Lucie, half-time mother-in-law of Lucas 9 years old and Constance 5 years old, Paris.
Founder of the JOEY PARIS brand. Amazing and determined. Lucie offers a collection of ready-to-wear and baby accessories, mixed, practical and elegant. JOEY is both a revisited set of essentials such as the crossover bodysuit for up to 24 months and the sponge bib, absorbent and adjustable. But also surprising and evolving pieces like the bathing cap, the rain cap... Did I tell you about its adorable patterns? Yes, I am completely conquered! I invite you to discover the portrait of this designer. A nice meeting.
What is your background?
I have a rather "special" background. I lived in Italy for 18 years from the age of 5. So I had the chance after my literary baccalaureate (which I had at the French school in Milan) to join a design school in which I obtained a degree in Product Design.
I then won a scholarship for a master's degree in product communication at the same school. These 5 years of studies have first allowed me to learn that a product is right to be, of course, by its aesthetics but also and above all for its function. It must meet a need and be designed very precisely in order to integrate as naturally as possible into the daily life of its user.
My master's degree allowed me to understand a more complete dimension of a project: to respond to a precise brief of a company, to be technically and financially optimized, profitable and market ready.
When did you start the JOEY PARIS Adventure?
My last master project was given to us by Universal Music Italy (the record company). My product proposal being accepted, I obtained a 6-month internship! I was able to join the company and division that managed the artists' products. We were actually acting as an internal advertising agency, we were in charge of thinking and packaging ecosystems that offered our customers' customers free music, exclusive concerts, objects designed exclusively for these partnerships.
It was a revelation! I had never been in business or marketing before, so I had the chance to experience it!
At the end of my internship, the headquarters of the New Business monde unit of Universal Music (Universal Music Group and Brands) offered me a CDD in Paris, then a CDI. That's how I came to Paris six years ago!
A world far from Joey's... What happened?
3 years later and a burnout, I decided to participate in a social project in Australia, volunteering for one year. I went there in 15-day increments, 8 times in total, to help set up social project incubators in the rural areas around Melbourne. The person in charge of this project was a great visionary, who taught me that everyone has a part of creativity in themselves and that this is often the key to many things!
At that time, I knew I wanted to start my own project and it was an opportunity for me to mature it. I wasn't a designer by training, but fashion has always been a passion. The world of children has always attracted me, it was decided, it would be a brand for children!
You start in June 2015. Where do you start?
First of all, I'm working on the business plan. In September I launch a participative fundraising campaign on KissKissBankBankBank which was a success and which allows me to test my concept, the brand, to collect precise information on people's consumption habits and especially to launch the production of our first product, the Body K, crossed until 24 months!
6 months later and a few trips to Portugal after to find the perfect garment workshop, I launched in June 2016 my website and my first collection of ready-to-wear and baby accessories.
Where does the name and logo JOEY PARIS come from?
So Joey is from Australia! It means "baby kangaroo" in Australian and it is also a little nickname that mothers give to their children. I was literally fascinated the first time I had the opportunity to see kangaroos in the wilderness. I was struck by the softness of their faces and their strength. I found it extraordinary that females have the ability to carry their babies in their pockets once they are born. A way to protect them and keep them growing before they face the outside world.
It was first the code name of the project and then I never managed to part with it. It gradually inspired me in terms of style, especially for the design of my first kangaroo muzzle motif. That's also why we find pockets everywhere and the iconic "hop hop hop hop" on our bloomer, a reminder of the kangaroo jumps! I also liked the fact that it was a first name, mixed too! My own baby was born.
What are the values, the spirit of the brand?
From the beginning, I had only one obsession. To offer quality articles, useful and at the right price, all year round. I think my creations so that they make everyday life easier, I like to believe that they are reliable products that quickly become essential!
I like the idea that clothes can accompany the little ones over several seasons, that they can be given to brothers and sisters or cousins, because quality allows it.
Exactly, how do you work?
Two years ago, I created a range of Timeless Essentials, this summer, we released a new collection of more summery essentials, and in a few weeks more winter products will arrive!
It is very important for me to be well cared for, advised or informed because not being a mother myself, I always ask myself the question of the legitimacy of this or that product that I imagine. First I make a first sketch and then a technical sheet with precise details: the desired material, embroidery details, technical details... I then send it to one of my workshops according to their field of competence and they draw the pattern and then assemble a first prototype. We then work on it together again, until it is perfectly satisfactory.
And the patterns, are they Joey's own?
In terms of textiles, I like that we have our own designs. I drew the first one and then quickly took it to heart to work with a textile designer I love (Charlotte Janvier) who helped me shape my ideas for our summer design and for the upcoming winter design!
What are your favourite subjects?
To ensure that our textiles are perfectly safe for children, all our materials are labelled Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which guarantees that no harmful products are present in the fibres or dyes used. Quite often our materials are also organic. Everything is made in workshops specialized in childcare.
We mainly use cotton (in all its forms: double gauze, muslin, fleece, jersey) because it is the softest, most comfortable and most importantly practical material for cleaning! And of course, the soft and thick sponge for all our accessories.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by the world around me, by my friends, by my family, by everyone's experiences and by my experience as a child too. All these pieces that marked my childhood I re-released them at Joey's.
I am passionate about graphic design and in particular illustrations. Of course, industrial design is also a great source of inspiration for me. And of course, Australia was my greatest source of inspiration for my first collections and for building Joey's DNA.
All these little known or poorly represented wild animals fascinate me! For this winter's collection, I got a little out of it but I didn't go very far. I'm taking you to New Zealand!
Wants, projects for JOEY PARIS?
This summer, I turned 30 and Joey turned 2. I am so happy with the progress made, no matter what happens (because nothing is ever won), I would have been at the end of my dream. I think it's a real opportunity!
In the fall, I moved into my first real offices, with a small window just for us, on the street! A real dream come true.
What satisfies me the most in Joey's evolution is that it allows me to realize the desires of crazy projects! And in particular collaborations with brands and designers that I admire. It's one of my favorite things, to make two worlds meet and think together about unique creations.
That is also my vision of the Madeins Savoir faire, to seek out the best and those who do it best. Working together is so much better!
This is how our Kangaroo blanket was born, created with the Main Sauvage brand, (online on October 28). We are also preparing another beautiful collab for Christmas!
But my biggest project is to continue to see my little Joey grow, here in France but also abroad and to continue to take as much pleasure in creating!
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