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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW : Isabella Wren, a smart couture for today’s woman

Isabella Wren Black Signature Dress (2)

Isabella Wren’s “Smart couture for today’s woman” is thought to ease professional women’s life by enabling them to have control of their outfits.

Sarah Headshot
Source : Isabella Wren

Isabella Wren combines the mtm clothing with the latest trends in ready-to-wear and offers women a tool to feel confident and empowered in their daily life.

Retail in Asia has met Sarah Chessis, Founder, Managing Director and Head Designer of Isabella Wren, to know more about her project and how she is changing the way women shop for work wear.

RiA : Can you briefly introduce us to Isabella Wren?

Sarah : Isabella Wren is a new sartorial experience for women who want to take full control of their style. Isabella Wren fills a gap in the market for professional women’s garments that are classically stylish and make a statement.

Initially, I was thinking of finding a manufacturer to work with me, but in the end I decided to open my own workshop. It was a taxing process both mentally and financially, but I am glad I did it. We have a team of expert artisans who know how to construct the perfect garment each and every time.

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RiA : What inspired you to create Isabella Wren?

Sarah : It happened when I was living Singapore, working for a boutique independent investment bank, and I had a friend working for a company in China that manufactured uniforms. We were facing the problem of not having a diversified or comfortable wardrobe for our business meetings – it is so easy for men to just wear a suit, and women definitely have more difficulties in this area. We decided to launch a line of customized womenswear, but investors did not like the idea so we went on our own, raised money got past the point of no return, so here we are.

We are so proud to now have our own design concept, and with that, loyal customers of confident, professional women.

Isabella Wren Red Feathered Dress (1)
Source : Isabella Wren

RiA : What is the message Isabella Wren has for women?

Sarah : Our customers do not need to compromise on anything – not on colour, on size, or on model. They can choose whatever they want, made exactly how they want it, and  our customers can incorporate their own personalities and style into their clothes. We want to empower each woman and make her feel like she really rocks her style. It’s all about confidence. Isabella Wren is the solution that all women have been looking for.

RiA : Do you see Isabella Wren as a way to empower women?

Sarah : Yes, definitely! One of our customers once said to me that she feels like she puts on a suit of armor when she wears her Isabella Wren outfit. This goes to the heart of what we do – to empower women to be able to choose how their outfit looks, down to every last stitch. Men have been getting suits tailored for generations – why should not professional women have the same control over their outfits?

RiA : Isabella Wren combines traditional tailoring with technology. Can you elaborate on how these two elements come together?

Sarah : I am absolutely an accidental geek. When we started Isabella Wren, we were using traditional pattern makers, and I looked into the possibility of working remotely with pattern makers. We discovered the 3D CAD system that can integrate a whole pattern making system with everything we have available on our online store. I’ve always had confidence in our designs, people’s reception and the quality of our garments. The only issue is sizing. We started the journey with 3D CAD systems that led us to use 3D scanners and avatars, and then coding. It is a really easy system to use for both us and the customers, and the response has been really great.

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RiA : What is your customer profile in Hong Kong?

Sarah : Our typical customer is between 40 to 60 years old. Most of them are married and have children, and are time poor senior executives, who need to dress up and look good, but might not always have the time to go shopping.

RiA : Do you have plans for expansion, since you also ship globally?

Sarah : We are obviously looking at expansion. The idea is never to be exclusively online. We would like to have some showrooms, one or two in New York, one or two on the West Coast. We want to be the go-to brand for professional women.

Retail in Asia is looking forward to the New York openings and to the next development of this exciting project!