From teaching tennis, to dance to creating her own clothing range, we took a peek into one of the most creative minds of our generation, the creator of Charlotte’s Love, a Dublin clothes designer, Charlotte Francis.
What exactly is Charlotte’s Love?
“I’ve been trying to figure that out for the last six years,” she laughs. “Basically I’ve created a wave of beautiful, timeless, basic clothing with emotional power flowing through the human race with love and freedom.”
Where did it all begin?
“So I have been teaching dance forever, that was my profession. It was just six years ago I was going through a phase in my life where there was something missing and everything was kind of going a little bit, wrong.
“I had moved to Australia and I said to my friend, ‘I want to do something different.’ So I had a bit of money and I wanted to invest in something. With zero experience in fashion, one day I went to this vintage shop and I bought ten dresses for ten dollars each. I moved back to Dublin then and to be honest I don’t know how the idea came into my head but I thought I’d start a project.
“I got some girls I know, a makeup artist and models and took photos of them in my dresses and put positive quotes beside them. Then I started going back and forth to London buying dresses for twenty quid, restyling them and selling them for forty quid. I’d always restyle and doctor my clothes and I started noticing that people were loving it.”
How did you come up with the name and logo?
“It wasn’t meant to be Charlotte’s Love. But the name I originally had, Facebook wouldn’t allow me to use that name for a page. I had to use my own name. So I was like okay Charlotte but I am quite a private person I didn’t want to use my own name cause that is embarrassing.
“‘Love’ came to me when I was thinking about kids in Africa being named Love, Faith, Hope and all so I checked if they accepted love and they did. That’s how the name came about, mad isn’t it?
“It took me four years to create a logo because I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand what I was creating.”
You recently created a new collection of clothes. Where did you get the inspiration from?
“Believe it or not, all my stuff is based on crew neck styles, but oversized. Life tells me what to deliver. That’s why you can’t put Charlotte’s Love in a box, it doesn’t go by a trend.
“You see that tartan fabric? I bought that fabric four years ago in LA and I’m only using it now. I just thought okay its time to use it. I took the fabric out on the floor and I just looked at it and it just came to me in a creative way you know?”
Who would be your style icon?
“I don’t have one. I think because of the fact I’m not into fashion so to speak. Like I don’t have a fashion background. How I see fashion and how I would like to see it, is the designer actually puts the feeling into the style and product.
“People follow trends and it’s like Kim Kardashian is wearing something and they want to look exactly like her. I mean she’s stunning, I actually really like Kim. But I just want you to be you when you wear my clothes.”
Let’s talk about the creative process. Where do you draw creativity from?
“Through life. When it’s in front of me I just see it. When the fabric is in front of me it’s just there. It’s from travelling. I love travelling and I love prints from the different countries I’ve travelled.”
“The printed slogan stuff like the ‘love jumpers’, that comes from nature. It’s creating that so when people wear Charlotte’s Love or when they wear that jumper, they feel love and they feel their own kind of love or freedom. The ‘humanist jumper’ for me just representing humans. No race, no gender, just human.
“The creative process is in all of us and it is an amazing, amazing thing.”
You share a lot of dance videos through Charlotte’s Love. Being a dance teacher how does that affect your work?
“Dancing. Oh, I love it. I see myself as a window to the world that I have travelled and through the window, I show people culture and different kinds of people. Not that I was sheltered but I didn’t know a lot of other cultures. I was like oh my goodness we live in an amazing world.”
Do you find it hard to be your own boss and designer?
“It is challenging yes. To be honest with you, the business side is something that I wasn’t great at but I have really improved and it’s something I am still working on now. Creating something that doesn’t exist, no one else can do it for you. I can’t delegate jobs sometimes when I don’t even know what it is.”
What advice would you give to someone who felt they lacked motivation in life?
“Don’t live in the past. Leave the past there. The only reason why someone would lack motivation is by living in the past. Every day is a brand new day. Get off social media and get into nature. Stay away from the past. If you focus on the past it will keep you there. It’s challenging but it is so worth it.
“There is magic in the unknown.”
Check out Charlotte’s Love creations and be inspired here: https://www.charlotteslove.com