Konstantin Vulkov: What is your daily regime? Same each day or completely different?
Charlotte Collard: I usually eat very healthy and try to focus on feeding my body rather than feeding my head. it helps focusing on giving your body the good fuel to stay healthy and last all day long.
Konstantin: What makes in you a good mood from early morning on - a run, an espresso shot, a walk, a newspaper?
Charlotte: I am usually an early bird and I don't have any particular habit beside being with my daughters and taking care of them. Other wise, I do appreciate my morning coffee and some sport if I manage to do ;) Three small girls keep you very busy.
Konstantin: They say a person is not born with a good style, but develops it through the years. How do you help your three kids to have a sense of style?
Charlotte: I would say that I try to teach good taste to my daughters through any simple and old drawings (not digital), happy colors and old cartoons on tv. I always focus on positive colors, drawings and stories to keep as much as I can a good vibe within their nest ( they will experience other vibes within the world but home is for me a nest where you can be, feel good and secure. I also suggest them to match colors and prints together but they are still really small.
Konstantin: Online shopping improved through the years, but what about the personal touch of the analogue shop? What do you think is needed for the online shops in order to have it?
Charlotte: I think any personalized service in terms of helping potential clients to help shopping and follow their style is needed. Today, the customer service is more about a product and is, for me, more about a product service than a customer service. I agree, those type of service are not really scalable but will definitely have a value especially in high-end markets. Some websites tend to develop a personal stylist technology that will be automated by computers... I believe it is interesting and scalable but do online shoppers want to always be in touch with computers? I don't know...Better we let them know if they are dealing with real personal shoppers or computers.
Konstantin: What is the basic concept of your platform So You Think You Can Shop if it must be explained in a sentence?
Charlotte: It is a commercial platform focused in high-end markets that tends to help shopping and focus on a style rather then trends. I believe in long and lasting pieces rather then one offs.
Konstantin: You obviously had the so called “inside knowledge” of the fashion world before launching your platform. What mistakes you could have made if you were not a successful model?
Charlotte: When you start yourself within the real fashion business (pret a porter), a deep knowledge within fashion is needed. It is based on clients (shoppers), what they are expecting from fashion and shopping, on brands, how they are willing to develop and grow their brands through their DNA and Tone of Voice and respect that. I also believe that taste and knowledge within the styling and clothes ( fabrics, prints, cuts) is highly recommended and for the last part, I would recommend to always start within the high-end markets because this is how you will develop your business or brands visbility through magazines and press support and develop credibility to you future potential clients.
Konstantin: Rewind back the time - why did you switch your successful model career to a business one?
Charlotte: I always wanted to have my own business and never really liked to wait for castings to fill my day. I am kind of impatient and entreuprenarial and always need to come on moving and growing. But modeling has been my best school to do what I have started today.
Konstantin: You can tell how consumer behaviour changed during the last 5 years, let’s say, but how your own personal shopping behaviour changed?
Charlotte: I have to say that I am getting rid of all unnecessary clothes and focus on real materials rather than brands and trends. I am going to a back to the roots shopping experience where I would focus on the Burberry trench coat, the Acne denim, the Gucci horse-bit leather loafers...any iconic piece that make any brand become who they are today.
Konstantin: Is it true that the new fashion trend is the so-called “lasting trend”. I mean - people would like to buy fashion that will be fashionable in one-two years from now, more classic items. How you explain this?
Charlotte: I totally agree ( see question above ), I got rid of all the unecessary for long and lasting pieces and focus more on quality and iconic pieces that a brand.
Konstantin: How to stand out from the crowd - for example, we are a small family company producing high end beach towels, but with so many young brands around, what is your advice for such entrepreneurs? Should they be scared that now many people are launching their brands or this is a good possibility?
Charlotte: I would say that many things are involved and can help you become successful but high-end and good quality products with a good product service is a great start. After, I truly believe that developing visibility to get credibility from press support and potential clients and being reachable by being digitally available and have a responsive online website is highly needed! You need to be perfect in whatever you publish or start doing. Online shoppers have no patience and only give once chance. Focus on the user experience on your website, make sure it is responsive and that you follow your DNA and tone of voice through your social networks.
Konstantin: One item in your wardrobe that is distinctively your style?
Charlotte: My acne denim with a zip in the back. Unfortunately they have stopped producing them this year...what a pity.
Konstantin: One item that can describe the style of your kids?
Charlotte: Not really, I would say casual things with elegant details...I want them to feel comfy and discreet with a strong touch of feminity.
Konstantin: What have you learned from your kids?
Charlotte: To become more patient, to follow their path and not choosing for them. I have found myself to become like the bears mother they follow their babies through their life discovery but make sure to protect every step they take. I will never impose them a choice because they will one day choose who they really are. Better not wasting time and push them to find who they are and what they like from an early age.
Konstantin: Any summer plans?
Charlotte: Work work work... I am also moving to another house so boxes are definitely my plans. I might also go to Lake Como or Ibiza by the end of August but nothing is confirmed yet.
Konstantin: Favourite summer tune?
Charlotte: Not really, any type from rap music to rock to oldies.
Charlotte Collard is a former model, now a successful fashion entrepreneur. Her website www.soyouthinkyoucanshop.com is a must visit for the fashion aficionado. She is mother of three kids, a graduated gemologist, fashion and style advisor and what else? Many other things but mainly - a woman that really inspires.
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Picture Credit: Alexandra Utzmann