Posted on November 14 2018
I was so lucky to come across Gizelle Renee glovemaker extraordinaire in her beautiful and enchanting shop in the Princes Arcade on Jermyn Street right in the heart of St James's in London. It is such an inviting space and Gizelle has arranged it all so imaginatively. Her customers are welcomed in and after looking round the ground floor climb up the spiral staircase to the 1st floor where the space opens out. There the customers can sit in comfort, while Gizelle shows them her wonderful array of gloves. It must be so hard for them to choose. I know it has been for me!
What is particularly fabulous for us petite ladies is that Gizelle offers extra small sizes in gloves so you are sure to find a pair that fits you perfectly. She will even design a glove for you from scratch if that is what you wish.
I put some questions to Gizelle so we could learn more about her and her eponymous brand.
What was the inspiration behind your brand? How did you come about setting up your own business?
I have always loved fashion. As a child my favourite thing to do would be to browse department stores feeling the textures and designs of intricate sewing and beading work. However, it remained a hobby, rather than a vocation until I was thirty. I had been lucky enough to work with some really amazing entrepreneurs in my previous roles and they taught me one thing and one thing only…tenacity wins. I found a gap in the market, and I went for it.
Tell me about the design process for your gloves? How did you come to acquire the skills for glove making?
I draw all my gloves before I make them. The process from drawing to creating the perfect glove design takes a year. Drawing comes first, then sources materials and embellishments, after which we cut and prepare and then revisit the glove for alterations. Glove making isn’t something that can be taught in design school from my opinion, it's an art work nurtured over time and I have been so fortunate to work with some of the world's leading Glovers.
Which came first the gloves or the umbrellas? Why umbrellas?
Gloves. We are a British glove brand. The need for an umbrella came about because I was pushing my one year old son at a time in the rain and my umbrella was, directly speaking, awful. So I decided to make one that felt amazing, would protect me and made me happy when it rained. Then the Nirvana was born.
What makes your brand so special? What are the aesthetics of the brand?
We make gloves to inspire the imagination beyond the functional use of a glove. To finish an outfit with a statement and educate the customer about our hands, their sizes and how to protect them. The secret behind each glove is called ‘the three C’s’
Creativity in drawing our gloves as art pieces
Character in naming every glove with its own personality
Craftmanship in that we hand make everything we do in the pursuit of perfection.
Tell me about the fabrics you work with?
We work with grade A nappa lambskin and embellish our gloves with haute-couture fabrics including cashmere, tana lawns, worsted wools, to name a few.
What do you think gloves add to an outfit?
They finish an outfit with a statement. Wear a black coat and then put on you red gloves – let me know how you feel 😉
Describe your typical customer [male and female]?
My customer is typically those that love luxury accessories. That appreciate the small accents are what makes an outfit unique.
Describe how you want the customer to feel when they come into your lovely shop in St James’s? How have customers reacted to your new abode?
We want them to feel looked after and loved. Accepted for who they are and when they walk out, feeling on fire! It helps we have a relaxing area upstairs with wine of course!
Do you have a favourite glove in your collection?
At the moment it’s the Nicole. VaVaVa!
Who would you love to wear your gloves who hasn’t already?
Lady Gaga and Megan Merkle. Real women who empower and believe in others and always stay true to who they are.
Where would you like to see the brand develop in the future?
We have British Glover of the Year title but I’d like to be known globally as the worlds best Glover. Bringing back gloves as the must have accessory.
What was your last fashion purchase?
I do not buy clothes often as I prefer quality items over quantity. But my latest purchase was a pyjama suit from Victoria Beckham in cerise pink with mustard yellow flowers. I love it!
Thank you Gizelle for taking the time to answer my questions to you.
P.S. It is hard for me to put across to readers of our blog how lovely and extremely special these gloves are - you will just have to go and view them for yourselves!
I love also how Gizelle chose Lady Gaga as one of her wished for customers. She is also one of ours. It was an easy choice for us to feature this wonderful petite 5'2", strong and inspirational woman Lady Gaga at the start of our #powerfullypetite campaign. Our campaign for bringing more awareness to the fashion industry on diversity and encouraging them to feature petite women on and off the catwalk.