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BY EMILY VANEK
THE NO TREND TREND
“At a cocktail party in LA, Phillip Lim (one of my favorite designers) came up to me to compliment my necklace. He gushed over it, exclaiming how chic it was, and asked, "Is it vintage Dries Van Noten?" I laughed and said, "No, Forever 21." He looked stunned. I felt proud. That was when I decided to launch this site.”
This is an anecdote from Marlien Rentmeester, influencer, blogger, and business owner of Le Catch, a fashion curating blog. Marlien’s journey from writing for Conde Nast to creating her own blog, now featured on sites like Goop and Vogue, is awe-inspiring for young women dreaming to break through into the fashion and business world. Continue reading to learn more about her story.
Marlien first recognized that she wanted to be involved in the fashion world during her time in college. She realized her two passions, writing, and fashion, and then thought about how she could combine them. Hopping from People to 17 Magazine, Marlien worked her way up to becoming a west coast editor at Lucky Magazine, a Conde Nast magazine. The position taught her how to not only write and edit articles but also gave her a glimpse into the other side of the industry, working with fashion, photographers, and models. She learned the steps of the ladder and most importantly, the power and vitality of teamwork. While working at a top position at Lucky, Marlien says “there was only so much real estate she could claim to write about” and there were more elements that she wished she could share, including new trends, new stores. This made her think that she could potentially monetize her own ideas on her own platform. She decided to ask her boss if she could start a blog. She recalled that her editor-in-chief said to her “ya whatever, you and everyone else will be launching a blog.” That was ten years ago. Now, that blog is Le Catch.
Le Catch which translates to the catch is Marlien’s “personal and daily edit of the latest and greatest on the web.” It is the culmination of her talent, mixing and matching luxury and affordable fashion items. As she says, “find something under $500 and pair it with something higher.” Now, Le Catch has posts and articles about the newest trends, what’s worth buying luxury versus what is not, as well as spotlight pieces showcasing and promoting other influencers’ platforms.
In addition to Le Catch, Marlien has also launched an Instagram blog account called Oui Want. Another play on a French word, Oui Want is both similar and different to Le Catch. This account is in collaboration with her fashion photographer sister, Coliena Rentmeester. Collaborating on their two talents, photography and fashion, Coliena captures things visually while Marlien captures them with a written word. At the beginning of the pandemic, they realized that they could combine and complement each other's skills and show the world how they would wear and integrate these brands into their lives. “It is our collaborative filter.” Like Le Catch, Brands reach out to them and ask for their “treatment.” Oui Want gives visibility to designers in a unique way. For example, Monique Lhuillier is known for her very elegant and black tie wedding/evening designers. However, on Oui Want, you can see Marlien (photographed by Coliena) wearing those so-called evening dresses with Havaianas and sunglasses on the beach. “You don't have to save your fancy dresses for fancy occasions!”
When speaking about her career, Marlien states “it doesn't necessarily feel like work.” Instead, she feels fulfilled and rewarded because she knows that she is making an impact in women’s lives. She recalls what a woman once told her on the street: “You have helped me get dressed, fixed my wardrobe.”
Overall, Marlien has had plenty of memorable moments in her career and along her journey, she has come across some once in a lifetime fashion finds and steals. Her favorites include finding a Chanel Haute Couture cashmere peacoat from The Real Real for a mere $800. Her talents in balancing between luxury and affordability have benefitted women everywhere and she shared with us what she thinks are some fashion pieces that are worth the investment. “Chanel sandals, bags, any timeless accessory. It's forever.” And her advice for when trends come about, “Go to Zara.” When shopping, Marlien suggests looking for good fabrics, detailing, and texture because those factors can make items look nicer than they truly are.
And lastly, her advice for those looking to start their own business or blog is to “do the research, don’t be afraid to fall, go for it, just get it out. She recalls that when she first launched Le Catch, she was worried it was not ready to be out yet, but then understood “it’s never going to be perfect and it will evolve, you will learn eventually” which is potentially her greatest advice to share.
As for the fate of Le Catch, it is still contingent on the world, social media. However, Marlien does have very big dreams for Le Catch. She envisions expanding her brand into a collection of niche websites focused on different aspects. In other words, “to make a Conde Nast of blogs.” She elaborated, “One would just be dedicated to dresses under 200 dollars.” There is a reason why Goop called Marlien Rentmeester a “power player.”