Charlotte Olympia Talks Building Up a Women-Run Business

Each day in June, FN is highlighting female forces in the industry as part of our Women in Power series.

Designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal may be known for eclectic footwear collections, but behind the scenes she’s as business-savvy as she is creative. (Her fall ’17 collection featured a film noire inspiration, fit with newspaper-print shoes). Below, she sounds off on building up a business run by women, as well as touches on recent accomplishments, challenges and lessons learned.

Charlotte Olympia Charlotte Olympia Courtesy of brand

What was the biggest breakthrough moment in your career?
“Opening stores internationally and having the opportunity to collaborate with fantastic brands worldwide. It still excites me that there is a Charlotte Olympia Barbie doll.”

Looking back, what would you have done differently?
“The whole experience has been, and still is, a learning curve, and I have gained something from all my experiences (whether good or bad) so far. I only wish I had started my business even earlier.”

charlotte olympia fall 2017 london fashion week Charlotte Olympia’s fall 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week. Courtesy of Charlotte Olympia.

Do women do enough to support each other in the workplace?
“I believe a good team supports each other regardless of gender. With that being said, my team happens to be predominantly female. We are an entrepreneurial company, and I like to surround myself with like-minded people that can help grow the business together and are excited to be a part of it.”

What is the biggest challenge you faced in the last year, and how did you overcome it?
“Being on the London Fashion Week show schedule meant finding innovative and exciting ways to show shoes and accessories in a nontraditional format, while highlighting the collection and inspiration and staying true to the brand’s spirit.”

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?
“Learn how to delegate — you can’t be good at everything.”

charlotte olympia fall 2017 london fashion week Charlotte Olympia’s fall 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week. Courtesy of Charlotte Olympia.
charlotte olympia fall 2017 london fashion week Charlotte Olympia’s fall 2017 presentation at London Fashion Week. Courtesy of Charlotte Olympia.

For a closer look at Charlotte Olympia’s fall collection, click through the gallery.

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