Have you heard of MARGE? MARGE clothing is a new upscale womenswear line made just for women 5’9″ and taller. In fact it is one of the first of its kind, being a luxury brand, that tailors exclusively to tall women. From the press invite: Made in the US, Marge Clothing is carefully crafted and designed fashion line, created for women well above average height who have struggled to find beautiful and well fitting clothing; existing options are often focused on fit not fashion or design quality. Consisting of a blend of staple and statement pieces in unique jacquards, silks, satins, crepe blends and wools, the 14-piece fall/winter collection pairs elegance with the luxury of fit, the line will speak to fashionistas of all heights and sizes.
I have been waiting months to see what the Fall/Winter 2015 collection was going to look like and finally here it is. The line launched on their website recently and the pieces are lovely. Also, I see that their size guide is super thorough. So you will know before you buy what the exact measurements of the clothing will be. I thought that was pretty cool.
Founder of MARGE Clothing, Kaersten Cooper, 6’1″ talked to me about MARGE Clothing, growing up tall, MARGE’s namesake: Kaersten’s grandmother Marjorie, and what MARGE is all about.
The Junoesque: Did you always like being tall? If not, when/how did you see yourself differently; start to embrace your height?
Kaersten Cooper: I would be disingenuous if I were to claim that throughout my most impressionable years I was completely “comfortable” with my height. I reached my current height of 6’1” at a very early age, which is not uncommon – I am sure many tall women have similar stories about their early onset of height. I definitely developed a healthy insecurity being heads above the rest – but I do believe that this uncertainty was purely a result of being too young and immature in my ability to adapt to, accept and embrace my height. Emotionally, it was challenging to keep pace with my physical development.
It took time and a series of life experiences for me to come to an honest, authentic appreciation of my height, myself. But I have come to the conclusion that Living Life Up Here is one of the most decadent experiences – as tall women, we are able to see opportunities no one else can and we forge our own paths, uniquely so.
TJ: Tall women tend to attract a lot of attention and people tend to not be afraid to come up to us and say some off the wall things. What is the craziest thing someone has ever said to you because of your height?
KC: As tall women, we do have a tendency to make an impact wherever we go or whatever we do. But isn’t it delightful to be beautifully different? By simply existing, we make an unforgettable statement and are remembered. Let me qualify this though – being tall is only a sliver, a small facet of who we are as dynamic, intelligent, sophisticated human beings.
I liken those who freely share their adoration of or inferiority to our height to that of a “live” social media experience: “Boy, you sure are tall!” No filters. Stating the obvious. I have certainly received an array of thoughtful feedback throughout my life – admittedly, some of which I may have helped prompt. Valeting my Smart car in 5-inch heels has never failed me as a conversation starter!
TJ: You list your grandmother, Marjorie Boldt as your role model and inspiration. Tell me more about her.
KC: My grandmother, Marjorie was my inspiration, my muse, in essence. She was an incredibly sophisticated woman. Comfortable in her own skin, she embodied many of the qualities I have and will continue to emulate in my own life. A fashion illustrator and designer in the 1930s and 40s, she was a woman of poise, grace, process and principle. The design practices she imparted to me early on, alongside the idea of investing in luxurious garments to cultivate a feeling of beauty, are evident in every garment we create. I’m proud to say that some of my grandmother’s silhouettes are on display at our headquarters in San Francisco. Their timelessness inspires the MARGE team on a daily basis.
TJ: Why did you start MARGE Clothing? / What is your ultimate goal for MARGE Clothing?
KC: I created MARGE because no other upscale womenswear brand within the tall women’s apparel category existed until us. MARGE is the first and only company of its kind: revolutionizing fit for tall, addressing the quality, design, variety and availability challenges we, as tall women, face when attempting to curate a wardrobe. At 6’1” I am all too familiar with these challenges.
The creation of MARGE was a personal mission too—a nostalgic love story that I wanted to share with the world. (The company name is derived from a signature my grandmother would use at the end of every love letter she wrote to my grandfather years ago). MARGE is a modern ode to nostalgia—one that honors the talents, traits, characteristics that are passed down from generation to generation and applies them here and now.
The ultimate goal for MARGE is to invite tall women everywhere to experience a truly holistic approach to measuring and fitting the elongated frame for comfort and for style. We want tall women to address their clothing/shopping challenges simply by elevating their expectations to a higher plane, their Life Up Here. We are the tall woman’s opportunity to continue to embrace and enjoy, or perhaps start appreciating and adoring their unique, elongated frame in a whole new way.
TJ: Your Fall/Winter collection is beautiful, tell me more about it. What was your inspiration when designing the pieces? What materials and fabrics are featured?
KC: Thank you so very much for the compliment. We are flattered with your response to our premier collection! The Fall/Winter season itself was our inspiration for the launch collection. The collection embodies a duality and reflects the opposing energies of nature and modern society. Rich urban colors are contrasted by soothing daylight softness. Bold textured prints are delivered by way of delicate silk. Strong, yet soft, our distinctive silhouettes savor the beauty of life’s contradictions. All in all, the collection features an incredible array of fabrics, custom colors and prints. One-of-a-kind jacquards, silks, satins, crepe blends, virgin boiled wools and wool blends combine to tell a unique story—one that has never been seen in the tall women’s apparel category.
TJ: Who wears MARGE Clothing? Who is your ideal customer?
KC: The MARGE woman is urban, fashion-forward. Refined and sophisticated, she is easygoing in her approach to life. When it comes to curating her wardrobe, she is incredibly discerning and investment-oriented and seeks timeless, upscale garments designed to fit her frame and her lifestyle. A real woman who is comfortable in her own skin, she enjoys living her Life Up Here and is not afraid to be creative in her appearance, her way of thinking, her approach to new things or experiences.
TJ: How do you want tall women to feel in your clothes?
KC: Our goal at MARGE is to design beautiful garments that flatter tall women’s frames and effortlessly compliment their lifestyles. We want tall women to experience real-life luxury: luxury that fits, feels amazing and is exclusive, one-of-a-kind. We want tall women to feel as though our garments were designed for them as an individual—with silhouettes that connote strength and femininity, in fabrics that speak the language of classic elegance.
TJ: I noticed that your size range ends at a size 12. Do you have any plans to extend to fit more plus sizes?
KC: We are very proud to offer a wonderful array of sizes via our online boutique. For our premier Fall/Winter 2015 collection, we wanted to offer as many size options as possible, ranging all the way from size 4 to 12. In future collections and as we continue to grow as a company, we will look to not only increase the number of unique styles but size ranges as well.
TJ: Any plans to make a shoe line?
KC: What a dream that would be. Shoes are definitely my weakness. But, to answer your question: not at this time. We are very focused on engaging with and embracing our ever-growing MARGE community. We are extremely excited about the positive responses to our clothing, our fit and how tall women worldwide are experiencing an elevated shopping experience and enjoying their Life Up Here!
Thank you Kaersten for taking the time to tell me about MARGE. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for MARGE Clothing. You can take a look at the collection on the MARGE website: margeclothing.com. You can also like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram and Twitter.