The origins of The Socialite Family lie in encounters, and the one with Bruno Laurenzano was no exception. We met this creative director...
The colours burst out, the forms astonish, and this is the freedom without constraint nobody can remain indifferent. This fact is rare enough to be highlighted: a man is behind these creations. Gérard Gourdon is an autodidact and a young 51-years- old designer, who succeeds in instilling this crazy energy that characterizes him in every piece of his work. These jewels are handmade in a small Paris workshop, and they happily mingle precious metals, pompoms, ribbons, vintage pieces and eccentric accessories while addressing to anyone of us. Yes, Mimilamour also has a collection for men. It is hard to resist! More than a surprising aesthetic, Gérard suggests his philosophy of life. It is the one of love, of joy and of freedom. Since 2012, and to our delight, the jewellery brand that makes us happy has been spreading its colourful messages and its optimism. We have to “Blossom”, “Listen to ourselves” and “Love ourselves”.
Mimilamour, 30 rue Jacques Louvel – 75010 Paris.
Gérard, what is your record?
I have worked for 10 years in Australia and in Asia, in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. I was then an artistic director in advertisement and women’s press, and especially for ELLE magazine. Back in Paris, I opened a photography gallery and an advertising agency. I have kept working like this for a decade and then I decided to change my life.
How did it all start?
Thanks to my trips, I had amassed a lot of pieces of furniture, of bargained objects, of paintings, of pieces of jewels… I had then a big workshop, and I imagined myself transforming it in a kind of inspiring boutique, in a peaceful place. I was already imagining myself reading and sitting in the middle of my treasures. While making the press kit for the opening, I made a small snake jewel: The Mamba. Then, ELLE called me and they told me they were interested. I reacted really fast and things led to another.
It is the name I used to give to my girlfriend at that time. It really corresponds and looks like the brand.
What is Mimilamour’s world?
It is love, that for sure! It may be a bit classical, I am not the first to say such a thing and I hope I am not the last! I like happy things and which do not necessarily follow the fashion code. We must say “I love you”. It is a very simple sentence but it is the official brand hashtag, because it is important to love other people but also to love everything that surrounds us. I dare, it is the way I do it. It is maybe a bit mushy but there is “no limit”.
What are your inspirations?
Obviously, they are love and nature, everything that is around us. I make a lot of things revolving around this. The beetle ring, the snakes, the coral, the sea… Everything that is a little endangered. I like talking about things we do not take care of, such as love, nature, space, sky, sea and human. There is a quote from Christian Bobin that says “We recognize the essential to what human beings neglect”. I like this sentence because I believe it is important to talk about things the human being forgets. It is such a far-reaching topic, I love it.
I am firmly convinced: joy is something we make and on which we must work.
How is the production going?
We make around 20 pieces in each collection, and I restrain myself because the whole has to be coherent. Everything is made here, in the workshop. I like what I can do almost on my own and with a new way of doing it. Currently, we are starting working on stone. Last year, we worked a lot with metal, weld and polishing, but also with paint and enamelling. Desires create the meeting with new techniques.
You have an interesting way of life. Would you mind telling us more about it?
I changed my life about a decade ago. I left my former advertiser life and I rebuilt myself on new foundations. I try to be ecological, for myself and for my circle. I am not talking only of ecological in the sense of nature, but rather in the sense of finding a balance.
So I live in 15 square meters, in a little cell where there is just the essential. Two days a week, I go to a little cabin I own in the marshes in the Somme Bay. It is surrounded by water so we need to use small boat to get there! Nobody can’t trip me up in telescopic paddle… There is no running water, no electricity, but just the means at hand: rain water and candles. The offered nature is what matters, not the settlement. It is just the shelter.
I don’t live an ascetic life but I try not to leave a big mark and to be fair and honest with myself in this move. It is a road we take, and it becomes more and more real with the elements of the spirit, but also with technical and physical elements, such as space, the way you use it, the equity between things, people, expense… We are going towards this balance – at least some people. The more you do it, the happier you get. I attach big hopes in joy, despite this world which you don’t always want to believe in. And yet, I am firmly convinced: joy is something we make and on which we must work.
Do you have some desires for the future?
For the start of the year, Mimilamour leaves the Earth in order to go and explore the theme of cosmos. This winter, we hope to surprise you through a series of sweaters on which we have working on!
Credits : Eve Campestrini @thesocialitefamily