The Nolcha Fashion Week: New York globetrotting team had the chance to catch up with independent fashion designer Ron van Maarschalkerweerd, one half of the Maltese duo Charles&Ron.
Charles,born in Malta and Ron originally Dutch met in Amsterdam in 1992. Shortly after they met Ron moved to Malta where they set up their first studio and launched their first collection. The mostly self-taught designers have become Malta’s leading fashion house and have participated in many prestigious fashion events throughout Europe.
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? There never was an actual decision to become a fashion designer, when Charles and I met things just fell into place. Charles had already been making clothes from a young age and I was always creative and interested in fashion. Together we started designing and making clothes and it has been a very important part of our life and something we really love doing.
How would you describe your brand? Charles & Ron is a contemporary lifestyle brand, high-end wearable clothing and bags with a distinct Mediterranean flair and a dedication to superior quality. Maltese culture is an integral part of the Charles & Ron design ethic and the brand’s vision is, to inspire our clients to be part of the instantly recognizable Charles & Ron Mediterranean lifestyle.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? We’ve had a couple of highlights, showing our collection on Italy’s number one TV station Rai Uno was definitely one of them and we were also guest designers at Toronto Fashion Week a couple of years back. Designing the costumes for a dance show to celebrate the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in the presence of her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth was also a very big honor!
What is the inspiration behind your Triton dress? Our Spring Summer 2015 collection was inspired by Malta’s capital city Valletta, the “Triton” dress is part of this collection and features a print of the silhouette of the Triton fountain.
This majestic fountain stands at the entrance of the city of Valletta. It is the starting point of an intriguing and inspiring city and it is also the starting point of our collection and inspiration for S/S 15.
Describe your ideal consumer. Our ideal consumer is a modern woman with a sense of style and class; she is feminine, outgoing and not afraid of a bold print.
What is your favourite piece and why? The “Palace” skirt and top is our favourite look of this collection. The printed cotton and silk organza look represents the brand very well. The glamour of the full organza skirt paired with the cotton crop top is the perfect balance between classic and modern.
If you could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be and why? Penelope Cruz. She would be a perfect spokes model for our brand. Her Mediterranean looks and style suit Charles & Ron perfectly and she is a modern, young and successful woman that started from humble beginnings and worked hard for her success.
What store would you love to have your clothes in? 10 Corso Como, in Milan, Italy. Saks 5th Avenue, Début N.Y., Harvey Nichols, London U.K.
What does 2014/2015 hold for the brand? At the beginning of 2014 we opened our first boutique and we also showed our collection during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Malta and at Feeric Fashion days Sibiu, Romania. Showing our collection in New York is of great importance for our brand as we are introducing the brand to the American market and invite them to be part of the C&R Mediterranean lifestyle! We will also start working with new production companies to further enhance the development of Charles & Ron.
The Nolcha Fashion Week Ones to Watch feature is a weekly interview highlighting an independent fashion designer that is making moves in the fashion industry. Whether from a runway show in New York City or discovered by our globetrotting team we are proud to be a platform of discovery supporting innovative independent fashion.
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Nolcha Fashion Week: New York, founded by Kerry Bannigan and Arthur Mandel, is a leading award winning event held during New York Fashion Week hosting independent fashion designer runway shows.