I recently had the opportunity to meet up with Elise Purdon founder of luxurious silk loungewear brand Élise. We sat down for coffee and I was able to find out more about her inspiration and the story about her brand, wearelise.com
Laura Mitbrodt: What inspired you to start your line?
Elise Purdon: My line was inspired by a combination of two things. Firstly, from my love of silk; I have yet to meet anyone who can wear satin once they’ve felt the real thing. Secondly, from my quirky side that likes to wear pyjamas in inappropriate situations. I have been known to wake up and then put on Élise.
LM: How long did it take you to source all of your fabric and launch your brand?
EP: The process took about six months. Between finding the best silks and dying them the perfect colours, perfecting the patterns for the ideal fit of pyjamas and finally finding a manufacturer who would produce quality garments, putting together the final product was much more work than expected. It was all new to me and I made many mistakes, but that’s all part of the process. It was a proud day when I finally had the perfect silk pyjama in my hands.
LM: Who is your fashion icon?
EP: I honestly don’t really have a fashion icon. There are many people who I admire and look up to, but no one that I really feel totally connected to in a fashion sense. Most of what I wear and what inspires me comes from within. I am still young and in the process of developing my personal style, but as I grow older I feel it coming closer and I can’t wait to see what the grown up me is like. Having said that, a few fashionable women I love are Rachel Zoe because she never shows her knees, Sofia Coppola because she lives in oversized sweaters and Jenna Lyons because I would be her if I was androgynous and cool.
LM: Do you have any advice for up and coming fashion designers?
EP: It’s probably not what people want to hear, but I would probably urge designers to really focus on their branding and marketing. We live in a globalized world with an influx of Gen Ys all trying to follow their dreams, so even the best designs can get lost in the chaos. Although it is possible to get lucky and find success organically, I would say that focusing on the business side of things is the best bet for achieving your goals.
LM: If you could go back in time, what decade would you go to and why?
EP: I would go back to the 1930’s in Shanghai, so I could live head to toe in the finest embroidered silks and probably wear chopsticks in my hair. I’m not even kidding. I just really love silk.
If you are a local designer or artisan and would like to be considered for a feature in a future issue of Monday Magazine, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org