Maison Cléo, a french label run by a mother-daughter duo based in Lille is all the rage right now. When Marie Dewet started uploading pictures of clothes her mom had made for her on Instagram, people seemed to love their style and only three months later, they started selling their first products. This was back in December 2016, while now fashion lovers from all over the world are waiting patiently for Wednesday to arrive, as Maison Cléo opens its online shop only once a week and only at a particular time. Within a few minutes all the effortlessly chic blouses and dresses are sold out, leaving customers empty-handed and frustrated. However, certain items are simply worth waiting for: especially if they are made out of organic materials and with lots of love and passion. Maison Cléo’s concept is namely to produce solely made to order by only one seamstress–Marie Dewet’s mom herself. A great approach to teach fast fashion lovers a lesson and let them wait. Inspired by their concept and the beauty of their garments I wanted to know more about the vision behind Maison Cléo and reached out to Marie Dewet directly.
When did you decide to start the business and why at that time?
I started in September, basically to show what my mom made for me but we started selling in December as people loved our clothes and the styling. We never intended to start our own label but here we are.
What makes your clothes so different?
That we don’t use synthetic materials.
What is your personal opinion on fast-fashion?
I own nothing from Zara, H&M, Mango, etc. as these brands deeply disgust me. It’s the way they produce their clothes and the fabrics they are using which is polyester, polyester and even more polyester, I hate it. Additionally they cause a huge amount of pollution by producing tons of garments and as a result everybody is dressed the same way. I really don’t understand why that is attracting to so many customers.
Why did you decide against an atelier to produce your garments?
Simply because we don’t want to become bigger, but also because it would not be the same if it wasn’t only me and my mom as this is the reason people like the brand. Still, I am currently thinking about hiring another seamstress just to help my mom as she is so busy. She basically starts her day at 7 am and then finishes around 11 pm. I want to take care of her as she is working way too much.
How did it feel when you were forced to close the online shop because everything was sold out immediately?
It has always been the case since July. Whenever I open the e-shop I have to close it ten minutes later. To some customers its frustrating but again, seeing as my mom is the only seamstress we cannot offer more. So I came up with the idea to open the shop once a week at a particular time so people know in advance.
What was the reaction of your customers to this new system? Do they understand the hard and loving work that goes into every single piece?
Most of them do, but I always receive e-mails saying they are so excited to get their orders and if it is possible to deliver a little bit faster as the time frame for our delivery is 1-2 weeks at the moment. Still, there is a tremendous amount of positive feedback and even people who missed the sale are happy to wait until next week as they love our concept and are touched by our dedication of not changing it.
What are your plans for the future?
As I said, possibly hiring another seamstress so my mom can rest in between or simply train the new one as she is a complete perfectionist and a little bit stubborn. She wants to make every piece by herself as it has to be done perfectly but I think it is time for her to give orders.