by Chelsea McPartlon
‘Proud’, ‘independent’, ‘passionate’ and ‘queer’ are the words that come to mind for our newest Sustainable Symposium special interview with Jeanne Friot. The brand and woman behind it are know for edginess, being raw, bold, contemporary and a true arts and crafts feel experience for a sustainable fashion name. A unique serenity shows in every crafted piece, declaring an out of the ordinary collection that entices. Want to learn more about this sustainable brand, then keep on reading!
Let’s start with a simple question, what does sustainability mean to you? And other than your brand, do you try to follow a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of living?
As a fashion designer, for me sustainability means thinking every day in the studio on how to produce in a smarter way. It’s also the care between us as a team. It’s not just about the clothes. For me, it’s linked with my personal and professional life at the studio. I try to be as sustainable as I can in every way.
Jeanne, you were born and raised in Paris. Is there anything about your upbringing that influences your designing process when creating for your namesake brand?
I was raised in Paris, but also raised with powerful creative figures around me. Paris as a city brings me a lot of strength and creativity, and it certainly defines who I am today. As a queer person, who also grew up in Le Marais (which is the queer neighborhood of Paris), it provided me the strength to build my namesake brand, with all the values I carry with me today!
I read that you began as a fashion stylist for many brands and artists. Did those experiences have an impact on the importance of making your brand solely genderless?
I spent a lot of time dressing French artists for their interviews, television, and concerts. So, I think it definitely impacted my way of creating clothes. That may be why there’s always a shiny and sparkly touch in every collection. Making my brand solely genderless is really a part of my own experience as a women and queer person, but also a reflection of my generation!
Going off this, do you believe that genderless fashion is, and can be, one solution to becoming more sustainable?
For sure, I think genderless fashion is linked with the way of thinking the brand as sustainable. When we start to think differently and approach our way of designing, operating and producing fashion in another way, sustainability has to be the number one way to create new fashion.
Where would you like to see the future of fashion and, more specifically, sustainable fashion be in five years?
I hope that in five years there’ll only be sustainable fashion and genderless clothing. I hope stores and buyers will deconstruct these binary ideas that fashion shows should be split in two gender categories, as well as physical stores being separated by the two. I hope that in five years we’ll begin speaking about personalities, colours, power suitability and, with consciousness, about how and where the fashion we want to have is produced and made.
Crafting can absolutely be a way to use products, or items, that you already have lying around to create and design something new and, in hindsight, it’s a way of being sustainable. Jeanne Friot has often been described as raw, edgy, contemporary and with an arts and crafts feeling. Would you agree with this statement? And is this what you set out for it to be?
I completely agree with this statement. The term ‘raw’ is something I always try to think of in terms of fabrics and design: the arts and crafts feeling is something I’m obsessed with. I always wanted to play with textiles, but also to work with all the incredible métiers d’arts we have in Paris and France. It’s important to cherish the ‘savoir faire’ and let it grow.
From your experiences and the lessons you’ve learned, what would you tell the younger generations who want to follow their dreams in building a sustainable brand, but don’t know where to start?
I’d say first to be curious: it’s all about learning every day in many different subjects. Sustainability is everywhere and we always can improve ourselves.
Let’s end on the vision that you’d like to see for the future of Jeanne Friot. What would you like to happen?
I’ve been so happy to see the brand growing every year and the press supporting us since the beginning. I hope we’ll continue to expand the atelier, the team, all the people I love and want to work with. I also hope
the future of Jeanne Friot will be as happy and exciting as it has since the beginning, with new challenges and boundaries to cross every day!
Credits: Photo by Écoute Chérie