Whether it's Caroline de Maigret, Ines de la Fressange or Camille Charriere, there's just something about about French women's style that we can't get enough of. With a knack for making a jeans and a white tee look totally chic, a total nonchalant vibe towards eveningwear, not to mention their Je ne sais quoi attitude about makeup, it's not hard to get obsessed.
Fueling our Francophilia is Morgane Sezalory whose label Sézane has quickly become our go-to when we need a French fashion fix. Founded in 2013, what makes it stand-out in the sea of online brands is its attention to design detail, high quality and fast turnaround. Not to mention the fact it manages to do all this whilst still being totally affordable, think a perfectly cut pair of jeans for £85 and mohair jumper for £90. Here, Morgane talks business, bloggers and must-buys for AW17...
Was fashion always on the career plan?
I grew up in Africa until I was five years old and then we moved to a suburb near Paris. I grew up in a really open-minded, curious and kindly spirit family. I am completely self-taught, after high school I decided to take a year off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was not really obsessed with fashion but I was obsessed by aesthetics, art, compositions and vintage clothing. Then my sister left to live in London, leaving three bags of vintage clothes behind her. I was always looking for treasures for myself on eBay and I decided to start selling her pieces just for pocket money. I did not think it would be the beginning of my professional life.
So what happened next?
It was working so well that I decided to launch my own website Les Composantes to be totally free to design a nice website, use nice imagery, sell vintage pieces and also my first designs. After few years I realised that I was ready to focus just on my own designs. I’ve always been very free in my mind and I was much more creative in the way I was dressed up, always feminine.
Does a love of fashion / design run in the family?
All my family love vintage designs. I remember we all used to go together to several flea markets! And my mom is really "coquette" like girly.
What’s your own style like now?
I would say my style is very classical. I spend my day imagining and creating clothes or pictures so I like to wear simple but beautiful pieces. A pair of jeans, nice pumps and a beautiful shirt.
You started by selling vintage clothes on eBay. But what’s your own best find on the site?
A really beautiful pair of vintage shoes from the 1940’s, in a unique green. No one creates these anymore.
You started Sézane on the Internet. Why did you decide to launch it online rather than try a store?
When I started on eBay I did not know it was the the beginning of my professional life. Twelve years ago no one would of ever believed that you could create your own beautiful brand online but the internet was so perfect for me, because I was not connected to anyone in the fashion industry, I didn't have much money and I could feel so free to re-invent the way I wanted to do fashion. At the beginning of Sézane I did not want to open a store. The internet was everything and a real place of freedom, a good place to develop the brand in a way I wanted.
Is there a typical Sézane woman you have in mind when designing?
I want women to feel beautiful in my clothes but I don’t have a specific girl or style in mind. I love so many different things myself. When designing we really try to keep a couple of things in mind: create nice product, with the perfect cut and the best fabrics.
How does your design process work?
The inspiration can come from everything: a movie, travelling, from a book, a specific material and from real life. Then I create moodboards with the team and I love this part of my job. It helps us to create the story behind each of the collections.
Can you remember the first time you spotted someone wearing one of your designs on the street?
I remember when we launched La Superbe sweatshirt, it was crazy to meet girls in the streets wearing it, I was so pleased.
What French fashion bloggers should we follow?
@garancedoré we are very lucky to have a French woman like her representing a lot of women, @lilibarberycoulon is more lifestyle but always really interesting and @Ulap because she is a very free and smart stylish girl who really plays with fashion with a cool sense of humour.
Your Paris store, L’Appartement is total Insta goals. What are three of your favourite things about it?
The light! The place is really bright thanks to our big windows. I love the Paris Mon Amour handmade mosaic floor. And our private cinema downstairs.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To make everything with love!
Best place in Paris for…
A croissant? Des Gâteaux et du Pain, in the 7th
People-watching? From a terrasse in Saint-Germain
A romantic dinner? The restaurant of Hotel des Beaux Arts
A rainy day? Musée d’Orsay
Finally, what’s next for you?
We are opening a small pop-up store in London in November. It's a really small boutique dedicated to a selection of pieces for Christmas. It's the first step to meet our UK customers. We intend to come back next year with a real Sézane Appartement! Watch this space! 2018 is our 5 year anniversary and we will organise so many surprises throughout that year!
Morgane's top 5 picks for AW17....
'Our Jack sneakers are so comfy and really feminine. I love to wear them everytime I need a break from heels.'
'This 1967 jean is the perfect denim! It goes with absolutely everything. My best combo with a denim is always to wear a man’s shirt and heels.'
'The Jim coat in black is really classy. I love this long length. It's perfect to accessorize it with stronger pieces too.'
'The Anny Dress is really the perfect little black dress!'
'A Tiger Bag, it is our new it-bag from this season!'