Cold Laundry: ‘We fell in love with the Asian take on minimalist design’
The founders of gender-neutral fashion brand Cold Laundry on creating minimalist designs that exude style, comfort and calm
Utilitarian dressing has never felt more relevant than now, but in the hands of the fledgling unisex label Cold Laundry, what might have been considered austere actually exudes a sense of being at ease and at peace.
Founded in 2019 by London-based husband-and-wife duo Ola and Cerise Alabi, Cold Laundry is a gender-neutral brand that offers up everyday staples like loose trousers, cosy puffer coats, oversized sweaters and longline hoodies in sensual tones such as forest greens, mocha browns, taupe-like greys and a range of nude shades.
Inspired by the Korean aesthetic for clean, minimalism in fashion, which we championed in our March 2021 Style Special (W*263), the Alabis established Cold Laundry on a leap of faith. ‘We spent some time in Korea and fell in love with the Asian take on clean minimalistic design. We both wanted to push a vision that represented us as individuals and also spoke to an audience that could relate to a clean, minimal, feel-good aesthetic,’ recalls Ola. ‘We wanted to put people of colour at the forefront of what we do. What we decided to do in terms of a minimal take on fashion is not new, but I guess we saw a need to not only produce clothes that make people comfortable, but also create a brand story that could connect with people’s emotions and make them feel good.’
In Cold Laundry’s welcoming and alluring universe, pieces exhibit an elevated but attainable sense of style and taste. Ease of wear is front and centre of the line’s priorities, yet the well-chosen mix of garments, among them boxy double-breasted blazer jackets and drawstring trousers with elasticated waistbands, cuts a distinctive and memorable dash. Reasonably priced (which explains why things consistently sell out), the brand takes an inclusive approach to fashion that resonates with the times.
‘One of our founding principles is ensuring that we add value with everything we put out,’ Ola says. ‘There is so much intent and thought that goes into creating the ambience of escape and peace for our brand. From our choice of tones, to the cuts and shapes and comfort of all our garments – there is a synergy between this and feeling like you are in a place of peace and escape.
‘We really enjoy creating a feeling of freedom and happiness. While conceptualising campaigns, we always think of how we can make the audience feel at peace and how we can relieve the stress from their day. Everything else flows from there. To be able to impact people’s lives through feelings has been nothing short of amazing. It’s more like a mindset and vibe that we try to create through our clothes and campaigns.’
Armed with a loyal and surging following, Cold Laundry has become a forerunner in championing representation and diversity within the fashion industry.
‘We definitely wanted to be part of the change we wanted to see,’ Ola concludes. ‘We want to see more brands consciously joining the conversation and proactively making change in their businesses. That sends a message of unity and diversity in the fashion community.’
Pei-Ru Keh is the US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru has held various titles at Wallpaper* since she joined in 2007. She currently reports on design, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru has taken a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars and actively seeks out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.
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