M Major, the fashion design trajectory of Cozete's Charlotte Bevilacqua


© Charlotte Lapalus

Cozete was an obvious step for its creator Charlotte Bevilacqua who had always dreamed of creating her own label. After very useful and rich experiences at Sessùn and American Vintage, she then created Cozete. Inspired by the lifestyle in Marseilles, Charlotte Bevilacqua creates ultra-feminine, mischievous and impish silhouettes, which more than anything cater for active women who are always on the move; a dynamic fashion design trajectory which she shares with us. 

Fashion and the Mediterranean: How would you define your Mediterranean-ness?

Cozete comes from Marseilles. Marseilles, my city, its light and movement are still my major sources of inspiration. A real Marseilles fashion actually exists, being casual, clothes conscious and pretty all at the same time. That's what I try to arrange in a different way in my collections; outfits which are easy to wear, always moving, with very feminine details. For example I often include a bare back. My clothes must follow the rhythm of the city and its inhabitants. You put a dress on in the morning to go to work, you can wear the same dress and look good in the evening with friends, or you can wear it for a day at the beach at the weekend.   

What has the M Major competition brought you?

On top of the technical support, via the training sessions and the assistance and support given by the MMMM and the visibility provided, the M Major also allowed us to exist as part of a group. Being a fashion designer is quite a lonely job for me, in terms of the creative process and the production and distribution of my collections. But due to the MMMM I have a real feeling of belonging, and even more importantly of being recognised and acknowledged , particularly as a 2016 M Major laureate. More globally, it provides a real visibility for fashion design Made in Marseilles. Far from being a cliché, it brings a certain legitimacy  to Mediterranean labels. Marseilles, the new capital of fashion, I believe in it, and it's down to the MMMM and our ambitions to make it happen.  

What is your flagship piece? 

The Emmanuelle dress; it's the spirit of Cozete. Light and fluid, it follows the movements of the woman wearing it. You can wear it during the day and at night, for a walk on a summer's day, or for a more formal evening rendezvous. Tuck it into your shorts or jeans, and it becomes a top. It's a dress with multiple possibilities and ultra feminine with a gathered bare back which accentuates the curve of the back. From one year to another, it comes in Cozette printed fabrics which I design and develop in-house. 

Has the internet changed your relationship with fashion?

Since January 2016, we decided to stop being distributed in multi-brand boutiques. Since then you can only find Cozette in our boutique at 116 rue Sainte 13007 in Marseilles and in our e-shop (www.cozete.com). It was a risky choice which was difficult to make, but today we don't regret it. By encouraging direct sales and developing our presence on social networks, we have got closer to our customer base. The internet has created more proximity but also we have become more reactive, creative and present on a daily basis.  We have more fun and add life to our collections right through the season. It is also an excellent means of testing something new, meeting people and talking to our customers.

© Charlotte Lapalus

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