Creative In Conversation: Cloe Cassandro On Her Ethical Beachwear Brand
As summer arrives, it’s time to stock up on gorgeous, wafty beach dresses, and this is exactly where Cloe Cassandro comes into play.
Founded in 2012 by Cassandro, expect a line of flirty and floaty dresses in mini and midi lengths, smock mini tops, silky shirts, and of course, it wouldn’t be beachwear without multiway sarongs.
The sunny disposition continues through to the color palette and prints, with hues of blue, saffron, sage, fuschia, and vibrant blood orange that reference everything from azulejo star tiles of Porto to the blues of the Aegean sea.
As for the production, there’s a focus on craftsmanship and ethically made pieces, and this is at the heart of the brand. Proudly, the line is made by skilled artisans on the island of Bali using materials such as featherlight silk and eco-linen.
Consciously made and classic in silhouettes, Cloe Cassandro’s pieces call to the beach, and you’ll certainly be wanting to take them on all your travels for years to come.
Cloe tells us about the cornerstones of her label and the creative process.
Felicity Carter: What was your first memory of fashion?
Cloe Cassandro: My mother and grandmother were both always interested in fashion, I was always around it as a little girl. My mother worked in Browns and my grandmother used to shop there.
They taught me about good quality pieces are with the investment, that doesn’t mean to say you need a lot of them.. it just means they tend to last longer. Some of my favorite jumpers my mum wore 15 years ago!
FC: How, when, and why did you get into the industry?
CC: I was assisting stylists from when I was about 15, the first stylist I assisted was Caroline Baker, one of the original women to define styling as an actual career, she was wonderful and very inspiring m to work with. I carried on assisting stylist and interned at Elle, studied fashion and used to customize old jumpers and tutus with pearls and rosettes.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic?
CC: A nice balance between feminine and relaxed silhouettes and a little luxurious. We aim to create investment pieces that become staples of our customer’s summer holiday wardrobes.
FC: Who is your customer?
CC: I would like to think our customer has an appreciation for artisan products, as that has always been how we produce. She is happy to invest in a piece that she’ll enjoy over and over again and might be a little cheeky as the fabric are predominantly sheer silk crinkle, which without a slip shows a gentle outline of the body, free sprinted with a ground essence.
FC: What are the cornerstones of your company?
CC: The way we produce and the way we started was always supporting artisans in Bali, my parents actually started the business 20 years ago with one tailor and one batik man.
I would say that supporting artisans, being environmentally conscious, delivering quality pieces and being consistent and transparent with our customers are some of our core values. We’re always looking and researching how we can develop and do things better. We aim to use up all our surplus fabric to create new pieces, this is the salvaged pieces section of the website.
FC: Which was the first-ever piece that you designed and how did it come about?
CC: My mother actually started with the Andrea shirt and simple sarong both we still sell today and have been consistent best sellers for two decades.
What is on your current mood board?
CC: Prints inspired by Japanese art, lots of color and happy vibes!
FC: Tell us about the process…
CC: Research is an ongoing process, I find inspiration everywhere and constantly take photos of art, tiles, and fabrics, me and my designer will then do some research into shows and create a mood board from that and put our inspiration together and go from there.
We tend to start with our colors and prints and we’ll know that we have favorite styles that we’d like to repeat and introduce some newness following our research.
FC: Currently, which is your favorite piece and how do you style it up?
CC: I’m really enjoying the color blocking story we worked on, which is simply a mix of two sarongs. The Betty and Daisy dresses are new favorites but I will always love the Andrea Maxi, it’s just so easy and really is the true essence of the brand nailed in a dress.
Shop the brand at leading stores globally including Moda Operandi, Browns, Annie’s Ibiza, and on cloecassandro.com.