King Louie Team The Designers

Meet the people behind the brand. In this edition we introduce our designers Asha Salaris and Gael Brutin.

The DesignersThe Designers

They are often mentioned in one breath: ashagael. That's what you get when you have been responsible for the King Louie collections as a duo for so many years that you can finish each other's sentences or know what the other person thinks before they even say it. Even so, there is always room for surprise with Senior Designer Asha Salaris and Head Design & Production Gael Brutin. ‘We get on each other's turf but then we both look at different perspectives.’

About each other

A: ‘Gael is great at looking ahead, at new developments. She does that with an open mind, with an open taste. She will never say: this is great, this is how it must be done. And, apart from that, she also manages to keep a consistent and close eye on the production process.’


G: ‘Asha is also very good at that: having a personal taste while still being able to maintain a very broad perspective for the brand. She shakes things up, never stops thinking - even when there is no more time to think. This can be tricky for me, sometimes, haha. Still, it is very important not to be scared to throw out weeks of work because something just doesn't feel right.’

 

A: ‘When this happens, I can be one who expresses her doubts, but Gael is the realist. She says: sorry, it's not right, or it actually is. That always works really well.’

 

G: ‘We sometimes need just half a word to know exactly what the other person means – while everybody else around us often don't. We had that click right from the start. And because we have different talents, we don't interfere with what the other one is doing. That also helps.’

 

A: ‘We get on each other's turf but then we both look at different perspectives.’

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Work method

A: ‘Before we start working on a new collection, we often go on a field trip, to London, Paris, Amsterdam, or, as recently, to Tokyo. Not so much to find new inspiration, but to really distance ourselves from the previous collection. But it also often happens that we are already thinking about the next collection while we're still working on the current one.’

 

G: ‘Every day, we see so many things we can use. A certain atmosphere, a certain use of colors. This happens naturally. And, of course, we follow the fashion trends, but more from the sideline. We pick and mix the things we believe will be right for King Louie. We are not trend followers.’

 

A: ‘The most important aspect of the design process is that we keep it close to our hearts. We don't enforce or fill in what another person should like. We really follow our intuition: this is right, this feels strong.’

VintageVintage
Vintage

G: ‘Having an intrinsic love for second-hand and vintage clothing is good when you work here. We both love that. We often go into town together to see what the other brands offer. But this often soon bores us. We just want second-hand. All the new stuff is often still very much of the same.’

 

A: ‘That's because many brands follow the same trends. Vintage clothing is just more surprising. This is also reflected in our collections: not one trend but different lines and styles.’

 

G: ‘Every era has something unique. Like the prints of the 1920s and 30s, and the 1950s were esthetically very beautiful. Designers could be more diverse and creative before mass production kicked in. Wonderful details, like a funny little collar on a dress. That's what we love.’

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The brand

A: ‘Gael has been with King Louie for eleven years now, I joined five years ago. I was fortunate to have the founders Ann and George still with the company when I started here. That I could watch over their shoulders, bounced off ideas with them, and see how they experienced things and what choices they made. I also discussed that with Gael.’

 

G: ‘King Louie is not overly focused on sales. We are never forced to adjust our design choices in a certain way. And even though we discuss much with the sales department, we are the ones who make the ultimate decisions.’

 

A: ‘That kind of freedom is great, it allows us to try out things as well. You can't just keep talking, sometimes you just have to make a design to see if it works. Whether it invokes this strong feeling of “I want this”, which every King Louie item should have. It's often based on the surprising details on the garment, or on the combination of colors.’


G: ‘The wish to make women beautiful is also part of that. Women often tell us about the compliments they get when they wear us. We love that! That's our ultimate goal, of course.’

Designers' Choice
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