Today’s look features the MARGE Gitte Silk Print Top. I cannot express how amazing this piece feels and the fit is impeccable. Like the entire line, the Gitte is not your run-of-the-mill garment. It is a top that is exclusively tall and exquisite. Now, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that the price points are higher than clothes that I usually spotlight on TallSWAG but the line really is groundbreaking and something I feel that every tall woman should know about.
Recently I had the pleasure of having a ladies' lunch with the amazing creator of this leading edge tall line and here is what she had to say about her beloved MARGE…
ALICIA JAY: Where did your inspiration for MARGE come from?
KAERSTEN COOPER: MARGE is inspired by my grandmother. She was a fashion illustrator in the 30’s and 40’s. She has been my inspiration from a very early age. Although at her top height she was 4’11,” and I quickly grew past her, I was always very inspired by her because she was always incredibly creative, driven and very sure of herself. She was the ultimate female role model for me and always encouraged me to embrace my differences such as height. She told me it was a gift, a blessing and told me that clothes can fit you in a way that won’t fit other women. I look fondly at her teachings. She not only inspired the brand, she inspired me to embrace my elevated perspective every day.
AJ: How did you come up with MARGE as the name for your brand?
KC: Marjorie is my grandmother’s name but I actually decided to name the brand after her the day that I found some love letters that she had written to my grandfather while they were courting. They were wrapped in fabric and each letter was signed XO MARGE. Before then I only knew her as Marjorie and in a way MARGE was like the younger version of my grandmother that I didn’t know. That resonated with me and I embraced that as the name for my tall brand.
AJ: What an amazing story! Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman.
KC: She definitely was! Even though she didn’t give me my height, she gave me an appreciation for it. In many ways she gifted me a lifelong love story of empowerment, unconditional love and the power to be expressive and thoughtful. I tried to bring everything from my relationship with my grandmother into the line. Every detail from the opening of the garment box to wearing the pieces, I tried to make it an emotional experience that you can see, touch and feel.
AJ: I would say that you achieved the experience in every way. On top of the experience, what message do you want MARGE to convey to tall women?
KC: Our goal at MARGE is to create a community of and an appreciation for, this amazing bountiful life. Even outside of height. Yes, we live a Life Up Here but we live a beautiful, multidimensional life. We are very dynamic. Tall women are strong, successful, smart and talented. It’s more than being tall but tall is one of the strongest assets you have.
AJ: That is quite a message and I couldn’t agree more! Why did you use fashion to convey this message?
KC: I have always been inspired by fashion and fashion has been in my life since day one. My grandmother taught me how to sew and my mother and aunt made all of their clothes and my mother made all of my clothes as well. When I entered college I felt like I was being put into a box career wise but it came to a point where I knew it wasn’t my passion. I didn’t fit and felt very empty. I knew I always had a love for fashion and after college I jumped in and never looked back.
AJ: I admire your fearlessness to pursue your passion! Why a tall line specifically?
KC: I just saw a real massive void in the market for elegant tall clothing with rich textures that you can easily transition from day to night and do so in a very elegant and sophisticated way. There are some silhouettes that are really simple and very classic that enable the woman who wears them to infuse her own personality into the look. You can add your own flare and make the pieces yours. They invite the MARGE woman to express herself through the elegant, easy to wear options.
AJ: You can definitely see that attention to detail in the line. How long did it take you to create the debut line of MARGE from start to finish?
KC: That’s a good question…a long time! I started almost 5 years ago and that was just coming up with the brand concept and what MARGE needed to look and feel like. It then took a mountain of a business plan, hundreds of fabric trade shows in places from Paris to New York, endless fittings with fit models from 5’9” to 6’5” and an immense amount of work to make MARGE what is it today. It was a long process but I wanted to be really thoughtful about it and launch when we felt it was complete and right. We also had to do a ton of research to see what is out there. I think there are some great options for tall women but we wanted to come out with a line in a different way, in a different fashion and that took some time.
AJ: Thank you for the taking the time because the line is truly beautiful. Will it always be online or will we have a chance to buy MARGE in stores?
KC: There will be some opportunities to be up close and personal with MARGE. We are planning on pop-up shops and we’ve got some great ideas on how to create a more intimate setting for people to experience the line and also what is behind the brand. In many ways we are redefining the fit for tall. Our measurements are different than the standard tall measurements. Having an opportunity for women to come and experience that first hand is essential.
AJ: I can’t wait for those…I love a great pop-up shop! Now that your first line of MARGE has finally arrived, what is your favorite part about it?
KC: My favorite part would be getting the reaction from clients, actually seeing the garments on them and seeing how my vision enhances lives through fashion. It feels great to adorn a tall woman’s body with fabulous clothes and to see her face light up because the clothes enhance the beauty that she already has. That is why I love what I do and I would not be doing anything else.
AJ: What reaction have you been getting from clients about the brand?
KC: A lot of the feedback has been about the fabrics in a sense that they are ones that they have never seen before, or haven’t necessarily been catered to their tall frame. From our silks to jacquards, we have definitely been getting positive feedback on our one-of-a-kind fabrics. Another great thing is the fit. Clients are giving us positive feedback on our fit modifications in our pants, arm and body length. It’s more of a surprise and a thanks from people for bringing something to the market that didn’t exist.
AJ: Where do you see MARGE in the future?
KC: I’m really excited for MARGE. We have so many exciting things coming up. We are already in production for Spring 16 with more size offerings and beautiful options. We are looking to possibly be in stores that are in line with our brand and are growing in leaps and bounds every day!
It was truly a pleasure to interview Kaersten. The line is beautiful and I can't wait to see what MARGE has for us next! Make sure you let me know what you think about the line in the comment section and for the most up-to-date information on MARGE, including shopping the Fall 15 line, visit MargeClothing.com.