This week we had a very special guest: our first ever customer!
Her name is Eva and to thank her for believing in us from the start, we made her a nice surprise, we named a piece of our F/W 2015 collection after her: the EVA knit coat!
We also asked her some questions as we wanted to hear what are the struggles, the fun and the shopping experience from a tall customer point of view!
So, your name is Eva, right?
Yes, Eva Gwenyth Hamilton. I was named for my great-grandmother and my grandmother, and my mother, and so on…It is a tradition I would love to keep going if I ever have children.
And where are do you live?
I live in the amazingly beautiful city of Bath Spa, in the UK. I grew up mostly in Australia, but also spent time in Mexico City (where I was by FAR the tallest girl in my class) and Belgium (where I wasn’t).
Here the question: how tall are you and what’s your size (lies are ok here)?
I am 185.5cm (6’1″) at last measurement, and about a size 18 (UK). This varies depending on a) how much I can be forced to exercise by my amazing PT, and b) whether or not there is chocolate nearby.
I LOVE to cook. I also do a lot of DIY on my 6’5 boyfriend’s house here in Bath. I travel a fair bit, spend far too much time in farmers’ markets, and obsess over expensive shoes.
What is for you the biggest struggle about being tall?
Finding trousers that don’t look ridiculous. I am reasonably lucky that my top half is standard sized – rarely are jumpers/ jackets too short in the sleeve – but I hate buying trousers. Either they fit but the fabric is revolting, or they sit on the ankle bone and look daft. The only other brand that works for me is Max Mara, as they leave their trousers un-cuffed at 40”. The ££££ is a limiting factor, though!
Tell us the funniest thing that ever happened to you because you are tall…
For the Y2K countdown I was lucky enough to be living in Mexico City. At 15 I was already my current height, and a lot paler than pretty much anyone else celebrating the countdown to new year’s in the main square of the city (the zocalo). You could say I stood out… So everyone around used the “gringa alta” – tall blondey – as their meeting point. As I moved through the crowd I had people keeping up with me to make sure that their friends would find them.
How did you find out about Belle Grande?
Through Facebook. The designer, Ekene, joined a group for tall people that I have been a member of for several years, and mentioned that she was a British-based designer starting a line. I have always tried to support new designers, and loved her look-book. To be honest the more she designs the more I fear for my bank-balance!
What is about the brand that did catch your attention?
Initially it was the navy trousers that she had designed. I hate that so many designers think that anyone tall must also be incredibly skinny. I love my curves, my swimmer’s thighs, and have even made peace with my tummy. That Ekene understood that women come in ALL sizes, even if they are tall, was a huge selling point for me.
What did you buy and why?
My first purchase was a pair of trousers (Ofiaeli) and a white shirt (Christina). My mother immediately stole the shirt, as she adored the cut and fabric. She isn’t as tall as I am, but is actually longer in the torso and arms (she has stubby legs, but that is how I think of everyone with an inseam shorter than 34”!), so the shirt was a perfect fit. A few weeks later she spotted me wearing the trousers, and the next time she visited my flat she surreptitiously stole them, had them tailored to fit her waist (she is about a size 14/16) and has worn them ever since. They are a bit longer on her than they were on me, but given that they look fantastic how could I complain?!
Since you bought online, where you not scared that you would waste your money on the nth trousers supposedly ‘made for tall women’?
It is true that buying online can be a gamble. When ASOS first opened its online store to Australia I bought some trousers and upon arrival found them to be vile. Horrible fabric, badly stitched, shoddy work. But I am an optimist, and with Belle-Grande it turns out that I found a winner. Ekene’s designs are elegant and the price point is affordable without compromising on quality.
The trousers were probably a little tight for me when I bought them. Too many indulgent cooking adventures involving salted caramel… But my biggest regret is simply that both pieces vanished from my wardrobe. Mum loves them, though, and they are regularly worn to her work functions, events and meetings. She runs a university here in Bath, so they are being worn in high-powered places.
Did you go back for more?
Any piece that you would like to wear from the winter collection?
What would you say to your tall girlfriend about Belle Grande?
BUY THIS STUFF NOW! I have already told quite a few friends about the line, and will continue to do so. My main selling point is that they are genuinely fitted to tall people, and come in sizes that are human rather than stick-figure. And that the fabric is luscious.
Eva, we can really say that you were the First Tall Woman, if it is not on the earth …at least for us!
We hope you enjoyed this little chat. We would love to hear your stories too, so leave you comment here and share!