Discover Benelux, Issue 20, August 2015

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Discover Benelux & France | Dress to Impress | Fashion & Accessories

Designing with the customer in mind When fashion boutiques decide on what will make it to their racks the coming season, many choose for the ‘safe’ route, opting to primarily include items they believe will sell well. But what if the customer wants something more exclusive? One way designer label MLY has managed to stand out, is by offering their special pre-order option. TEXT: PAOLA WESTBEEK | PHOTOS: CATH HERMANS

Though boutiques strive to make informed choices when buying, parts of a collection which they anticipate will not be as popular might never reach the public. A shame, especially if you consider that some customers, who are willing to spend their money on a designer label, prefer to do so on items that are more unique. With this in mind, Dutch designer Emily Hermans decided on a new approach: “Although I market my collection the standard way, MLY’s pre-order system makes it possible for the consumer to also have a say about what makes it to the shops, and that is quite unusual. No other brand offers this service.” Hermans, who launched her first collection in 2004, primarily draws inspiration from the women she designs for. Her vision is to inspire and empower, yet at the same time

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learn from her customers. Every woman is different, and Hermans celebrates those differences by ensuring her pieces bring out the best in those who wear them. At her MLY Pilot Store in Eindhoven, she and her team offer personal shopping sessions and free styling advice on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Every item can be tailored to perfectly suit any figure or specific wish. The entire MLY collection is locally and durably produced from start to finish with Hermans’ exclusively designed, high-quality textiles and beautiful digital prints. “I’ve always found it fascinating to create my own materials,” she explains, something she fervently practised while studying at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Icelandic contrasts form the fundamental elements of MLY’s upcoming autumn/winter collection (vIK) which consists of dresses,

jackets, silk blouses and handwoven scarves. Included are knitted arctic landscapes, mineral-like motifs and contrasting vivid hues as well as soft pastels. Hermans: "The rugged Icelandic nature has some sort of primitive danger about it. Yet it also has a pure, comforting beauty that I have not seen anywhere else before.” The new collection will be available as of August 2015.