Lalo Dolidze, co-founder of knitwear-heavy Georgian label Lalo, talks slow fashion and making clothes with love
Homespun chic has glammed up a great deal over the years, metamorphosing from Miuccia Prada’s grunge-lite bluestockings of the ‘90s to Alessandro Michele’s blinged-out cat ladies of the current decade. Old-timey crafts with domestic associations like crochet and smocking have re-entered the mainstream fashion lexicon in unprecedentedly luxurious forms, and Georgian label Lalo is cleverly riding the wave. Initially winning notice for directional cardigans that leaned heavily on the expertise Georgia’s knitwear industry, Lalo — which was founded by twin sisters Lalo and Nina Dolidze in 2012 — has only doubled down on its retro, craft-led aesthetic as it’s grown. While temperatures soared in Singapore, we spoke to eponymous co-founder Lalo about all things wool (fashion is fantasy, after all!) and handmade.
What are your earliest memories of fashion?
It was probably so early that I can’t remember it! Fashion has always been a great interest of mine.
What was the most challenging part of starting Lalo?
As with any endeavour, there were a lot of challenges. I think one of the greatest was balancing satisfying demand without compromising quality, as we were not prepared for the sheer volume of interest initially.
What would your younger self be most surprised at in your current career?
She would be very surprised by the speed at which we’ve grown, and how big we’ve gotten.
What’s the most unexpected part of your typical work day?
When you work with handmade fashion, anything can happen, anytime. Surprises are the norm!
Your brand is all about the locally- and hand-made. What do you think is the best weapon against people’s fondness for fast fashion?
Quality, and helping the consumer understand that a lot of people put their heart and soul into creating an item of clothing.
Could you name an obscure technical design term for us, and define it for our readers?
It’s not obscure, but making felt is much harder than one would expect. It involves a lot of pulling wool fibres apart, watering and rolling.
What design influences do you return to over and over?
Old fashion magazines and movies.
What item of clothing or accessory is the least used in your wardrobe, that you refuse to let go of?
What place should everyone visit before they die?
Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum.
Buro 24/7 Selection