The undisputed "Queens of Body Con," Cushnie Et Ochs know a thing or two about making a statement with their distinctive collections that fit the body to perfection with cut outs, slits, and textural play. Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs are more than just darlings of the CFDA, they have continued to showcase their fashion cred as a celebrity favorite on the red carpet with Karlie Kloss, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jada Pinkett and more. They are the go-to for making a sultry and sexy statement, while ensuring a powerful tone. A defining moment of distinction came when First Lady, Michelle Obama wore a custom piece for the White House's Christmas in Washington.
Although they are an American brand, their aesthetic showcases Danish and Italian influences. This summer, the duo presented their SS17 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. "Inspiration comes, from everywhere, from film to travel to an art exhibition, you can really find inspiration in anything," explains Carly when we asked how they keep the line fresh within their niche focus.
This season's collection focuses on a night out while balancing the duality of movement and shape. As always the design duo compliments their strengths in a way that creates flawless execution when paying homage to the female body. Never understated, they know how to merge their secret formula of edgy, yet classy.
In a word, their brand personifies the heartbreaker, an unapologetic woman who has something to say and wants to be a conversation starter before she has even uttered a sound.
The secret formula of the brand's versatility (as it can be worn from a power meeting, a lunch date, and an epic night out) and coveted nature comes down to its creation. "By design, our garments have a stretch structure and support which is fully lined so there's less of a need for specific under garments," noted Michelle. Looks are created with a balance of hard, soft, tailored and fluidity. Of course, they are all about fabrication details which include viscose, fine ribbed knits, and stretch twill.
The key to success for the team is not just in knowing their niche who continues to flock to them for embellishing their moments on the red carpet; however, the women put themselves into the line as well and continue to look at the ongoing lifestyle of the women who are on-the-go and enjoy going out.
They established this connection with their customer upon this summer's release of their active line where portions of the collections sold out in minutes via their Cushnie Et Ochs X Bandier collaboration.
"Being very active ourselves — and with the female form as the muse that informs our ready-to-wear collection — activewear was a natural progression for us," Carly stated in explaining this portion of the line extension. It is the epitome of being able to wear garments to a number of destinations from the gym, brunch, and out. The ability to do so with ease is an essential to the woman that is constantly on the go.
Although there are a number of designers that are looking to add this type of aesthetic within their collections, this is not a whim for this design set. Carly's workouts include SLT, SoulCycle and fitness artist Nicole Winhoffer's NW Method.
Just as their red carpet looks have enjoyed devotion from celebrities and power women, fitness has also responded with many of the pieces selling out just days after coming to market this summer! The ability to have a chic, edgy, and detailed look that provides the necessary function in the studio, but can also be rocked for life after the gym has resonated with their base.
When asked why it made sense for the ready- to-wear brand to include this within their design, Carly points to seamless integration. "At its core, Cushnie Et Ochs has always been about women's bodies. We wanted to create something for our existing, as well as next customer, that worked seamlessly into her next phase of life. So the natural progression was to create this athleisure line."
The all black capsule collection focuses on core pieces that stylish gym-goers can easily embrace. The edit of 10 pieces includes leggings, crop tops, jackets and tank tops. Of course, their signature of slits on slits and attention to detail is woven throughout the line. Notably, the duo have utilized fabrication that stretches 2 or 4 ways for their red carpet collection however this capsule uses fabrics that stretch 8 ways ensuring that everything stays where it is meant to be regardless of the workout!
"We were inspired to create the activewear version of our little black dresses and to highlight and define the female body through our signature cuts and sculptural lines," explained Carly. Being active herself and due to the nature of their designs, the duo understood that their base wanted to have this option. As always, laser cutting has been a core of the design and with this collaboration, the skin almost becomes another portion of the design element.
"In general wellness has become very important and people should be taking better care of themselves. But when you have great looking activewear, you not only perform better but you can transition from working out to normal life easily!" exclaimed Carly.
The ability to be synced into their customer and to ensure that they have her covered from day to night, as well as when she pops out to maintain her physique, keeps Cushnie Et Ochs connected with who they are as a brand.
As a mantra, "the brand is a for women by women, and we want to always express this female sensuality in our clothes," they proclaimed. Regardless of the season or focus, this is a pivotal pillar in their design ethos.
The only constant is change and the Cushnie Et Ochs team continues to focus on what they do best, while looking at natural expansions that will continue to support their existing customer while also introducing themselves to new fans. They believe that their success has also been established in understanding that with so many options that are available, it is essential to create colections that allow consumers to purchase items that go beyond a season and not to make them so specific. This showcases their true versatility and establishes their ongoing loyalty.
What's next for this duo that continues to get it right by focusing on the details and the intimateconnection with their base? On the horizon for this fall is their much anticipated e-commerce store which is another benchmark from a brand that continues to move forward since they launched in 2008 and were picked up by Bergdorf Goodman in 2009!
Images courtesy of Indigital
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