- Would you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am Clarisse Mizrahi, Wanted Gina designer. I’m 31 years old. Before getting here, I worked in the theatre world until 3 years ago. It didn’t happen overnight. For 6 months I worked in the theatre workshops, I made costumes for giant puppets; it was my first contact with a garment related professional environment so, it was great training. Sewing on 12ft high puppets was a real challenge. After 6 months, it was just I and myself so I started “friends” sales. For me, it was very difficult to launch my brand because I had no training. I started without any certainty; I had never attended a fashion school, or gone to any sewing courses. I was super curious and after lots of tries, I started to understand the main mechanisms, patterns, etc.… Whenever my actor or director friends asked me for help on costumes, it allowed me to get better at it.
I started with small pieces of clothing, invited my friends so I could sell a few pieces (about 50); I did it twice in a row and it worked out great. I had a little money but I chose to invest it in a real photo-shoot. Since then, I like changing photographer for each shoot. When I have my ideas for a collection, then the whole world around it comes with it.
I started sending the portfolio to short-term sales and the results were encouraging. Marthe Lazarus entrusted me and that impressed me a lot. That was back in July 2013. I sold 65 pieces out of 70 at that sale. I locked myself up the whole summer to make a pretty collection for the 2013 winter. At the beginning of October, I continued with the Ephémère Boutique and ran out of merchandise for the next sales. I understood I needed a dressmaker. I worked that way until last summer (2014). Before, I was doing everything myself and I’m not very good at sewing and don’t have an industrial sewing machine.
I’m very very shy but I don’t think it shows too much. It’s more when it comes to intimate stuff that I’m shy in fact. Making friends is quite complicated. I’m careful whom I surround myself with. I know how to ask for advice and I’m loyal in my collaborations, particularly with my dressmaker with whom I get along very well. I have a hard time having strictly professional relationships because I’m a friendly person. I finally understood I am pretty entrepreneurial and that’s part of my character. Perhaps Wanted Gina is the proof that I wasn’t too wrong about that, but I do consider that the brand is only 2 years old.
- Where does this interest for ready-to-wear come from?
If I want to dress stylish I know how to do it but it’s not my priority. I don’t have the time to think about it in the morning. I never read fashion magazines; I’ve been doing oil painting since I was 7. So, I’m more artist than designer. I’ve studied art history, more than fashion books.
Since I was 7, I tell myself I want to be a fashion designer; I wanted to express myself with fabric, various materials, etc.
I look around me and of course, just like anybody else, some things hit me.
- What is Wanted Gina’s operative word in your mind?
I love to surprise, change everything while keeping the spirit consistent. I’m not here to keep up with trends.
To have fun I’d say and that it be surprising.
- What’s your favorite model in the new collection and why?
I really love the graphic jacket; it is oversized just like most of my jackets. I love the leather detail. It can go with a casual or evening outfit.
- What are your future projects?
In the fall, I’m going to the Pitchfork in Lille and I will participate in the Maisons de mode (fashion houses) 48h. I’d like to do less trade shows. Other than that, we have a launch party on Friday September 18 with Camille from Helmut who shares her workshop with me. It will be at the Meraki workshop at Oberkampf metro and it will be open to all.