Alison Chow founded the Coco Ribbon boutique in London’s Notting Hill, a region which she says embodied the `Bohemian Luxe’ aesthetic of the brand.
And it has set the stage ever since with her understated luxe look coveted by the well-traveled `Gypset crowd’ across the globe.
“It’s about an understated but luxe aesthetic which isn’t too contrived and which will always resonate with the ethos of Coco Ribbon,” she said.
Now Coco Ribbon is a highly successful online store. We chat with Alison at Premiere Trade Event co-located with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia to chat further on her launch into e-commerce, where she sources inspiration and being a Sydney girl at heart.
How was the merge from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce?
How has it changed the Coco Ribbon concept?
I believe it’s a challenge for all brands to fully express what they care about through an online store as opposed to bricks-and-mortar.
At our boutique, the merchandising, ambiance, scents, music and service were all key to establishing the Coco Ribbon brand and not all those variables are possible to communicate via the internet.
However, the emergence of multi-media channels such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook have created new avenues in which brands, including Coco Ribbon, can tell their story.
Tell us about the collections that feature on the Coco Ribbon website?
Where do you source your inspiration?
Mostly I am inspired by the beauty in nature and because of my Eurasian heritage, I am often drawn to intricate and detailed prints such as Chinoiserie.
Living in both Asia and Europe over the past decade fuelled further my interest in and passion for opulent prints and details in fabrics and embellishments.
You are originally a Sydney gal but your life has taken you all over the world from Hong Kong to New York and London.
Can you share some of your favorite sourcing locations?
I find David Tang’s China Club in Hong Kong a feast for the eyes with its Asian interiors and art mixed with European influences. I never go to Paris without paying a visit to the Clignancourt markets where you can find everything from antique jewelry, furniture, embroidered fabrics, and shawls as well as unique artisan art effects.
In New York, I always go to ABC Store and take in their spectacular merchandising and products from gifts, jewelry, lamps and homewares sourced from all over the world.
You are bringing the Coco Ribbon brand to Premiere trade event at MBFWA, what can visitors expect to see from your stand?
This season you’ll find silk harem pants, billowing blouses and our best-selling ‘wear-five-ways’ dress in bespoke prints from stain-glass-window paisley, coral and turquoise parrot fish to a flamboyant navy and pink floral.
Signature capes and cropped jackets with sequin detail also feature alongside beautiful black colored peplum tops, dresses, and highly embellished hero piece blouses.
What are some of your personal favorite pieces online right now?
The “Eden” Playsuit where the print has tiny apples dotted among the flowers, the Aqua Snakeskin ‘wear-five-ways’ floor-length dress and the Big Bang Cape in feather “Phoenix”.
What’s in store for the future – where do you see the brand heading?
For now, I’m enjoying gaining a presence in Australia and will see how my label evolves with the market here. I promised myself I’d keep things simple… however, one project that I couldn’t resist starting is a little girl’s range, launching just in time for my daughter’s second birthday.
It’ll share the same ethos as our womenswear range – beautiful prints, luxe fabrics and some butterfly sequin-embellished pieces for a mini-boho-luxe look. I think if you can’t stop thinking about something and it comes to you without feeling like hard work then you’ve got to do it.