An interview with... Charli Cohen
What gave you the push you needed to start your own business?
There was never any other plan! I started my first business at 15 to learn the ropes, so felt ready to launch CC straight out of university.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt through your work?
Patience – although it’s still something I have a hard time with!
We love that we can imagine wearing your designs out and about, as well as to work out. What are your thoughts on the ‘athleisure’ trend?
Whilst cool looking activewear is going to be around as long as people keep exercising (hopefully forever!), I feel like athleisure is a trend with a use by date – but importantly, it’s helped women get comfortable with the idea of comfort. Historically menswear has been functional, promoting freedom of movement, whilst womenswear has been decorative and restrictive – and it’s great to see this divide start to disappear. With CC I’m working on what comes after athleisure – clothing that still has all the technical function and comfort of performancewear but doesn’t necessarily read as ‘active’ – we’re calling it Technical Fashion.
I really like the consistency, and it keeps my lips moisturised without having to reapply every hour!
Are there any new health/fitness trends you anticipate taking off in 2017?
I think we’re going to see a lot more digital detoxing. We’re really starting to realise the impact of excessive screen-time on our quality of life – sleep, stress, anxiety levels – and are getting a bit more mindful about it. I think we’ll see a lot of retreats focusing on time away from digital – as well as just being more mindful about it during our day to day.
Naming your brand after yourself is a pretty bold statement of how much you believe in what you’re doing. Has there ever been a moment you wished you could take a step back and be a little less involved?
There are definitely times that I’d like to delegate more! I’ve never wanted to take a backseat on the creative side and I like to be in the loop with everything that’s going on – but I look forward to gradually handing over more of the admin, operating and logistics. I’m getting there though, and slowly building out a great team!
The phrase “go natural” means something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?
(At risk of sounding like a wanker) being your authentic, unfiltered self.
Has there been a time in your life when you wish you’d gone a little bit more natural?
For a significant chunk of my life, work has taken over to the point that I’ve let my other interests and other facets of my personality slide. Whilst dedication is essential to the success of any business, I wish I’d embraced more of my passions, more of the time.
What role has social media played in defining & growing your brand?
It’s been important in so many ways – creating my brand identity, growing a community and a network, hiring, casting, finding inspiration. It’s an incredible tool that businesses today are lucky to have access to.
Who have you been most excited to see wearing one of your designs?
Kate Upton, shot by Mario Testino for Vogue.
What was your proudest moment in 2016?
Being able to employ my former intern when she graduated from university.
Is there anything you’re making a conscious decision to change, going into 2017?
Screen time! I’ve banned aimless scrolling – I’ll use social media to share a post or to find something specific, but no longer as a gap-filler. I’ve already noticed the positive effect on my headspace and attention span!
What was your first reaction to hearing about a ‘nipple balm for lips’?
A double take!
What do you think now that you’ve had some time to test it out?
I really like the consistency and it keeps my lips moisturised without having to reapply every hour!
Exercise is obviously a fabulous way of releasing endorphins, but what’s something else that never fails to get you in a positive mood?
My dog, Suki! She’s so happy and hyperactive it’s impossible to be down whilst she’s around. Animals are generally extremely therapeutic.
How do you wind down and take time out for yourself?
My favourite way to switch off is with a change of scene – I love to travel and explore new places. I also really enjoy walking around London. I’m better at mentally relaxing when I’m physically in motion – it helps to clear my mind.
Studying both fashion design and personal training, it seems you’re pretty good at figuring out how to make your passions work together. What’s something you’re passionate about that we wouldn’t expect?
I’m a singer/songwriter. I had to make a decision in my teens which path to pursue – fashion or music.
Considering how successful you’ve been so far, we think the sky’s the limit for Charli Cohen! If you could do one thing with your business in 2017 and have it guaranteed to work out, what would you do?
Open a physical brand space – shop, café, hang-out – and host gigs and art exhibitions there.