Creativity and a passion for fashion came naturally to Lou Salomé Carrillo, the founder of Maison Louve.
Her mother was the director of a fashion school in Paris, so she was exposed to the world of fashion at young age. Fabrics, threads and needles were her toys while she was growing up and she loved creating with her toys.
She studied art and fabrics at Beaux Arts, and also won the fashion contest “Start’in Mode 2011” which in Cannes.
After her education she started off with designing luxury bespoke dresses for private clients. She loved the interactions, the fashion chatters . . . she loved getting to know them, entering their private changing rooms, listening to them, to their stories. Her vision of an ethical, qualitative & seductive lingerie brand flourished from there. “Lou Crie a Tort” (the first name of the brand) was born in 2015.
“Lou Crie a Tort” was re-branded “Maison Louve” in 2018. It was the realization of a long and personal journey, and the meeting of several women’s vision.
In Lou's own words, "I wanted to put lingerie in its rightful place, the intimate: we can talk about seduction, but to me it is all about self-confidence. Maison Louve’s vision is that all women are unique and beautiful. We stand for self-acceptance and kindness, and our styles are designed through these values."
The inspiration from an old world charm is visible not only in the colors, cuts and styles but also in the treatment of the brand imagery and communication. The brand wonderfully transforms delicate laces into strong bold pieces that are wire and pads free, thus super comfortable.
While we were chatting with Lou, who meticulously designs each piece at Maison Louve, this is what she had to share,
"When I started designing lingerie, I was attracted by vintage patterns from the 50s and 60s. At this time there was no iron, it was comfortable and soft, the fabrics were qualitative and the lingerie was hand-made. I had found my inspiration. To me, everything became possible as long as it followed these values. A comfortable product, soft, made with love, with premium fabrics and materials, and a great "savoir-faire"."
She further adds,
"My lingerie features refined lines and is padding and underwire free for optimal comfort and the valorization of all shapes. All the products are hand-made in Toulouse in France, by specialized seamstresses. Every item is as unique as my customers are! The materials and fabrics we use are premium, and the lace is made in France. Transparency and ethics are essential to the making of the products, which is why I started making zero-waste products in 2019."
Her customers, (or “Louves” as Lou likes to call them) are mostly women, between 20 to 40. Lou likes to connect with her customers and build an understanding of their likes, expectations and thoughts. While she often receives messages from her customers before or with their order, she always responds to them personally, which is very important to her. For her building this relationship with her customers is the beginning of everything. She loves it when they talk to her, tell her their stories, why they need to feel pretty, how they want to feel pretty... It inspires her greatly.
She invites them to post pictures of them wearing her lingerie, inhabiting it, becoming a Louve. Do check out the page #leslouves, that is a little community she has formed for her customers. Lou believes her community is her biggest inspiration and I totally agree, the page is just inspiring. I was awe struck to see so many happy and delighted customers to be one with Lou's collections.
Lou promotes Maison Louve on social media mostly @maisonlouve_, and most of the sales
are made through her website www.maisonlouve.fr. There are also a few selected shops in France that are selling her lingerie.
Through her collections, Lou talks about subjects that are dear to her. Each collection is an open door to questions about women. What it is like to be a woman in this world? This is an amazing source of inspiration for her.
When asked about the future for Maison Louve, this is what Lou had to say,
"I see the future of Maison Louve with an expanding team of designers and makers. I want to be able to share my know-how to new needlewomen and to continue to learn from talented people every day."
Since I set my first step in thw world of lingerie, I have seen it change and evolve. While it started as a necessity way back, it is now a fashion statemnet . . . a form of expression and a call for freedom.
Lou says, "Society changes, and lingerie design too. I won't talk about the past, because to me it was a masculine and sexualised vision of lingerie, that I don’t align with."
She feels these are exciting times for the world of lingerie. The young and upcoming designers are rethinking lingerie and getting about a serious change. The body positive movement, no gender lingerie, the designs and even campaign ads are more inclusive now. She believes the lingerie designers have the position to push the global fashion industry to work in a more ethical and responsible way.
While I believe it is important to follow your vision and create a niche identity for your brand, it is important to understand your competition or your fellow designers. I was delighted to have a wonderful reply from Lou on this subject.
"Great question! I have a huge respect for all small and out coming designers - but if I had to choose someone that truly inspire me, it would be Lonely lingerie.
This not a small one! They have built an empire. The designs are simple and beautiful, their campaigns are so impressive. They talk about all women, they show them with a beautiful, natural, un-retouched way which is what I strive to do in my communications too. We share the same values."
Follow Maison Louve:
Rachel Kenyon, diehard craftsperson, lover of beauty, history, and of hand making wonderful things for women to wear. She is the one behind this unconventional and beautiful brand Buttress & Snatch, that offers bespoke lingerie service to women.
Read - https://www.lacelifeandfire.com/post/buttress-snatch