Designer Maria Sole Cecchi knows it’s the small details that make good design come alive, and that signature wow effect now comes naturally to the Founder and Creative Director of Les Petits Joueurs. This rising accessories brand entirely hand crafted in Italy is now based between Florence and Milan and the unique story it brings is a true reflection of Maria Sole’s personal style.
Read more after the jump:
At what point did you realize fashion could be your career?
I’ve always been surrounded by fashion. Having been raised and living in the beautiful town of Florence has probably shaped my fashion sense. However, moving to Paris was what likely completed my personal style and narrative, and fashion sensibilities.
How did you come to start your own label?
The idea behind Les Petits Joueurs started when I naturally composed the word LOVE with colorful toy building bricks which I then glued onto an old bag of mine. This was the inaugural design which led to the development of the brand. I was carrying this bag everywhere and perpetually stopped by people asking where my bag came from and who designed it. All of this sudden attention was the inspiration which motivated me to launch my own label.
When designing, what do you have in mind, and how does it feed into your work?
When designing, I always try to look at a bigger picture. I typically look for a unique aesthetic and then transform pieces into fun, quirky and instantly recognizable designs.
You were elected by the Business of Fashion as one of the 500 most inﬂuential people in the fashion industry. Were you surprised?
When you build your own company, it’s a dream to receive this kind of recognition. Even more surprising was when I discovered that it was the late, Franca Sozzani, who had nominated me with strong praise.
I will never forget that moment. It was a surprise! This kind of acknowledgement and appreciation is a great reward for both me and my brilliant team.
“Femininity to me is the capability of being naturally beautiful with very little. It is represented in various ways in my handbag and shoe collections.”
Why did you decide to move brand’s HQ from Florence to Milan?
Florence is a great town, but Milan is truly the metropolis opening doors for business. The fashion industry continues to grow; and we simply needed to be in the heart of that growth. I also find Milan to be an incredibly inspiring city. It’s a place where there are things happening around you all the time. Milan is also a city that has become a cultural epicenter – a melting pot of people.
How does your typical day look like? How do you balance your career with your personal life?
Balance is something that I like to think we all try and achieve. I am constantly trying to find the right time for both my personal and professional life. However, I still have a business to run at the end of the day. It’s simply a matter of trying to find a healthy balance.
A typical day begins with working out after waking up. Then I head straight to our offices – either in Florence or Milan – and get on with all of the tasks at hand to make the magic of Les Petits Joueurs happen.
What is your favorite piece you have ever created?
I have so many favorites right now; and I keep wearing all of them. The dearest to me is the first piece that I ever created; which launched the brand and made it a success story. The piece is called the Mini Alex Love bag. It is, by far, the most iconic piece.
What is femininity according to you?
Femininity to me is the capability of being naturally beautiful with very little.
Femininity is represented in various ways in my handbag and shoe collections. I always try to create something elegant but special and diﬀerent; always keeping the playful design ethos underlying in the brand identity.
“When designing, I always try to look at a bigger picture. I typically look for a unique aesthetic and then transform pieces into fun, quirky and instantly recognizable designs”
How would you describe what elegance is?
I believe elegance is something that should come naturally. It’s something that can be seen or unseen. It’s the height of sophistication but in a simple way. This is why true elegant is very complex to find.
As a fashion designer what do you enjoy the most in your line of work?
I’d like to think that I have a 360 degree vision, and that this reﬂects in my work, and across my collections.
I enjoy the full process, beginning with my imagination and ideation translated into sketches, followed by production and then market. I enjoy all of these parts of the process.
Every step is important, and is a chance to be able to be part every design; which truly has my personal tastes and touch reflected in each piece.
What is the one piece you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
No woman should ever be without a simple blue denim jacket in her wardrobe. It’s a classic staple and looks good with practically anything and everything.
Name 5 things you can not live without.
I can’t live without my hairdryer, a good lipstick, a (Les Petit Joueurs) bag, facial mist, and a good book.
Finally, I have to ask where do you see your label in the next 10 years?
In the next 10 years, I see more collections, more fun, more pieces which are instantly recognizable as Les Petits Joueurs, and continuing to grow bigger in an organic way.