Behind the Scenes with… Marie Dewet of Maison Cléo

Already this week we highlighted four fashion brands flying the flag for trendy, stylish ethical fashion. And, we also showed you how fast fashion is contributing to global warming which is why we need to buy more responsibly. So, we were lucky enough to interview Marie Dewet, from the mother-daughter brand that is Maison Cléo.

Marie Dewet is one half of the duo and is also the manager of luxury vintage site Vestiaire Collective. Despite still only being 26 years old Marie’s love of fashion led to her co-founding Maison Cléo with her mother. Oh, and if you’re looking for some fashion inspiration yourself check out Marie’s Instagram — it’s full of vintage finds and all round fabulousness.   We talked to the fashion entrepreneur about sustainable fashion, working with her mother and what the future holds for their brand…

Maison cléo
Photo courtesy of @maisoncléo


WTYB: Hello Marie! How did you come up with the idea for the brand and why choose Instagram as a platform?

Marie Dewet: My mother sewed all the clothes I wore in my youth. She can sew anything as she studied at a sewing school. So, I thought it would be cool to draw some sketches, to show them to her and then she could sew them. I was fed up of all the new French brands that were coming up that were using synthetic fabrics and their clothes were not made in France! So, I thought it was so important to create this brand. We also do not use synthetic fabrics. I have always loved Instagram so it was natural to just be present on Instagram in the beginning; we didn’t even have a website.

WTYB: What is it like to work with your mum? Do you both have specific roles or do you share responsibilities?

Marie Dewet: We don’t share any responsibilities; each one her own clear role. I can’t sew even a single button, and my mum knows nothing about how to communicate for example. She is a professional seamstress and I have a Masters degree in Communication and have always worked in fashion — so that is a perfect match.

WTYB: What do you think makes Maison Cléo so unique and popular? (It’s been featured in Vogue, The Blonde Salade, WhoWhatWear, Emily Ratajkowski is a fan and so is Refinery29’s senior fashion market editor Alyssa Coscarelli).

Marie Dewet: I think that our story is touching because we are very close to people. We are not a big brand at all and you can feel that via our website and Instagram. The website is not perfect and it’s also create in-house. On Instagram I post pictures of my mum sewing. I think people are touched by this family angle and very personal brand story. They feel close to us because we are very simple people. Also, I think it’s very interesting to know that your clothes have been handmade to order just for you (so there is no waste) with your own measurements.
Maison cléo
Photo courtesy of @alyssainthecity

WTYB: I’m a big fan of the Agnes blouse but it is always sold out – why do you think it is such a success?

 Marie Dewet: It’s not sold out in fact. It’s just that we only open the e-shop once a week; each Wednesday at 12.30 pm NYC time and 6.30 pm French time (5.30pm GMT). People are quite fast so the maximum pieces my mother can make in a week (about 30 pieces) is sold in 10-15 minutes. But yes, this piece is one of our customers’ favourite piece! It’s white, airy, loose and [you] can wear it with everything!

WTYB: I love the fact that when we buy something from your brand we know exactly where the money goes; the fabric is ethically sourced and the clothes are handmade. Do you think in this day and age it’s important to turn towards small ethical brands rather than big fast-fashion companies?

Marie Dewet: Yes! The most terrifying thing is the pollution caused by all the overproduction of clothes. That makes me sick! People have to react and think about what they buy! For example all our fabrics come from dead stocks/leftover fabrics of couture house and other brands.

WTYB: Is there something planned for spring /summer? What is the new collection in the making?

Marie Dewet: We don’t make “collections” but we create new pieces according to the seasons, our desires and the fabrics we find. New pieces are coming very soon, before the end of the month (winks).

Maison cléo

WTYB: It’s just you and your mother working together at the moment. What’s the next step for Maison Cléo business-wise and creatively?

Marie Dewet: It beginning to be very hard just having the two of us. An old friend of my mum helps her to iron, pack and send all the orders. And, my little sister helps me in some Instagram tasks and customer service duties.

WTYB: Last but not least what is your favourite item from Maison Cléo?

 Marie Dewet: The new “ANNE” top that will be available to order in one or two weeks. That’s my favorite fabric; we found it and I’m so in love.
 Maison cléo
We don’t know about you, but we’re definitely going to shop from Maison Cléo now!

Post Author: Morgane Glain

Morgane Glain
Originally from France, I now live in England. I am an English Literature & Film graduate, and lifestyle and fashion blogger. If I am not writing, I love travelling and taking pictures. Catch me on Twitter @morganeglain

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