We had been in business six months and were keen to go to Paris to find beautiful collections for our new boutique. We were adamant that we would seek out unusual labels to ensure Coco Blue would be different than other boutiques, and thought Paris would provide the answers!
When you attend these trade fairs you inevitably walk miles and miles, scanning collections and hoping that something catches your eye. We had been searching for scarves for a few weeks, both online and visiting shows, and then we found Epice in Paris. We instantly fell in love with the bold colour palette and beautiful floral designs - they were exactly what we were looking for and we immediately signed the order.
Ten years on and we still love them as much as ever. So when a customer dropped me in an article on Epice, the brand, I thought I would share their story with you.
Epice was launched in 1999 by Danish designers Bess Nielsen and Jan Machenhauer. The two met in Copenhagen, and to date Epice has strong roots in Nordic design and work ethics. However the designers shared a passion for the traditional textiles made in India, and the first line of scarves were handwoven with dyed yarns, embellished with embroidery, and were an overnight success. Realising that colour played a huge part in the beauty of a scarf, Nielsen and Machenahuer hired the best textile colourist in Copenhagen.
“We don’t use Pantone colours, we make our own palette. I usually meet with Jan to discuss the next collection, and this is when we select specific colours. The shades are then painted on sheets of paper and shipped to the India artisans. If we think a specific shade of yellow is too dull it has to be redone”.
Epice prioritises fair trade, and respects cultural traditions. Indian men do the weaving while women spin cotton and wool. Due to the very fine yarns and intricacy of the designs, weavers can only produce two or three stoles a day. This really does coin the phrase ‘slow fashion’ and underlines the beauty of each and every piece.
“It’s about sophistication and perfection, every detail matters. After all these years, I’m still amazed by the unmatched skills of the Indian craftsmen” explains Nielsen.
Coco Blue has developed a large and loyal following for the beautiful Epice scarves, with customers having some pieces that are now ten years old. We still attend the fashion shows in Paris every season, but are yet to find a scarf brand that match Epice, and they remain our very firm favourites! We are looking forward to showing you the Spring collection which arrived this week.