Charlotte Kellogg makes what she calls casually elegant clothes in beautiful fabrics. There’s no hidden meanings or intellectual challenges communicated by her somewhat minimalist designs, which Kellogg categorizes as resort wear, made to appeal to women of a wide range of ages and sizes (from petite up to 3X). She did not set out to be a fashion designer, as she has a Master’s in Psychology, and didn’t get into the apparel arena until 25 years ago, when while helping out a friend in New York’s Garment District, she developed her initial fascination with the process of manufacturing and her deep appreciation for quality fabrics.
That love of the craft of fashion has not left her, as she has gradually built a thriving business, with boutiques on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach—having outgrown her small quarters in Via Amore this season—along the charming retail stretch of Bellevue Avenue in Newport, and most recently, in Naples, the affluent community on Florida’s southwest coast. She maintains residences in both Palm Beach and Newport, as well as Manhattan. Her clothes are not available anywhere else but at her shops or on her website. That, in a sense, gives her collection a kind of exclusivity. One won’t see yourself coming and going, so to speak.
“My love of travel is the inspiration for the collection,” Kellogg remarks. And faraway places are reflected in the clothes, with the designer traveling to Kathmandu, Hanoi, Jaipur, and other spots in India to create her collections and incorporate cottons, brocades, vintage saris, and some embellishments, such as beading, embroideries, and other ornamentation methods for “special” items offered from time to time. She is a fan of simplicity and strives not to “overdesign.” Kellogg likes the imperfect textures. She appreciates—and she believes her clients do as well—the fact that you can tell something is handwoven. “That’s part of the magic, she says.
She characterizes her customers as sophisticated, well-traveled, and appreciative of quality fabrics and constructions. “I don’t see a need to ‘decorate’ clothes,” Kellogg says. “And
I always assume the customer has jewelry.” These are not clothes that scream, “Look at Me” and don’t compete with a necklace, brooch, bracelet, or pair of earrings for attention.
Price is a consideration, with a starting point of about $200, topping off at around $600. The perennial best seller is a $250 silk shirt, a little oversized, but still having a shape, and utterly timeless. The shirts, like most of her “basics” are offered in a myriad of colors. Her pants —“a very nice pant for the price,” she says—are made using Italian silk or stretch cotton and are a customer favorite at $250–350 a pair.
Kellogg’s clothes are meant to seem luxurious, and she sees most of her creations as wearable from day into evening, though not super dressy. It’s almost as if she anticipated the more casual approach to after-5 attire in the early 20th century. It’s the kind of thing you could imagine a woman like Kellogg wearing—confident, nonchalant, subtle, and quite lovely.