Texprint alumna’s story: Egle Vaituleviciute, WLE London
31 March 2015 by Roger Tredre in Alumni Stories, Fashion, Home, Interiors & Auto
Egle Vaituleviciute, from Lithuania, was a Texprint knit designer in 2011. Here, she tells us what happened next and how she loves developing her own kind of knitted-weave products.
Tell us about your new project.
I am in the process of launching my label WLE London (which stands for, With Love Egle). I find myself working as a designer/ artist, product developer, maker, pattern cutter, marketing person, sales person, and all that there is to be in business.
I’m based at Cockpit Art Studios in London, working mostly with wool yarns. The aim is to create a new kind of luxury lifestyle knitwear – and pieces for the home too. We’re going to be stocked by Wolf & Badger in London, so that should provide a good foundation.
I do feel like an innovator, creating something that hasn't been done in such a way: knitted-weave. I am mixing disciplines and creating new looks to the highest standards of craftsmanship with sustainable elements to it. Made to size, using natural wool only sponsored by LineaPiu yarns, a company I met at Shanghai Spinexpo back in 2011.
I absolutely love what I do: it doesn't feel like a job. It flows naturally. I sometimes catch myself on the bus to the factory wondering how I am not scared. Most of what I do has never been thought about, but I suppose it has to be an inner energy more then anything. Texprint was my starting point – an eye-opener as to how many people are interested in what we do, in textiles.
How did Texprint help your career? And tell us about what you’re up to now.
Texprint was a great chance to meet lots of people from the industry. It was a big opportunity to show my work and be remembered. Texprint is so recognised for its great design and quality supporters and promoters. And having their logo on my website really adds a big weight to my work.
I’m also aware of doing the best to represent Texprint. It gives recognition and reassurance. It’s very important as a start-up business to have a track of history in industry.
Explain how things progressed for you after the Texprint experience.
After Texprint, I still maintained a lot of my contacts. And I was offered an Erasmus exchange straight after Texprint, which took me to India.
Two months in I received an email from one of the contacts I had made through Texprint at Shanghai Spinexpo, offering me an opportunity to work for a design house as a knitwear designer in Hong Kong.
It was a great experience again, but I didn't felt that was my thing. Maybe because it wasn't my country, but I certainly knew that I needed to do something more then that, so after some time I moved back home.
How did you become interested in knit and design?
I grew up in Lithuania, with textiles in the house, with my mom, my mom’s sisters and my grandmothers working as tailors. Now I feel I am following in my grandmother’s footsteps. She was a menswear outerwear tailor and I love outerwear and heavy textiles.
Knit interested me only after I came to the UK and started studying at Chelsea College of Art & Design [since renamed Chelsea College of Arts]. It only happened because I borrowed a knitting machine from a friend and wanted to learn how to use it, ending up doing experience with designer Julia Pines. She said “You’re a natural”. Knit reminds me of painting at school. I paint a lot, so I can do that with knit at the same time. That’s fascinating.
Tell us about your time at Chelsea.
It was the Chelsea BA textile design course. It was very good, with great college facilities and amazing staff – such a great experience. I loved studying. I remember coming in at 8am and being kicked out at 8pm by Security locking up. Again, it was such a good introduction to the industry as well as a great location – Pimlico, with Christopher Bailey’s Burberry just down the road! I still keep in touch with Chelsea in updates, projects and collaborations. The Erasmus trip to India changed my life – so inspirational.
Has your style changed since your graduation collection?
No, it hasn’t changed but it has improved! I have had time to explore and experiment, to find my way and what works or does not work for particular products. But I am still going strong, developing what I have been doing.
Besides your design work, what else are you interested in?
I live and breathe textiles, the lifestyle, the daily, weekly routine all the time. But riding a bike clears my head. I like live music, exhibitions and art in general. I love architecture, cities and healthy food. I love sharing my knowledge with others, and want one day to have a teaching part-time job next to what I do best. Or share it in someway.
Photos by Romain Forquy http://romainforquy.com/