An Exclusive by Francesca Re
The fashion industry is geared towards women; women make up the majority of the workforce, women put their money back into it through retail, and women are the face of it. Brands like Coccinelle understand that line and are openly female-centric.
Recently, Coccinelle introduced the role of Creative Director, a role that did not exist until now, entrusting it to two women, Eleonora Pujia, the former Communications Director of Griffe, and Belgian fashion designer Vinciane Strovenaker, Coccinelle’s accessories designer responsible for the “Celeste” bag, the brand’s first it bag.
We had the pleasure to meet them, ask questions about their new role, their first new collection for Fall 2017 as co-creative directors, and talk about the future of Coccinelle.
What important changes have you made to the brand in your new role and what changes do you expect to make in the future?
We live in a time of change. And there are great transformations happening especially around the woman’s role in society. Coccinelle is a brand made by women for women and we are very open to the changes and the new opportunities. Our creative team consists of two women and we want to put the woman at the center, helping her in her needs and daily choices.
What’s your idea and vision of fashion? And what is your approach to fashion?
Fashion is a creative container, and today it goes beyond the classic vision of clothes, footwear and accessories. Today there are many worlds that intersect and intertwine with each other such as design, art, cosmetics etc. The mixture of worlds that belong to these different categories for us is a very interesting and powerful inspiration. Our vision is to go beyond the norm and to tell stories that are not just about the product.
Since you have different backgrounds, Eleonora Pujia is closer to communication and the strategies related to it, Vinciane Strovenaker is closer to the design and creation of the product itself, what are the differences and what are the common points that you have in your approach to fashion and in creating and designing a collection?
Eleonora: I worked for many years in commercial training and later I changed to communications and I’m very proud of the experiences that make up my “personal baggage”. I carry that with me to shape my new experiences. The knowledge allows me to keep an open mind on the creative aspects of a collection. My approach is naïve and playful, but I don’t neglect the reality of business which I learned from my past roles.
In balance, Vinciane is a true expert about style, and her cosmopolitan taste always brings a modern and sophisticated touch to the collection.
What is the inspiration behind the F/W 17 collection and what is the leading theme that will follow for future collections?
ARISTO-STREET is the mood of the Coccinelle Fall / Winter 2017-18. Utility, refinement, sumptuous materials and street appeal express the contemporary nature of the Coccinelle fall/winter 2017-18 collection. The balance of function and dynamics, and the contrast between pure design and glossy aesthetics create a modern-retro glamour. From the shiny plexi-touches, to the equestrian round shapes and the fluo-pop brushstrokes our designs are all about the details. This season Japan is the source of inspiration, suspended between the tea ceremony and high-speed trains, ancient kimonos and manga dolls, neon signs and Buddhist temples.
What are the most important pieces of the F/W 2017/18 collection?
Do not miss our iconic Arlettis bag in the mini version, although it comes in many variations. Also the Ambrine bag makes its debut and is offered in various styles and material combinations.
How would you describe “the Coccinelle woman”?
The Coccinelle woman is a modern woman: she works, she is a mother and is socially active, she travels and is informed. Our woman is positive and optimistic and loves to be with her family and with her friends and she shares the true values of life. She is looking for products that positively express her personality without neglecting functionality and design, and is the right price. She is environmentally conscious, she wants a brand that is sustainable and responsible.
What are the future projects of Coccinelle?
Coccinelle will focus increasingly on collections that offer versatility and are transverse. We will look at our iconic bags and play with style and shape. For the new season, the new icon bag will be Ambrine. Our aim is to satisfy every need of our customers and to do so, the leather must remain the focus of our research. It will always be our core business, but we will not exclude new textile innovations and materials. We want to always excite and surprise our customers and explore new concepts while keeping the brand at the center.