Jana: Who are the 'brains' behind LOSVE and what inspired you to set it up?
Silvia: LOSVE was born out of our frustration with the lack of trendy long clothing. That's not to say there’s none, but I had to visit many places before I could find a suitable trendy long option. One Saturday last summer I wanted to get couple of outfits for a friend's graduation and a picnic with the family, so I started online and followed on to the high street. Three hours later, I managed a maxi skirt from Zara (these are always a good option in the summer) but nothing more. I do enjoy shopping but that wasn’t a fruitful afternoon and was generally typical for me. I know I can layer pieces to achieve a long outfit but I feel that's a bit hard to pull off well – you would need the right top, sleeve shape and layering piece. I dread seeing people with an open back top and layered tight long sleeve top! Or a low neck shirt dress and fluffy sleeves layered with a long sleeve top. For me a layered outfit has to flow and not look obviously layered. I think layering is an art and I am getting better at it but I wanted a more convenient option for my shopping experience.
That afternoon I sat down with my husband, Abdulrahman and shared with him my fruitless day and as satisfied as he was with the minimal damage to my bank account, he also understood my frustration. He said I needed to find a brand that gave me the options I needed and if there were none out there, we had to create one – that was the birth of LOSVE.
Abdo: Neither of us had a fashion background - I am Software Project Manager and Silvia is a Microbiologist, but we felt we had a good idea that was born out of a need. It’s been a big learning curve for us but we’ve had support from a network of fashion designers and a host of creative people. Silvia contributes the fashion input and I help with the business side.
Jana: Tell us about LOSVE's aims and ethos.
Abdo: There are various clothing outlets that provide demure options, which is great and we, as other people do, like some of them. What we are doing with LOSVE is emphasising a trendy design and showing that long is beautiful.
I usually get raised eyebrows when I say this followed by the question “how can you like a competitor?”. The answer is we are simply passionate about our style of fashion and if someone else has an item we like, we point at it and say, “that's great”. We are currently lunching a LOSVE blog and on it we'll be talking about a variety of fashion topics and sharing great items that we find out about, not just LOSVE items.Silvia: I am a fan of Zara (I am Spanish so grew up shopping there), French Connection and Monsoon and I still visit them. I do wear other brands other than LOSVE :)!
Abdo: LOSVE is naturally an extension of our own ethics and I hope those who have dealt with us can testify to the very high standard we set, from being on our website to the point when you get your item or need to make a return. It's not good enough to have a great product. You need to have great customer service too, and one of the things I think we do really well is understand that when you order a fashion item online, you want it quickly. That’s why we only display items that are in stock and deliver them for free in the UK within 2 working days.
Jana: What have people’s reactions been to your brand?
Abdo: The reaction to LOSVE’s concept has been really positive, I think people get what we are trying to do and we have got to tell the concept to more people.
We were at Islam Expo 08 and found it such an enjoyable experience talking to people and telling them about LOSVE. As we are based entirely online, the Expo was a good chance for people to meet the faces behind LOSVE. Hundreds gave us their email address and asked us to keep them updated with our news. We have decided to repeat this experience and attend the Global Peace Unity 08 event, at the end of October in London.
Jana: How would you define your Autumn/Winter collection?
Silvia: Our Autumn and Winter collection is practical and stylish. We have based it to fit the lifestyle of a modern professional woman, busy students and mums. We have focused on some of the key trends for this season such as the Purple colour, Heritage featuring Tartan checks and Military style and Folk with Paisley prints. Our main trend though is the Long view, which is long shirt dresses, tunics and long skirts.
We are really excited about this collection and think our fans will really enjoy it. Starting with this collection, we have increased our sizes so many items are available in size 16 and some are size 18.
Jana: What are your hopes for LOSVE's future?
ABDO: LOSVE has to continue serving our customers well, particularly those who have supported us from the beginning and have been advocates of the brand.
Our ultimate goal for LOSVE is to be the ‘go to’ brand for long clothing, so whenever you want a long sleeve top or a long skirt you would think of LOSVE. That is a huge ambition but big dreams are great way of focusing the mind.
Jana: Thank you for your time, and I wish you all the best with LOSVE.