Posts in FRANCE
Interviewing Poétique Paris, the First Fashion House that Offers Alternatives to Leather
The two beautiful Founders of Poétique Paris: Cattleya & Pauline

The two beautiful Founders of Poétique Paris: Cattleya & Pauline

Passion and benevolence lead to great achievements
— Pauline & Cattleya
Wearing some of their items in vegan leather

Wearing some of their items in vegan leather

(Version française plus bas)

Poéthique Paris, or "Peau éthique Paris" (ethical skin) phonetically, is a fashion brand that evokes dreams, 70s romance, poetry and timeless French charm à la Gainsbourg.

And above all, it stands as an ethical brand, respectful of both people, animals and the environment. In fact, it's even one of the first alternative fashion brands for leather, and the first of its kind in France.

I therefore decided to interview the two radiant Founders, Cattleya and Pauline.

Why offering an alternative to leather?

Leather embodies obviously a problematic because it is linked to animal suffering. Some animals are killed for their skin and leather is not just, as we might think, recycled waste from the food industry. In addition, tanneries are a humanitarian and ecological disaster.

What was your decision to start this project?

We did it in several steps. First, documentaries on Netflix brought our awareness on ethical issues with the current food industry and we started questioning our food choices. Soon after, we decided to take action: eat better, buy better clothes, then produce.

We started changing our own behaviors and soon enough, our way of life began to intrigue our relatives in a positive way, consciences around us started awakening, and it gave us hope!

On the fashion side at the time, we could not find a good alternative to leather.

I was looking for a biker jacket for instance, and I had the choice between spending time in thrift shops hoping to find the rare gem, buying that Zara piece that everyone had, finding a low-quality jacket from an average store or saving to buy a piece from a luxurious brand (in reference to our idol Stella McCartney).

Except that for us, fashion does not belong to an elite, it belongs to everyone and we wanted to create a style that resembled us.

That's how we decided to go against the grain.

How do you stand out with your values in the fashion industry?

Being an ethical entrepreneur is ambivalent because in order to have a real impact, one has to create a revenue.

Hence, we want to show that it’s not incompatible to run both an ethical and responsible production from A to Z: we source our materials in Europe (which limits our environmental impact), we work with studios (which avoids human slavery), and our materials, nb. cereal and apple leather, are vegan and adaptable to fashion (which avoids animal suffering).

When we make a decision, we look at those three conditions first, then we figure out how to sell them.

Of course, being 100% ethical means not selling nor buying, but since we cannot walk around naked ...! We sometimes can allow ourselves a fashion craving without feeling guilty! So better succumbing to a brand that is both pretty and ethical, right?

Love of fashion + desire to take action + desire to contribute to a better world = our project was launched!

What is your hope for the future of our society?

The current way of consuming is terrible, especially in fashion.

But change is taking place in developed countries: we expect tomorrow’s fashion to be 100% eco-responsible, and since Paris aims at becoming the capital of ethical and eco-responsible fashion by 2025, we want to be drivers of this change.

Tips for starting out as an entrepreneur?

Yes! First, spend time on the feasibility. Do a sourcing job to see if your project is feasible. If you are in fashion, check wether your desired material exists, test samples, make several prototypes, find good suppliers ...

Then surround yourself with a collaborator who shares your enthusiasm or friends who support you. And tell yourself that if it does not work it does not matter. Better remorse than regrets!

Personally, we would have suffered more from not having launched our project than from having done it too soon, say if the market weren’t ready, for example.

Last tip, sleep well, eat well and take time to disconnect (read a book, go to the movies, whichever hobby makes you feel good): And really follow your bliss because it's with passion and kindness that one can achieve great things!

 
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Did you know?

Here are some alternatives to leather:

Apple leather

Cereal leather

Mushroom leather

Oak tree leather

Wine leather

Pineapple leaf leather / Piñatex

did you know about apple leather

Le saviez-vous?

Voici quelques alternatives au cuir animal:

Cuir de pomme

Cuir de cereale

Cuir de champignon

Cuir de liège

Cuir de raisin

Cuir de feuilles d’ananas / Piñatex


 

Poétique Paris, ou “Peau éthique Paris” phonétiquement, est une marque de mode qui évoque le rêve, la romance des années 70, la poésie et le charme français intemporel “'à la Gainsbourg”.

Mais c’est avant tout une marque étique, respectueuse des hommes, des animaux et de l’environnement. En réalité, c’est même l’une des première marques de mode alternatives au cuir, et la première de ce genre en France.

Une interview s’imposait donc avec les deux fondatrices rayonnantes, Cattleya et Pauline.

Pourquoi une alternative au cuir?

- Le cuir est évidemment une matière problématique car elle est liée à la souffrance animale. Certaines bêtes sont tuées pour leur peau et le cuir n’est pas uniquement, comme on peut le croire, recyclé des déchets de l’industrie alimentaire. De plus, les tanneries représentent une catastrophe humanitaire et écologique.

Quel a été votre déclic pour vous lancer dans ce projet?

Cela s’est fait par étapes. D’abord une prise de conscience via des documentaires sur Netflix oû l’on s’est posées des questions sur nos choix alimentaires, puis au delà de cela on a voulu être dans l’action: mieux manger, mieux acheter des vêtements, puis produire.

On a commencé à notre échelle puis “l’effet tâche d’huile” s’est fait ressentir. Notre mode de vie a commencé à intriguer de manière positive, les consciences autour de nous se sont mobilisées petit à petit, et ca nous a donné de l’espoir!

Côté vêtements, on ne trouvait pas de bonne alternative au cuir.

Je cherchais par exemple un bon perfecto, et j’avais le choix entre passer des heure en friperie à espérer trouver la pépite, acheter la pièce Zara que tout le monde a, ou trouver un produit de marque lambda avec une qualité déplorable ou alors économiser pour s’acheter une pièce de grande marque (on pense a notre idole Stella McCartney). sauf que pour nous, la mode n’appartient pas à une élite, elle appartient à tout le monde et nous avons voulu créer une mode qui nous ressemble.

C’est comme cela que l’on a voulu sortir des chemins battus.

Comment pensez-vous défaire les codes du monde de la mode?

Etre un entrepreneur éthique est ambivalent car pour avoir un vrai impact, il faut se développer et créer du rendement.

C’est pourquoi on veut montrer que ce n’est pas incompatible d’avoir une production éthique et responsable de A a Z: on source nos matières en Europe (qui limite l’impact environnemental), on travaille avec atelier (qui limitent le mal-être humain), et nos matières, le cuir de céréale et de pomme, sont vegan et adaptables au prêt-a porter (qui évite la souffrance animale).

Lorsque l’on prend une décision, on regarde ces trois volets en premier, puis on se demande comment faire pour le vendre.

Bien évidemment, être 100% éthique c’est ne pas vendre et ne pas acheter, mais comme on ne peut pas se promener nues dans les rues…! Et puis on a parfois le droit de consommer et de craquer sur des pièces sans culpabiliser! Alors autant le faire sur une marque qui est jolie et éthique, non?

Amour de la mode + envie d’entreprendre + envie de mieux faire et d’être actrices de changement = notre projet s’est lancé!

Quel est votre espoir sur l’avenir de notre société?

La façon actuelle de consommer est terrible, notamment dans la mode.

Mais un tournant est en train d’être pris dans les pays développés: on s’attend à ce que la mode de demain soit 100% éco-responsable, et sachant que Paris a pour objectif de devenir la capitale de la mode éco-responsable et éthique d’ici 2025, on voulait être actrices de ce changement.

Des conseils pour se lancer en tant qu’entrepreneur?

Oui! D’abord, passer du temps sur la faisabilité. Effectuer un travail de sourcing pour voir si votre projet est faisable. Dans la mode, verifier que la matière recherchée existe, tester des échantillons, faire plusieurs prototypes, trouver de bons fournisseurs…

Ensuite, savoir bien s’entourer d’un collaborateur qui partage notre enthousiasme ou d’amis qui nous soutiennent. Et se dire que si ca ne marche pas ce n’est pas grave. Mieux vaut vivre avec des remords que des regrets!

Personnellement, on aurait plus souffert de ne pas avoir lancé notre projet que de l’avoir fait trop tôt si le marché n’était pas prêt, par exemple.

Enfin, bien dormir, bien manger et s’octroyer du temps pour déconnecter (lire un livre, aller au cinéma, peu importe le passe-temps qui nous fait du bien): Et vraiment en avoir envie, car c’est avec passion et bienveillance que l’on réalise de grandes choses!

poetiaue Paris vegan fashion

Are you an entrepreneur, an artist, an athlete, a healer or anyone who wants to make a positive impact in the word?

"A Workout isn't just a workout. It's an Investment in Myself & my Future" - Interview N.3 of the Fitness Series
Alex Verhoeven hyperfitness

New interview from my bodybuilding series in partnership with Your Fitness, interviewing Axel on the way sports impacted his life positively:

"I first started bodybuilding without a program, then I went on an Erasmus trip and completely lacked diligence.

But for a year and a half now, I’ve regained control of myself and sports has become my life. I’ve decided to make the most out of my time at the gym and optimize my training. read books, watch fitness videos, talk to coaches ...

My biggest motivation has been to see my body change: I gained 20 pounds, of muscle mainly: quadriceps, shoulders ...

As a teenager, I grew up fast and I was thin. So, I wanted to see how far my body could go naturally.

This new way of life has impacted other areas: I’ve engaged in a strict lifestyle, I stopped smoking, reduced alcohol, started to eat better (bio), to hydrate more, to sleep better ...

Sports has become an integral part of my life, an evidence after work, a pleasure ...

In fact, my life is now scheduled around sports: 1.training, 2.food, 3.rest, 4.work.

It's not just a workout, it’s an investment in my health, in my future."

_______

"J'ai d'abord attaqué la musculation sans programme, puis suis parti en voyage Erasmus et perdu mon assiduité.
Depuis un an et demi, je me suis repris en main et le sport est devenu ma vie. J'ai eu envie de rentabiliser mon temps perdu à la salle et ai optimisé mes entraìnements. J'ai lu des livres, regardé des videos sur le sport, parlé à des coachs...

Ma plus grande motivation a été de voir mon corps se transformer: j'ai pris 20 kilos de muscles principalement. Quadriceps, épaules...
Adolescent, j'ai grandi vite et j'étais mince. Donc, j'ai envie de voir jusqu'où mon corps peut aller naturellement .

Ce nouveau mode de vie a impacté d'autres domaines.: j'ai commencé une hygiène de vie stricte , j'ai arrèté de fumer, diminué l'alcool, commencé à manger mieux (bio), à mieux dormir, bien m’hydrater ...

Le sport est devenu une partie intégrante de ma vie , un automatisme après le boulot, un plaisir...
D'ailleurs, toute ma vie est désormais tournée autour sport: entraînement, alimentation, repos, travail.

Ce n’est pas que l’entraînement, c'est un investissement sur ma santé, sur l’avenir."

"If you Don't Grow Yourself, you Won't Grow your Business" - Mindset & Money Talk with Chris Lavish
All photos by  Cassell Inc.

All photos by Cassell Inc.

Never under the influence, always influencing
— Chris Lavish

When I heard of Chris Lavish for the first time, Global Digital Director at Fashion Week Online, I thought “Not only does this guy unapologetically say what he thinks, but he has a style that’s impossible to copy. And he escaped the 9/5, And he’s woke. And vegan. And spiritual…”

#Tribe!

I wanted to investigate more about the Lavish signature and learn:

-> What led the self-called “intergalactic tattoo module” to stop caring about people’s opinions to become his true self,

-> How he unlocked the money energy and the mindset that allowed him to access the traveling & influencer lifestyle that "many dream of, but few work for”.

The conversation turned into a podcast with one of the most genuine and fun persons I’ve met, filled with inspiration and motivational quotes.

Find your Way in the Episode:

0:30 - How making money affects your biochemistry

3:00 - Why you have to know how much you’re worth

6:30 - Morning & evening routine

9:45 - Chris’ fashion journey

11:30 - Pleasing yourself comes first

13:00 - Truth in the media & why how much you care will dictate how far you go in life

17:00 - How the universe rewards you for living freely

26:00 - Can you work AND be happy? + Why you should avoid the 9/5

“The way you start your day is the way you start your life”

Chris Lavish’ tips to conquer the day:

  1. Wake up as early as possible

  2. Stretch, foam-roll

  3. Exercise to get the body active

  4. Drink water

  5. Take a really cold water

  6. Kill the day!

Some delicious quotes from Chris Lavish, for when you need a little extra motivation to crush your goals:

MONEY

“Which language am I fluent in? Money talk”

“Money is the only way you’ll ever free yourself from both yourself and what other people think”

SELF-LOVE

“If you want to be everybody else, you’ll never be yourself”

“Caring will dictate how far you go in life. If you care too much, you’ll kill yourself out of money.”

“It’s impossible to make someone happy - You’re better off trying to please yourself, at least you know you better.”

“You can’t please everyone, but as long as you please yourself you’ll be alright.”

VALUING YOURSELF

“You have to know how much you’re worth, or else you’ll always get underpaid”

“I’m close to priceless, or to some people im just completely free.”

MENTAL FREEDOM

“I escaped that mental prison a long time ago and never looked back”.

“Mental freedom is the first step and then you just pick your path”.

HUSTLE

“The way you start your morning is the way you start your life”

“You expect too much and work too little”.

“I’ve never met anybody who works 24/7 and never got somewhere”

“If you don’t grow yourself, you won’t grow your business”

Find more of Chris on Instagram:

Chris Lavish Instagram

Chris Lavish Instagram

"The Atmosphere Invites to Persevere" - Interview n.2 of the Fitness Series
Xavier musculation fitness no pain no gain

Xavier has been my friend since kindergarten.

But over the last few years, he has completely transformed his physique with body building.

I wondered what kept him motivated to continue as most people drop their New Year’s workout resolutions in February.

"I’ve always had the taste of the effort.

I have practiced horse riding, volleyball, badminton, now bodybuilding ... In addition to relaxation, sports allows you to build a physique that you like, which I find essential for self-confidence. As someone said, "One must suffer to be beautiful"!

Also, at the gym, there is an atmosphere of camaraderie, a friendliness that I did not find in other sports, even in team sports.

And above all, it's a healthy activity - we're not at the bar! Even some older people who come here and don’t push themselves as hard are happy to be here for the dynamic and motivating atmosphere! It catalyzes the effort and invites to persevere.

Like everything else, sport is a matter of willpower - you have to be clear about your goals, unafraid of getting started and not hesitate to ask for advice and persevere. No pain, no gain".

"Go All the Way", "No Pain no Gain", "Invest in Yourself"... What Motivates People to Workout?

Hi guys,

So I’ve just finished a partnership with a french fitness company, interviewing their members about the way sports has positively impacted different areas of their lives.

Incredibly interesting to see how motivations can be drastically different from one member to another!

From the person who went from overweight to athlete, the one who decided to invest in their health, the one who works out fully dressed, scarf, hat & earrings included because she doesn’t have much time, to the one who had rather be here than being on the streets causing troubles… They all have something to escape or something to attain.

And the beauty of that is that sports rassembles them around a healthy activity, that provides them with an increased self-confidence, that in turn impacts other areas or their life (career, love, friendships…) because they’ve learnt to set objectives, handle pain and push their limits.

Why do you work out and how has it brought benefits into your life?

Here’s the first interview of the series:

Franck go all the way - fitness gym mantra

"Sport is the school of life: we learn to define goals and overcome difficulties, which translates into other areas of life.

Younger, I won a national full-contact competition, then competed in athletics and moved on to bodybuilding, more playful.

After having back problems, I realized the importance of the mindset. If we listen to doctors, we don’t do anything!

In parallel, I understood the importance of health beyond performance.

I saw how doping in high level competitions could destroy the health of those who seek to shine ...

And my wife opened my eyes to the vegan diet. I did my research and reoriented my way of thinking:

how do my lifestyle and diet help me function?

I gained ten pounds of muscle since I started bodybuilding and am interested in food hygiene. One does not go without the other!

I also reoriented myself: I was already practicing a health profession, and I am going to specialize in sports physiotherapy.

Sport has become an integral part of my life that made me want to give the best of myself, for myself.

That's why my personal motto is: go all the way. Till the end. Of your dreams, your goals, without worrying about the obstacles. "

____

"Le sport, c'est l'école de la vie: on apprend à définir des objectifs et à se donner les moyens de surmonter des difficultés, ce qui se transpose à d'autres domaines de la vie.

Plus jeune, j'ai remporté une compétition nationale de full-contact, puis

participé à des compétitions d'athlétisme pour ensuite évoluer vers la musculation, plus ludique.

Après des problèmes de dos j'ai compris l'importance que jouait le mental. Si on écoute les médecins, on ne fait plus rien!

En parallèle, j'ai compris l'importance de la santé, au-delà de la performance.

J'ai vu comment le dopage dans les compétitions de haut niveau pouvait détruire la santé de ceux qui cherchent à briller...

Et ma femme m'a ouvert les yeux sur un nouveau mode alimentaire, le végétalisme. J'ai fait mes recherches et réorienté mon mode de pensée: qu'est-ce que mon mode de vie et ma nourriture m'apportent pour bien fonctionner?

J'ai pris dix kilos (de muscles) depuis que j'ai attaqué la musculation et me suis intéressé à l'hygiène alimentaire. L'un ne va pas sans l'autre!

Je me suis également réorienté: je pratiquais déjà un métier de santé, et m'apprête à me spécialiser en kinésithérapie du sport.

Le sport est devenu une partie intégrante de ma vie qui m'a donné envie de donner le meilleur de moi-même, pour moi-même.

Voila pourquoi mon slogan personnel est: go all the way. Va jusqu'au bout. De tes rêves, de tes objectifs, sans te soucier des limites que tu pensais avoir. "

Why "I Don't Belong to You" is Mido's Life and Fashion Statement
Mido fashion style
“I don’t belong to you” - Photos by  Marco Ter Beek

“I don’t belong to you” - Photos by Marco Ter Beek

As I was walking around Hotel Intercontinental during the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, I spotted the fashion designer Mido wearing a belt full of statements like “Justice, Freedom, Peace” and other power words I related to.

Because I’m specialized in portrait interviews centered around social justice and impact, I grabbed him for an interview.

“- I love women. But I feel like when women design for other women, there’s jealousy involved.

I’ve witnessed several times clients looking perfect in dresses and the designer would say “Don’t take it, let’s stay on the safe side”…

I don't chose the safe side. In fact, the way I’d describe my ideal client would be “a diva”.

I don’t like how this word is usually defined, but the way I see it is a woman who’s walking down the street and everybody is looking at her, wondering where she got her outfit from, because she looks fabulous!

It’s not just about the cut, the color, the silhouette nor the cloth, it’s also about sending a message.

One of my idols is Viviane Westwood because she makes crazy fashion, a mix between pretty a porter and haute-couture, but through her clothes, she expresses herself and the way she thinks, which it’s really important for me too.

It’s one of the reasons why I feel different from many designers.

Another reason I feel different comes from my background: I was born in Egypt and I’m mixed-race. My mother is white, my father is black, my grand-mother is Turkish.

Every 2-3 years I would move to a different country, so I’ve always been interested in other cultures. I studied in American schools, and even if we’d speak the same languages with my classmates, we would have different accents and backgrounds.

I used to hate that instability because I’d always have to make new friends and get accustomed to new cultures. But now I see how it has built my character, and eventually my work.

Actually, my biggest inspiration is mixed cultures. For instance, my last collection is inspired by two cultures very far away from each other… I researched those cultures a lot and tried to find the common ground to mix them together : Maasai and Mongolia.

I just moved from Poland to Paris this week and I’m excited to see what inspiration will arise for my next collections!

“I don’t belong to you” is my slogan and is part of my label, sewed on all my clothes.

Anyone will interpret it differently, but for me it means that wherever I’ve lived, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I feel the same about religions, languages… I appreciate everything but I don’t want to feel biased nor limited.

I don’t like to feel judged by close-minded people, upon whichever category they put me in, for instance, my skin is colored and people get shocked in Polish when I speak their language perfectly. Why?!

- It’s really a strong statement because when comparing your journey to your work, it feels like since you were forced to move to all those different places during your childhood, you probably felt like you didn’t belong, and though “You know what, if I don’t belong, I’m gonna be my own persona, embrace my uniqueness and create pieces that stand out”, I reply.

- Exactly. I want to show that difference is beautiful and not something to hide from, rather something to embrace.

Life is so short!

I’ve noticed that people prefer to stick with jobs and situations they dislike until the end of their lives, to then regret and question their choices once it’s too late. If everyone pursued what they were good at, they would put their heart into what they do best and the world would change.

- That’s what I display with my work, by portraying people like you”, I conclude.

:)