Atelier Volpe is a Canadian clothing brand that is built to inspire a community of women through design. We spoke with designer Alyssa Volpe and got all the deets on how this label is rearranging the way we think of fashion.
Can you give some background on you and the origin of the brand?
My name is Alyssa and Atelier Volpe's name comes from my Italian descended maiden name, “Volpe.” I have always felt like I grew up a "VOLPE" and was very much in love with the world of fashion. Atelier is the word “studio” in French. Anyone who knows me is aware of my passion for the Parisian ambiance & French culture in particular. It's confidence and great history is just something that deeply intrigues me and keeps bringing me back. Personally, I feel I may have been affiliated with the French in a past lifetime because of how respectfully connected I feel towards it.
How did you get started in fashion?
I have been designing and sketching clothing for myself since I was about 8 years old. It all started with how I wanted my wedding dress to look. Over the years, there have been many scrap paper sketches that accumulated in my bedside table. It sounds cliché but it's what happened! To be honest, growing up I thought I needed to be in some sort of science field to be smart and successful which was a huge story in my head for so long. So, I got into dentistry which I really enjoyed and was great at, but I was so unfulfilled.
Through many trials and errors, I came to realize that I would feel my most fulfilled in the world of fashion design. Since I was already producing for myself, I thought about how silly it was for me to create clothing for myself and not for others, despite the many compliments I’ve received. I came to even think there was no reason for me to not have my own label. Primarily because I was doing the work anyway.
Don't get me wrong, building a brand is a ton of work, but my work ethic and always-on-the-go lifestyle just fit with who I am. Building this brand is very much who I am, so creating it almost felt like something that was out of my control. Some people have told me that seeing me finally pursue fashion in my career has been something that personally brought them joy, and that's amazing to hear.
What does the brand Atelier Volpe mean to you & what are the inspirations behind it?
Behind the collection concepts, the aesthetic is definitely related to culture and travel, but it captures a woman's sense of independence and freedom. Atelier Volpe is a connection. It is the personal experience of one woman to another that is designed to positively uplift you when you wear the garments. The choice of luxury fabrics and silhouettes is meant to unite women and help them feel confident. The cultural inspiration is shown through color and fit.
While each Atelier Volpe garment is created to make you look and feel good, their main intention is to tell a story. I believe that style and fashion bring us together and help us understand different perspectives and cultures. That is what the Atelier Volpe community means to us.
What is your daily routine?
Honestly it is absolutely nothing glamorous at all! I'm actually a terrible morning person. I have recently been hooked on espresso beans but I must say that I truly look forward to scrolling through my emails right when I awake to quickly find my daily subscription readings. I am a believer in faith and whatever that faith is to you I believe that you should take a few moments in the morning and at night to embrace even a short word and find the opportunity in the lesson before I begin my busy day. I find that subconsciously, it has really had a positive contribution and is something that I routinely look forward to. After a long day's work, you will find me driving in my car listening to one of my most recent "liked songs" on my Spotify!
What is the brand’s greatest accomplishment so far?
Surviving a launch during a global pandemic is definitely our biggest accomplishment. Atelier Volpe launched on July 31st this year. The luxury clothing label had been in the works for months prior to Covid-19 but began during the middle of it.
I was happy to launch the brand when I did, especially considering many things were at a halt. My brand was able to get exposure as we did virtual shows and other Covid-safe events. We also promoted Atelier Volpe in publications with Tatler magazine and through collaborations with public figures including Nini Amerlise, who recently shot with Vogue. These accomplishments and sales are incredibly humbling to me as a Founder who launched her brand only four months ago.
What are you most excited about in Atelier Volpe’s future?
There are a couple of avenues I plan to explore within my brand. I have come to a place where I feel that my brand reflects my stages of life, in a sense. My intent isn't to be "the best" luxury designer by any means, but instead it is really a timeline and because of that, I follow a philosophy that I will do what works for me. I'm not focused on what the industry is expecting of me or what others expect me to do. Instead I am focused on what my career as a woman and founder will look like and what my commitment to my family will look like. All of this starts now, at the beginning of Atelier Volpe's "timeline.” So I guess you can say, I am most excited to know that wherever the road takes me, I know Atelier Volpe is there too.