Creator and Designer Vanessa Marrapodi of Bleu Comme Gris has us dreaming of summer styles with her SS16 collection, featuring a Grecian color palette of traditional crisp blues & whites that will surely inspire you and your minis to whisk away on a magical mediterranean holiday. With dresses in signature prints, a new tailor made collection available this spring in their studio, and the continuation of soft lush childrens loungewear, it is no surprise Vanessa brings her exquisite Parisian eye and love for chic style to the childrens world of fashion. With two new stores on the horizon, one in Paris and London this fall, Blue Comme Gris has us hooked for the many seasons to come!
KYMBERLY MARCIANO: What inspired the name of your brand?
VANESSA MARRAPODI: First our company begin with a school uniform collection, here in France school color codes are blue and grey. There is also a poem from Paul Eluard titled “Bleu Comme une Orange”, we put everything together in a mix and it became Bleu Comme Gris!
KM: Why did you choose to design for children?
VM: By passion for small clothes, more cute in small size than adult size.
KM: Was it always clear which career route you would take?
VM: I began my career as lawyer, so it was not clear!
KM: What’s a standard day for you? Walk us through your process!
VM: I wake up at 6:30am, wake up my children and bring them to school. I enjoy 30 minutes of swimming pool every morning and then go directly to my at home office downstairs. I spend my morning working with suppliers and afternoon with the studio to develop my new collection. Usually I finish around 7 pm to prepare dinner for the children and 2 or 3 times per week I go out with my husband for dinner, or to enjoy an exhibit or a play.
KM: Tell us about your pajamas and loungewear. We love anything and everything cozy!
VM: The parisian brand Maloup exists since 10 years and it was a very famous brand in Paris for pajamas. We bought this brand 2 years ago and we continue to develop loungewear for children in the same spirit.
KM: How does your design philosophy change when designing for boys vs. girls?
VM: For me its same philosophy for boys and girls, I’m always thinking about a pretty family who would like to be “chic” in any case, morning till evening, and with a collection for special events.
KM: Is there a style decade you are most inspired by? How so?
VM: Its always a mix of Parisian chic style with touch of Riviera!
KM: How would you describe your SS16 collection?
VM: Colored and joyful, directly inspired from cyclades in Greece.
KM: What are your must-have items from your SS16 collection?
VM: Colored dresses with original exclusive prints.
KM: What’s exciting to you in fashion now?
VM: Everything is moving so fast now in our industry…all the time we have new projects, new openings and new collections to build…everyday is exciting!
KM: Any plans to open up a boutique here in the states?
VM: Our current focus is here in Europe with a new shop opening in Paris this March and another in London this September. But after London why not the states! We have a strong presence in the states with around hundred resellers, so we know that our brand is working well so far in New York and Los Angeles.
KM: What do you have coming up in 2016 that you are most excited about? Tell us about it!
VM: We open our studio and develop a tailor made collection for special order.
KM: What’s the best part about your job and why?
VM: To draw collection, the first step of everything.
KM: What keeps you motivated?
VM: Creation every day!
KM: What is your greatest aspiration?
VM: Travel and meeting people from all around the world during my trips.
KM: What do you think of Mini-Maven?
VM: Very upscale and qualitative content!
KM: Describe your personal style.
VM: Mix of cool and chic, I’m a typical Parisian!
KM: What piece of advice would you offer someone considering a career in children’s fashion?
VM: You must like his job because its really a full part time job!