The idea for Livotte came about on an afternoon walk down Sloane Street; the sun was shining and our newborns were napping in their prams. We began complaining about our wardrobes and how we never have anything to wear during the day. The options were workout clothing or work clothes and not much in between. We thought: wouldn’t it be amazing if we could take all of our favourite silk blouses, those we now rarely get a chance to wear, and make them in a luxury cotton jersey? That would be fabulous, we agreed! And what if we could throw them in the washing machine? Could this even be possible?? Yes, like a t-shirt but…elevated! That would be our new staple and what all of our friends want and need as an integral part of their wardrobe. We decided this would be our mission. We knew we had to call it Livotte after our daughters, Livvy and Charlotte, as after all they had been our inspiration.
When we started the research phase and spoke with industry professionals, everyone insisted that Portugal was the best place to go for cotton. We were told over and over again that they have the machines, the knowhow and the ability make it right. But this didn’t suit us. Our lives exist in London and in our hearts we felt strongly about making our tops locally. With local production it is obviously easier for us to get to the factory, liaise with them on a daily basis and manage quality control but aside from the practical, we live in London, one of the world’s great fashion cities. It was important for us to be a part of the London fashion community and support the businesses in and around the incredible city we call home.
After researching factories and production in Portugal, Italy and Turkey, we came to the conclusion that while they are indeed excellent at what we are doing, the top factories, those which have survived the recession, have done so by requiring high minimums. As a start up, we felt the risk was too great and we needed to keep searching. And again, we were not convinced this could not be done in England. Eventually we found a home and it is the perfect fit for us and our brand.
As a fashion start up and a digitally focused business, our goals are to have control over our product. We need to have the freedom to experiment and test different fits and styles. This requires lots of trial and error, sampling and small run production orders. Launching a small business is challenging, there are many moving parts and so much risk on different levels. We are more at ease to be able to work within our city at a factory we can get to in 25 minutes by tube and are so proud to have figured out how to say MADE IN LONDON!