Ines de la Fressange
A muse to Karl Lagerfeld, she was the first model to sign an exclusivity contract with a luxury house by becoming global ambassador of Chanel. Established as a French icon, she was chosen as the face of the Marianne statue, symbol of the Republic.
Today, Ines de la Fressange continues to be a model, but is also a business woman, a writer and artistic director for her own brand name Ines de la Fressange Paris. Her book “Parisian Chic” (“La Parisienne” in French) was published in seventeen international editions and was sold at over one million copies. Now a cult book, it confirms at what point Ines de la Fressange is THE reference of the XXIst century Parisian.
Thanks to her incomparable style, beauty and modernity, she adds a very personal touch of cheerfulness and represents an entire lifestyle.
ABOUT LA MAISON
What role do you play in la Maison ?
Well, the first idea was to sell things that I love and finally I spend my life saying : “oh yes, I love it I love it !!” and very often “I would love …” (laughs)
How do you decide what it is you wish for from one season to the other?
Well, that’s exactly it, I am always wishing for lots of things: to create, to have made but also to buy. What is actually difficult is editing, choosing, eliminating because you just can’t have everything.
Then there are those encounters which creates wonderful collaborations such as with Petit-Bateau, Bensimon, Périgot or Satchel.
In fact, I think the day I no longer wish for something it’s because I’m dead!
Where do you find for your inspirations ?
Well, in fact it is the things that I want for myself! It seems a bit egocentrical, but on the contrary if there is sincerity and honesty, it is truly the best. So, it could be that linen suit of my dreams that I will actually wear and the items that I would love to put in my home.
My daily inspiration: a picture on Pinterest, an exhibition, a piece of material, a girl seen in the street ….
How would you define a clothing item signed Ines ?
Rock-chic ! (laughs)
To whom are the Ines de la Fressange Paris clothes intended for ?
For those who are not fashion victims but love clothes.
For those who want to be elegant without being stuck up.
For those who read Kierkegaard but like Carrie Bradshaw also.
For those who are invited to a wedding but realize at the last minute that they have nothing to wear …
Ummmm …. My friends!
The Parisian, is in fact a generic term ; according to you who is she? What is she?
Well, the real truth ? In fact the Parisian is a provincial, a foreigner or maybe even someone who has never been to Paris, but who has a certain kind of character and a taste for mixing things together :
- Sophisticated and casual
- New and vintage
- Luxurious and very simple
She is a happy person but from time to time, she is really not well: she wants to be unique but she has seen things on others that she loves, she takes care of herself but does not want to look like a bimbo. She is feminine but loves mens’ stuff... umm I could write a book about it! (laughs)
La Maison is symbolised by Léon a little fawn. Who is it exactly and how did it get here?
Well I thought that each and everyone of us (men and women) are profoundly bound by our childhood and it is often what makes the charm of a person. Perhaps, Bambi could be the universal symbol of that youthfulness that we keep in ourselves. And anyway who doesn’t like Bambis?!!!
A childhood souvenir ?
When I was a child I wanted these pair of shoes, but my mother thought they weren’t really of good taste.
So today there is always something shiny (gold or copper) in my collections!
An item that is always with you ?
My glasses (laughs)!
Today, I have those that I have always wanted, thanks to my collaboration with Globex who makes both glasses and sunglasses.
A philosophy of life ?
Put things into perspective, put some distance and above all take the time to appreciate ones happiness before it disappears because the key, is to know how to appreciate those little things instead of wasting time worrying about the future.
The “Happ’Ines” t-shirts and jumpers have been a real hit … we must be many who think alike.
What have you retained from your important career in the fashion world ?
Anything is possible with talented and competent people. You have to have common sense but also dreams. Take the time to know what you want and to express it. Also to be able to remember that first feeling. In short : emotion, imagination, creativity are precious possessions that has to be nursed. Um, I’m a bit confused there? Okay, I should have just said that the important thing is what you feel, people and all that you can do with them without worrying about biasness or preconceived ideas.
Why this particular attraction for the left bank?
It’s the start of Paris! There are so many different periods, layered one on top of the other, next to each other, prestigious people who have lived there.
So much culture, magnificent buildings, grandiose places but also totally old-fashioned. In fact we are back to those different mixes that I love so much.
Also, if I had foreign friends coming to Paris it would probably be one of the first areas that I would visit with them.
Can you imagine visiting Paris without going to St. Germain des Près??!!
What do you miss the most when you leave Paris?
The possibility to instantly change ambiance; in Paris if you are in the Ritz or in a bistrot in Bastille, it really has nothing to do with each other does it ?
I love that this city is made of several smaller cities and that these make one complete one. I wanted my boutique to be an image of this: espadrilles and baskets that stand next to embroideries and luxury leather goods.
Oh la la, here I go again bringing everything back to fashion! #shame (laughs)
A smell distinctive to Paris ?
Now if you are trying to make me say the smell of warm croissants – out of the question!
We don’t eat that many of them us Parisians...
Paris is the capital of fashion but also of famous perfumers and I am super sensitive to perfumes.
For me, it is an art just as music is and I hold an infinite admiration for the big “noses” (no not the nose on the face ! the perfumers).
One day in fact, I would like to make one, but I am a real hassler, extremely demanding.
Your favorite walk ?
I love the Saint-Cloud park with its huge trees, but I never go there, even if the dogs would be so happy there.
On the other hand, I walk a lot in Paris, I love Tournon street, Bonaparte street, the quays, the Marais, Charonne street … One day with my love we walked 10 kilometres, I was exhausted, he saw nothing.
It is 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. what do you do ?
9:00 a.m. : I have finished reading my emails, I waste time on Instagram, (by 9:30 I regret it)
3:00 p.m. : I watch on replay the « Quotidien » even if I have 3 interviews to prepare on my computer, a rendez-vous at 4 :00 o’clock and I have nothing ready, 3 tons of paperwork to put away and my newsletter (www.lalettredines.com) to write. (3:30 I tell myself that I am going to be late for my rendez-vous but that I will put on my lip gloss in the car)
9 :00 p.m. : I sketch out 32 pairs of shoes in a small notebook, I go back to Instagram, I sort out my wardrobe, I reply to three textos, I discover sofas on an English web site, I fix the wifi in the house, I download a series from iTunes, I put some clothes into a bag for a meeting the next day and oh ! it is no longer 9:00 p.m. but 1:30 in the morning, so I hate myself and I tell myself I should go to bed earlier! Don’t you?