We spend a day with couture kids' fashion label, Leoca's, founder and artistic director Maud De Longevialle.
Maud, 33, Founder and Artistic Director of Leoca, lives in in Paris with her husband and her two daughters Paloma, aged 9, and Bianca, 6.
What is your family’s morning routine?
Routine? I wish we had one! Every minute counts in the morning... First, my daughters join us in our bed for their morning kiss, then everyone does more or less of their own thing, including Bianca who loves having her corn flakes in the kitchen, sitting on top of the washing machine. Paloma already likes picking her own clothes, and can get quite fussy when we disagree on what she’s going to wear to go to school. My husband goes to work early so I take the girls to school at 8:28am (school starts at 8:30am!) and then I rush to the Metro for work. I usually take a coffee opposite the office before actually starting my work day – this isn’t really true, in fact I work all the time!
What is your office environment like?
Small, but friendly and full of energy. I share the premises with other artists – hat makers, bathing suits creators, architects, so there’s always something going on in the showroom and it gives me fuel for the day, although I sometimes go crazy over the lack of space for all my fabrics and inspiration materials (at the moment I have a black sleigh in the office...)
Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?
Unfortunately, you can’t avoid certain aspects of work: follow-up, ordering, invoicing etc, so most of my day in the office is spent dealing with very pragmatic issues. I get out of the office to grab a mixed salad with organic seeds to have more energy for lunch, meet with customers, or find the right ribbon. A typical day is just not enough!
Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?
You know I’ve always worked in the fashion industry, focusing on children clothing. But my first and everlasting love is in film-making - my major when I graduated from Les Beaux-Arts. I ran a few projects (among which a feature film) and fell into fashion which also gives me the means to express myself.
What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?
Becoming a midwife was always in my thoughts, since I was very young.
What is the best thing about your job?
What I like the most is to create forms, to cut, to tear, to assemble.... But unfortunately these moments are not frequent enough.
Are there any downsides to your job?
As I said, I spend too much time on making sure my business runs smoothly. I’d love to be a 100% creative!
How do you come up with creative, original ideas?
I was born and grew up in Paris, and still live here. I get my inspiration from this city. It’s my centre of gravity, part of my energy. I don’t think about it, it happens just like breathing.
How do you juggle family life with work life?
I do my best, that’s for sure. I make sure I spend some fun time with my daughters, which means that sometimes we skip homework or dance with the girls in the lounge! My husband and I also try to go out in the evening, just the two of us!
What do you do outside of work, with your family?
Do you know CASTORAMA – a handyman’s paradise in France? My husband is a scientist but has a passion for wood work and we always have a project to optimise space in our apartment, build a piece of furniture, design new elements for my showroom... Living in Paris we also go to exhibitions and to the crowded playgrounds when the sun’s out!
What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?
I wish to keep my passion for my job, create, reinvent, and make of Leoca a recognised international brand and to be able to open my showroom to all these people who pass in front of my shop: 44 rue du Cherche Midi à Paris.
Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?
They are very creative, and funny! So why not, if they have this envy and that passion for fashion?
If you had superhero skills, what would be your dream job?
I would like to fly, or to be teleported as quickly as possible from country to country so I could connect with different populations, their history and their culture.
Visit Leoca online to shop the collection.
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