Contrary to popular belief, Plan C is always your best option if you're in need of a sophisticated outfit that exudes modern femininity. The brand, created by Carolina Castiglioni in 2018, has quickly cemented itself with women's wardrobes with an aesthetic that encompasses humour, sensitivity and a celebration of beauty from everywhere. Her creativity is expressed through deconstructed overcoats to layer over floral skirts, or silk polka-dot pyjama sets with ribbed, elastic double collars to add flair. It's in her blood – her mother was the founder of Marni, the cult Italian brand offering a quirky take on craftsmanship, so her familial design education has come from the best.

Now with a new pop up in London retail icon Harvey Nichols - that launched pre-lockdown but re-opened with the recent shop opening -  Caroline Issa talks with Carolina about the brand's iconic, hand-drawn duo Pili & Bianca and how they are approaching London's clientele.

You've put your own children's drawings and the characters from their imagination - now named Pili & Bianca - right at the heart of your first collection, and continued thereafter. What was it about these doodles that made you connect with them and know that they had to form a part of the Plan C roots?
I didn’t exactly plan it in advance. When I was thinking of the graphics for the jerseys, I remembered about those drawings kept in a drawer. I like them as they're very simple and geometric but very evocative. They immediately had the attention of buyers and consumers and without planning or foresight, they have become a sort of logo for the brand.

You and your brother come from a family of fashion entrepreneurs, what did you want to do differently to how your parents before you had approached creating a brand? 
At the base of this new adventure, there is a very simple concept: create a sustainable business from a human and size point of view and to have a more responsible consumer approach. I’d like to see Plan C growing step by step at its own pace, which in this current situation has become needed more than ever.

After the changes we've had to make over the last three months and post-pandemic, what do you see as the future of creating a brand that resonates with women? Has it changed the way you are approaching designing or collection planning?
I have tried to synthesise even more and to create a complete but focused collection, with an offer of carryover classics that will increase as the seasons pass.

Why did you partner with Harvey Nichols to launch your first UK pop-up corner? What is it about the store that felt like the right fit?
They responded immediately to our aesthetic and sensibility, sharing the understanding and articulating themselves that  our line completely reflects how modern women like to dress today. The airy, open space allowed us to present the collaboration with the artist Duccio Maria Gambi seamlessly within the Harvey Nichols environment.

Shop Plan C below:

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