Fashion Designer Charlotta Gandolfo on Her Capella Sanya Pop-Up

By Ned Kelly, April 1, 2021

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It has been an explosive year for Swede Charlotta Gandolfo, founder and creative director of her eponymous social and resort wear fashion brand. Quickly establishing itself as one of Shanghai’s favorite fashion brands, and with support from her growing tribe of well-traveled, cultured and chic customers, major fashion titles, A-list artists and luxury hotels, the Shanghai-born label has rapidly expanded to all major cities in China, as well as the US and Europe. And now it’s time for a new stop: Sanya.

In collaboration with luxury hotel Capella Sanya, Charlotta Gandolfo is launching her first pop-up shop in Sanya from April 2-16. “We are delighted to welcome Charlotta Gandolfo to the humble shores of Tufu Bay,” says Mr. Yngvar Stray, General Manager of Capella Sanya, “and curate a unique, limited-time-only experience for our Capella Travellers, whilst relaxing in the balmy weather and beautiful tropical environment of the resort.”

We caught up with Gandolfo to ask her a few questions about the pop-up, the future and the seemingly impossible concept of Scandinavian Resort wear.

Why Sanya and why now?
Sanya has emerged as the premier luxury travel destination for everyone living in China. Unrivalled during the pandemic, it has allowed many – including myself – to rediscover a Sanya that is far from what it was 10 years ago. Today’s Sanya is premium, social, chic, beautiful and effortless – a positioning and a lifestyle very suited to my brand. If you are in Sanya, chances are that you will love wearing our pieces. It’s a perfect match.

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What can people expect from the pop-up?
Firstly, you will enter one of the most stunning properties in Sanya: Capella Sanya. This sets the mood. Then you will enter our pop-up, conveniently situated close to the beach. We are filling the room with our signature styles of effortlessly luxurious, casually glamorous and elegant sexy silk pieces. 

With influences from the Orient, the Caribbean and the Middle East, mixed with the modern elegance of the classical cities of Europe, we pull it all together through our lens of Scandinavian chic minimalism. We design for nomads taking the road less traveled, and we welcome you to our world.

We've heard you talk about “living the oxymoron” – what do you mean by that?
Our designs are found in the intersection of seemingly impossible impressions. It starts with the notion of Scandinavian Resort wear: breezy and flowing styles for tropical climates, originating from the snow and the midnight sun around the Arctic Circle.

This sets our brand apart from everything else in the world, and for the first time, our brand adds a Scandinavian and minimalistic chic to the category, taking it way beyond the resorts, and into upscale restaurants in cities and seaside all over the world. My customers are practical, and want to wear their favorite resort pieces also in an urban environment. And we are all about exploring the oxymoron of sexy elegance, casual chic, relaxed glamour and laid-back dressed-up.

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It’s about striking a balance. Sexy without an elegant touch isn’t desirable. And elegance without sexiness is just pretentious. The same goes for all of my opposites. I love glamour, but too much comes off as forced. It’s when the glamour is also relaxed, and the dressing up is also laid back, it’s really chic. All of my clothes presents an alternative point of view of old stereotypes.

Just like a woman is never only one thing, encompassing a multitude of facets, layers, viewpoints and moods, we believe this is what makes the woman more complex, interesting and alluring.

What’s next for the Charlotta Gandolfo brand?
We’ll attend Shanghai Fashion Week early April, we’re launching our new Spring Summer collection in May, and we’re aggressively expanding both in China and internationally. Our international focus is the US, and we’ve already started to sell in Miami and across other key cities, with overwhelmingly positive response and off-the-charts sales numbers.

We’re also supporting the arts, and we’re raising funds for the New York City Ballet, whose dancers have suffered financially during the pandemic. Many of the ballerinas are already wearing our pieces, and in April we’ll launch a campaign on Instagram featuring the top ballerinas wearing our brand. It will be beautiful and meaningful, and I can’t wait until they are back on stage where they belong.

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Charlotta Gandolfo pop-up at Capella Sanya from April 2-16. Find out more about Charlotta Gandolfo here.

[All photos courtesy of Charlotta Gandolfo]


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