Olivia von Halle is a woman on a mission to bring high-fashion back to our quietest moments at home. She often found herself taking off high heels and gowns at the end of a long, London night out, pouring a Gin & Tonic, looking through her own closet for something equally glamorous to slip into.
It inspired her to start her own line. Holding a degree in Fashion & Textile management at Leeds University, she worked for Future Laboratory in London as a trend forecaster for clients like Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Inspired by the pajamas and loungewear worn by Coco Chanel and her contemporaries in the high-glamour-days of the 1920s, Olivia von Halle’s creations are made from the finest 19 Momme silk, with alluring patterns and chic tailoring that’s often missing in robes and pajama sets.
In 2011 she returned to London to launch the Olivia von Halle brand, and it has taken off globally for good reason.
Vices Reserve has an incredible offer right now on her Mimi Agatha Kimono Short Robe in a Japanese-inspired floral print. We have her Coco Ivory pajama set and the Capability Zebedee Long Silk Robe available too. Or, her best-selling style––the Lila Silk Pajamas. The brilliant magenta pink is capped with mother of pearl buttons, striking, ivory piping and an overall, white floral design on the finest, smoothest silk.
Each purchase this month––not matter what single item or set you choose––comes with a matching eye mask for the ultimate, restorative sleep.
We sat down with her to get at the heart of her passion for bringing luxe loungewear back to our bedrooms. Or … our boudoirs––as we now refer to them.
What inspires you as a woman in business?
There has never been a more exciting time to be a woman in business. There are so many incredible women doing extraordinary things and it feels like the spotlight has never shone brighter on them than it has in the last year or so.
Running a business forces you to challenge yourself and keep moving forward. I’ve always loved to push the boundaries. When I founded the brand, the fact that no one else was making luxury silk pyjamas at the time was the most motivating factor. I wanted to be the first, the best and the biggest!
Who is your mentor?
I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so many women who have helped and inspired me. A few years back I formed a collective with a few other female founders of non-competing luxury brands. From that group, I still meet regularly with Alessandra Rich and Jessica McCormack. We each go through similar experiences and encounter the same issues so it’s really helpful to share information, I guess you could say we mentor each other! It was important to us that the group be all female, it’s easier to be very honest and open, and you can discuss issues on a friendship level. I also have learned so much from Cassandra Rodin, founder of Mini Rodini. She’s is doing the most incredible work around sustainability and is a true pioneer. Likewise, Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and Beautystack, is doing amazing things for beauty and tech, and women’s empowerment. She’s so inspirational and is a real force to be reckoned with.
How do you find daily inspirations for your designs?
I try to draw inspiration from anything and everything. When we begin work on a new season, the main requirement is that the starting point or theme feels fresh and exciting. And, it has to hit the zeitgeist. Previous collections have begun with a single quote from an Ayn Rand novel, tattered copies of Italian Vogue from the 90s, and the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. Right now, we’re obsessing over the 70s film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Are all the pajamas and the robes made out of 19 Momme silk?
We have always worked with 19 Momme silk. It is a weight rarely used today, due to its expense. But, it gives the most beautiful drape and really makes all the difference to the finished garment. As the brand has grown, we’ve incorporated a more diverse range of materials into the collections. Often these pieces will still have a silk component. Our Missy tracksuit, for example, is made from the most incredible silk-cashmere blend, and, as we have expanded our ready-to-wear offerings, we have been able to experiment more with gorgeous velvets, silk jacquards and embellished silk organzas.
What’s coming in 2019 for the brand?
We’re working on Spring / Summer ’20 at the moment and have some very exciting new silhouettes and fabrications in development for that collection. We’ll continue to expand our ready-to-wear offering following huge demand for this category.