Oliver Cheshire is, first and foremost, a highly successful British model, with a long list of noteworthy collaborations with top tier fashion brands and beyond. Now, he has taken his involvement in the fashion industry a step further as a couple of months ago, he launched his very own label: Ché. The resort wear brand offers a wide range of fun and colourful apparel. Its main draw, however, is its eco-friendly approach, which resonates deeply with an increasingly green-minded society. Ché is currently available online through its very own website, chestudios.co.uk. To learn more about the thought process and challenges behind the creation of the label, as well as what’s next for Ché, we had a short chat with Cheshire himself.
PRESTIGE: In a nutshell, how would you describe Ché?
Oliver Cheshire: For a start, it’s an eco-friendly resort brand. It is designed for my friends and my family and the kind of people who want something a little bit different to wear in warm countries. It’s affordable but still aspirational. And it has a real fun element to it with tailoring and sport mixed in. A melting pot.
PRESTIGE: It’s currently available through its own online store, right?
Oliver Cheshire: Yes, it’s an online store at the moment, but we are looking into retailers. They should be in a few stores by next summer.
PRESTIGE: Do you ship internationally?
Oliver Cheshire: Yep, we ship internationally, of course. All around the world.
PRESTIGE: Can you tell us a bit more about the eco-friendly aspect of Ché?
Oliver Cheshire: I started designing the collection about a year ago and I started reading a lot more about, you know, what we’re doing to the world and how we are affecting it very badly. So, I wanted to look into eco-materials, which I did. I found a wonderful brand called Econyl; they take old fishing nets and carpets from landfills and turn them into the most beautiful nylon. And this nylon is exactly the same as virgin nylon: It has the same strengths, it takes colour exactly the same. So, it was kind of a no-brainer for me to use this material. The shirts are made from EcoZero, and we make the most beautiful disco shirts from it.
PRESTIGE: Did going eco-friendly present any particular challenges for you in creating and running Ché?
Oliver Cheshire: Obviously the costs are a little bit higher, the fabrics take a little bit longer to make, as well, since they are not as readily available. And you can’t be fully eco. We’re at about 80 percent at the moment, which I’m really proud of.
PRESTIGE: How have people reacted to Ché so far?
Oliver Cheshire: The reaction’s been amazing and people want to write about it, people really want to wear it, people are enjoying it. I’m getting great feedback from people about the fit and the kind of functionality of the shorts and shirts. So, yeah, people are really enjoying it.
PRESTIGE: Now, Ché’s initial campaign definitely looks impressive, and we’ve also noticed how you’re also in a lot of the images. You’re the man behind Ché—are you also the face of it?
Oliver Cheshire: I wouldn’t say I was the face of it. I wanted the campaign and the brand to look like a group of friends on a road trip. So, I wanted to use my actual close friends in the fashion industry, to take them on a road trip. And we went to Nice and then just shot photos and make a video like that. It felt really natural and it meant something to me. I wanted to be in it, because, you know, obviously I’m a model, so it would be weird not to. But I wanted all my friends involved as well, so I got a big group of my friends and did it like that, really.
PRESTIGE: Speaking of which, are you still modelling full time?
Oliver Cheshire: Yeah, I’m still modelling. It’s very important to me to keep modelling and work with all the brands I still work with. But this is just more of a passion for me and I thought it was time to try something new and designing has always been a dream of mine. So, I thought, why not do it?
PRESTIGE: By the way, you mentioned earlier that you had your friends and family in mind when you designed the pieces for Ché. Now that the pieces have actually gone on sale, who are buying them?
Oliver Cheshire: I think it’s guys my age that want something a little bit different. Or, if older, they want something playful, sporty, but still tailored, so you can wear it to the pool or you can wear it into town. It’s like a guy that’s after something that’s a little bit different. Not everyone’s going to have it. And, yeah, it’s just a little bit of fun, you know? There’s beautiful, rich, fun colors throughout the whole collection, and they’re real eye-catchy pieces when you see them.
PRESTIGE: And also somebody who wants to go green, right?
Oliver Cheshire: Of course. I mean, I hope that lots of people want to be going green. There’s so much information out there; you can read about what we’re doing to our planet. I think every little bit helps. If you can start buying greener, which I think people really want to start doing, and it’s super fashionable, then I think it’s a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in a beautiful piece?
PRESTIGE: Any big plans moving forward?
Oliver Cheshire: Keep producing. We want to do some more garments, we might do a whole new colour scheme, so that’s coming out mid-November. That’s it at the moment. Just taking it slowly and learning the business step by step. That’s really important to me.