A few months ago I discovered a stunning new brand called The Love Club label, by 24-year-old designer Lauren Bohken. Her fun and infectious energy is apparent within her brand. The Cape Town based creative tells us more about her and Love Club.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Before making clothing I was writing songs and running all over town to be in the next TVC, Music Video or Series. I studied Drama, Dance and Music at the Waterfront Theatre school for a year and then headed to AFDA to complete my degree. Once I had graduated I had a lot of free time on my hand’s in-between castings, jobs and all the other hustles I was doing to get by. I had grown up in my mom’s sewing studio amongst her fabrics, sequins and skills. I thought, “ I’m going to try make myself some clothes, it can’t be that hard”, my mom had given me her old sewing machine and I set up a little sweatshop in my Room of a Digs in Seapoint. I never used patterns and had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I did know that it was really fun when a garment did eventually work!
What sparked your interest in fashion?
My Mom, Cindy. Who is now, in fact, my partner at LOVE CLUB. I grew up having an incredibly talented mom who has always been in Fashion. I watched how she would make dreams come true for every client that walked in with a vision and left with a little piece of magic that would bring the best out of them. I started to see how clothing could alter someone’s mood and perception of themselves. How a good pair of Jeans can give you the confidence to be bolder, or how a Killer Little Black Dress can make you feel more beautiful. I saw the power that garments can have on people, I thought
There are too many women out there, that don’t feel loved and great about themselves every day, I want to change that.
The Love Club label was born.
What inspires your design aesthetic?
Love. Love for yourself, Love for others, love for what you do and a love for life and all of its adventures.
Living in the vibrant city of Cape Town, I often have these “ Pinch me” moments because the beauty around each corner is so breathtaking. You can be surrounded by vineyards and wine farms in the morning and make it to the beach in the afternoon to catch a tan and daydream upon the sunset. It’s an incredibly versatile location and our clothing aims to be just as versatile. We love to create things that can go from Beach to Bar or from an easy Sunday to a Glamorous gathering.
How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
I want women to feel an abundance of love and a sense of infinity that anything can happen. Life is short, why not believe in True Love and shooting stars. Call us crazy, but life is more beautiful when you believe that Dreams do come true and that unicorns exist… even if they are in the form of a beloved bestie or a Handsome crush. We aspire to create a Brand that can aesthetically support your Fairytale and Daydreams. We believe that Garments can have the power to change your mood which results in changing your attitude and perspective on life, and if we can turn one realist into a Dreamer or a lover, then it makes all the late nights and Woodstock wanders worth it!
Do you have any formal training?
I did a Bachelor of arts degree but not in Fashion. In this exciting age that we live in, you can truly educate yourself in whatever field you aspire to pursue. The resources and knowledge that is out there are amazing. The best part is that you can do it all on your iPhone!
Podcasts, audiobooks, YouTube and Google can teach you more than many degrees. I’m still not one hundred per cent sure of what I’m doing in terms of business but I’m learning more and more each day. I try to listen to podcasts on my runs as opposed to my latest Apple Music playlist. That’s about as formal as my business training goes. In terms of fashion, I’ve learned almost everything from my mom, her skill set and experience is such an asset to our business. She does all of our patterns, grading and samples, she is just remarkable and I’m so grateful to be sharing this adventure with someone as special as my mom.
What excites you about being a proudly South African fashion designer?
The opportunities that we have here in South Africa, particularly in the online space. It’s an area which I believe will grow substantially over the next 5 to 10 years. I think that’s when more people will be open to buying online. Until then, I think there are many beautiful ways in which we can create a connection with our customers through creating experiences and give them more than just a garment.
Why is it important, to you, to have a fair trade fashion label?
We choose to work with people who Love what they do, just as much as we do! We believe that you can see and feel when something is made with Love and out of Love. We make sure that we outsource to others who run ethical businesses.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. There are many ways to create success, it’s up to you, your vision and your path to figure out what works for you and your business. Either way, you can’t have ambition nor talent without hard work. So might as well get to it. Find what you love and what sets your soul on fire and work really hard at building something for yourself, making the world a better place whilst doing it.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion?
A huge role. We are still at the beginning of our journey, but I can certainly see how the change in Instagram’s algorithm has led to a decline in our engagement. It sucks, but it’s inspired me to grow our social media organically and through creating even better content to promote our Brand. Sometimes we forget what life was like before Instagram and snapchat, it’s a bonus which we are lucky to use but we can’t solely rely on sales in the DM to build a viable business.
Which fashion designers most inspire you?
Laura Hill and Gilian Rose Kern from For Love and Lemons
They have such a unique signature style which truly captures the essence of Femininity with a playful touch. They have done such a great job at building a brand that’s not only noticeable but memorable. Each and every item looks like the showstopper. The detail and love that they put into their designs are so intricate and beautiful. They have a way of making every piece look like it’s one of a kind.
He uses the most sparkling and beautiful fabrics. Each piece looks as if it’s bound to cause an eclipse. The styles are beautiful and modern with plenty of geometric cutouts. His 2018 Spring/Summer collection is just beyond gorgeous, with themes of modern garment construction with elegant sparkles, shimmer and sheers.
If there was one thing an aspiring designer should know, what would it be?
Know who you are creating for. Know your customer, know that you have the power to make someone feel something. Make sure that it’s Amazing!