“We have a rule, which is that we never argue longer than 5 minutes.”
Charles & Ron are a couple of designers based in Malta. Their iconic creations are based on Maltese culture, and Mediterranean tradition & nature. They have made the leap from European Fashion Weeks to Fashion Capitals as Los Angeles and New York. Today we chat with them about their vision, perspective and future of the industry.
C&R concept is so powerful, how would you define it?
Malta has always been of enormous inspiration to our work, and throughout the years we have always enjoyed designing from a Mediterranean point of view. For us, it’s important to incorporate certain aspects of culture, architecture and tradition and show them in a different and unexpected way. From the beginning, we always incorporated these references as they define us as a brand, and it’s important to embrace and appreciate your heritage. The Charles & Ron style has developed over the years and was influenced mostly by our own taste and our surroundings. Being based in the Mediterranean influences the way you view life and also style and fashion.
How is the Charles & Ron creative process and what do you involve in it?
The Creative process always starts with brainstorming together and taking notes and some rough sketches. After that we work as a team and with our team, but when it comes to designing a collection Ron does the collection planning, sketches and manages graphic design process, etc. Charles is more involved in the actual making of the garments and technical issues related to production, as he manages the sewing studio.
How would you define the Charles & Ron woman?
In the past years we’ve had the pleasure to dress many international celebrities and this is very satisfying for a designer, however we take pride in designing for all kinds of women. The Charles & Ron woman does love statement pieces with a feminine silhouette and is never afraid to stand out in a crowd.
4.You are part of the Feeric Family, one of the strengths of each edition. What Feeric Fashion Week meant to you in your career?
Being part of Feeric has always been a wonderful experience. The shows are held in the most amazing locations and are very unique. Over the years we have built close relationships with The Feeric team and other designers. Feeric is different to any other fashion week, as long lasting relationships and collaborations are created.
If you had to choose 3 moments in your professional career, what would they be?
A very special and defining moment for us was being invited on Rai TV Italy some years back, we were asked to do a small show on Casa Rai Uno which was one of Italy’s most popular TV shows back then. Our first time showing during New York Fashion Week was also a very special moment, and 2 years ago the biggest highlight of our career was being invited to participate in the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange organised by Eco Age.
We had the opportunity to show our couture design at an exclusive event at Buckingham Palace and had the honour to meet Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour who complimented us on the dress design.
Many global celebrities have been wearing your designs, such as Ashanti, Brandy, Lauryn Hill, Jessie J, Kelly Rowland… do you have any celeb goals to achieve?
There are a few of our favourite singers that we would love to dress, like Beyonce and also Barbra Streisand.
Besides of your work, you have more than 25 years of relationship together. What is the secret of your healthy personal and professional relationship?
We met when we were very young and always did everything together. Never on our own, whatever we did, we always did it together. Having a common goal in life, in our case our fashion career also helped making us stronger. And we have a rule, which is that we never argue longer than 5 minutes, arguments longer than that are a waste of precious time!
What opinion do you have on the direction that the industry will take with this new normality after the Coronavirus?
I think many things have to be adjusted, not only in the fashion industry. We have to be able to adapt quickly, and who is not able to do that will suffer.
After this long way of work, what would the Charles & Ron of today say to theirselves of the past?
Don’t hold back and don’t be shy.
One advice for new generations of emerging designers?
Never give up, if you really have a passion for it. But you have to be ready to work very hard, as it is not an easy industry.