Our wish is to feature regularly interesting creative people. Today, we chose to talk about French designer Christine Phung through an interview. We stopped by her studio, talked about her experiences, her dual role and all her inspirations, from the ski to Charlotte Perriand’s work. Tomorrow, you will discover her universe, mixing alpine sport and luxurious craftsmanship during her fashion show.
A day before Christine Phung’s fashion show
L+A: Can you talk about your previous experiences and how they influenced the way your brand was built ?
C. Phung: I worked for 8 years in the fashion industry for prestigious houses such as Dior, Chloé, Lacoste, Vanessa Bruno, etc. Then, I slowly started freelancing through consulting missions. Those experiences helped me design my own working methodology and allowed me to be confident and ready before taking up. I also understood business needs, team organization, management and the very significant importance of production. I learned to focus and to master my creation process.
L+A: You seem to have a dual role, business/creation, how do you switch between both?
C. Phung: This dual role can sometimes be really schizophrenic because of their opposite effects and sometimes it is difficult to have both of them in the same person. I dream of having a business partner.
Meanwhile, I go through a daily mental gymnastics in which I try to express those both sides successively. Sometimes, I need to put aside one of them to manage to focus on one part exclusively.
L+A: You won “Le grand prix de la ville de Paris” in 2011 and the ANDAM “Premières Collections” prize, what were the effects on your business model?
C. Phung: As a result of those prizes, I greatly increased my visibility and gained many contacts because of the press publications, which was a springboard for the development of my company. Those prizes also turned out to be a precious financial support that I would say was vital for the small self-financed company I am.
L+A: Could you talk about your last collection? By the way, do you pay attention to the budget and the costs during your creation process?
C. Phung: This new collection is inspired by a skier story, which took place during the night, in the middle of the complete silence of snowy mountains. I took much of my inspiration from the pictures of the architect Charlotte Perriand, taken in the 30’s, when she was photographed from behind, topless, facing the mountains. I thought about the crackling and wood explosions in a cottage under the snow, the headiness, the happiness and the fullness of those out-of –the-world moments.
During my creation process, I don’t think about cost anymore, I switch to an irrational quest of beauty, of my desire for superb materials, of my envy of perfection or of experimentation through prints, pleats, cut research.
L+A: What are your goals for the next five years ?
C. Phung: My objectives for the next five years are to further grow my company through a more significant international business development, to structure my company with a strong team and business partners and to raise funds without loosing my soul ! A whole program!
L+A: How do feel on the eve of your fashion show?
C. Phung: I’m feeling overexcited and a little bit tired, because those past weeks have been non-stop!
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