Every Fashion Editor Is Loving This New Accessories Brand

Photo: Yvan Fabing
Your phone case says a lot about you. Every time I take a call, open an email, or scroll through Instagram, I'm reminded of the pink-and-purple, glittery, unicorn-covered piece I own. Not exactly the most sophisticated item. Thankfully, super-stylists and creative partners Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall have just launched a new line of accessories we never realized we needed — until now.

(available exclusively at MatchesFashion) offers initialed leather phone cases, gold-plated charms, leather luggage tags, and suitcase straps that are as covetable as they are functional — perfectly filling the gap in the market for lifestyle goods that are as playful as they are thoughtfully made, durable, and usable. Oh, and remember those matching tracksuits Cara Delevingne and Margot Robbie wore while promoting Suicide Squad? Yeah, those were by CHAOS, too.

We spoke to Stockdale and Lyall about their industry careers (they worked on the Victoria's Secret fashion show for 10 years), learning from Karl Lagerfeld, and starting their own company.
Photo: Alexander Kent
Photo: Alexander Kent
Why did it feel like the right time to launch an accessories brand together? What was it in response to?
Charlotte Stockdale: "It was a long, slow burner actually. I started doing Victoria’s Secret in 2000, and Katie started working with me just after. Toward the last five years, we realized we loved to make things. The wonderful thing about that show is the costumes are not produced, so we had a lot of fun and a lot of freedom. We also work really hard and travel a lot, and it was back in the days of VS that I would constantly lose my phone underneath a bunch of fabric, feathers, or bras. So we’d tie our phones to ribbons and hang them around our necks. We thought, shall we just make something for ourselves that’s nice? So we made a zip [lanyard] ourselves a couple of years ago that was not as beautiful as these are now. But we started wearing it, and we had about 1,000 made and gave them to people."

Katie Lyall: "That was two years ago, and there are people in my life who are still using them."

CS: "It was an extraordinary range of people. Some of [Patrick] Demarchelier’s assistants used them for their light meters; Katie’s friend’s mum, who is a matron at the London Hospital; a lot of the Fendi team. Then we thought, you know what, we’ve talked a lot over the years about doing our own thing."

KL: "There are really fun cases and then there are gorgeous, expensive cases that are quite simple, but there isn’t that in-between that is fun, that you can add some personality to and make your own in the way that people use stickers on their notebook or handbag."

CS: "We felt that this whole category of tech hadn’t been translated in a luxury way. There’s some really cool stuff, but that idea of approaching it like a leather desk collection had not been explored."

Few brands have been able to create fashion tech that is as functional as it is stylish, and that can be seamlessly incorporated into our lives. Was it a challenge marrying functionality and style?
CS: "We all went into it thinking it would be really easy. We made it with a very, very experienced company in China. They were like, 'No problem, we can do this,' and then it came back and we were like, 'That’s not quite luxury.'"

KL: "In function, there are things that can’t be flexible, like making sure all four corners are covered on the best phone cases. So when you drop your phone, obviously it’s not completely proof, but it [protects] it much more. That’s something we really didn’t want to be flexible on. So the challenge was to make sure it was a leather that was wrappable, but still beautiful. You have to love tech and really know your instinctive luxury levels."
Photo: Yvan Fabing
What are your plans for expansion with the line?
KL: "The things that excite us are when it’s functional and a lifestyle product, something we feel we need that you can’t find anywhere else."

CS: "The phone cases will continue, the zips will evolve into categories apart from phone lanyards. We’ve done the beginnings of a luggage line. Not luggage itself, but the garnish. We constantly find ourselves at the airport, and you’re tired and you can’t remember which black bag is yours, so we made some stickers that are reflective bicycle stickers and we covered our suitcases in them. We started getting stopped in airports by people saying: 'Oh my god, your suitcase is amazing, where is it from?' Actually they weren't looking at the suitcase, they were looking at the stickers. We thought, what’s a more premium way to do this? And then we saw luggage straps were really quite utilitarian and not that nice — so we’re making luggage straps."
Photo: Yvan Fabing
For the most part, fashion is an industry dominated by men in the most senior positions. Is that something that frustrates you, or do you not notice the predominance of men?
CS: "It is true when you look at the list of CEOs around the world, they are largely male. But I think it will change, because the next generation is going to be quite used to seeing their mothers working at a high level that requires travel. If you’re talking about those sort of jobs, they are not a 9-to-5. They’re 24/7, and that is really hard when you start to have children. That’s definitely something that has held women back. Now the world is even more global, and you have to pick up a call at midnight."

KL: "The way we work and our relationship with other people around us is so all-inclusive, so from our point of view, we don’t allow it to be an issue."

Who are the people you’ve met throughout your careers who have influenced and inspired you the most?
KL: "We work with Karl [Lagerfeld] so closely, and he is interested in everything — old, new, digital, traditional. To work alongside him and watch him be so interested by everything is really inspiring, and it reminds you that new things are really important to embrace."

CS: "Working with Silvia Fendi has been incredibly inspiring. Nothing is a no. She’s so open and imaginative. And Dasha [Zhukova]."

KL: "They’re all kind of people who live by the same rules. Let’s just try, nothing’s impossible. That’s a good kind of rule to have at work."

Watch the CHAOS film created by director Yvan Fabing, featuring CHAOS’ favorite models including Anna Ewers, Taylor Hill, Karlie Kloss, Edie Campbell, and Binx Walton, below.
Yvan Fabing

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