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We Believe in Women: Charlotte Chesnais

WINTER 2017

Charlotte Chesnais started her career at such a magical place as Balenciaga working side by side (and learning from) Nicolas Ghesquière. From there, she went on to create her eponymous brand 2 years ago. Running a jewellery brand with a small team is a busy task. However, she still manages to create beautiful pieces and to snatch some minutes of her time to talk to us about herself and her work. We believe in women. We believe in Charlotte Chesnais.

The funny thing is that when you are growing up, you don’t really realize how important that decade is. Now looking back I would tell you the thing I remember most fondly is reading the Elle Top Model, a magazine. I received it every month and it featured all these amazing models like Claudia Schiffer and all the tops. I remember the anticipation of waiting for the magazine and how I devoured it all in a day.

I do not really have icons but, of course, there are women I admire for their life and work. One would be Catherine Deneuve. She has got a very long successful career, with wonderful movies. She is a very big figure in France. As a jewellery designer, I look up to Elsa Peretti, who was a jewellery designer at Tiffany. I respect her a lot for her work.

Balenciaga was looking for a designer and I was finishing my studies. The headmaster at my school knew someone at Balenciaga and he called me to go and apply for the job. It was a very rich experience, very hard but not in a bad way. I learned a lot about ready-to-wear and jewellery design. It was the best school I could have imagined at every level: in terms of discipline, imagination…

Working along Nicolas Ghesquière was a wonderful experience. He is quite demanding but in a good way. Thanks to his character he knows how and when to push your boundaries so you can bring out the best of you. He is really charismatic. I could not pinpoint just one important thing I learned from him because the whole experience was what made sense.

I wish I knew the magic recipe for that. Each person has their path. I started my brand 2 years ago and so far, it is going great. I always try to do my best, making beautiful pieces I really love in the best quality I can. I want to do something people will want to collect. That is my philosophy, my aim in creating.

Charlotte Chesnais' jewellery

Actually, the femininity in my pieces is not intentional. I am trying to create something true, very pure and organic. I guess the meaning is given by the person who is wearing it. If someone makes the piece feminine, welcome it is.

I like to think that there are very different characters wearing my jewellery: young people, artsy ones, classic styles… There is not just one person in my mind. I see my jewellery in terms of shape and movement so the pieces can be made more personal by each person that wears them.

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