Che Camille shuts up shop
Starting at The Chateau, moving to the Trongate, then to a larger central Glasgow showroom, and currently preparing for a catwalk extravaganza at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, it’s all change as Che Camille prepares to shut its Glasgow store and go global.
The need to develop a presence online and internationally became obvious. Says Camille, "We had people from outside Glasgow responding to the idea of clothing being made by someone, with regionally sourced materials. Every time I walk past Primark, my heart sinks!" In response, Camille is planning a series of pop-up events and shops, starting in the UK but moving to Paris, Spain and Holland where she says "relationships have been set up due to [these countries’] love of Scottish tailoring."
Through the changes, the Glasgow 10 (her collective of in-house designers) will retain a workspace in Glasgow, coordinating their designs to create a consolidated Che Camille aesthetic. Working with new designers and artists also excites Camille: "I’ve found amazing people online, like homemade shoe designers in Japan. If we expand to those areas, we might collaborate with them." However, she seems most excited about exposing new manufacturers and technologies. "We have this amazing ethical jewellery line from Uganda. I think globalisation has made people learn to take something they’re good at and specialise."
Her almost missionary zeal to expose these manufacturers is prevalent in our conversation. "Even in Scotland, there are so many great manufacturers that no-one knows about, doing incredible things, working with Prada and the like; we have to do what we can to get them more visibly out there."
The switch to online means a greater role for the blog, with Camille being particularly keen on broadcasting shows. Perhaps more video content means she can fulfil her long time ambition of filming her ‘Che’ soap opera! Meanwhile, the own label collections are being expanded, with the possible development of a heritage collection, focusing on Scottish materials. "I want tweed Jacky O suits, classy but edgy." With all this change and excitement, I ask Camille what her definition of success would be. "If it’s (Che) still around in 5 years' time, that’ll be great!" she exclaims. "The most important thing for us is to keep being fresh and evolve, keep going." With ambition like that, there can be no doubt that Che Camille will do so.