British shoe and accessories designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal visited South Coast Plaza recently to christen the latest boutique featuring her namesake brand: Charlotte Olympia.
The boutique, a pretty little space with gleaming shelves holding the line’s witty and colorful shoes and bags — including the iconic “Kitty” shoes and purses — as well the line’s latest collection, opened on the first floor between the Jewel and Carousel courts.
The fifth Charlotte Olympia store in the U.S., the South Coast Plaza store is decorated with blush and leopard print mid-century furnishings and brass accents atop a herringbone patterned floor.
Dellal, pretty, blond and glamorous in a floral Michael Kors frock and a pair of her own colorful heels, is the living embodiment of her whimsical and girly line.
SWL: Why did you open in Orange County?
Dellal: Well this is my first time here I know that this is a fantastic mall with a fantastic company and I think it’s one of the best selling malls in the States isn’t it?
So that somewhat answers your question. Also we do well on the West Coast and we do well in L.A .and it was time to open a few more stores in the states so we opened Miami last year, we opened Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and now we’re here in Orange County.
SWL: Do you have a sense of who the woman is that wears your shoes?
Dellal: I always say it’s someone who likes to dress from the feet up because my shoes are not necessarily the simplest of designs. I mean, I obviously offer now single sole pumps and beige and black, but otherwise the essence of the brand has that kind of playfulness to it, too. So, she’s definitely an accessories collector.
SWL: Where does that playfulness come from?
Dellal: I still love glamour and elegance and I don’t think that means that necessarily has to be so sober; you can have that element of playfulness. The essence of my brand comes from the glamour of old Hollywood, that era, from the 40s and 50s; people still dressed up but they weren’t shy of an accessory. I think playfulness in accessories is easier to wear than ready-to- wear, in a way. And I think people weren’t shy about walking about in a flamboyant hat back in the day and I think (now) people aren’t shy about walking around in a more whimsical pair of shoes.
SWL: How would you describe you line?
Dellal: Feminine, glamorous, and with a sense of humor.
SWL: You recently did a sneaker collection, why?
Dellal: Everything I do is organic. When I launched bags it was an organic approach that started off with just a clear transparent Lucite bag because I did Lucite heels. You know, at first I did only high (heels), then I introduced flats, then everything in between, and now sneakers. It was a natural progression. I always wanted to do it but it had to be right for the brand at the right time. I like to call them shoes you can dress up with when you want to dress down.
SWL: Other designers you admire?
Dellal: I love the late Salvatore Ferragamo, he is one of my favorite shoe designers; he came from the era that I love and dressed all the women I wished I could have dressed. He made beautiful shoes, used innovative material. You know, special shoes, and that’s what I like to make, special pieces.
South Coast Plaza
3333 BRISTOL STREET SUITE 1225
Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays 11 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
(657) 232 4622