ISABEL MARANT, ONE OF PARIS’S BEST LOVED STYLISTS

She is genial, discrete and paradoxale… "I once said that I'm anti-consumerist, and that goes against the work I do. It caused a scandal: 'Who is she to think that? She is going against her clientele.' But I do fashion because I'm happy when somebody gets joy from a new garment. There is a magic side to this"…


MARANT 4Isabel Marant doesn’t love being noticed, which she is all the time. To clarify: She likes it when she’s crossing the street and a stranger says “gorgeous coat” or something like that, but she doesn’t like it when people know who she is “I am quite discreet,” Marant says. “I am not very happy when people scream oooooooooo in the street. And they do it a lot.”

VIDEO: http://www.isabelmarant.com/fr/collections/isabel-marant/hiver-2014/
Marant has had tremendous fashion influence in New York over the past couple of years: those stacked sneakers, those ankle boots, the ascendance of the marled gray sweatshirt, all trace their roots to her designs.  
 
“Well, I am anti-consumerist,” she says, and she laughs a big smoker’s laugh. “It’s very difficult,” she says of the obvious contradiction. “I have to be at peace with myself and what I am doing. I think it’s about feeling good, bringing some self-confidence and attitude, some pleasure. Sometimes when I feel bluesy and I feel like a piece of shit, I go and I shop and I buy something, and it makes me feel happy and it makes me feel better than going to a psychoanalyst. I think there’s a kind of psychoanalytic approach: It’s making good to yourself in a simple way and it’s also about the way you present yourself to people so it brings security and self-confidence. Whenever I start a collection it’s about saying, I don’t really need anything; what will make me feel like buying something new when I don’t really need it?”
 
maran-unicaIronic, then, that what makes her so popular is her tendency to make clothes that blend seamlessly into wardrobes and lives, that feel from the first moment like old familiars. Everything about the way Marant looks, and what she sells, is easy: she doesn’t wear makeup and there are friendly wrinkles at the sides of her eyes. She doesn’t color her hair, or appear to be hugely bothered by styling it; almost always it’s stuck into a haphazard bun. It’s hard to imagine another designer who has resonated so much with her target customers.
Love of Isabel Marant is profound in ever-widening circles, and her instinct for hits is unstoppable: There was the wedge platform sneaker, for example. “I think they have become quite far from my image,” she says, owing to their broad success and a million copycats. “They have become something super-vulgar, so I’m not feeling like I want to be the wedge-sneaker designer. It’s something I achieved and was very pleased about. In a few years, perhaps, it will calm down, and I can say I was the origin of that, and that will be nice. I mean, when I achieved them, I knew I had done something — I know most of the time when I have made a big hit, when something will be copied. There are the Dicker boots. And I was the first one to use linen jersey to do T-shirts, and I knew that was going to be something that was going to last for ages.”


MARANTIf none of these feels like the reinvention of the fashion wheel, Marant would agree. She sees her role as a creator of things women not only admire but reach for again and again and again. “I feel more like a woman who talks about the mood of my time. I am a bit more like Chanel or Sonia Rykiel — not the super-creative women but women who really belong to their time and make things happen.

“Most of the designers I admire are men,” she continues, though she is quick to explain that she does not emulate them. “I think men are much more ahead of the game because they aren’t thinking about constraints. There are two basic ways of designing. As a woman, I have the more basic and intuitive approach. The men live more in a fantasy and are more able to advance fashion. Sometimes it’s quite easy to do crazy, fantastic things, but then I just say, I would never wear it.” For Marant, there is little purpose in complicated and uncomfortable clothing.

© Article New York Magazine. Picture of Isabel Marant by Jonas Cuénin. Pictures inside page Isabel Marant

Catherine - Guide

Bonjour, my name is Catherine. I live in the heart of Paris. I’ve always loved to travel and, over the years, I developed it into a real art: the right addresses, the suitcase, how to manage fatigue with my Parisian look! From Cannes to Antigua, from the red carpet to Pilates, I have to live up to the reputation. I have small apartments in Paris that I rent out. I love to personally welcome my guests and give them some recommendations about life in Paris “living like a true Parisian and not like a simple tourist in an elegant private suit in the heart of the city”.

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can change this and find out more by following this link.