Laureates from the Mediterranean Prize Fashion 2015, Cyrine Faillon and Hend Gasmi, both from Tunis are the talented designers of their brand Mademoiselle Hecy. Meeting and interview with these two young women full of inspiration and talent !
Why did you get started in fashion?
Cyrine Faillon: Several reasons have pushed me to start; first there was the passion for the environment, then the clothes of course but it was also a real need. I had many things in mind that I could not find in stores and I wanted to create them.
Hend Gasmi: I’ve always loved the world of fashion. I have a passion for art and clothing and this is especially the desire to create that also gave me the desire to push myself.
What is your study and professional path?
Hend: We have both an unusual profile. I have started by something else since I was doing a master in French literature before deciding to get into fashion and attend courses at ESMOD.
Cyrine: Same for me, I first did five years of product design studies before challenging myself and switching to the ESMOD adventure.
What is your main inspiration when you prepare your collections?
Cyrine: We are very open to different arts, including design. We are inspired by anything surrounding us.
Hend: My sensitivity to the arts makes me inspired by a simple music or by a designer dress. Especially small designers who have in my opinion the most original items.
Cyrine: Yes it is the same for me, a single product can often inspire me the whole collection.
How was created Mademoiselle Hecy?
Cyrine: Our collaboration began after our two years at ESMOD. That’s where we met. We first became friends in life before becoming partners. And we naturally get along well because we loved each other the same things. We wanted to get into the business at the same time and in a week, and our collaboration was done!
Hend: Yes, we are really on the same page, we have the same vision and especially the same goal: to make luxury, but in the ready-to-wear. We really wanted to differentiate from all these collections of haute couture evening dresses! We wanted to offer something different in the luxury field.
What’s the general mood of of your clothes / your collection?
Cyrine: The spirit of our collection is luxurious, but we had the desire to create comfortable clothing while remaining feminine without being vulgar of course. But especially with originality.
Hend: This is a collection without stereotypes that have been sketched for all women: clothes they can carry and assemble with their own style.
How do you conceive an “ideal wardrobe”?
Cyrine: An ideal wardrobe in my opinion is determined depending of the week. I like having pieces that I can match in different ways according to what I want to wear. For example, I like to have pants that I can mix with several tops. A perfect wardrobe for me really determines a way of life for a woman. Depending on their lifestyle, habits…
Hend: Our vision of perfect wardrobe is transmitted in the collections that are created, a wardrobe for a free woman, who accepts herself…
In this creative collaboration that you have, what do you bring to each other?
Hend: In our collaboration, each brings a lot to the other. We really have a highly complementary profile concerning the design. Even if we do all the work together; e.g. buying fabrics or for the rest, we do not think all the time the same. But tastes and vision that we have in common brings good ideas to each other.
Cyrine: But have a real balanced partnership. For example, we both sketch equally. It does truly achieve a “perfect balance” between us with the guidelines we have in common.
In what context did you apply to the MFP?
Cyrine: We decided to participate to the MFP during our first Fashion Week. We have met there a laureate designer and advised us to submit an application. As some close friends did.
What did you learn from this experience?
Hend: This has been a very positive experience for us! We learned many things that helped us in the development of our brand.
Cyrine: Actually, we did not realize many things until this experience. As we take care of everything ourselves, whether for the purchase, sale, or the logistics and communication, it was hard for us to have an objective vision of our work. And that’s what we needed. With the MFP we were able to get a objective and professional vision with the coaching that we have benefited from during 6 months. This helped us repositioning our brand image on some points that may seem insignificant but are essential in reality. How to communicate on social medias for example is quite different, and this is something that we must master.
What are your projects?
Hend: We hope to have a feedback from our exhibition at les Galeries Lafayette; this would be a good point for us to know how our brand is perceived in Paris.
Cyrine: Yes, because initially we did not target Europe for an implantation. But it is certain that this brings great credibility in being present in Paris in particular, which is a great fashion capital.
Hend: It is also important for us to be visible through an e-shop as My Souk In The City allows, and it is very important for us to sell and make us well known.
Cyrine: But Europe was not our first target. We are fine in Tunis, and we hope to expand to other Maghreb countries, such as Morocco.
Hend: We are definitely open to other opportunities that may be interesting. It depends of the store’s concept and should be aligned with our main objective to sell.
Cyrine: Exactly, and we also wanted to exceed the “designer’s” image that is often associated with a lack of stock. This is not really positive from our perspective since we have significant capabilities of stock, but also factories. We really have a great capacity to grow that we want to operate, an advice from the MFP coaching. We have expanded our range and capabilities and we no longer work on a system of unique items, as we have done in the past. This does not really correspond to the way we think ready-to-wear today.