Words by Caterina Coccioli
"Imagine a summer night. Imagine watching the stars...."
This is how this season's Chérie's Flakes press release starts, causing, more than ever, that Summer 2013 makes you feel like part of nature, playing with twists, braids and light volumes born from overlaps and insertions. All the details are dipped in 24k gold offering precious spots of light and delicate sounds. The quality fabric caresses your skin and protect it.
A snowflake on each bottom and a woven label on each top, both inserted in braids and never sewn, ensure the originality of a Cherie's Flakes garment, completely Made in Italy.
This last collection also introduced some interesting novelties to the seamless swimsuit Milanese brand such as comfortable and simple RTW garments, to enjoy Chérie's Flakes before and after the beach as well as "Black Flake": the strictly Made in Italy men swim trunk with the perfect fit, in unisex patterns of the collection as well as in many plain colors.
Here's a short interview with Chiara Grassi, founder and designer of Chéries Flakes, where she tell us about paradise beaches, lateral thinking and positive energy.
How does, in your opinion, designing swimsuits differ from designing clothes?
There is no difference. A project is a project, no matter if it is a dress, a chair or a lamp.
How much did your project changed you so far?
My project didn't changed me but it has improved me. A bikini is one of the most positive objects in the World. And it's a product that has a low environmental impact plus a dose of positive energy. A bikini has an ethical and environmentally friendly aspect at the same time. Today, every designer should feel the responsibility to create a new brand
In addition, my project has developed my "lateral thinking" because when you create a unique sample, designed in a single layer of fabric, with an edge to edge seamless and hand-woven, assembled together with no stitching, is a process that involves a strong dose of innovation and creativity. Cherie's Flakes is not therefore a brand based only on an aesthetic exercise.
What was the happiest moment in your career?
The happiest moment is every time you receive a positive feedback. A proof that you did something useful for someone. When you give an answer to a need, when you realize a desire. The happiest moment is for example when Galeries Lafayette chooses you as emerging designer for that season, or when a customer buys your product again, when prestigious magazines publishing your piece, or when you create a new bikini and it is perfectly consistent with what you've done so far.
Do you find any difficulty to communicate your taste and your message to other's people? Who are the most difficult players in the fashion industry to reach as an emerging designer?
No, I have no problem. Cherie's Flakes has a very strong and clear message. I wish people could understand more about the project, but only wearing a bikini you can really understand it and appreciate it. Fashion is fast, there's no time to explain, and 90% of end users are just interested on the aesthetic aspects.
As an emerging beachwear designer in Italy, I found difficulties with boutiques that are not always willing to invest time in new products, and bathing suits, from their point of view, holding the dressing room too busy... Understandable and sad at the same time.
In your last collection you introduced menswear, what led you to this choice?
For some years we have seen a significant increase in men's fashion and and bigger attention from consumers. I believe a lot in that market. And, most of all, my boyfriend could never find a swim trunk he likes.
Your look books always show a very romantic and nostalgic young woman. Does your inspiration comes in a way from the past? What is the decades of fashion that most interest you?
Yes, Cherie's Flakes born from some feelings of 70's summers. Shapes, moods, everything comes from there, then there is a touch of colors and pop positive energy of 80's.
What are some of your favorite stores, websites?
What is your favorite piece of any of your collection?
In "Fly like an Eagle", the first collection of Cherie's Flakes, my favorite piece is the Dragonfly bikini with that detail dipped in 24k gold. The concept of "flying" was a powerful concept in the first collection. In the second, "Mom" was the bikini that takes its name from the collection, inspired by my mother super simple 70's bikini. In "Villa Giulia" the SS 2013 Collection, the favorite piece is the Butterfly bikini, with straps that cross at the back. Lovely.
And your favorite beach?
To date, my favorite beach, after the Morea in Juan les Pins, which is always in my heart, is the Tropic of Cancer Beach in Exuma, Bahamas. 2 km of deserted white beach, with a warm and crystal water. To die for.