A tightly-packed crowed of visitors thronged to 15, rue Martel in Paris’s 10th arrondissement this weekend. The reason? A sale held at...
On 2014, October 31st, her life changed. This day, Amélie Pichard was far from imagining her little girl dream would achieve. Meeting Pamela Anderson, her idol, and collaborating with her… Why not? The cult actrice of the 90’s have contacted this Parisian designer. Spotted on Instagram by one of the friends of the Baywatch star, Amélie Pichard is going to give sense to 4 years of dogged work. She spent months detailing and designing glamour shoes with daring textures from her fiefdom rue de Lappe. Her future “Chez Pichard”, an apartment which is also her office. It’s full of moodboards and prototypes, but also of elements from a French-American culture she’s proud of. A fresh and simple decoration, just like her. The one of a young French girl playing with conventions and bad taste, without forgetting femininity. The way she designed every shoe has something of David Lynch. Amélie inherited something particular from this artist she knows the work by heart. With sophisticated aesthetics, far from being deprived of intellectuality. People like this mix, the dreamer does extremely well and is a respected “trader” with a flourishing business. Her masculine and sophisticated accessories are huge successes. The Socialite Family bets we are all going to hear about her for a long time.
Amélie Pichard unveals her capsule collection called “Petite Soeur” for La Redoute.
Amélie, who are you?
I am a young French woman, I live in Paris with my boyfriend and two cats, and I own a shoe brand.
What’s the story of your brand?
I started my brand, Amélie Pichard, 6 years ago. A lot has happened during these 6 years. Today, I plan to open a boutique, to change my way of selling the products, to be even closer to my Pichard girls, and to become a sort of shopkeeper. The old-fashioned way! True values are the future.
Why did you choose to focus on accessories, such as shoes and bags?
I used to be a fashion designer for clothes, and I felt uncomfortable in this “fashion” world. I wanted to do something that would be more artisanal, a sincerer and manlier approach of the work. The approach is different for shoes and bags. It’s about creating an object. It’s extremely technique, but I’m stubborn: obstacles don’t frighten me.
How would you define your style in three words?
Manly, sophisticated and crazy.
What are your art inspirations?
Everything! There is good in everything! Just like they are poor things in everything. By the way, I like flirting with bad taste. I both like girls who look simply happy and those who look mysterious. I love the picture. Well, pictures. I like cities and countryside. Contrasts inspire me.
Can you tell us about your encounter with Pamela Anderson, with whom you co-made your second collection, Amélie Pichard Vegan?
It’s a story to tell by the fireside with an herbal tea! Or maybe in Malibu with a margarita… To tell you shortly – or it will last forever! -: I have been a fan of Pamela since I was 9, so I have bored everyone with my Instagram posts about Pamela Anderson for years. One day, one of her friends saw my work on the social network, and showed it to her – since at that moment she wanted to show people that it was possible to make cool vegan shoes that, for example, could be sold at Colette’s. Bingo! She came across me, a woman making shoes sold at Colette’s and who was a great fan. When I received her email, on 2014, October 31st, I thought I would never get over it. But what followed was so crazy that I had to realise that I was going to live my childhood dream, but above all, that I was going to do something that would finally make sense, which was all I had been looking for for 4 years. That is to say creating objects that wouldn’t be just fashion, but which would tell stories and take things further, to the extent it could. So we chose our cause, which was obvious to Pamela: animal protection, so her foundation could receive the profits from this collaboration. I designed a collection around her, a collection which highlighted our contrasts, the French woman from the countryside and the Californian pin-up. David Lachapelle made our campaign and Pamela was his muse. We had come full circle. I’m moving on and I’ll remember it my whole life, and this memory will never fade, just like our collection will never become old-fashioned.
Had you thought of introducing veganism into fashion before?
I don’t like categories and labels. I have always wanted to make my shoes fully vegan, that is to say creating shoes, from the sole to the lining, in something else than leather. But every innovation takes time, and I like doing things when they become obvious. This collaboration made me more legitimate, especially thanks to Pamela’s foundation, which is linked to others such as Sea Sheaperd, Brigitte Bardot, Peta, etc. By the way, we were awarded the Fashion Peta’s Award for the best collaboration in 2016. What I mean is that I want to let people choose for themselves, just like in restaurants. You choose what you want to wear. And even a no-vegan can wear them, the idea is that you don’t see it! I intend to go further. I start little by little.
With whom would you dream of collaborating?
With anyone who would be in the logic of my brand. I don’t plan anything 10 years ahead, I just trust life, chance and my lucky star. I want things for my brand and for myself. My brand will follow my instinct.
What’s your favourite object at your home?
Where do you prefer creating?
In the street, walking. I create when I’m moving and stimulated by something else.
What are you going to do in 2017? What are your future projects?
You’ll find me at The Webster’s in Miami, with my Miami special collection, which illustrates my desire not to be part of the traditional wholesale business. I want to create collections for some shops I choose/like and for complementary places in the world. I will also work with La Redoute, for a very French capsule collection dedicated to this retro brand, which inspired me a collection I called “petite soeur” (“little sister”). A wink to the bis collections, for the youngers. Then, some time in 2017, I’ll be at Pichard’s, my first “boutique” rue de Lappe!
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily