Forget "baby, it's cold outside", I don't think any of us need a memo to realise it's bloody baltic out there! But rather than looking despairingly at our wardrobes each morning thanking our lucky stars for readily available puffer jackets, we should look into what staple winter pieces that work all year round. The key is in the layering, whether it's a dress over a jumper, polo necks under, well, anything or my personal favourite; a Chouchou Couture hood.
Living in Scotland, a Chouchou hood is one of the hardest working items in my wardrobe. From showers in Glasgow, snow in Copenhagen and windy nights in Budapest, it's always had my back - or at least kept my hair dry - all while feeling luxurious and looking even better! So I wanted to catch up with the brains behind it all, Italian born Silvia Pellegrino about the new Greatest Hits collection and why she choose to forget the seasons and stay sustainable.
Hey Silvia! I am OBSESSED with the new collection, can you tell us a little more about it?
The collection is called ‘Greatest Hits’! We decided to create a ‘compilation’ of those favourite designs that have been popular and requested by our clients across the years.
Our hoodgirls still go crazy for our Hollyhood Tabarca, Hollyhood Kitty and our very first hood, the Hollyhood Tartan. Every year we launch new styles but people still desire these classic pieces. We figured, we've created so many hits, why not dedicate one full collection just for them?! Basically, Greatest Hits represents best-selling Chouchou designs plus some extra surprises in the mix, consider them as ‘bonus tracks’ conceived for the hungry Chouchou lover!
You have recently decided to ditch the seasons in exchange for one new collection per year, what made you decide to take the plunge?
There was actually a few reasons. The biggest priority to us is giving the best quality to our clients. We simply cannot compromise there so we prefer to create one high quality collection and editorial and fully focus on our speciality - winter!
We will still be creating one off pieces or limited runs throughout the year to keep things fresh. This is how we can differentiate our work and products from the high street. We refuse to produce low quality ‘waste’ and want to show that a Chouchou design goes a long way and keeps you warm and sassy all year round!
We are constantly bombarded with images of new products all the time, but for me and my team it's important to us to be ethical by producing in Europe, giving work to skilled people and paying a good salary in return for their work while avoiding all types of unnecessary waste. Growing up in the 90s in Italy I am used to really high quality fashion goods and I want to bring this back! I personally prefer to buy less and buy more original designs rather than buying low quality, constantly items that I call ‘without a soul’ that make us unhappy and pollute the environment.
PREECH IT SISTER! We couldn't agree more! With your Greatest Hits collection based around your classics, your editorial ended up going in a different direction than we've seen before, what was your inspo there?
I wanted to show Chouchou hoodgirls in a different light - the magic of the nightlife. We imagined our girl enjoying a moment of relax in her home before going on a special night out.
There are two important elements in our story. One is the night and the other is the girl. We are forever inspired by feminine, empowered and insanely attractive women. The feminist aspect always represents a huge priority in all our campaigns and it’s something we are very passionate about. Every aspect of the campaign was created by women, for women and I am so proud of that.
The night aspect sets a scene of mystery. Although you can wear Chouchou all the time and there are some pieces that are super cozy and comfy to wear during the day but we always design thinking of all occassions. What about that party, special date, dinner or trip you have been looking forward to? You don’t normally put the same effort in getting dressed for the day as you do for the night. And there is a preparation and expectation of what is to come that is just....electrifying. So we wanted to capture the whole excitement of getting ready for a night to remember.
We chose a very special model, someone that was a bit different to our past campaigns and try new styles of makeup and styling. Taking new directions as a small brand can be scary but we aim to inspire and wanted to show a different side of Chouchou. Each of the editorial shots are named after a song that means something to me personally, I really do put my everything into Chouchou.
Well, we are OBSESSED with it. Tell us, what's 2018 got in store for Chouchou?
We are missing the catwalk life! Over the past three years we have focused all our energies in being more international and building a creative studio abroad. It's like we have neglected our strong need to be also performing ‘offline’ as well as on. We love our online life don't get me wrong, but being offline is where our products truly come to life and meet our girls perosnally!
We are currently organizing some independent shows internationally so expect us to be back on the runway in 2018, but until then it's making sure these hoods are under trees before Christmas!
Check out the Greatest Hits collection below.