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Fashion designer Charlotte Trotter on inclusive clothing, must-have fall accessories, and her favorite little luxuries

Fashion designer Charlotte Trotter on inclusive clothing, must-have fall accessories, and her favorite little luxuries
September 2020

The graphic communications major realized that being a fashion designer could be a viable career once she graduated from Clemson and began working with Charleston-based clothing brand Troubadour.

Four years later, the Columbia native decided to go for the job she had dreamed of since she was a young girl sketching outfits in class. Trotter founded ELLENDER to fill a need for “inclusive, beautiful clothing for all.” For the past six months, she’s been focusing on how to make her brand more sustainable. Here, Trotter talks about fall trends and her favorite little luxuries

Q Tell us about your latest collection.
Prior to COVID-19, we had shifted gears to be more resort-style clothing. Living in Charleston, it was all I was wearing. We are introducing swim in Spring 2021. Inclusive swim is a market we desperately need to fill. fill.d I am excited to participate.

Q How do you style your favorite ELLENDER piece?
Anything I can pair with boyfriend jeans is a win for me, so the “Rowan” top in black is something I’ve been wearing since my first collection in 2017. Jewelry is a big obsession of mine. Daily, I wear a lot of dainty, vintage gold jewelry that I’ve collected over the years. When I want to dress up, my go-to is always a statement earring. I love The Tiny Tassel, Rebecca de Ravenel, and Mignonne Gavigan (above).

Q Do you have a favorite everyday makeup product?
Oh, now you’ve gotten into my deep, dark obsession. I could never choose just one product. For every day, I love this Gucci Westman blush (above), Chanel’s highlighting stick, and I feel like every millennial on the planet uses Glossier ”Boy Brow,“ and there is a very good reason.

Q What’s your must-have accessory for fall?
A mask! Come on people, how hard is it to protect your fellow man? Plus, I happen to think we can make this fun—I’m loving this set from Lele Sadoughi.

Q What item is on your wish list this season?
The elusive pair of perfect tan booties. I have been on the hunt for years, and I swear it’s harder than getting into college. I’m coveting these from See by Chloé.

Q Name your go-to little luxuries.
House plants! I’ve made so many trips to Abide-a-While since they reopened; it makes the house feel so inspiring. I love making tiny arrangements from what I’m growing on the porch (tip: add an herb to your arrangements for an amazing scent). Also, I’m accustomed to working from home, and I truly believe a good candle can turn your day around. This Cire Trudon (pictured above) is a favorite; I get them from Elizabeth Stuart.


Photographs (Ellender) by Ned & Ava & Courtesty of (portrait & boots) Charlotte Trotter, (earrings) Mignonne Gavigan, (blush) Westman Atelier, (masks) Lele Sadoughi, & (candle) Elizabeth Stuart