LadyM Meets Kristina Rate Founder of Belle Époque
In our latest “LadyM Meets” interview series, we meet the lovely Kristina Rate, founder of Belle Époque the contemporary fashion brand. The collections at Belle Époque focus on high fashion, strong design and timeless pieces. All designed and handmade in the UK.
Kristina Rate Founder of Belle Époque
What grabs me about the designs at Belle Époque are the clearcut silhouettes on beautifully simple pieces. Kristina focuses on pieces that she loves, for example, the humble shirt; Adding some clever styling and high quality tailoring to make it a highly desirable piece that can be worn from day to night.
Q. What encouraged you to get into this industry and what was your route into it?
I always wanted to create something of my own. Fashion was in my genes following the footsteps of my grandmother and great grandmother seemed perfectly natural. From an early age I was exposed to fittings and the making of dresses. Surrounded by beautiful fabrics, beads and the sound of sewing machine I began to sketch my own clothes from an early age. I suppose everything in life led me to what I can do best and love to do the most.
Q. What is a typical working day for you?
I wish I had a typical day. Every day varies depending on what time of the year we are in. After breakfast, a check of the emails followed by going through a to do list for the day. Often this list carries on for days or weeks. The smallest things always take the longest to do.
Q. Where are you based, how much of an inspiration is your city and what are your favorite cities around the world?
I’m based in central London, my favorite city in The World and a place where my inspirations are closely entwined with my daily life. I love New York, it’s so dynamic and exiting; Venice for it’s beautiful colours and rich historical heritage; Vienna for it’s famous coffee shops and the music it’s artistes gifted the World; I can walk the streets of Florence for days. The best place to look at it is down from the hills, there you can imagine the people and the times Florence had lived through and passed on to us their great achievements from antiquity.
Q. Have you seen the fashion industry change in the last few years?
The Internet has provided a great platform for the emerging brands to expose their collections worldwide that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. A great thank you to net-a-porter.com and few other brands who truly pioneered these shopping experiences and made it easier for other brands to provide luxury offerings online.
Q. Have you had to adapt?
I am very fortunate in that I concentrate on shirts. This provides me with a very wide spectrum of designs and concepts in my field so I can allow my imagination to range very freely.
Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
When someone wears our shirts and they feel beautiful and comfortable wearing them.
Q. What is next for you? What are your goals for 2015?
We want to open a shop. Location is everything so this would take some time to find the right one. We are launching another two collections, I’m very excited about that. I’d like to raise larger awareness about the brand and start looking for a shop location in central London.
Bonus Question – if you didn’t do the job you do now – what would be your dream job and where?
My interest has always been music. I played the piano as a girl and I still play to my own entertainment. I hope I don’t drive the neighbors mad!
The Belle Époque is a brand committed to quality and we can see Kristina coming to the forefront of British fashion. Subtle luxury at it’s best and you can follow Kristina on Twitter and Instagram to be apart of this great fashion movement.
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