I am from the Left Bank in Paris, from a family with a good sense of style who gave me a taste for aesthetics and an understanding of the beautiful and the casual. I studied at a couple fashion schools and that led me to working for 15 years in shoe design for companies such as Carel, Kélian and Heschung.
You launched Stouls in the summer of 2004; its concept is quite unique. How did you decide to design a line of washable leather clothes?
I wanted to create a capsule collection of T-shirts similar to the Petit Bateau ones, only in leather. That idea led me to the ‘machine-washable’ concept—a good way to avoid rushing to the dry-cleaner every time you wear leather!
The brand evolved thereafter, season after season: I wanted people to wear leather like cashmere and live in it like in jeans, to consider leather like a second skin, an extension of oneself whatever one’s movements. I wanted to create garments allowing mobility and dynamism, that were both casual and extremely chic.
Your website features 16 ‘Stouls Women’ wearing your Fall/Winter collection. Tell us about them, who are they? What do they represent?
They are friends: women who feel beautiful, confident and glamorous wearing my creations. They are from different generations and have different styles. There is an artist, a rider, a curator, an art director, an art student, a journalist, a designer, a muse, a jewellery designer, a mother, a wife…all beautiful women. What they have in common: each one of them is feminine, unique, beautiful and friendly.
Do you think leather could become the ‘new’ jersey, ideal for a casual-chic look?
Absolutely! Leather has become in the recent seasons both a must-have and a basic. I think it is more than a fashion trend. How it is worn has evolved with technology and the various treatments of leather.
Ah-ah, that’s quite a topic!
Elegance is something innate—one can’t just learn it. When it comes to clothes, always best to choose what we feel good and comfortable in. This applies to a sexy skirt, baggy jeans, a silk blouse…it all depends on our mood—and mood swings!
For me real bad taste is when the clothes don’t match the mood. Elegance is also the confidence one has in one’s clothes.
If you had to design a line for a famous brand, which one would you like it to be?
Which celebrities would you be honoured to see wear your creations?
Julianne Moore, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin… Inès de la Fressange already wears Stouls! Only elegant women if possible…I find the ‘it girls’ phenomenon annoying, I prefer real women.
You are based in Paris: what is your favourite place in the city?
It really depends on what time of day it is. It is either my bed or the Musée d’Orsay (I really like the XIX century); I also like having a drink on the terrace at La Palette and a stroll on the Avenue de l’Observatoire.
A favorite restaurant?
The Silencio, a new beautiful place created by David Lynch. Go quickly before it’s too fashionable!
A shop favorite?
My ‘madeleine de Proust’, a childhood place, is Le Bon Marché. There you can find marshmallows of all colours and Michel Vivien shoes; olive oil and Martin Margiela clothes; books, men’s socks and Korres products—all of that in a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ atmosphere.
Each purchase feels like a pure luxury, even if it is only an eraser!
Any secret place?
If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
In my dreams of great idleness, I would live on a Greek island wearing Rondini flip-flops and pareos. Otherwise in Beirut (the ‘New York’ of the Middle East) where creativity is free from the constraints of Franco-French mentality. And the food there is so good…
I love the atmosphere of Mediterranean countries unconditionally. There’s nothing better!
I plan to open a Stouls shop in Paris, to find an assistant so I can breathe a little, and to go draw my next collection in Jaipur. Wishful thinking!
Check out Aurelia’s website http://www.stouls.net Click here to find a retail store near you!