Designer Interview with Wren & Roch
Collection Name: Wren & Roch
Upcoming Show: Nolcha Show NYFW17
Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?
Our formal education is in interior design. The basic design principals remain the same for interiors, products or fashion- color, texture, scale, balance and proportion.
How durable are your products? Is it possible to increase their longevity?
The leather hides we use for the bag exteriors are very durable, the interiors are wrapped in top-of-the-line calf suede and the magnetic closures we sourced are the strongest we could find.
How can you encourage the customer to form an emotional attachment to your product, thereby discouraging disposal?
Our brand is based on our mission. Our clients become a walking billboard for speaking out against abuse. It is a very emotional attachment that would draw a client to us from the start. Knowing the importance of the mission and the lives their purchase will benefit, we can’t imagine they would easily dispose of the products
What do you consider the most important facets of the fashion industry?
With interior design, we have always felt that we should listen to our client and respond with a design that exceeds their initial vision. The same is our goal for fashion. The difference here is that our work is literally moving through society on a daily basis. This is why we’ve chosen fashion as our vehicle for social impact and change.
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
Working with my best friend, inspiring others and the positive impact we are able to have on the world.
What do you think about work ethics and what kind of ethics you believe in following while working with fashion?
We feel that we have created a brand based on ethics. Our work ethic, the quality of our products (proudly made in NYC) and our passion and drive are a reflection of the important social work we are doing.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
The S/S collection has brought a fresh color palette, but we would like to add new pieces, including accessories, for F/W 17.
What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
Risk failure in order to succeed. Reflect who you are in what you do... make it count and savor every moment!
About Wren & Roch
With over four decades of combined experience in meaningful and creative commercial interior design, along with award winning, patented product design, in Fall 2016, Karen Hansen and Laura Rachlin launched Wren & Roch handbags, proudly made in New York City. The mission of Wren & Roch is to empower victims and survivors of rape, domestic violence and childhood sexual assault by raising awareness, eliminating stigmas and educating for the prevention of abuse. A portion of the handbag proceeds benefit select charities who are aligned with the company mission.
Karen and Laura, both graduates of Florida State University with Bachelor of Science Degrees in Interior Design, founded in.design, inc., a commercial interior design firm, in 2001. While the path to the women's professional success has been awe-inspiring, life behind the scenes holds a very different story. In college, both were victims of rape, one resulting in pregnancy. They continued on, graduating at the top of their program, even with a one year old in tow; which turned out to be one of life's greatest blessings.
As their careers rapidly progressed and the journey of motherhood gave the gift of five children, they were each dealing with domestic violence at home and discovered that one of their children had been sexually abused by a spouse they trusted.
Today, Karen and Laura refuse to carry the burden, shame or embarrassment of rape and abuse. Instead, they carry their courage with their heads held high. They shift the ownership of those heavy weights to those who violated them and their loved ones.
They now stand strong as survivors, grateful for every experience that has brought them to be where they are today, compelled on a mission to empower other victims and survivors and wholeheartedly spread the message of awareness and prevention, using fashion as a powerful voice for change.