Lea Detchema is a limited collection of modern, feminine, eco-friendly and comfortable women’s workwear, including accessories ( brooches and belts ) to mix and match for after-works. Manufactured in Paris with high quality fabrics, Lea Detchema symbolizes slow fashion: quality, timeless design and durability because a comfortable and well-cut garment will always have style. Lea Detchema was created to provide clothes that empower women in business. Feel confident, powerful and refined by wearing premium business wear that highlights not only your business savvy but also your femininity. The brand supports your ambitions and goals while still offering comfort. Express yourself through your personal style both in and out of the office with our high-quality, chic designs.
With island roots, Sicilian father, Madeiran mother, born in the French part of Switzerland, I grew up in an environment bathed in culture and art. My parents took me to visit museums when I was a child and I developed a taste for beauty at a very young age. When I was 8 years old, my first creation was born, small bracelets that I sold to my classmates. From this first experience, I kept the sense of creation and the desire to one day design a complete collection to dress and beautify women. My school and student career, naturally led me to management positions within large multinational companies. My creative mind was a bit on standby, but I was still doing photography, modeling, and drawing clothes in my free time. When visiting customers and during after works, I realized how badly women’s clothing was adapted to the world of work. Sad clothes, dull colors, uncomfortable fabrics. The women seemed to be doomed to look like men if they wanted to be successful. The idea came to me to use my creative sense to design a collection of women’s ready-to-wear that combines comfort, femininity and color – that is so little present in the business world – so that beauty and class become strengths for women who struggle in the so competitive world of work.
IN CONVERSATION WITH LEA DETCHEMA
Describe yourself as creative and when was your first approach to fashion?
I have an overflowing imagination generating sleepless nights! My brain is always active creating new designs and generating new ideas.
When I was eight, I started creating and selling in my Swiss neighborhood, small bracelets with the colors of the flags of the different nations participating in the football world cup.
What is the most challenging issue as an independent designer ?
As an independent designer, the most difficult part is the fact that you need to manage multiple roles. From designer, through marketing, to production management. Apart from this multitasking role, one of the complex aspects is to manage remote subcontractors on which you have limited leverage, this forces you to incessant travels in countries such as France where the social situation and strikes make travels uneasy.
How do you manage to connect with your customers and what kind of actions are you taking for this?
My strategy is tridimensional. Firstly, social media to create brand awareness and reputation, on this aspect, the Instagram account of the brand has been growing exponentially. Secondly, fashion shows, to present my creations to the press and to potential customers, creates an immediate attraction. Thirdly, once the brand awareness is at a certain level and the interest for the brand has been developed through fashion shows: organize POP-Store to meet my target customers where they live, close to their homes and of their shopping habits.
How do you think your label can play an important role in your daily client’s life? Describe your typical client’s personality in a few words.
My typical client is a bossy lady working in a competitive environment. Women usually tend to mask their femininity behind bland clothes that mimic men’s outfits. Lea Detchema is a brand that exhale femininity while being classy, easy to wear and comfortable. The promise of the brand is that women will not have to choose between feminine clothes and business clothes, we can deliver both functional and stylish colorful outfits.
What do you think about the opportunity of selling your pieces online nowadays and where we can find them?
Obviously, online shopping is an important element of my strategy, especially having international customers as a target. However, as a premium brand, it is paramount for my customers to touch and feel the quality before they purchase our products, therefore POP-UP stores are usually the enablers of posterior online sales.
How many people are involved in your team?
The company is located in Switzerland and is composed of two people. The rest of the crew is staffed with freelancers. Currently, I have a webmaster located in Switzerland, a technical fashion illustrator based in Spain, a fashion illustrator based in Italy, my graphist is in France and my production atelier is based in Paris.
How are women making a difference in the fashion industry nowadays?
I think that the evolution of society towards gender equality is naturally creating more and more female entrepreneurs. In fashion, this is even more important because we perfectly understand the needs of our customers. I have been wearing pencil skirts and I know how uncomfortable it is to walk with them unless they have been well cut. Understanding our customer needs and challenges is the way for us to differentiate ourselves and become even more successful.
Imagine that you must write a letter to your FUTURE SELF. What would you write?
Being a female entrepreneur will not be easy, but I need to remain confident and focus to bring my brand to the next level. Tomorrow, more and more women will lead businesses, organizations and countries. I would like to become a reference for them.