I am working in Paris and in San Francisco helping Americans be inspired to think differently about clothing. I have always loved Paris. I have a passion about sustainability. And of course I love fashion. I thought for my next career expansion, why not combine all of those elements?
So I decided October of 2015, that I would look for a way to make this dream a reality. The first stop was to get the approval from the French government. I created a proposal that took from April until June to create. The Proposal was a huge binder of research interviews personal background information including FBI background checks,
financial history, history of my business, social media history, testimonials from previous clients, web site content and of course the actual project idea itself.
Can you believe it really took 2 people and my brain power and will and desire to really make this happen? It's not something that on a whim one can just go and do. I really had a hard time with it in the beginning thinking that maybe this was not what I should be doing. I had clients in the Bay Area I could continue working with and various styling gigs, I could create my own project in the US. Why did I have to go to Europe to do this project? It was going to take lots of money and resources. I would leave my family...besides I could always speak French in San Francisco and visit Paris whenever I wanted. I could continue to do the European shopping trips that I organized in the past and do sustainable design projects and San Francisco. Why did I need to go through all of this hassle just to do this project in Paris? Yep- many a night I thought about changing my mind.
Sure Paris is the capital of fashion, but there are lots of other cities that are doing extremely well in the industry and are more forward-thinking in some ways.
I really love British fashion and Germany's commitment to improving the environment for example, but found there is something slightly lacking. There is a rich history. of being chic, a development of their own philosophy of style, its classic dander that is undeniable and inspiration one can have simply from walking the streets. And of course most importantly, at the crux of French culture is... sustainably.
Sustainability can mean so many things to different people. And there's lots of words to describe it. There's eco, eco-friendly, eco-chic, environmentally friendly, sustainable, fair trade, handmade, locally made, slow fashion, upcyled garments [where you use the existing resources that you have to create something new], vintage, recycled/second hand garments and more. The French are famous for these things and creates a feeling here, that is quite special. In addition, with its many immigrant communities, there are emerging designers doing lots of things with fair trade. That is when the designer is committed to using artisans from the country in which the textile was created in order to give jobs to their communities, promote fair work for a fair price and utilizing more women in their labor force to create something amazing.
Now there are many young designers who are committed to the environment and changing the way people think about clothing as well. They are the ones who are using organic materials, vegan leather and destock [which means recycled materials from huge fashion houses], give a new face to the word eco-chic. Because these designers come from France who's design and fashion heritage is so rich and deeply ingrained, designers are creating garments that are chic, forward-thinking and original. There is no "patchwork craziness" here - there are interesting and of great quality!
This is a great place to shop for classic pieces that you will always use and special pieces that will bring smiles to your face every time you think about the story surrounding the inspiration of the designer. It's not only the best souvenir that you will always have forever, but it is and great way to create a capsule wardrobe and at the same time use these pieces to style yourself when you return home.
This is why this is a great project and why the French government approved my Visa to do this project. It "makes a cultural significant contribution to France." I'm super excited to share every aspect of my journey with you and hope it challenges you to think differently about what you're wearing every day.
My goal is to help inspire you to think differently about clothing. You may not be able to always come to Paris, but hopefully it will help spark your own inspiration to style and create your own looks in the French philosophy and sustainability.
Á très bientôt!