In less than four years, Barcelona-based brand The Label Edition has established itself as a serious contender in the womenswear market. This is down to several factors, not least designing clothes that women WANT to wear and that add some value to their existing wardrobes. The Label Edition puts an emphasis on honesty, slow fashion and discouraging consumption for the sake of consumption by, for example, reusing fabrics in its future capsule collections. Schön! sits down with co-founder Veronique Vaillant to find out more.
Could you tell me a bit about you and your co-founder Laura Johansson’s backgrounds?
For me, it was clear from childhood that I wanted to create and design clothes, but my family directed me to a different study path. So, I started in marketing communication for consumer and luxury goods, fashion advertising, and then worked for nine years as a marketing manager in a multinational company where I managed high level projects.
This experience provided me with the tools to properly understand this industry in a more strategic and structured approach while developing my creative dimension in parallel. So, I think it was the right time for me to finally pursue my passion with more life and professional experience, with a more realistic approach, having myself the consumer vision.
Laura’s background is Art Direction and she worked for many different brands in the past.
How did the two of you come together and what made you decide to launch a brand?
It was very natural and organic. We first met years ago while working in the industry. Our paths crossed again in 2017 while I was living abroad and thinking about moving to Barcelona to create a new life and a professional project.
Over coffee we discussed the idea of creating a brand that could meet our needs, and it was clear to me that this line should be digital native, with values of exclusivity, timelessness and above all honest.
I was always looking for unique designs or vintage pieces, with a special touch that I could only find online and that could last in my wardrobe. This is how TLE was officially born online at the very beginning of 2019.
Even though it’s relatively new, The Label Edition has already garnered a strong following. Were you expecting it to take off so quickly?
Not really. We feel extremely grateful, but I guess we were also lucky during COVID, because everyone was connected and more aware of what brands were doing online. We got a lot of exposure during that time, and it seems that our shirts quickly got the attention of opinion leaders.
What do you feel is the secret to this success?
I don’t know if there’s a secret and we’re also very pragmatic when thinking about “success”. But based on customer feedback, I believe our comfortable, modular fits, shapes and fabrics, and attention to detail is what drives interest in the brand.
What differentiates the brand from others that sell online?
It’s a difficult question, but I think we were born exactly at a moment of change in consumption systematism and values with a proposal of ethics, design, price and quality that make sense… what many brands already established before this big reset have to change in order to align with this new era.
You are also stocked in some retail outlets. How do you go about choosing these?
We want to integrate the wholesale world wisely as the idea is to keep some control over our values and to avoid too much overlap with our online selection. Therefore, we are just starting to work in more depth on a strategy to be available in very specific and select international department stores and shops, offering a mix of some common pieces as well as exclusive models only available in these entities.
You’ve also recently launched a diffusion collection with La Redoute. How do you ensure the brand’s ethos of slow fashion, sustainability and exclusivity are followed when working with a mass market retailer?
We thought carefully about these issues before accepting this collaboration. We believe that developing a capsule that is controlled in terms of material, procedure and quantity, as well as producing in Europe, could also contribute to improving the modus operandi and values of a big player. We have made it a point of honour from the beginning to work hand in hand with their atelier, which is surprisingly human in scale with real craftspeople. This allowed a very fluid dialogue when creating these few pieces. Sustainability is a tricky word, and we always prefer the term “honest”.
I understand that you produce limited editions and capsule collections, so can you describe what you have shown at the latest edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion?
For this occasion, we presented two collections made of drops from aw22-23 and ss23, which overlap and unite at the same time in terms of concept. We want to highlight these values that define our DNA and our prototype of a woman who is not defined by a season or a code but simply by her personality.
Is there a particular woman you have in mind when designing your pieces?
We don’t believe in a particular woman, but in a personality. Each of our pieces can be interpreted in so many ways and for so many different occasions that, in the end, the woman who will wear TLE reflects a certain confidence.
interview. Huma Humayun