StyleBible Preview

Online Store of the Week: Kore Label

We talk to its owner and designer, Karen Olaño.
Online Store of the Week: Kore Label
IMAGE Karen Olaño
We talk to its owner and designer, Karen Olaño.

Karen Olaño may be a new name in the industry, but you better watch out for this young entrepreneur and designer. Hailing from Slim's Fashion and Arts School, Karen has a good grasp on how design and functionality go together to create versatile pieces. Her debut brand, Kore Label, is a testament to her aesthetic that boasts multiple dichotomies—"minimalist yet versatile, basic yet always with a statement; edgy yet sophisticated; classic yet modern." And her easy-on-the-eyes creations have become favorites of local celebs like Heart Evangelista, Bela Padilla, and Toni Gonzaga. Below, we talk with her about her emerging brand. Read on!

Please tell us about Kore Label. Where did the name come from?

"I wanted the brand name to be straightforward and true to what it delivers, and at the same time preserve its authenticity by incorporating my name. Kore (read as /kor/) comes from the word “core” which means “basic” and “essential” to one’s wardrobe, and starts with a K, for Karen."

Where do you draw inspiration?

"They say you can draw inspiration from anywhere. But for me, I always start with myself—how I see myself dressed up in a certain place, season, or occasion."

IMAGE Karen Olaño

What made you decide to start your own business? How did it take off?

"Early on, I already knew I wanted to have my own business; I just didn’t know what to do yet. I’m a believer in pursuing your passion and doing what you are great at. So when it came to a point that these things coincided, I knew I had to make something out of it."

IMAGE Karen Olaño

"It started with a 'passion project.' Back then, I didn't even come up with a brand name just yet. I just had this idea and came out with one design and produced five pieces, doing everything by myself—from designing, to pattern-making, to sewing, and posted it on my personal social media account. It got sold out a few minutes after posting it and friends started pre-ordering. Soon enough, people I don’t know started following me asking about the top, stylists were contacting me and celebrities started wearing them too and it just grew from there."

IMAGE Karen Olaño

 Who do you have in mind carrying your pieces? Describe your ideal ambassador. 

"Nicole Warne, Sara Donaldson, Chriselle Lim, Kristy Wu, [and] Kim Jones. Someone who is confident and knows how to carry herself well. Someone who isn't afraid to dress out of the norm and stand out or be talked about."

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

IMAGE Karen Olaño

What are your brand's greatest strengths? What sets you apart from other stores?

"I knew it wasn't going to be easy entering the fashion industry with all these established brands and new brands coming up, [and also because of] how accessible it is now to import clothing that are affordably priced. So I had to come up with something new. And while I can say that my designs are pretty unique on their own, I wanted to integrate practicality and functionality. I started with a two-way reversible top, which can be worn inside out. Eventually, I started developing a four-way top, which not only can be worn inside out, but also front to back. Some people equate design to how a product looks, but for me it’s how it looks AND works. Kore Label’s pieces are all carefully thought of “design” wise, and are meticulously made. It’s always quality over quantity. I’m also very particular with how the pieces fit so I always have size options [and I] accept returns and sometimes offer customizing."

IMAGE Karen Olaño

What about its weaknesses? How are you able to overcome these?

"Since I’m very meticulous with everything, it takes more time for me to produce the garments, thus most of the time, they are on a pre-order basis, which isn't really ideal for any retail business."

Where do you see your brand in the coming years?

"I see Kore Label having its own showroom where people can actually see and fit the pieces. I also want to come up with another line that caters to more formal occasions."

See what you like? Head on over to Kore Label and get your own stylish pieces! 

MORE FROM PREVIEW.PH

COMMENTS