GLORIOUS FORTIES: Sonia Bronstein Shah, founder and designer of London-based label Les Glorieuses, launched her brand to fill the gaps she saw in her own wardrobe.
The result is a curated collection of classic pieces, from the perfect little black dress, to one-shoulder blouses and denim, which she sells through intimate, one-to-one appointments.
“I decided to create the pieces I wanted to wear and if and when someone wanted to buy it, I would also make it for them,” said Bronstein Shah, who likes to classify her label as demi-couture and incorporates aspects of the couture experience in the way she approaches her customer.
“The clothes are elegantly simple but customers can choose from an array of different fabrics that we have available and the experience is very personal. I’m not interested in volume.”
Versatility is another focus for the brand, as Bronstein Shah aims to create season-less pieces that can be worn on different occasions when dressed up or down.
In order to dress up everyday pieces, the label also offers an accessories line, named “Les Precieuses,” which includes minimal chain necklaces and bracelets, as well as pearl-embellished rings and earrings.
Even though the brand focuses on basic pieces and embraces a minimalist, clean aesthetic, Bronstein Shah also incorporates a strong sense of femininity inspired by the Thirties and Forties, which are translated in the form of frilled necklines, bow details and fur-trimmed knitwear.
“That was the best era in fashion, men and women had an elegance that has never come back since. Women became more free, with the introduction of the trousers, silhouettes became a little more loose while maintaining their elegance. It was a blossoming period in terms of design, decoration and music,” said the designer.
The fabrics for the collection, which include cotton, wool-crepe or silk, are sourced in France and Bronstein Shah ensures that they have a certain density in order to be suitable throughout the year.
The collection is entirely manufactured in London, with prices ranging from 215 pounds or $273 for a T-shirt to 760 pounds or $964 for a cape dress.
Bronstein Shah, who studied design at Paris’ ESMOD fashion and design school, spent the beginning of her career working in public relations and as a jewelry editor, for Tank magazine’s online platform Because London. She said that her background greatly informed the way she decided to structure her business.
“When you’ve worked in the industry, you are a little bit more careful of the market, you know its restrictions and the politics around it,” added the designer, who prefers to sell directly to the consumer and maintain a freedom in the way she designs, that’s far removed from the fast-paced world of instant gratification.
“Women no longer have time to shop, they are busy, so we offer them a shopping experience at their own time. That’s how I want to work, maintaining the same sense of freedom without having delivery deadlines. Retail can be dangerous for a small business and also the internet can help open your brand to the world, but if the demand becomes too high, you might not be able to deal with that.”
Bronstein Shah has, however, embraced the world of social media. Instagram in particular, which she describes as a “great visual companion,” has helped her garner an audience in the U.S. and she often receives orders through the platform.
To tap into the brand’s growing U.S. audience, Bronstein Shah has launched a pop-up shop in West Hollywood alongside footwear brand Newbark and plans to host a presentation for customers on Dec. 21 at New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel.
Bronstein Shah also plans to start working with leather in the near future, which could also include accessories such as gloves or handbags, as well as introduce new styles as part of “Les Precieuses” jewelry collection.