Harrods’ fashion director Helen David put it perfectly when she said: "[Charlotte Olympia] shoes have developed a cult status, and there are Charlotte Olympia-ites out there who collect them, but don’t wear them."
As one of the smallest footwear and accessories brands out there, Charlotte Olympia has developed a fiercely loyal clientbase—and an impressively swank roster of wholesale clients, Harrods included—since its launch in 2008. Largely recognized for its cheeky collection of slipper flats, the self-funded label has effectively pinned itself into a league of its own—which, for business purposes, is perhaps the smartest thing it could have done.
"We wanted to develop a strong brand aesthetic, a recognizable silhouette from the outset and build on that DNA," the brand’s founder and chief executive officer Charlotte Olympia Dellal told Women’s Wear Daily, also admitting she suffers from "nostalgia for a bygone era, a time when women couldn’t leave the house without wearing a hat and gloves."
Fortunately for Dellal, consumers have been embracing the old-school glamour in spades—the company’s sales are currently enjoying triple digits numbers and double-digit profit gains. By the end of this year, Charlotte Olympia will have nine freestanding stores across the globe, the first of which opened on London’s prosperous Maddox Street in 2010.
Despite the current year-long expansion (which now includes a collection of French-made leather bags), Dellal is not looking to bringing in outside investors, nor is she moving towards ready-to-wear clothing just yet.
"This has always been about building a global brand with longevity," said Charlotte. "And the focus remains on the brand."