On July 15, Marge Clothing launched their Fall/Winter 2015 Collection; this gorgeous collection is the first that is for purchase. Marge serves a unique niche in the tall fashion market: upscale, luxurious fashion for tall women; well-designed pieces without making any concessions on style, quality or length. We all know how hard it is to find this combination. I had the pleasure of speaking with Marge Founder and CEO Kaersten Cooper and hear all about Marge and the current collection.
Kaersten tells me that Marge has been in the works for 5 years already. After having worked in a variety of roles in various industries, and taking experience and insights from each of these endeavors, she decided to start focusing fully on Marge in 2014 when she was ready, when everything was well thought out and organised.
Kaersten’s Muse is her grandmother Marjorie who was a fashion designer and illustrator in the ’30ies and ’40ies. Quite a romantic story here: Marjorie used to sign the love letters that she wrote to Kaersten’s grandfather before they were married with ‘Marge’. To pay tribute to her, Kaersten chose to name her company after ‘Marge’. Little side step: not only was she a fashion designer, Marjorie also taught herself how to play the piano by just playing and listening, rather than learning how to read music. Sounds like she was a very multi-talented, creative lady, and Kaersten says that she really lived life and appreciated the present very much. I see how Marge is an inspiration to her.
Not only does she have love letters to remember her grandmother by; Kaersten also inherited her patterns which are reminiscent of the old Hollywood era, the classic timeless elegance of self-assured women like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn who had confidence in presenting themselves. This is what she tries to integrate in her designs as well; to empower to modern, urbane women.
On Being Tall
Like myself, Kaersten loves being tall and appreciates the unique perspective on life that it offers, yet she recognizes the struggles we all faced when growing up as tall girls: being at the back row of school photos, being picked for basketball first, having all eyes on her when walking into a room, not being able yet to adapt to her height as quickly as her shorter counterparts did. Perhaps not having found the confidence yet that she grew into later, her grandmother did encourage her to embrace her unique qualities as a tall girl. So she did.
Kaersten is a true multi-tasker; not only is she the founder and CEO of Marge, she is the Creative Director as well, and designs all pieces herself. She does have a team around her to give her the feedback she needs, her sounding board basically. She handpicks all fabrics herself, so that’s where the designing process starts: fabric first, that is how she learned it from her grandmother. After finding the right fabrics, Kaersten gets inspired to start working with them.
On Marge’s website, you will find a very extensive size chart.
Kaersten explains: ‘the extensive size chart has been years in the making, it has been a journey, and it is an ongoing one based on the feedback of clients. We really wanted to reinvent this, not only for the tall frame, but also for the age group we are aiming at;
a woman’s body changes over time while you mature. We have tried to establish a base to work from, and this is a commitment of Marge and a differentiating factor at the same time; to be able to offer garments that enhance your elevated perspective whilst navigating through the different stages of life.’
On the Current Collection
I’m quite a late-bloomer myself when it comes to fashion, and only over the last few years I have come to realise that because I am standing out as a tall woman, I want look my best. Kaersten says that that is exactly it; clothes that don’t fit do not help at all in making you feel self-confident, it makes a wrong statement. ‘The right pieces with the right fit make you feel so much better about yourself’ she continues. And I agree.
She aims to design pieces that move with the taller frame, an elegant solution that makes an effortless statement in making us look our best. With Marge, she wants to empower women to embrace their height, to put on those heels and to look fabulous.
To capture the persona around each individual piece in the collection, Kaersten has named every single one of them. Each piece has its own silhouette, its own style and to honor her Danish heritage, she has chosen Danish names, to give them just that bit more personality.
My personal favorite from the current collection is the Elise skirt, as pictured above:
I love the classy length and the edgy split. Kaersten loves all of her pieces (obviously), but she likes the Elin jacket in particular (as pictured below) as it is such a statement piece, so versatile and the fabric is so unique in its weave and texture dynamic.
Life Up Here
Kaersten explains that Marge’s Essence ‘Life up Here’ or ‘Elevated Living’, is a state of mind that tall women exist in, and she wants to approach this holistically. It’s not only about being tall, but also about the lives we have created for ourselves, how we have become who we are today, and the people that surround us, our family.
On the Future
There are some exciting things coming; despite being only present online at the moment, Marge is looking to connect more with clients in a very personal way, by more in-person experiences, and they are looking into ways of doing that while ensuring authentic experiences. In the coming months, there will be quite some things to reveal on this, and I am reassured Europe won’t be forgotten when this happens.
In the years to come, Kaersten is looking forward to expand Marge as a brand;
the current collection has been received very well and has had world-wide media coverage already, so this proves Marge definitely deserves a space in the ‘Tall Fashion Arena’, and thus, there is room for growth. She wants to focus on ensuring the personal experience she mentioned earlier, by really getting to know the product. Marge is planning on growing not only in terms of quantity, but also in size range and styles, in further identifying what the core pieces and core styles are and expand on that.
‘We are looking at ways to grow which really take care of and honors the tall community’
Kaersten concludes with.
I personally think that Kaersten and her team have managed to make Marge feel really personal and approachable already. Her customer-centric approach by, for instance, designing such an extensive size chart is giving me that warm, cuddly feeling that we are heard, that Marge understands our needs. This seems to be at the core of what Marge wants to reflect as a brand.
Soon, a few more wintry pieces will be added to the current collection, so keep an eye out for that on margeclothing.com. I surely will and I can’t wait to see all the exciting things Marge has in store for us. I very much welcome Marge, as I am sure a lot of you tall ladies out there do as well.
All pictures and sketches were provided by Marge.
The photographs are by Beiron Andersson – www.beironandersson.com