What can a woman's perspective bring to styling a man's look? Laetitia Paul, French GQ's longtime fashion editor, can affirm that it adds quite some finesse. Having trained at the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, Paul landed an internship at the iconic American menswear title that had recently launched in France. She transitioned up the masthead to fashion assistant then fashion editor; her illustrious career has now spanned a decade.
When presented with the collection for Solovière, Paul was attracted to "the simplicity of the product," she recalled, sitting in the Condé Nast France headquarters in Paris's 8th arrondissement. "The story of a single piece of leather? It's minimalist, but it's a good concept, one that stays firmly in your mind: it looks beautiful, it's comfortable. Voilà! It makes you want to wear it." Paul styled the Solovière Fall Winter 2018 campaign, selecting the perfect faded jeans, slouchy trousers, and bright socks to highlight the sneaker and the rubber sole Matthieu. The campaign casting was purposefully androgynous, reflecting Solvière's effortless appeal to both genders.
An emerging brand has to be...
What I like about Solovière is...
that it is confidential, in the right sense of the word: it's for connoisseurs. It's refined, but cool—and that's not easy, to be both. It speaks to people who are niche—who like this, but not plenty of other things... they have a precise taste, a particular taste, and are careful with their look but in a way that is very natural.
How would you recommend styling Solovière?
Some of these shoes could be dressed up with a suit, almost! The black leather of Era slide sneaker a nearly satin finish.
As a woman who styles men, what do you think of genderless or unisex fashion?
What I like about Solovière is that it's neither 'masculine' nor 'feminine.' It's something I want to wear—and my boyfriend could too. If our feet were the same size, we would trade. Derbies, moccasins, sneakers... they're styles everyone wears. Genderless aesthetics are not just a moment in fashion, it is a cultural shift sociologically—beyond fashion. It's the future.
What's your advice on the "right" approach to social media and having a strong web presence?
I'm not for sending products to influencers. There has to be an "editorial line" that you coast with. You have to be consistent with your image and not be too scattered, so that people understand your product and understand your universe. You have to innovate, but without losing that "editorial line."
How can an emerging brand distinguish itself amongst the brand saturation?
A lot of labels are looking for the answer to this—it's a recurrent problem for brand identities. What I like, when I look at social media, is something that evokes a mood: aspirational images, an aesthetic that transports me somewhere else. Iconography is always useful, and is very rich.
What's the best advice for the future?
No compromises. You have to continue with what you're doing. Today, having a strong concept and not spreading out too thin is rare. From one strong idea, you can tease out many different strands. It's great to have that core fanbase. But also you have to make special styles, carefully chose collaborations, find smart points of sale, and find visibility through the people who correspond to your world