A personal Connection Part.2 with Natalia M. Corre
MUSE crossed paths with Natalia in early 2022 when she invited us on her podcast Advance Copy. An honest conversation, Natalia's warm, generous and curious nature was infectious and left us wanting to discover the story behind her journey in the fashion industry.
Natalia has inspired us to think differently in this shifting world. I am excited to share this one with you.
Can you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Berlin, but I was born in beautiful green Latvia and together with my family we unexpectedly moved to the south of England on my 11th I didn’t speak a word of English and had no understanding of the country’s culture but thanks to those challenging years, I learnt how to be open-minded and resilient. I think this early experience has paved the way of how I interpret the world.
One of the things I noticed when we moved countries was how my clothes from Latvia, which I was so proud of, didn’t look like the clothes English children wore. This feeling stayed with me and by the time I was 13 years old - influenced by glossy magazines and Sex and the City - I decided that I would work in fashion. In my teenage mind, infiltrating the industry would help me understand and fit into the English culture. Over the years, I’ve carved out a career in wholesale consulting which I love and feel very lucky to continue doing to this day.
Tell us a little about your background in the fashion industry?
I started my career as early as it was legally possible. I strategized every step and interned every summer starting at 15 at Alexander McQueen, Yohji Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf and Maison Martin Margiela. To support these unpaid internships and a degree in Fashion Management, I worked at department stores Harrods and Liberty.
By the time I graduated I had a job offer to be a Wholesales Assistant at Erdem. The brand was young, exciting, booming. We worked extremely hard, the collections were insanely beautiful and I was allowed to progress very quickly. Then I burnt out and decided to try pursuing my interest in branding. I was very lucky to get a chance to work as a project manager at Bibliotheque Design whose team I have to be forever grateful to for showing me a working environment where you can work as a team, be happy, healthy and ambitious
When I moved to Berlin, I realised that I wanted to go back to working in fashion and continue building my career as in Wholesale. I love the mix of elements which this job requires: business, strategic and visual. I went freelance and began working only with brands which valued quality design as much as their team culture. Since then, I’ve consulted brands like Dries van Noten, Cecilie Bahnsen and Neous on wholesale partnership and community-building.
Advance Copy arose from your interest in discovering independent thinkers/labels. Can you tell us what lead you down this path?
What a wonderful question. Advance Copy acts as a source of information for elevated independent fashion brands. It combines sales consulting with a podcast. These two interconnecting parts are designed to support and inspire future-thinking fashion companies. On a more philosophical level, I strive to help fashion entrepreneurs deconstruct archaic industry standards and build more diverse and conscious brands.
My interest in independent thinkers has always been there in some shape or form, and its only recently that I started to reflect on why. There are so many interconnected experiences and thoughts which led me down this path. I think fascination for individuals, companies and stories that are different, that have the courage to stand out and excel, comes from my early experience of being an “outsider” in England.
At university I discovered the Antwerp 6, a story of ascent which seems impossible on paper: the ultimate story of outsiders breaking through a system. After university I committed to working only with luxury independent brands, which by luck happened to be the most exciting thing at the time as in 2010 London exploded with talented designers. Experiencing that era made me understand the power of creativity uncontrolled by commercial rules, and the cultural value of staying independent.
Relocating from London to Berlin 2018 spurred on a big moment of reflection on my career. I loved working in fashion but also felt frustrated because I thought that the industry was in misalignment with the times. I saw the rise of independent labels thanks to the creation of e-commerce, simultaneously customers and individuals working in fashion started to express doubt about the purpose and ethics of the industry. The magazines and websites which I was reading didn’t cover these topics, they were right there on the surface, undocumented so I decided, why not try to interview the people at the forefront of change? That’s how Advance Copy started.
How do you find and connect with the people on your podcast?
Most importantly, I look for brands and individuals which are distinct: those who’ve intentionally or unintentionally stepped a foot out of what the fashion industry dictates. This is the thread connecting all my guests. Another very important factor is commerciality, seeing first-hand how difficult it is to actually make creativity a viable career I’m fascinated by examples where a creative vision is combined with commerciality and pusporse. I find my guests by visiting multi-brand boutiques and on late-night Instagram rabbit holes. Another good portion comes via recommendations from previous guests of Advance Copy, industry friends and our community of listeners. Muse is the perfect example of a brand that was recommended to me by a friend in Melbourne.
I have noticed you have spoken to a lot of Australia brands and artists. Is there something that draws you to Australian creatives and style?
Thank you so much for noticing this. I was very fortunate to visit Australia in 2018 and interview designers and creatives for Advance Copy. On the same trip I also met the art director and aesthetic mastermind behind Advance Copy – Beth Wilkinson of Oak Park studio. So Australia holds a special place in my heart.
When I begun researching interview guests, I was struck by the quality, aesthetic and variety of independent brands in Australia. I was equally impressed by how supportive customers were of purchasing from local companies and the creative communities in different parts of the country.
I feel the same way about New Zealand albeit I’ve never visited. The two countries seem to foster independent businesses and push the needle on experiment with sustainable practices.
Describe your personal style—what are you drawn to?
I’m drawn to interesting fabrics, textures, details and the story behind the brand. Concept and purpose are everything to me.
What makes a timeless winter wardrobe?
Having had 7 winters in Berlin now I think I’ve found a recipe that works for me: natural fiber knitwear, quality winter socks (bonus points if they’re knitted by a friend or a family member), cozy PJ’s and a fantastic coat which isn’t black, grey, navy or brown to make you feel happy on a gloomy day. I don’t buy new winter pieces every year, instead I invest in knits every couple of years, and maybe a new coat every 5 years or so. And vintage as much as possible. Every season I also take time to maintain my clothes: mend, hand wash etc which is a form of meditation for me – pausing to appreciate what I have.
What are your reading/listening/waiting right now?
I love non-fiction in all mediums. Ways of Being by James Bridle is one of the most astonishing and hopeful books I have read in recent years and won’t tire of telling people about it! A podcast which I listen to for inspiration on big-picture thinking is Time Sensitive. I’m also obsessed with documentaries and have a long list from many years of researching.
Something that’s overrated: Smartphones
Something that’s underrated: Nature
How do you mix MUSE into your wardrobe?
Something that drew me to MUSE is how balanced every capsule is. It’s designed in a practical way where every piece can be mixed and matched. I think Sarah and Christine care about balancing the practical and the whimsical which is what I look for in my clothes.
The Niko vest and the Rosie shirt in Pink Floral are the perfect everyday pieces for me. They are flattering easy to wear but also fun, so I let these two items speak for themselves and pair them with a classic pant or a mini skirt. I also love experimenting with layering and can’t wait to wear a crisp shirt under the Niko vest once the temperatures will drop.
I’m a sucker for a well-cut pant. The Mahi pants are flattering, fun and have a fluid cut which I’m always drawn to. On top of that, they are silk so feel comfortable and luxurious. They look great with an oversized, straight menswear sweater or a thick boxy t-shirt.