A self-proclaimed fan of Mr and Mrs Smith, designer Olivia Von Halle has partnered with the boutique hotels website to create the ultimate gift for those with a case of wanderlust. The gift is perfect for any hotel-lover: an exclusive, limited-edition Get a Room! gift card that is inspired by Von Halle’s Marrakech collection for Resort 2017.
#legend took a moment to get to know Von Halle, the designer at the forefront of luxury nightwear, who has made sleepwear sexy and tracksuits cool again.
When did you decide to become a designer?
I was working as a trend forecaster in Shanghai, China and had the most incredible tailor. He was every girl’s wildest dream and could replicate Lanvin dresses from pages torn out of Vogue. One day I started fantasising about how elegant it would be to have a beautiful pair of printed silk pyjamas to lounge around in when coming home from partying with friends. He made me a pair and I instantly became addicted to them and started wearing them all the time. Friends begged me to make them some and before I knew it I had an order list longer than my tailor could ever manage, so I decided to launch the Olivia von Halle brand.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Mr & Mrs Smith this year?
We started working together when we made them some eyemasks for their ‘Up All Night’ campaign. I’m a huge Mr and Mrs Smith fan and have booked almost every single hotel I have stayed at in the last few years with them, and they were fans of Olivia von Halle so we had a wonderfully natural and organic brand synergy.
Did you always know that luxury PJs would become a real trend? Or do you think you had a hand in sparking the trend?
I was a trend forecaster so I knew back in 2010 when I started working on my brand that luxury silk pyjamas could be huge. I was obsessed with them and have learnt over the years that I should really listen to my instincts and if I loved something that meant that everyone else would probably love it too. I like to think that we played a big part in the trend; we have had amazing support from fashion editors and celebrities who have been wearing our nightwear as ready-to-wear for years and where they go everyone else follows!
It must be pretty cool to know your brand is being worn by everyone from Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, to Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford. Did you expect the kind of attention your brand has today when you first launched the brand?
It’s incredibly exciting but also really surreal to see huge stars wearing pieces that you have spent hours and hours working on in your studio in London! Seeing Rihanna wearing our tracksuit was a real high point of my career… No I don’t think anyone who ever starts a business would ever ‘expect’ that kind of attention but if you’re ambitious then you most certainly hope for it!
You’ve also now expanded into tracksuits. How did that happen?
In the same way that I obsessed over pyjamas I have been gripped by tracksuit fever for the last two years. Everything about the tracksuit feels new, modern and cool. Of course now they are all over the catwalks, and so in some ways it is frustrating that it has taken us so long to get our tracksuit onto the market, but it is also testament to the quality and fit of the Missy. In our eyes she is perfect!
What is most important to you when designing your pyjama and tracksuits?
That we put the same time, thought, love and care into each piece so that they are the best they can be. We only bring out 2 or 3 new styles a season so it gives us the time and money to be able to do this. Generosity is also a word we use again and again – for me it is the true definition of luxury – being generous with the cut, and the fabrics and the time spent on each piece.
Who are your biggest inspirations, who are your nightwear and tracksuits designer for?
As a woman I design for myself! That’s the most amazing thing about having a brand, seeing these holes in your own wardrobe and in your life and thinking right – I’m going to fix that! My friends have amazing style though and that always inspires me, seeing how people wear a piece that you have designed but styled in a totally new way – I love that.
Do you have a favourite book / current book you’re reading?
I’m a huge Jilly Cooper fan and I’m currently reading her new blockbuster Mount! Sex, horses and the British aristocracy are my idea of heaven.
Do you have a favourite designer?
I love The Vampires Wife for day and Alessandra Rich for eveningwear and accessories.
What is your work motto?
Trust your instincts.
Olivia Von Halle x Mr and Mrs Smith gift cards are available at www.mrandmrssmith.com/shop