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Londoner Charlotte Rose Kirkham put her mathematics degree to fantastic use, blessing Instagram fashion with wearable visual harmonies that catapulted her artistic vision in lockdown of 2020. Working single handedly and out of the confines of her apartment, each design is hand-made, one of one and features jolts of bright hues. Her signature squiggly lettuce hem, inspired by pioneer Stephen Burrows runs amok trendy crops that have sold out in under four minutes. Spotted in Vogue and on the likes of fashion outliers- Normani and Rimon, Rua Carlota is your go-to dopamine-drenched uniform for energised days to come.

The Forgotten Ones

What began as a personal project, Charlotte saw a sizeable gap in the sustainable market for youthful but pre-loved clothing. To shake things up, she approaches her craft as an artist as opposed to designer. “I am one woman, one pair of hands, giving these forgotten pieces an opportunity at another colourful life.” Every geometrically curated patchwork landscape is brought to life from deadstock or used material and painted over with stitches.

Design Process

“I always lead with colour. Rarely shape.” Rua Carlota follows a construction-led approach giving equal weightage to pattern as it does texture. Her abstract fits are an out-of-the-park social media hit with the return of the feminine crochet and knitwear styles back in fashion. A self-taught creative, Charlotte claims to find her inspiration just about everywhere.

 A Note to Young Creatives

Charlotte acknowledges the social media space as a definite asset to small business owners, with quarantine heavily boosting her social media gains to a remarkable peak. “It felt really special to spread so much joy through my pieces during times like that. Be yourself! If you have an idea, go for it! The most important thing, in my opinion, is to be authentic and to have a message.” On the struggle being a one-woman army, she says, “It's tough. Prior to Rua Carlota, I ran my own business for almost 3 years, so I'm used to the general running of things. But I'm not used to the kind of attention that Rua Carlota has been getting - don't get me wrong, it has been incredible - but at times it has felt a little overwhelming.”

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