MODW: When did you know that designing was for you?
MARIE: Somehow, I never chose the profession it chose me. As long as I remember, I was sketching all the time. I think people around knew before I did.
MODW: Where do you get your inspiration and what inspires you?
MARIE: Everything! I find ideas just by looking around me. Fortunately, I learned at a very young age that there is an infinite way to look at things and that perspective can change the nature of what you are looking at. Therefore, my biggest problem is to manage all those images. In other words, commit to a vision, an aesthetic and a style.
MODW: Tell us about what goes on during your day?
MARIE: I like to peak around all the different departments and see what the teams are up to. The business is growing and I’m lucky that I can still be in touch with most aspects of it. Besides all the tasks related to managing a business, my days are filled with fittings, choosing fabrics, strategizing, communicating, mentoring and volunteering. There is no day alike.
MODW: What is your favourite design element and fabric to use?
MARIE: I am a fan of modern art, whether it is a graphic or an organic rendering. To be frank, I was raised and lived surrounded by art and artists. It has shaped my aesthetic vision. Primary colors and neutrals are also at the center of this aesthetic. Thus, I need to use impeccable fabrics that give these colors a sense of fashion, of time.
MODW: What is the most important garment that every woman should have in her wardrobe?
MARIE: I would think that every woman needs a convertible garment. Those pieces that can be a dress and a coat, masculine and feminine, structured and fluid at the same time. Those hybrid items are modern and stand apart in all occasions because they are always just a little aside of the protocol and are multifunctional.
MODW: What is your favourite scent?
MARIE: I have developed two fragrances around the concept of unisex scent, which is starting to be very popular right now. B is a sensual fragrance developed around a journey in the forest; violets, bee wax and maple. While C is a wild and bewitching scent of velvet leather and white flowers melting on the skin. My long time favorite Bel Ami, a masculine fragrance by Hermès was a source of inspiration with its complex yet very sensuous smell.
MODW: Tell us about your charity.
MARIE: I founded Sous Zéro in 2004 after I had moved my working studio in a relatively poor but upcoming and artsy neighborhood. I was very moved to witness, on a daily basis, kids going to school without proper clothes. The idea emerged to do something. I thought it would be a one-time operation and now, since its creation, the fund helped dressed more than 5,000 kids.
Sous Zéro gives in a very special manner new winter garments to underprivileged children. A way to enhance their self-esteem and well-being.
MODW: What is important to you?
MARIE: Generosity, integrity, spontaneity.
MODW: What makes you laugh?
MARIE: My sense of humor is developed around playing with words, irony, repetition and absurdity. I am a good audience. It is such a good way to take a full step back at your life or a situation. Laughing is not always related to joy, it is a remarkable mechanism to relief stress. I have a sense of absurdity and cynicism that makes me love to laugh even at bad jokes.
MODW: Where did you last travel?
MARIE: I went to Europe with my family last summer. It’s great to bring my kids to cities where I’ve traveled so often for business. I also made a stop in the south of France through the town of Beaune to enjoy great vineyards, beautiful sceneries and the jet setting St. Tropez to meet friends and enjoy some sun.
MODW: What relaxes you?
MARIE: Champagne! When I want to relieve myself from the constant flow of demands that my work delivers, I find champagne extremely efficient Designing, producing and marketing a collection twice a year is very athletic.
MODW: Favourite memory/moment in the last year?
MARIE: I don’t wait for special occasions to enjoy life! I love to dine, drink, talk and laugh with friends and family and that, as often as possible.