It’s the “new norm” we truly hopes becomes a lasting thing: loungewear. All day, every day, we’ve never felt comfier at home! In our search for the best of the best, we came across V.O.SHE—a Canadian-based elevated loungewear brand featuring sleepwear, loungewear and handknits for women. Read our interview with founder and creative director, Jamaican-Italian-Canadian Esther Octeau, to find out how her versatile designs take women from the bedroom to the living room and the home desk to the coffee shop, in both style and comfort. —Vita Daily
Hi Esther! When and why did you launch V.O.SHE? What does the brand offer? Any special meaning to the name?
I launched V.O.SHE (Versions Of She) just over a year ago, in September of 2019. I come from a background of working in ladies loungewear and sleepwear—which I love as an apparel category—so deciding to create a sleepwear and loungewear brand was the easy part. I, like most women, am quite diverse in the makeup of who I am. There are many sides to me and I haven’t always loved all of them. But it’s become more and more important to me as a woman and a as human being to appreciate all of me, and to recognize that all of me is what makes me a wonderful person. To celebrate all versions of who I am as a woman is something that I had a desire to express through what I know and love best, beautiful and versatile loungewear—and so V.O.SHE (Versions Of She) was born. V.O.SHE has become my little world of wonder, luxury and daydreams. No matter what version of myself I’m in—ambitious, motivated, leader, supporter, reclusive, quiet, loud and all the rest—could be celebrated in any loungewear piece. This is something I believe other women identify with. V.O.SHE offers the ultimate experience of luxury, wonder and comfort, and focuses on versatility in each sleepwear and loungewear collection. Each collection is a small batch production usually comprised of about four to six pieces. Faith is the tried and true classically modern silk collection of four pieces (jogger, cami, gown, robe). Lola is the heart of V.O.SHE and is an engineered textured satin collection of four pieces (cropped pant, tank, short, robe). And Naomi is our newest collection and is a soft touch cut and sew knit collection that is super cosy. It will have five pieces. V.O.SHE also offers hand knits: a twisted headband, wrist warmers and knit sweaters.
We love the idea of clothing that’s versatile enough to take us from the bedroom to the living room, from the home desk to the coffee shop, in both style and comfort. How do you achieve this in your designs?
Excellent quality fabrics, small design details, thoughtful styling, a complimentary balance of colour within each collection and pieces that are Interchangeable are all key elements to fusing versatility into V.O.SHE. Small details like a constructed waistband and quality finishings make the difference that takes a garment made for the home to also being wearable outside of the home. The fabrics I use are an integral part of the design and I put a lot of time and focus into sourcing each fabric I use. It’s probably the most important part of my design and development process. An excellent quality fabric with a great construction built into it that is soft and cozy for the home but also substantial enough to take you outside of the home. For lightweight fabrics I’ll consider that some women won’t want their pants to be transparent if worn in public so I’ll add a built short to allow more wear-ability. I love designing into the option to wear your sleepwear outside of the home, but some pieces are absolutely only be intended for the home. In saying that, I’m a firm believer that There Are No Rules when it comes to fashion. Only your own. I have my own rules as a designer and as a wearer of fashion. The wearer should always feel free to not conform and follow their own rules when it comes to how they wear their clothes.
Loungewear is trending right now (the understatement of the year!). Do you think the return to comfort AND style will continue after this pandemic is over?
Loungewear has been rising up from a micro trend into a macro trends, and fusing itself into other apparel categories creating brand new categories like athleisure (activewear + loungewear) and sloungewear (sleepwear + loungewear) over the last decade or so. It’s definitely become less of the “frumpy” home-wear we used to know it as, to now being more fashionable as we see it becoming more and more apart of your everyday wear. Now in 2020 with this pandemic having interrupted our work and home lives, loungewear has surged even more as a hot commodity. I hope that with the ending of this pandemic that we continue to see Loungewear grow into a fashionable apparel category that is thoughtful in design with innovative applications to allow our everyday life to be more versatile—I believe the way we live and work will forever be changed after COVID.
Final, personal question: what V.O.SHE piece or pieces will you rocking all Christmas long?
I’m definitely going to be wearing the Faith collection (Golden) and the Naomi collection!
Win! A $75 V.O.SHE Hand-Knit Headband & Wrist-Warmer Set!
Contrats Julie L. of Toronto, who will receive a $75 V.O.SHE Hand-Knit Headband & Wrist-Warmer Set!