We just returned from a trip to Ojai Valley for my sister’s wedding and we ate mexican food every day. I could live forever on fresh guacamole and carne asada.

Your favourite stores?

For children’s gifts I love Petit Bazaar and usually find myself having to come up with reasons that I shouldn’t buy everything I see. For myself, I love all the little home decor shops that are popping up in Sheung Wan. There are so many beautiful and unique treasures to discover.

What is your scent?

I’ve worn Chanel No. 5 since I was a teenager. My grandmother gave it to me and I’ve kept that iconic black bottle in my handbag ever since. I love their new take on it, Eau de Premier.

Any pets?

No family pets as of yet but I expect we’ll have to cave into the requests for a cow and some chickens if we ever move back to Europe.

Where can we purchase Velveteen? 

In Hong Kong the line is carried at all Petit Bazaar stores in addition to our online boutique and we’ll be adding a number of new retailers globally starting with the Holiday 2013 collection.

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2 Responses to Velveteen
  1. Leandro Mullet Reply

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

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