What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
I have three kids, so the first 30 minutes of my day are really for them. I get more me time in the evening and am completely obsessed with baths, they’re my absolute favourite way to relax at the end of a long day. I light a nice candle, add in some of my favourite bath oils and enjoy a good book.
How would you define the DNA of the brand and how has it evolved?
Olivia von Halle is otherworldly, aspirational, and playful – as years go by, I remain true to these values which are always at the core of everything we do. You are London-based but in 2008, you moved to Shanghai, China.
What lessons did you learn from each of these experiences and how did you take them into the business?
The move to Shanghai was definitely a key moment and that’s when the idea of Olivia von Halle really started. I had a super talented local tailor who was making me some of the most beautiful silk pyjamas. I literally lived in them from morning to evening and had more and more people asking about them. I slowly realised there was a gap in the market and that luxury loungewear wasn’t really an existing category at the time, feeling there was space for me to create beautiful pyjamas and robes that felt as elevated and glamorous as whatever you’d just slipped out of. The biggest lesson that I’ve learnt, and I still apply to date is to always follow your gut instinct. Of course, you can sometimes make mistakes, but ultimately that’s how you grow and get better.
You’ve had past experiences as a trend forecaster and a luxury brand consultant. What did you learn during those times that you apply to your business?
My background as a trend forecaster and brand consultant has definitely helped since the very early days of the brand. I love researching and dreaming about new collections, creating products that feel new and exciting. At Olivia von Halle, we don’t believe in following other brands or what the current trends dictate. Our creative process is altogether more organic and it’s about responding to what we’re feeling passionate about at that moment, about capturing a mood.
Do you see buying patterns globally or within the Middle East, and which pieces drive sales season after season?
I’m seeing more and more a trend of people wearing our pyjamas outside of the house, especially with such beautiful pieces like the ones in our latest Voyage Collection. They are heavily embellished and luxuriously hand embroidered. Some of them feature up to 75 hours of work from the world’s finest artisans and are designed with the utmost attention to detail, which makes them extremely special pieces to treasure forever. These kinds of products have proven to be very popular with our Middle Eastern customers, who are always looking for something extra special and empowering. The Wolfe Damaris is my absolute favourite this season!
What is most important to you when building a new collection?
One of the things that are distinctive about Olivia von Halle is our design process and the inspiration behind our beautiful prints. My Design Director and I are heavily influenced by old prints and would always start our design process in the library, poring over the archives and looking back at historical references of trailblazing women, whose styles inspire us. Our signature prints are really the key to every new collection — these are hand drawn in our London studio, then transcribed into screen prints and applied to our beautiful 19 momme silks.
What was your inspiration for the prints we’re seeing in your Voyage Collection?
The Voyage Collection is inspired by the route of the Eastern Oriental Express as it meanders through lush jungle landscapes and hazy mountainscapes, really capturing the lost art and romance of travel. It features a beautiful colour palette inspired by an oasis of tropical birds and rustling palms. The seasonal prints are all hand drawn and then translated into sequin and crystal embellishments. I especially love the Amaya Demoiselle robe, with embroideries depicting a tropical landscape twinkling by moonlight.
Tell us more about your efforts to drive sustainability within your brand.
Our wardrobe is made to treasure, with a view to sustainability and integrity of materials. I want to make things that people treasure for a long time; as such, we don’t consider a product truly finished until every detail has been perfected. In my opinion, it’s this rigour that gives each product its integrity.
This summer, how would you wear your pieces from beach to dinner?
I’m obsessed with our new fringed Amina robe, which looks great over a bikini for sundowners by the pool. It also looks amazing worn in the evening over a matching Zoya fringed slip dress — I wore them both in the Rose shade for my 40th birthday party in Ibiza and absolutely loved the look!
This is The Summer Issue – where will you be escaping to this summer and what OVH will you be packing?
I spend a couple of weeks every summer in Ibiza. I go with my husband, three kids and then various friends come and join us with their kids. Other than of course all of my favourite fringed pieces, I will definitely be packing a few of our Emeli sets, both in gorgeous cotton and silk blends – they’re just perfect for pottering around the villa! My favourite this season is definitely the one in the playful pool-scene Pampelonne print!
What does your travel beauty routine look like?
I think when travelling to sunny destinations it is all about the sun creams! I particularly love the Institut Esthederm Adaptasun range, it adapts to the strength of the sun, and I’ve never burnt with it on. Definitely a must.
July/August’s – The Summer Escape Issue with Tania Santos Silva – Download Now
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Images: Supplied by Olivia von Halle