Caroline Mewe (1962) is the founder of Alchemist.
She grew up on the island Terschelling and is forever inspired by the islands light. This translates directly into the colours of her work, that have a chalky optic and keep reoccurring with every collection – one of the reasons everything mixes and matches well together.
Nowadays she lives and works in Amsterdam, and Alchemist enables her to combine the influences of her youth with city life. Light and almost fragile on the one hand, yet bold, effervescent and avant-garde on the other. “To me Alchemist feels like going back to the source. I have always concerned myself with fashion and Alchemist has already been on my mind for a long time.”
Together with her team, Caroline creates what she likes to wear herself. Her inspiration she draws from close to home. “Inspiration? All things growing and blooming. What I see on the streets, in restaurants and also flowers for their colours. I mean, the inside of a kiwi fruit looks pretty amazing, doesn’t it?”
Originally Caroline only wanted to set up a line of luxury T-shirts in organic cotton, but once the ball got rolling, it grew and grew and couldn’t be stopped. She loves the feel of fabrics and consulting with manufacturers in an endless quest for new discoveries. Quality is so much more interesting than quantity.
By opting for quality, Alchemist also opts for a production method that doesn’t harm the environment or the people who make the clothes: “We mustn’t forget that traditional cotton cultivation poisons the land and depletes natural resources. But there are alternatives, and we are dedicated to pursuing them. That’s why we joined the IRBC Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textiles (SER, AGT).”
A feminine touch
Alchemist targets grown up, discerning women. It’s a label for women aged 30+ who know what they want from life. Sometimes they want to look strong, at other times they want something ultra-feminine. “All of our pieces have a feminine touch. That’s extremely important. Naturally we also create bold trousers and robust cardigans, but these are then combined with a beautiful blouse or a T-shirt with a waterfall neckline. Recently somebody said that every one of Alchemist’s pieces make you look prettier and I took that as a wonderful compliment.”
An Alchemist woman is beautiful in many different ways – a woman with that little bit of extra.