Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo and Sienna Miller – having some of the world’s most stylish women wearing your designs must be a pretty pinch-me feeling! At just 25-years-old, Charlotte Beecham, the founder of accessories brand Charlotte Simone, is already a fashion-force to be reckoned with.
How did the British designer break into the fashion industry? How did she get her trademark scarves adorning the chicest celebrities? List for Life chatted to Charlotte about her career so far.
1. How did your career journey begin?
It started as a sort of hobby in my senior year of college. An experiment as such. Could I find someone in the garment district to make my designs and could I then take them to retailers and try and sell them? By the time I had graduated I had secured close to 50 accounts in the states and I knew I wanted to give this business my best shot after graduation, so that’s what I did…
2. What made you decide to start your own accessories line?
Ive always been a lover of accessories; I’m constantly saving up for one earring, one choker, one pair of sunnies… I spent my freshman year of college in Paris and it is there that I was truly inspired. A beautiful lady dressed in black with a statement stole draped over one shoulder, her scarf was the reason my head turned. That’s when I had my light bulb moment, an accessory left still untapped – the scarf! Charlotte Simone seeks to make the scarf more than just an item of practicality but a statement of style. I liked the idea of building an outfit around one piece.
3. What’s been the most important moment in your career so far or a game-changer moment?
It definitely has to be shooting Rita Ora for the face of Charlotte Simone. That was totally surreal. I’ve gone from working in my bedroom with my sausage dog Harold, to working with a team of four. We now work in an office which has my name on the bell! I feel really proud.
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4. Do you think it’s hard nowadays for young people to know what they want to do?
A good reason I set off for university in the States was that I didn’t have to say what I wanted to study from the word go. They encourage students to dabble in many different subjects before settling on a subject to major in. I think everyone should allow themselves time to find out where they excel and what they enjoy. Patience is key and I think the rest follows.
5. What would your advice be for people wanting to go into the fashion industry?
My advice would be to work hard and do what you love, they are the ingredients for success. Also don’t be afraid, everyone I’ve met along my journey has been so welcoming, encouraging and helpful to the growth of Charlotte Simone!
6. What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been perseverance. It was very difficult to stay motivated when working from my bedroom in New York. It takes a great deal of control to stay focused on the end goals when all alone in a bedroom.
7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My Dad is my mentor, I turn to him about 5-10 times a day (poor thing!) The best advice he has given me is to work hard – hard work doesn’t go un-noticed or un-rewarded.
8. What’s your life mantra?
Look up at the stars not down at your feet. Cliche and unapologetic.
9. What would you say to your 15-year-old self?
Stop wearing velour juicy couture tracksuits!
10. What can we expect to see from you over the coming months?
This seasons’ collection was inspired by a recent trip to Tokyo so expect lots of candy coated colours and school girl inspiration. The city set my imagination on fire, I cant wait to go back.