Ladies We Love is a monthly interview series with women from around the world that provide us inspiration through their travels and their personal stories. This week we got to know Alice Marzano, Founder of Les Culottes.
Inspired by the desire for comfortable underwear with playful and exclusive patterns, Alice Marzano, a Dutch/Italian globetrotter, and mother of two, launched Les Culottes a new, hand made Italian underwear line that is individually printed using Lenzing Modal®, a luxe fiber created from sustainable beech trees. Les Culottes is dedicated to the women of the now: modern day nomads with a lust for life, who constantly seek new adventures while being surrounded by style and comfort.
1) HOW DID THE IDEA FOR LES CULOTTES COME ABOUT?
I’ve always been searching for comfortable underwear with beautiful patterns and I felt so annoyed to constantly find only synthetic fabrics or lace to be colourful or to have a cute design. My problem with those fabrics is that they either itch, make you sweat or crawl into places you don’t want them to!
After my son West was born, I was 35 and mother of two with a sudden epiphany! I realised that with luck I had another healthy 35 years to go, which meant I could still do anything I wanted in life. As my partner and I are both freelancers we took the freedom to go on one year road-trip with our family through Europe and Africa. It was right there, in a little Moroccan surf village that I realised if nobody makes that kind of underwear, I should. Les Culottes was born and it developed further during our journey.
2) YOU JUST LAUNCHED YOUR FIRST COLLECTION – ‘LES VOYAGEURS’ – WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
Yes, Les voyageurs, the travellers. It was our journey with all its beautiful landscapes; the countless sunsets over the oceans, the overwhelming mountain views, star constellations and the hundreds of roads travelled. I wanted these designs to be more than a simple print and so we’ve designed them in such way that they define feminine contours and bring shape to basic underwear.
3) WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF RUNNING YOUR OWN FASHION LINE?
Its mostly fun! A new adventure where there’s so much to learn. I’ m a freelance creative director, usually working for beauty clients and creating TV commercials, so to be my own boss now and to learn from all the little mistakes I make along the way is nothing but pure joy! I’m the one who has to do it. I’m the one who decides about everything. I love it!
4) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE TO DATE?
Surely our one year road-trip. There’s just nothing that can compare the freedom and peace of living a year with your children and partner outdoors. We bought an amazing old school campertruck, a self made camper built on a 1977 year old Mercedez benz truck. We have solar panels and two huge water tanks, giving us the privilege to camp wild for a long time. Our house on wheels with the most amazing views. The ocean as a front yard and hills or green fields and dunes as our back yard.
5) YOU ARE A MOTHER OF TWO. HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK, TRAVEL AND MOTHERHOOD?
You just do. It can be extremely stressful at times, as you always want to give your children the true attention they deserve. Its mostly about planning things and making sure you stop work once you are with your kids.
6) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR TRAVELING WITH KIDS?
Keep it simple and avoid crowded cities! Don’t stress too much about them, just go with the flow children love everything that is new and you always bump into a playground at some point!
7) YOU TAUGHT YOURSELF TO SURF. THAT’S AWESOME! TELL US ABOUT IT.
Ha ha yes, that’s a funny story. My partner took a surfboard on our trip and I remember telling him I didn’t want us to only be at the beach the whole time… and as we were travelling, and I was breast feeding West already for four months I suddenly felt this urge to do some kind of sports. I got a bit fed up of visiting places, I needed a challenge. The thing is I’m scared of big waves. So I decided to get a one hour private lesson to understand more about waves and especially to fight that fear. From that moment onwards I was unstoppable, haha the moment you catch your first wave is indescribable, I fell in love with it! Our trip turned into a surf trip and the surf book with surf spots became our travel guide.
9) WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKETLIST?
Oh, so much! More travels, many places still to discover. Though we are bound to school now, so we are moving to South Africa after summer, where daily life can feel like a long surf trip! Also I can’t wait to create new patterns based on my African experience.
10) DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WANTING TO START THEIR OWN BRAND?
Take it light. It might feel complicated, but if you keep your feet on the ground and take it step by step you suddenly see it flourish right in front of you.
11) RYAN REYNOLDS OR RYAN GOLSING?
11) WHAT ARE YOU DREAM GOALS FOR LES CULOTTES IN THE NEXT 5 -10 YEARS?
To develop more beautiful collections and hopefully to gift women all over the world the joy of wearing our designs and wonderful cut with our comfy Modal!
12) FAVORITE QUOTE
“Walk on hands, live life upside down.” -Alice Marzano (haha it’s my own)