Notions Of Intimacy
Female Singapore|June 2020
Notions Of Intimacy
One’s the young danish designer charming industry insider types with her pretty, artisanally made dresses that fuse the child-like with the conceptual. The other is the Singapore footwear label that’s gone from fast-fashion favourite to global titan in just over two decades. Who would have thought that cecilie bahnsen would be Charles & Keith’s first designer collaborator? Yet as she and emmanuelle macedriskill – the shoe brand’s executive director of planning & product strategy – tell keng yang shuen, this recently launched coupling could just be the way forward with its rewriting of femininty and environmentally conscious ethos.

How and when did this whole project come about?

Emmanuelle Mace-Driskill (EMD): “We first met in Paris in February 2019, then in April that year again when Cecilie visited Singapore. During her stay here, she visited our headquarters and stores. She had the opportunity to meet with founder Keith Wong as well as our head designer. This was how Cecilie discovered the Charles & Keith universe and identity. The creative and technical process started last September and Cecilie paid attention to every detail – from the puffiness of the quilting to colour of the thread – in order to achieve the perfect shoe.” (The collaboration, available now on both brands’ e-stores, brings back the patterns and shades from Bahnsen’s F/W ’19 collection – black, white and lemon yellow on patchwork and an embroidered fabric with a quilted finish.)

Cecilie Bahnsen (CB): “I met Emma a year ago and we started talking about the project. What I thought was so interesting about what Charles & Keith had presented was that we would do the full package... We started more or less from scratch and went through every single part of the development stage to make it perfect. Together we have created a whole universe and story surrounding these four pairs of shoes (three Mary Jane styles and a pair of mules). It’s been a collection in itself. The storytelling is what makes the collaboration so interesting... To also have the chance to work on this product for over half a year; to have the time and chance to perfect it was amazing.”

Emmanuelle, why the decision to choose Cecilie for Charles & Keith’s debut designer tie-up?

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June 2020