The View magazine had a short chat with luxury bag and leather jewelry designer Fabien Ifires. He shares about his entry in the fashion world, his passion in accessories, focusing on bags and jewelry, and much more.
TV: Hi Fabien, how are you? What have you been doing lately?
FI: Hello I’m very well, thank you. With my friend Michael, we manage everything in our company. Between the production in our atelier, the design of the next collection, the relations with the magazines and the special orders, we are pretty busy and we always have to do everything at the same time.
TV: Tell us a bit about you.
FI: I am 38 years old. Came from Bourgogne in France and living in Paris for 13 years now. As a teenager I experimented a lot of styles (hair colours, clothes, shoes), it was the 90s … it was fun but not always very easy in a small town.
TV: Have you always been a creative person?
FI: I think so, I am drawing a lot and have always drawn, always like to transform things, to make new clothes with old ones for example. I am a positive person. I love fashion and have a lot of imagination, but in the action, need to work with my hands and to materialize my ideas.
TV: How did you entered the fashion world? Was it accessories immediately, or did you first explored other things?
FI: I draw silhouettes and I always draw a lot of accessories with the clothes. Accessories are very important for me, I like shoes, bags, jewels and my associate made me realized that accessories are very important in my sketches. They give a lot of style and it is an easy way to play with fashion every day. When we launch the company, my skills and my experiences in leather workshops helped us to create a collection of accessories with a high level of quality and I have a lot of pleasure to create the collections.
TV: Then you settled on bags and jewelry?
FI: Yes. Jewelry for the major part because my collections of leather jewels are very particular and with a strong image. They created interest immediately from fashion editors and buyers like Maria Luisa, and the buyers of the department store Le Bon Marché, for the first collections. And we decided to focus on this line.
TV: Describe a typical Ifires woman. Who is she, what does she do for a living, where does she go to hang out and have fun?
FI: I don’t think about a typical woman when I imagine a jewel or a bag. And I am always very happy to see a woman with one of my creations or to discover that a fashion editor decided to use my accessories for a shoot. My clients are very different one to another but I realize that these women have always a strong personality, a lot of self confidence and a real sense of style. The jewels have a big size compare to the major part of the items on the market, and their design is different so you have to be able to assume them because people will notice.
TV: There are many brands out there with accessory lines, ranging from global houses to accessory-only companies, what makes yours stand out among, well, all of them?
FI: I don’t think about how to be different. I imagine and create the collections I want. In the same idea, I don’t follow trends. The fact is that pieces from old collections are still up to date and continue to be selected by fashion editors for a special story of a shoot and our clients continue to send us messages or pictures of them with their jewels, because they are always proud and happy to wear them, because they receive compliments on their accessory. The other point is the attention that we give to the production and all the jewels are entirely handmade. That is because each jewel is unique and there is a lot of personal aspects in each of them.
TV: When a stylist uses your products, they’re in control of the mix with other brands. If you were in control, what brands would you mix with your products, what kind of setting would it be, how does the models look like, etc?
FI: Personally I like to change of style, of outfit. I like to mix the styles. So I am very open to all the propositions of the stylists. I appreciate that the woman (or the man) appropriate herself the jewels and create her own style. It can be mixed with vintage clothes, with basic garments or with incredible creations of famous designers. The importance is the style and for me, it is not a question of brands. It can be a story in the 80s spirit like in Vogue Paris in last March issue and it can be completely different atmosphere in a shop where our jewels are mixed with Alaïa dresses, Rick Owens last creations or Yohji Yamamoto silhouettes.
TV: What type of tier are you looking for to sell your products, upscale establishments like Bergdorf Goodman, niche artistic stores like Colette, etc?
FI: We are looking for stores with a strong personality, a vision and a high level of exigency; stores where the buyers are looking for high quality products and creativity. It can be department stores, concept stores, galleries, museums or traditional fashion shops.
TV: Creative people tend to explore multiple things, can we possibly see you experimenting with clothing or other art forms?
FI: Always in the fashion business I suppose; accessories, jewels, shoes, bags or clothes, everything can be inspiring.
TV: The fashion world is maybe the fastest changing world out there, how do you keep up with everything involved in those changes?
FI: No I don’t follow trends as I told you before. But I like the change, I like novelty, and often. So the fashion business is perfect for me.
TV: Any exciting projects you’re working on that you can talk about?
FI: The new collection, future collaborations with the Haute Couture, but I can’t talk about this for the moment.
TV: What is your most favourite place to chill out/hang out/grab some food/drink a coffee/spent your free time?
I really love Paris so it can be anywhere in the city but if I really want to chill out, I come back in Bourgogne to visit my family and I make long walks in the country.
TV: Thanks Fabien!
Interview minimally edited to keep authenticity.
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