To celebrate International Women's Day we share some inspirational pondering's from one of the fashion world's most celebrated female designers and entrepreneurs, Founder and Artistic Director of Sandro Woman, Evelyne Chétrite.
1. Who is your greatest inspiration?
I don’t specifically have a muse. I often say that when I’m designing, I think about ordinary, everyday women I pass by on the streets. Real women, with a strong personality and attitude. Since I don’t know them, I can imagine lots of different things, big things. Also, Paris is a source of inspiration. You can find inspiration at every street corner. I like to sit at the terrace or a café and just watch people wandering around. It inspires me a lot.
2. What are the major moments in your career that have brought you to where you are now?
Everything began in my childhood, fashion drew me in since I was a little girl. From Rabat, where I grew up, I remember my grandfather’s shirt shop. I was always surrounded by colours, smells and vibrancy. These are strong memories that I always keep in mind and that continue to inspire me, as much today as they did before. Also, I always knew dressmakers at home. Our clothes were made by dressmakers, we did not buy in stores. I think that I kept this image of seeing the development of a garment by beginning with the sleeve, followed by the body and the fitting and so on. Years later, I met my husband and we had the desire to recreate that. When we created Sandro in 1984, I knew that there was a place to take in the fashion world between luxury and accessible brands. We wanted to propose creative and affordable fashion which would portray as much as possible the desires of real women. Also, we always wanted to propose quality products at affordable prices. It was the beginning of a beautiful story….
3. What are the items/rituals you can’t live without to do your job?
On my desk, you will always find a box of pins, some paper and lots of colouring pens. These are essential basics that I need in order to work. Also, I can’t begin my day without coffee, but I’m guessing it’s the same for most people.
4. What's your proudest moment in your job to date?
When we opened our first store in the Marais in Paris in 2004, I felt very proud. But honestly, what makes me the proudest, is when I see somebody in the street wearing Sandro. It makes me feel so much joy in my heart and it gives me so much strength, because it justifies all the hard work we put in. This gives me a sense of pride.
5. What made you choose Regent Street as the home for your brand?
Regent Street is all about fashion. It’s in the heart of the city and it’s a prime location. When we open a store, the location is key, so being present on Regent Street was an obvious choice. We have been thinking about it for a while, we were just waiting to find the right opportunity for Sandro. I’m thrilled and proud that Sandro has found a home on this wonderful street.
6. What career advice would you give your younger self?
Always work with passion and have faith in yourself. That’s the only piece of advice I would give to any young designer.
7. What do you think makes your brand/in-store experience special?
We have wonderful retail teams. We pay strong attention to their full dedication to customer satisfaction. Also, we imagine modern spaces that reflect contemporary desires in which our customers will feel good. We try to create a global atmosphere. At every level, we want to offer the best service. I guess that’s the reason that our instore experience is special.
8. What do you love most about Regent Street?
Regent Street is an iconic location, steeped in history. The architecture is unique and I can feel the heart of London beating there when I walk over the pavement. There is a contagious effervescence that exhilarates me a lot.