Olivia von Halle
Founder, Olivia von Halle, Brand of Tomorrow 2013
After studying Fashion and Textile Management at Leeds University, Olivia von Halle worked for The Future Laboratory in London as a trend forecaster for clients including Louis Vuitton, Gucci Group and Lamborghini. In 2008 she moved to Shanghai, China where she continued working as a trend forecaster for various agencies and as a luxury brand consultant.
Coming home from evenings partying with friends, she would long to ditch her sky-high heels and constricting outfits for something glamorous enough to enjoy a gin and tonic in before sliding off to bed. Inspired by the lounging pyjamas worn by Coco Chanel and her contemporaries in the 1920s, she started work with her tailor to design the perfect pair of pyjamas. In 2011 she returned to London to launch the Olivia von Halle brand.
Using the world’s finest materials and discerning, heritage techniques; Olivia von Halle fuses a love of the classic with a hunger for innovation and resolute attention to detail. From the Mother of Pearl buttons that finish the pyjama, to the unique silk-cashmere knit that’s been employed in making of the tracksuit, each piece is meticulously considered. The brand has quickly become a mainstay in the wardrobes of the fashion industry’s most inimitable personalities and counts Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow amongst its following.
In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are three pieces of advice you would give?
You only have one chance to launch a brand so try to do it perfectly. The standard is so so high within the luxury industry and you are competing with the best in the world, so make sure every last detail of your brand, from your product to your business cards right down to the terms and conditions on your website are done beautifully and to the best of your ability.
Don’t make what you think people will want to buy, only make products you love and believe in.
Don’t listen to advice! If I had followed every piece of advice I would have never have got my business off the ground, let alone where we are today. Listen to your intuition and follow your own vision.
What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?
That taking risks and trusting my intuition always pays off.
What are the watch outs along the way?
It’s absolutely crucial to remember what you set out to do and why and make sure that every business decision you make falls in line with this vision. As you grow lots of opportunities will come your way and some sound amazing but will drain so much time and resources and lead you away from your path – staying focused is the hardest thing in this game!
When you were started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?
Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond are the Founders of The Future Laboratory, where I worked before starting Olivia von Halle. Through Future Lab I discovered some of the worlds most interesting and innovative brands and this made me understood the level of product and brand that I would need to be able to create before I launched. They basically taught me about standards, which has been one of most important life lessons.