Isabel Marant was born in Paris, France, in 1967. Her father, French, was head of an audiovisual company. Her mother was a German model and also a director of the Elite model agency. After they got divorced, Isabel lived with her Caribbean stepmother for a while. Since she was always interacting with different cultures, she got a very cosmopolitan education, a common feature in her recent work.
The designer always tells that her style during childhood was pretty boyish. Since she was 11, the clothes she got as present really bother her, so she’d rather wear clothes of her father’s wardrobe. At 16, she got her first sewing machine. Back then, she used to customize old military jackets for her to wear. The funny thing is that she didn’t even considered a career in fashion, she just wanted to wear the clothes she liked. However, it is impossible to ignore this moment of her life, that certainly influenced her entrance in the fashion universe. The practice on the sewing machine, for example, nurtured her passion for shaping techniques, seam finishes, trimming, embroidery etc.
In 1984, Isabel and her friend Christophe Lemaire – current Lacoste’s artistic director – developed the brand Aller Simple, that led to a modest success, generating a minimum-wage profit for each. It was then that Isabel began to see fashion as a career and traded the idea of studying Economics for the idea of taking a fashion course at Studio Berçot.
During her studies, she did an apprenticeship with the Parisian designer Michel Klein, she collaborated with Bridget York on two collections for Yorke & Cole and she also assisted the art director Marc Ascoli on projects for Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Sitbon and Chloé.
Even though she never dreamed of working in a jewellery shop (given she wasn’t very fond of jewellery), Isabel appreciated working with metal and she actually released, in 1989, a line of accessories, featuring belts and rings, two years after concluding the course at Studio Berçot. Later, she created a line of belts for Claude Montana, a line of buttons and necklaces for Étienne Brunel and line of shoe buckles for Michel Perry.
Next year, she launched the brand Twen, alongside her mother, focused on mesh and jersey fabrics.
Four years later, in 1994, the label Isabel Marant was born. That same year, her first show happened, when she presented her Spring-Summer 1995 collection.
Isabel designed collections for a few brands before opening her first store. But with that much talent, acknowledged by many awards, she managed to open her first store in Paris, in 1998, and today there are already 17 stores across the world (Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Bangkok, Madrid, Beirut, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and London), not to mention the many resellers.
In 2000, she launched the brand Etoile, intending to offer more casual and affordable items. In 2004, she created a children’s line inspired by his son, who was born one year before. And, in 2013, she worked with H&M to create a capsule collection for women, men and kids, which was a huge success!
Without doubt, the triumph of her career lies, alongside the hard work and dedication, in her originality and unpretentious spirit. Isabel’s style is relaxed and unique, confident and full of attitude. The fashion designer mixes an ethnic bohemian style with male street wear. In an effortless manner, keeping the French essence.
It’s important to highlight though that the international success is mostly due to Emmanuelle Alt, current director of French Vogue and responsible for helping Isabel to construct the DNA and the personality of the brand, in order to captivate the fashionistas worldwide.
Many celebrities are fans of the brand: Nicole Richie, Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst, Rachel Bilson and others.
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