Sophie Chiquet is a binational (Swiss and French) fashion designer and entrepreneur. With her company CF Corporate Fashion GmbH, she and her team not only create, but also produce image clothing for all kinds of companies. By working closely together with her customers, Chiquet has been successfully designing unique looks made out of sustainable material since 1998. The existing branding, corporate identity or philosophy of the costumers serve as her major source of inspiration for the making of customised corporate fashion collections.
A personal style reinforces identity. This not only applies to people in everyday life, but also to companies. Stylish and functional image clothing is necessary to represent the philosophy and values of business organisations such as hotels, catering industries, the service sector, aviation or health care. Fashion designer and entrepreneur Sophie Chiquet from Zurich has been helping customers to underline their unique brand image since 1998. Her company, CF Corporate Fashion GmbH, is specialised in advising companies that want to implement their corporate identity through corporate fashion, giving themselves a contemporary, individual look.
“Me and my team work project-oriented, just like an architect or an industrial designer. We cooperate closely with our customers in order to develop innovative, stylish and creative solutions. The clothing concepts and accessories shall not only represent the company’s philosophy, they should also have a comfortable and functional cut,” says Chiquet, who studied at the famous École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. “As a passionate fashion designer and entrepreneur, it ismy mission to give a touch of haute couture and excellence to the quite pragmatic and often monotonous world of corporate fashion and image wear.”
She first came up with this business idea when she was the head designer of the silk business Fabric Frontline Zurich in the mid-1990s. “Among other things, I took care of customised ties and
foulards ordered by numerous banks and insurance companies,” Chiquet remembers. “Thus, I had the idea to apply my broad knowledge about fashion and trends to workwear garment and image clothing. At first sight, this might not sound as sexy as haute couture, but I soon recognised what an enormous potential this new field offered.” The fashion designer, who gained working experience at Dior and Hermès in Paris, as well as at Escada and Laurèl in Munich, wanted to improve the market for workwear and image wear by adding the principle of ‘Form Follows Function (FFF)’ and fresh modern style to the customised corporate fashion collections of her clients.
Chiquet therefore launched her own business, first called chiQuet corporate fashion design, and turned it into a limited company in 2015, now under the name CF Corporate Fashion GmbH. In almost 20 years, she developed countless image clothing lines for all kinds of industries. One of her customers is a prestigious five-star hotel from Zurich. “We created a cohesive, representational Hotel Fashion collection for the staff of the reception and housekeeping departments: instead of blouses, we chose modern looking body shirts, which let the staff move more freely,” Chiquet explains. Another detail: CF Corporate Fashion GmbH developed special buttons “to match the fabric, as well as the look and feel of the collection,”she describes.
Recently,Chiquet and her team also created a Gastro Fashion concept for a Swiss catering group.“We tried to use the customer’s logo as a central theme for the collection by taking the same colours and forms,” she says. CF Corporate Fashion GmbH produced this collection in a modular design, so that the people wearing it can adapt to the different seasons. For a plant-care specialist, Chiquet and her team created Sportive Functional clothes with simple and comfortable cuts, as well as easy care, highly practical corporate fashion fabrics. When selecting a colour scheme, she oriented herself on the bright green of the client’s logo.
In order to ensure that the customers are pleased with the result of the order, CF Corporate Fashion GmbH works closely with them at all stages, no matter if it is the briefing, selecting suitable colours, materials and designs, the fitting or the delivery. Since Chiquet is both a passionate fashion designer and a successful entrepreneur, she and her team manage the whole process. Another aspect, which is very important to her, is sustainability. Therefore, the full service also includes repeat orders: “The garments and accessories of the customer’s personalised collection will be delivered for an agreed period of time, this can be three, five, or ten years,” the fashion designer underlines. “This repeat order full service guarantees for the same style and quality; it hence provides an interesting long-term amortisation of initial costs.”
For 2016, she plans a basic collection in a modular design: “I do not want to give away too many details, yet, but I can already tell that it should include a small amount of simple, but chic pieces of clothing.”
Text: Nane Steinhoff | Photos: CF Corporate Fashion GmbH
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