Personal Style Doesn't Happen on Purpose: A Designer Explains Why
Let’s admit it: We all love French-girl style. The ease, the chicness, the je ne sais quoi… it’s all so appealing. Something about our overseas sisters just makes us want to copy them endlessly and perfect the Parisian aesthetic—which is why we were so excited to hear about the brand that’s just landed in Australia in a major way.
A favourite among French girls, Jerome Dreyfuss’s simple yet elegant handbags are now available at a capacity we’ve never known before. The Iconic has just stocked the largest collection of the French designer’s shoes and bags Australia has ever seen—and we want them all. Featuring both cult favourites and new styles, there is truly something for everyone.
Scrolling through the seemingly endless options of bags and shoes available, it becomes immediately clear that Dreyfuss has mastered the art of timeless design. Yet despite how versatile we imagine these pieces are, each one is instantly recognisable as one of his brand.
As it’s no easy feat to master a signature look and create pieces that are universally covetable, we spoke with Jerome Dreyfuss himself to find out how he does it. One major takeaway: Personal style isn’t intentional. Keep scrolling for his explanation and to find out where the designer gets inspiration, why the retro look is back, and how French-girl style has changed recently.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Architecture—I’m looking at architecture all day long. As soon as I can, I go on Pinterest and check out floors, windows… even old farms. I’m really impressed by all the designers from the Bauhaus up until the end of the '70s. They were all trying to make the world more beautiful, but they also addressed the needs of the people, and I’m inspired by that.
How have you developed your personal style throughout your career?
I’m just always trying to answer the needs of the woman. Twenty years ago, the French girl was wearing a trench coat and a pair of jeans with one hand in her pocket and the other holding a cigarette. Today, she may be dressed the same, but she has a phone to her cheek and a computer in her hand. The way we’re moving has changed and I’m just trying to make women as comfortable as possible all day long. When I started it was really the practicality of the bag that gave it its look. And many things happened by accident I think, like the softness. I used to make dresses, so I just cut my first bag like I would a dress… and it came out totally soft, which I thought was really interesting. Now things are no longer happening by accident, but it was those accidents that made my style.
You’ve been designing for quite some time. How has the industry changed over the course of your career?
Fashion is changing so fast, but the only thing I don’t like is the way everything has to look the same. If all the brands are doing the same thing, it gets really boring, and that’s not the point of the industry. The point is to be creative and to create a different proposition. I always think ‘let’s all be different!’ because that’s what makes the world more interesting.
What do you think makes a piece timeless?
I’m always thinking about the client spending a huge amount of money on my bags. To be timeless, you need to be yourself and do what you think the people will need. It sounds really simple, but it’s often really hard to understand.
Do you think that style is something unique to each individual, or is it influenced by the world around us?
I think it’s a question of the way you live, the way you are, and what you’ve got to say. It’s really important to stay personal and to do what you feel. And you know fashion is made for you to feel good, not to add more constraints in your life, which is important to understand. You just have to dress the way you feel and not mind what other people think.
Your current collection has a real '70s/early '80s vibe. Is this the key look of the season?
They’re the key pieces because that’s the feeling we all have right now. We’re living in a weird world with awful things happening all around us, so by making pieces for parties it’s also a way for me to say let's forget about all that bullshit and try to realise the luck we have. It’s my way of saying let’s throwback. And voila!
Feeling inspired? There's more where that came from. Shop the full Jerome Dreyfuss range at The Iconic.