Anna, tell us your story. How did you get the idea of PRISM, your accessory line? Why only choose glasses and bathing suits?
I was a fashion editor and I covered all the shows at fashion week, I needed glasses to see the clothes as I’m short sighted. I realized I had the same glasses for 10 years and they weren’t very nice. I started to look for ones I really loved and couldn’t find any. They were all really boring or super over the top. I wanted glasses that were fashion forward but understated – this is where my obsession with functional products, that don’t lose out on aesthetics, started. I then went on to launch sunglasses, which was a natural progression, and launched swimwear, which I thought was another category that was lacking from the functional/fashionable side of things. I like understated well made product, and I am not that person that when I go on holiday I suddenly wear tie dye or bright colours, I have the same style on holiday as I do in the city – so I wanted to start a holiday line for the city girl that wants to take her understated aesthetic to the beach.
How do you plan to develop PRISM ?
PRISM is a lifestyle brand – it is centred around holidays and luxury products that are well made that you can trust. This will continue to be true whether we launch into other areas or new stores etc.
How long have you lived in this apartment? Why did you choose it?
We moved here 10 years ago. We were living in Portobello and it became too expenisve to buy there, so we started looking in Queens Park, which was a newish area to most then – we loved the high celilings and open space we have in this house, as well as the garden, and the proximity to the park.
Would you say your decoration reflects your style?
It does and it doesn’t. My house is more about creating a homely feel – and it is of course reflective of not just my style but also Pierre’s (and my son Lucien’s !) – it is our space together and so definitely has a bit of all of us. The majority of furniture is classic and understated, in muted palettes or black – like my wardrobe – and then there are special pieces from all over the world : a light from Droog Design, found in Paris, a mirrored table we had made when we were travelling in India. And a lot of the art is by/from friends – photographer Danielle Levitt and artist Chloe Sells for example.
What’s your favourite colour and material at the moment?
I have just developed lots of quite luxurious swimwear materials for Spring – a black velvet, a satin in a champagne colour and also a black lurex that looks like black smashed crystals.
Which designer piece – interior or fashion – do you dream of owning?
Interiors wise – I love Rick Owens furniture, Patricia Urquiaola, Piet Hein Eek tables – for design it is endless. Fashion wise – vintage Balenciaga, Madame Gres or Fortuni is the dream.
Can you tell us about your current fashion crushes? Your future collaborations wishes?
I have always and will always love everything about Azzedine Alaia. I would love to do a furniture collab eventually – I can imagine something that leads on from the eyewear.
It does and it doesn’t. My house is more about creating a homely feel – and it is of course reflective of not just my style but also Pierre’s (and my son Lucien’s !)
By the way, how do you choose the person with whom you create a special line? How does it happen?
Normally it’s someone who’s clothes I love already and every time it’s happened very organically – when we did a collab with Toga, the Japanese brand, we were introduced by a mutual friend and we were both a fan of each other’s brands. With Mother of Pearl we were friends and doing very different things, we thought it would be interesting to do something together to see what we came up with. With Tinie Tempa – him and his manager Dumi always wore my glasses and when we met discussing doing glasses together just happened straight away. They always form out of a friendship really and a mutual love of what we are both doing.
Do you have a photographer or an artist who particularly inspires you?
Steven Meisel, Herb Ritts, Guy Bourdain photogs, And Artists – Cy Twombly, Basquiat – there are loads too many to name
When in search of beautiful things, where do you go?
Vintage markets and art galleries.
Which are your favourite Londoner hang-outs?
Chiltern Firehouse – it’s opposite my shop. And Queens Park local The Chamberlayne.
What does the future hold?
Who knows? Hopefully lots of exciting things!
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay – Translation: TextMaster @thesocialitefamily