“A woman’s appearance in business is a part of her performance.” That is the first line in ALISIA ENCO founder’s, Alice Botnarenco’s, manifesto. Alice has taken women’s business fashion to an all new level. The designer has taken the classic white shirt, and re-defined it for a new generation of businesswomen.
ALISIA ENCO’s newest collection was launched in September 2017, and has garnered rave reviews since. It is Alice’s attention to detail and innovative style that has led her shirt line to be on industry power brokers around the world.
The white shirt, so understated and simple, isn’t just a clothing garment. It is the cornerstone of the ALISIA ENCO clothing brand. Through creativity comes innovation, and Alice’s attention to detail is fuelling the revolution for women’s business attire.
Alice, tell us about “ALISIA ENCO” and why is its key element the shirt?
ALISIA ENCO is my brand, launched at the end of 2014, with a core purpose of creating creative designs and unconventional clothing apparel for businesswomen. ALISIA ENCO is also for women working in professional domains where they need to respect a formal dress code, but still wish to express their personality and unique style. ALISIA ENCO, with its motto “For creative women in business”, has at the center of its identity a must-have piece, the business shirt, but reaches every aspect of a business wardrobe.
A woman’s appearance in business is part of her performance. My iconic piece is the white shirt. It is “the black dress” in business. A balanced shirt, impeccably crafted, naturally woven, with smooth care for details, is a guaranteed business card for a successful appearance. Beyond the overwhelming standards of a simple white shirt, I’d like to open a whole universe of possibilities to enjoy a shirt in business.
I challenge businesswomen to awaken their charisma, creativity and self-expression in their business outfits.
What differentiates your brand from others and what is unique about it?
My business brand puts women’s creative side at the forefront. By helping them create their personal style through items which do not fit standard business patterns, ALISIA ENCO sets out to inspire ladies to experiment with their image through symbols, textures and innovative cuts.
What led you to the creation of ALISIA ENCO and why women’s business attire?
Being the founder of the Women in Business Association, as well a part of European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs, I have been working mostly with women. I noticed the need of a more creative approach in women’s business outfits. This is how ALISIA ENCO was born, aspiring to bring creativity, confidence and comfort into an everyday business look.
When and where are you launching your new collection? And what do you have your sights set on next?
I just launched my new collection of creative shirts At Monaco Madame’s Night on September 27, 2017, in Monte Carlo. Muguet shirts collection was inspired by the French tradition to offer lily of the valley to the one they love as a lucky charm. I plan my next collection to be ready for next spring, 2018. Stay close to find out!
What is the most challenging part of your work?
Perhaps the most challenging part of what I do, is to get the right balance between creativity and uniqueness in every shirt for a suitable business wear.
How do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere around us: in nature, people, history. Some collections are inspired by symbolic traditions that comes with an inspirational message, which I hope to pass on as well to the ones wearing my shirts. Others are inspired by flowers.
Were you ever influenced by other designers and entrepreneurs?
I love Chanel’s fascinating life story. A very talented and creative fashion designer who changed the world of fashion. With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today.
What is a day in your life like?
Usually, I try to plan as much as I can in advance and then stick to the plan. Work is essential, but it isn’t everything to me. We need time to think, relax and give ourselves a break. No matter how busy a day is, mornings and evenings are always booked for my family, and I found this way of being the most effective for having enough time for work and for fun.
What makes you smile?
There are many moments that makes me smile. I’m a positive person. From a coffee on an early morning on a beach side, or a tasty dinner with my friends to a rewarding message from a happy customer wearing my shirt.
What scares you?
Old age is scaring me the most, even though every stage of our life has its own beautiful thing. But this is the course of our lives and I know that we can’t stop it. We need to accept it. We can only try to live it in peace, beauty, surrounded by optimistic people, reading books, travelling and love.
What is your greatest achievement?
Today, I feel grateful for what ALISIA ENCO, the brand, has become. From an unknown brand in a completely new business to me, today, more and more women choose to wear my products. For me, it means that all the efforts that were put into this brand are now recognized and appreciated.
I collect beautiful moments with my camera. For me, photography it’s about feeling. What I have caught on photo is captured forever and this I enjoy it so much. It all started as a curiosity which is now my passion.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
I love the sea and Greece. For me, is the right place to enjoy a perfect vacation! Every time I arrive there, it feels like home. I enjoy every part of it, the nature, the people, the food, the smell of the flowers. For me, it’s heaven!
What are you never without?
My family! I can’t live without them; they complete me and together we are a team.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
I have a lot of favorite quotes, but I will mention a Richard Branson quote as I admire him a lot as an entrepreneur and his quote is one of my guideline in life.
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Richard Branson.
My other favorite quote is, “Be yourself. The world worships the original.” – Jean Cocteau.
How do you define success?
It’s about being happy with what you do and making a living out of it.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a new business in the fashion industry?
Make research for your idea from top to bottom looking to see if your idea already exists. Ask yourself if you can find a unique angle, be innovative! Your business talks about you!
For more information on ALISIA ENCO and to see their current line of shirts, please visit www.ALISIAENCO.com.