Revealed: the Keira Knightley effect

15 April 2009


Alexis Mabille might not be a name that you recognise yet, but he is undoubtedly one of the most watched and respected young designers in Paris. With a CV that includes apprenticeships at Ungaro and Nina Ricci, and a nine-year tenure at Christian Dior, where he created fine jewellery for John Galliano and for the Dior Homme line under Hedi Slimane, and a whole host of luxury brand collaborations, Alexis certainly had the experience to branch out to create his own label. 2005 marked the launch of his synonymously named label, which was a unisex ready-to-wear collection, and now, just four years later, the label and his trademark bow-tie accessories are a highlight of couture week (it is something of an honour to be invited to show there, by the way).

It is not just the fashion crowd who are avid fans either. Media attention was thrust upon him when Keira Knightley wore one of his dresses to a London film premiere – ‘We have a huge pile of press cuttings dedicated just to that dress,' he admits. While Carla Bruni has ordered a range of outfits, and Tilda Swinton came to the showroom following the show and tried on a number of looks.

With so many strings to his bow you might expect Alexis to have a large team working for him. But he surprisingly reveals that actually the team is compiled of just Alexis, his mum, his brother (for finance stuff) and his sister-in-law (and muse) Myrthe. She inspires his collections and even models in them too. The Mabilles are building a real family business, and they are already considering branching out into other areas of design, but while their plans remain under wraps for now, expect Alexis Mabille to become a household name very soon.


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