Next weekend, Swedish-born and Shanghai-based world citizen Charlotta Gandolfo debuts her eponymous resort wear line to Beijing fashionistas. The brand has created quite a stir in China and beyond: AMEX Centurion Black Book calls it “the hottest lifestyle happening in Shanghai right now”, top retailers and luxury resorts testify to the brand “flying off the shelves” and being their number one best-selling brand, and reputed style icons such as Linda Li is wearing the brand from top to toe on important global fashion events. Pair the brand’s definitive “want to have” factor with the explosion of Chinese luxury travelers, and it’s not surprising that this seemingly niche line is getting quite a following.
We checked in with Charlotta Gandolfo on her Beijing plans.
What is your take on resort wear?
I’m creating beautiful and luxurious silk items for social women who travel. The origin of “resort wear” would be clothes to wear when at a resort, but I don’t see “resort” as a place or a fashion season. For me, it’s a state of mind. It has an air of playfulness, but also insouciance, sprezzatura, ease. It’s not for being worn only at a specific place: it’s an aesthetic, or even a mood.
Why do you think that your line has been so successful?
My collection is bringing Scandinavian minimalism and chicness to the category, taking the clothes way beyond the resort. Also in an urban environment, chic women dress up when going out with friends or attending events. But they never look like they try too hard. They always look both beautiful and at ease. These are the women that love my clothes, and when they wear it, people ask them about it, and the word starts to spread. The core of my brand is that resort is a state of mind, not a place.
Do you target expats or Chinese folks?
The sizing is made for the Chinese body, but still, foreigners look great wearing them.
However, the collection is definitely not for everybody. The women that buy my clothes are social, internationally-minded and travel a lot. It’s not for very local people, no matter if Chinese or foreigner. “Social” is another key word. My customers spend time with other people both casually and for events. They have a rich social life in their own city, but they also travel all over the world to attend parties and see friends. They want to look chic and dressed up while still being effortless and relaxed.
So while my collection is a bit niche, and I’m targeting a very specific type of woman, it’s not about where she’s from, but where she’s going.
Would you describe the style as Scandinavian?
My style incorporates elements from my adventures across Asia, the Riviera, the Orient and the Americas and fit equally well in Sanya, St Tropez or St Barths. However, the cultural merge of influences are tightly pulled together by my Scandinavian heritage, that gives all items a clean, minimalistic and very chic feel. The style has a true international appeal, but with a clear Scandinavian underpinning that defines all my items and takes them far beyond the resort.
The collection is the result of taking the road less traveled.
What’s your Beijing plans and how can people here get your items?
We are not a mass brand, and we are not looking to target a mass audience. We have already gotten a lot of demand from Beijing, and we have invited our friends and customers to a private VIP event in Beijing Thursday Aug 2 – Sunday Aug 5 at a luxury hotel close to Sanlitun.
If you are interested in attending, please connect on WeChat id: CharlottaG to get the address.
If you are interested in learning more about the brand, please follow us on our service account WeChat id: CharlottaG. Through this account, we share pictures and connect with customers and answer questions, and it’s also possible to buy our clothes directly from this account using WeChat Pay.
Outside of this, the brand is available in selected top fashion stores and luxury resorts all over the world.