A Day In The Life Of… French Colignon
“Its amazing how a beautifully cut garment can elicit human emotion and this is a driving factor in my affinity with fashion.”
Ever wanted to step into somebody else’s shoes for the day and see what life is like as a magazine editor, a professional sportsperson or corporate high-flyer? Well, SHESAID is giving you the closest thing to your very own Freaky Friday experience with our A Day In The Life Of… series.
Name and role
France Colignon, founder, head buyer, marketing director of Cosette.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do…
I am of French and Italian heritage and grew up in Paris in Saint-Germain des Prés. My family worked in fashion and from this I grew up in a very visual environment and spent extensive time travelling around Europe from a young age.
As a child, my most vivid memory was being escorted by my father at the Cannes Festival and watching all the beautifully dressed women. I think it was the moment my lifelong eagerness for elegance was born. From this a love of all things luxurious ensured.
How did Cosette come about?
I’ve always worked in fashion or media, so frequent travelling between Paris, London, Milan and Sydney has been a big part of my work in the past few years. Each time I would go to a fashion capital I would purchase lots of beautiful items from European designers and each time I would arrive back to Sydney my friends would be excited to look at my new designer finds and be shocked at the price I paid for them.
By constantly travelling and having access to the current designer collections overseas, in my circle I became the ‘fashion reference’ and I noticed there was a huge gap in the Australian market in terms of variety, designers and exclusive styles available.
The fashion industry is notorious for being hard to crack. What were the initial struggles you had getting Cosette off the ground?
For me it’s always been the hardest to overlook my personal style preferences to what I know will sell to a larger commercial audience of all styles and tastes.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I see myself as someone quite artistic and am always finding inspiration in the lines, cuts and fabrics of the collections I’m exposed to. Its amazing how a beautifully cut garment can elicit human emotion and this is a driving factor in my affinity with fashion.
If you could wear only one designer, who would it be and why?
I don’t like the idea of being locked into only one brand. For me, fashion is a personal and artistic expression of my mood and personality so being locked into one brand would take part of this away. Plus there are so many great designers.
What are the challenges that have been critical to your success?
With no hesitation easily the first one has been giving up the safety of a secure position in a big company to branch out by myself to live the entrepreneurial dream. It’s been a journey with lots of ups and downs but the end of the day being able to project my own vision and call the shots is worth every bit of it.
Learning to trust my instincts and knowing when to take risks is another. Its taken a few wrong choices but I’ve learnt the hard way to always trust my intuition – especially when it comes to things like a new season buy or knowing when to secure a store location.
Your workdays are much more exciting than the average 9 to 5. When you’re preparing for a new collection, what does a typical day involve?
7.00am: No day is ever the same but I like to start my day off with a healthy morning routine that involves either a run on the beach or a yoga at my favourite studio in Bondi followed by cooking a big, healthy breakfast that I like to eat while listening to loud music in my apartment to get ready for the day.
8.00am: Picking an outfit is an important part of the day for me as it will express my mood. I am all about about a classic attitude with a sense of individual style and today this is a pair of classic black jeans with a white Celine shirt with a pair of Balenciaga booties.
9.00am: I arrive at the office with a take-away latte in hand. My main plan of attack is to start with my emails for the day. After this, I’ll spend another half an hour at my desk checking social media, the news and Cosette’s web performance statistics to keep abreast of everything happening in our industry and the world.
10.00am: I always dedicate at least an hour to have a strategic briefing with my team. We sit around our meeting table and fix our daily goals and after this I’ll spend some time with our graphic designer to talk about imagery, content, inspiration and brand guidelines for the e-boutique.
11.30am: I meet with our artistic director, Ruben to discuss any upcoming campaign or look book photo shoots, model castings, copy and design.
12.30pm: I have a quick lunch break.
1pm: It’s straight back to emails. I’ll usually touch base with our public relations team to discuss the current collections, upcoming campaigns and profile features for the brand.
1.30pm: Our latest delivery of Balenciaga and Celine samples have arrived from Paris.
2pm: I check up on our current stock levels from in stores to see what styles are selling best and what we’re starting to run low on.
3pm: I pop into our store as this is the heart of our business and I like to receive manager feedback, speak to our retail team and any customers in store at the time.
6pm: After a few hours in store, I’m off to meet a girlfriend for dinner. I’m a big believer in work life balance so this time to catch up with friends is an important time in my day.
9pm: Walk through the doors of my North Bondi apartment. Home finally! I check my emails for one last time before indulging in an episode of my favourite series which at the moment is Narcos, or read a book. After this, I’m out like a light!
To see more head to Cosette’s online store: www.cosette.com.au
Feature image via thevaultonline.com.au