The pet project of a French mother-daughter duo, MaisonCléo is the perfect materialisation of the saying ‘big things come in small packages’.
In an age where fashion companies are breaking the bank to invest in modern technology and speeding up deliveries to less than 90 minutes in some cases, this young brand offers a breath of fresh air with its slow fashion approach.
Started by Marie Dewet, a Manager at Vestiare Collective, who handles communication and design, the label is aptly named after her mother Cleo, their only seamstress. In less than two years, MaisonCléo has grown far beyond their imagination, all because of the power of social media.
Thanks to its Made in France allure and affordable exclusivity, the brand’s online store is almost always out of stock and their clothes can be seen more easily in the Instagram posts of fashion insiders. Everyone from model Emily Ratajkowski, Leandra Medine of Man Repeller to makeup artist Stella von Senger are donning their Jane Birkin-style clothes with much panache.
Elaborating on her design process, Dewet tells Apparel Resources, “I don’t believe in trends. I can take the train to go to my mum’s atelier and draw something on the way and three hours later mum would have created it herself. We are not a big company and there is no intermediary so we can basically do what we want, when we want.”
The label’s design aesthetic is intentionally simple and the no-fuss appeal comes naturally to Dewet because of her upbringing in the small French town of Lille. She says that many of the clothes are actually reinterpretations of “all the things I saw when I was young like the impeccable dressing-rooms of my grandmothers”.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for this young label is that everything is artisanal work and all the clothes are ‘made to order’ and thus, exclusive. They only have one seamstress so production is limited to the amount of fabric Dewet was able to buy for a particular style. Hence, inevitably all their clothes are not just handmade but also limited edition.
Adding to their old world charm, Dewet only uses 100 per cent natural materials that are sourced from Paris or the North of France. More often than not, the fabrics come from remains of big couture houses so the quality is always great. “If there is 90 per cent wool and 10 per cent polyamide in the material, I will not buy it,” she adds.
MaisonCléo adds around 20 to 25 new pieces to their website every Wednesday, for which Cleo works day and night to create. In terms of their product assortment, you can see wraparound blouses, silk skirt and shorts, ruffle and gingham tops.
Happy to just be sharing the know-how of their French roots, the duo has no plans of expansions as of now and are glad knowing several stockists are interested in selling their clothes.
She says that everyone is fed up of mass consumption and especially fast-fashion and the MaisonCléo girl is “someone who celebrates simplicity and doesn’t mind waiting two weeks to receive their order because they know that they are contributing to the preservation of a craft”.