The Woman Behind the Brand: Marie de La Roche

A global traveler since birth, Marie de La Roche draws inspiration from the European Mediterranean where her studio is based, the home she shares with her life partner in the heart of south East Asia and Colombia, where her blood ties intertwined with French roots continue to shape her aesthetic references her life call is to work on things that require passion. So, while not easy juggling planes between her work and her family she started the namesake, Marie de la Roche; inspired by an attraction towards construction and European fine craftsmanship, respecting sustainability and eco practices while foreseeing strong pieces for all lovers of life out there.

Besides a background in industrial design, she studied Fashion design in Istituto Marangoni Milan as well as Raffles Singapore with an emphasis in demi couture. It was there where she discovered her love for creating accessories, doing so with the same attention of details ingrained from her education. Through the brand she takes great pride in supporting the causes close to her heart, especially to empower those in disadvantage.

Having studied design at Milan and Singapore, what inspired you to study designing and ultimately launch your own label?
“One of the things that inspired me to create the label was a contest I did in Singapore where the judges mentioned how much they loved the accessories I made to go with the ready to wear collection, one of them who I respect a lot kept saying I had a future in accessories. Though I didn’t take it seriously, the thought stayed in the back of my mind, especially after my peers offered to buy all the accessories that night even though they were not for sale.”
What is that draws you to handcrafted products and why it’s more important to create awareness about these artists who make such beautiful products?

“The stories and the techniques of the people who make such pieces are slowly disappearing as mass production takes over for the sake of instant satisfaction. That makes me sad as I feel we should empower people who are making things well, these techniques are evolving and there’s nothing better than creating something where you can touch their passion for craft with your fingers.”

Your quirky bag shapes have become your signature. What was the inspiration in using shapes for your bags and how you relate to these shapes?
“I think my love for architecture and industrial design always comes through. More than a design process I part from what would be special or different, and then many ideas come about. I grew up moving and traveling across the world, and I think many of the things I saw, especially buildings left some sort of registry that pops up years later maybe as strange curve or a color and so on.”
You had launched a GENTLEWOMEN bags collection. What is this collection about and why it’s so important to you?

“The inspiration was the bravery and kindness with which our artisans raised to the challenge of supporting their families through this time. Many of them were left as the sole breadwinner in the households, so we wanted to do something to honor them as without them we can exist. We wanted them to know they are not invisible. And so, The Gentlewomen, a timeless collection was born. Then, we decided to start a newsletter and now we are interviewing amazing women who are inspiring their communities not only through their creativity but also their kindness, nourishing them in their own way.”

Before we wrap, your motto has been “BE BOLD, BE YOU”. How you are inspired by this line and how can our listeners incorporate this in their lives?
“We wanted to create emboldening bags, that would make the MDLR woman feel like hey I can be bit more out there today, this is my awesome bag and I’m choosing today to feel fantastic. Accessories have that power, that extra confidence boost. But it doesn’t have to be a fashion thing, it’s just listening to your heart and knowing that no one can live your live for you, no one can chose who you love, what you wear, what you dream of or where you want to go, so don’t keep your amazing self in a shell, go out there and make your dreams happen.”

Explore the full collection of Marie de la Roche only on The F Thing web.

Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Dela Naufalia
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Makeup Artist: Nadia Renata
Stylist: Sasqia Ayuningtyas and Karina Yu
Bags: Marie de la Roche, available at The F Thing
Wardrobe: FIGURE and McQ, available at The F Thing

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