DESIGNER INSIDER: Vanessa Bruno
Grazia Daily has always been a massive fan of French designer Vanessa Bruno - we seriously heart her oh-so-Parisian collections of wearable classics. So we were super excited to have lunch with her in Pareee last week. Over a few glasses of wine we talked Kate Middleton's style, the power of British design and trashy jeans.
Grazia Daily: What are you most proud of in your career?
Vanessa Bruno: To have set up a company from nothing to what it is now. Im proud of the years of work that made it what it is today. I have stores and am free to design and do what I like. I have this freedom and no-one tells me what to do.
How did you get into fashion?
I worked always – I didn’t like to go to school. At 16 I started modelling and at 18 I started working, doing different jobs in fashion. At the same time I was preparing a little collection for myself. I always had this thing for doing things for myself.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in fashion?
A general lesson – be humble, nothing is guaranteed.
What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I can be very faithful with the people who work with me – I stick with many of the people who started with me from the beginning - 10, 12 years. When I know someone and trust them and vice versa Im very faithful. I can be a dragon though. Trust me.
Left: Vanessa Bruno, Right: Kate Bosworth for Vanessa Bruno
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like contemporary art so I love to go an see exhibitions and I will travel across Europe to see an important exhibition in different countries. And then of course I’m a true mother and I love to do things with my daughter – you know do some sports. Spend a weekend somewhere with her. Voila.
Which celebrities that have worn your clothes have you been most happy with?
Honestly I’m so lucky from Kate Bosworth to Clemence Poesy to Vanessa Paradis who has been wearing my clothes since the beginning. To Lou Douillon, or even Gwyneth Paltrow – so many beautiful models and actresses. Truly there is not one girl – of course I love Kate Bosworth and Lou Douillon who I worked with more particularly, but I’m very lucky.
Are there any up and coming designers in Paris we should know about?
You know what I think – it’s the new generation of English designer that is coming now out that is more interesting than anywhere else. I think it was coming out in London is much more interesting than in Paris.
Are there any trends you don’t like?
I don’t like the trend for jeans with holes and cuts everywhere – it looks so messy on the leg and makes you look bigger. If you have a natural, cool pair of jeans and you find a hole with your body then ok. But this whole thing that you have to make it look trashy I don’t like.
Vanessa Bruno A/W 2012-13
What would you dress Kate Middleton in?
An easy dress and a great coat – even in short shorts with a slouchy jumper – she would look stunning as she has a great figure. Becasue you know she has this very kind of healthy, athletic feeling. She is never vulgar that’s what I like about her. My clothes are about things that look stylishly French but effortless, she seems to like this. She's a bit more tailored, a bit more conservative and of course she’s missing this kind of fashion edge. Still she makes her hair look simple, so I think she just needs to dare and to be a bit more fashion. But you know in the end I think she looks stunning.
Do you have a lifetime ambition you have not achieved?
No I do not. And I don’t think like this. I think I’m someone who lives in the moment. Everything that happened to me I never could imagine. I always say if I had to redo it again I never could, oh my God, I wouldn’t do it. There was a part of me which was totally unconscious of some difficulties, I would just go and fight and do it. If I had to redo it again I would say no way.
Describe a typical Sunday at your house.
I will go early in the morning to have a hamam – like a Turkish bath - and then I get my skin brushed and massaged. Then I will go to do some shopping at the market for food. Then I prepare lunch – form the start to the end it will take me 2 hours. I love to cook when I can. After that I will just go in my room and I will lay and read a book, relax and look at the TV. Like a mini holiday.
Kate Bosworth, Vanessa Bruno and Rachel Bilson
What would you like to do next?
I have plans but I’m a bit superstitious so I don’t like to tell anyone if it's not done.
If you could give one piece of advice for people starting out in the fashion industry right now, what would you say?
Good luck! The industry has been changing so much, it’s definitely tough. The stronger you are about your vision, the better you get it out. Because there is SO much out there and you cannot compete with Zara or H&M - if you think you can compete with that its time to get real.