Behind Abigayle | Interview with Carrie + Greta
Meet Abigayle SS21, the second collaboration between designer Carrie Cooper and Greta of Head over Heels.
Founded by Carrie Cooper in 2020, Abigayle is a collection of collaborations, developed in Europe and made by hand in Spain. Carrie and Greta work together to create a range of exclusive styles to Head over Heels, designed to be cherished and kept as forever favourites.
We virtually caught up with Carrie and Greta to learn more about the women behind Abigayle.
First things first, how did Abigayle begin & what inspired you to start the brand?
Carrie - I have always been inspired by collaborating with people that are passionate about product with a unique perspective/style. Abigayle came to light during Covid, the lockdown ended up being a really creative incubator.
Greta - As Carrie mentioned Abigayle came to light during Covid in 2020. I've always wanted to work directly with Carrie so this is a real dream come true for me. I love working with creative people and bouncing ideas off each other.
How did you begin your journey in fashion, was this something you studied straight out of school and what are your earliest memories of your love for fashion?
Carrie - I have always had a huge lovely affair for accessories, since I can remember. My journey to footwear designer was not intentional or direct. I studied Fine Arts & only when I moved to London when I was 23 and started working for a fashion footwear business, did I really find what I loved. My earliest memory of a fashion love, was probably as early as 3-4yrs old. My mother had the heeled knee boots from the most amazing leather in tan, gold to cap, and stack heel. I used to wear them every time for dress ups. I wish she still had them, so I could recreate them for her. We talk about them all the time. I used to call them her Wonder Woman boots.
Greta - My Mum bought her first shoe store when I was 6 years old so I have grown up in the industry. Running a fashion business became a part of who I am. I picked things up naturally from going buying with Mum from a really young age and her letting me take the risks. Out of school I studied Spatial Design - I have always been obsessed with Architecture, Furniture Design, basically anything structural so I guess shoes fall into that category in a fashion sense.
What's your personal favourite style from Abigayle so far and how do you wear it?
Carrie - The Lupfer Slingback in Pink and the Brooke Puffa in Nude. I have a very non binary wardrobe style. I often steal my boyfriend's clothes, you get a great sense of this in our photo shoots.
Greta - I love the whole collection for so many different reasons. Definitely the Fisherman sandals - I would style these with a cool jumpsuit or a dress. I also love a good mule so my second favourite would be the Lupfer Thong. I would wear them with some cool wide leg drapey pants, jeans and a blazer.CAMDEN FISHERMAN
Where do you draw your inspiration from when you’re designing and what were some inspirations behind this Abigayle collection?
Carrie - I love vintage, I pull a lot of my shapes from there. And of course there is an element of trying to make the item you really miss in your wardrobe.
Greta - I draw inspiration from so many different places. I look at what gaps there are in the market and I get really inspired from travelling and people watching - making note of what people are wearing and asking for when they come into the store. I like curating pieces that can go from day into evening and become timeless classics.
What do you love to do when you’re not working?
Carrie - Cook & walk. Living in London you have so much to go and see and do, I also have a dog. Our weekends are often spent walking everywhere, markets/shopping or countryside.
Greta - I love escaping into nature, I really crave it after a busy week. Spending time with my wee 1 year old boy James and my partner Mark.
What has been the highlight of your brand/career to date?
Carrie - Probably working on the Rejina Pyo collection, I was able to extremely creative & bold.
Greta - Working with Carrie on Abigayle. As I mentioned earlier this is a real dream come true. I’ve talked about this for years, however it wasn’t possible until now.
Where is your favorite destination of all time and why?
Carrie - The Aeolian islands off the coast of Sicily. The water is this deep deep dark blue, there are no cars on the islands & they smell only of lemons & jasmine. Its feels like a slice of old world Italy.
Greta - Riomaggiore on the Cinque Terre in Italy. It's on the West coast with 5 small seaside villages very close to each other. There are lots of little restaurants tucked away in the edges of the cliff in a cave like setting. I love the chill laid back vibes and the fresh Mediterranean food.
How would you describe your personal style and who are some of your favourite designers?
Carrie - Boyfriend Chic. At the moment I'm loving Loewe, Jill Sander, Totome & Khaite
Greta - Understated Luxe Casual - I love beautiful fabrics and simplistic cuts/tailoring but understated looks. My favourite brands would be Jil Sander, The Row, Wynn Hamlyn, Issey Miyake, Camilla & Marc, Paris Georgia.
What do you feel is important when designing footwear?
Carrie - Form & function
Greta - I agree with Carrie - shoes need to be really wearable and multi-functional.
What is like being behind the scenes in the fashion industry?
Carrie - Much better than been in front. I am much happier in a factory working than been in the spotlight.
Greta - It's busy! There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes than just the day to day running of the store and website. I'm like Carrie where I don't like being in the spotlight but I love interacting with and getting to know my customers.