1. How do you define your concept / style / brand?
Vol(t)age stands for self-reflection, respect of ourselves and others and the importance of fun in fashion and generally in life. When considering a company’s impact on the environment, the focus tends to be on the carbon footprint, its impact in terms of energy consumption. This is obviously a very good thing as fast fashion definitely contributes to a very large effect to the pollution of our planet. What about our inspirational footprint? To what extent can a fashion label through the message it gives and the values it promotes exert any valuable inspirational influence on its customers? I personally think that a brand’s inspirational footprint is as important as its carbon footprint.
The clothes we are wearing should reflect our personality type and our (sought after) mood. And that’s where it gets tricky for most of us as we need to ask ourselves who we actually are and to exercise self-reflection. To creatively guide you in a positive direction, we make clothes with the intention to inspire you to think or feel in a certain way. All of our electrifying pieces have either a name, carry an empowering slogan or a funny pun to amp-up that vol(t)age of yours.
We believe that there is poetry in every look. Every wardrobe reflects the personality and the choices of its wearer. Our clothes are a part of us as we ingrain them with our energy and experiences. But the reverse is also true. The clothes we wear inspire us and our emotions. This is the exact reason why we created a line of self-reflection smart-shirts. All of the shirts of our self-reflection line contain mirror-inverted positive messages or mantras that we read when we look our Selves in the mirror to self-reflect.
We think that our life’s mission should be dedicated to self-help and that we should deploy every single resource and most importantly our wardrobe to help us feel present, alive and empowered. We make clothes charged with positive energy and slogans to be tattoed on our minds. Pieces that don’t leave you but stick with you through the catwalk of Life.
Coming to our carbon footprint, our ATELIER by vol(t)age collection is hand-made by our seamstresses in our Atelier in Luxembourg. Our Atelier carefully resources the finest materials throughout Europe from suppliers that are renowned for their quality and focus on conscious trade. We mostly use silk, velvet, bouclé or tweed, fabrics that have a long history of craftsmanship and were tested by kings and queens before they land in your wardrobe. Our cotton smart-shirts are produced in Portugal by a reputable company with a long-standing history of equitable trade.
We produce beautiful, galvanising pieces aligned with our values and our ethical code based on respect and transparency. Everyone involved in our supply chain deserves our respect and our consumers deserve to know the answers to the burning questions of our times regarding the products’ origin and composition.
3. Which of your creations do you like the most? Why do you like it the most?
I guess my heart still beats for our first smart-shirt creation with the slogan “KANT do that?” I really like the “jeu de mots” involving the philosopher Immanuel Kant and his categorical imperative and I just love the story that one of our clients, Nadine told us to support the truly empowering vibes of that smart-shirt.
Nadine is a respectable music teacher who had a plane to catch in the early evening hours in Copenhague. Unfortunately, Nadine had partied too much the night before and although she would have loved to lie in, she had to check-out of her room by noon. Too tired for any further explorations, Nadine decided to stroll through the Tivoli Gardens, where she was magnetically attracted to a bench that literally invited her for a nap.
As Nadine, considers herself as a well-educated and respectable grown-up woman, her inner voice of reason vehemently tried to convince her that a woman of her upbringing does not sleep on a public bench in a public garden.
But Nadine was wearing her “KANT do that?” smart-shirt and the magic of these words was stronger than her patronizing reason. Nadine followed the call of her own practical reason and categorically lay down on that public bench and had the most restorative nap ever. She took her plane, refreshed with a new sense of power and a renewed belief in her own free will.
4. Tell us your story, your link with Luxembourg ?
I was born and raised in Luxembourg. I studied law in Luxembourg, Paris and Cambridge and practiced law as a lawyer admitted to the Luxembourg bar for almost 20 years. My last job was that of a partner in a big international law firm in Luxembourg. Except for my studies, I always lived in Luxembourg with my family. Although Luxembourg is not a fashion capital, I love it for its diversity, its cosmopolitan flair, its multilingualism and its quiet places.
5. Give us a story on the “Made in Luxembourg”
vol(t)age in itself is a story made in Luxembourg. It is a truly Luxembourgish family business.
We are two Luxembourgish sisters who had the idea to start vol(t)age, and we still stick to sister power to make it work! But we are not enough to create a world of wonders! So, whom would we take along in our adventures? It would be the people we know and love, people who had a passion for creating beautiful pieces, just like ourselves!
Cristina who is now working as our first seamstress was the first one who got on board with us in our fashion adventure. We know Cristina for well over 20 years as she used to do housekeeping for our family in the past. She was delighted to be back to her primary occupation, sewing clothes, and she is proud to say she saw the vol(t)age concept getting born with her help. She is working from our Atelier rue Michel Welter, and this is where we do the design and patterns for our Atelier collections. Most of the creative work is done in-house and thanks to our motto “never stop learning”. Starting off as self-taught and learning by doing gives us an out-of-the-box perspective that we combine with perfecting our technical skills non-stop. Stephanie, co-founder of vol(t)age who helps me with the designs in her free time is a long-life student and loves following courses at Central St Martins in London as well as in Luxembourg to improve her fashion design skills.