Bounded by femininity, unfurling like a swirling ribbon without convention to frame it, Morgane Sézalory is a trailblazing titan. Her French fashion-brand, Sézane, has grown out of her. It is the contraction of her first and last names, it is her. Click in to the Sézane website and take in the air of an identity that is alluring and free, with complexity of paths taken and meaning chosen. The line is cool, yet classic-French elegance; it is impeccable cuts and lush fabrics, priced for everyone.
Morgane Sézalory top left, founder Sézane. First night introductions.
“The Art of Creating a Brand” was saved for our last day of workshops, at the Atelier Doré Marrakech Retreat. Morgane is soft-spoken and laughs a lot. She is uncompromising in her ways, aesthetic, and bond with her customers. Morgane began simply, over ten years ago, by selling vintage designer finds on eBay. She had a great eye, and capitalized on this new auction site to sell her priced-right stylish clothing and accessories. Within minutes of adding new pieces they would sell-out, often leaving customers disappointed. She founded Sézane in 2013, as a solution to demand that she could no longer keep up with. It was the first online-only French, fashion brand.
Each step in her growth has been to address her brand’s perennial popularity problem–keeping up with demand. And every time she adds another dream to her world, new fires alight. Her current dilemma is how to keep her more recent brick and mortar Sézane shops an easy, cozy experience when customers line up around the block to get in. Two years ago Morgane opened L’ Appartement, in Paris. It was the first retail space where customers could feel and try on Sézane fashion, and linger over a cup of coffee. Housed in a stunning, high-ceilinged, light-filled space there are items available for immediate purchase, and orders can be placed online.
Morgane said over and over again that for her, laziness was the mother of invention. That much of her operational mode is born out of convenience and efficiency. She eschews what she calls putting people and ideas into a frame–along the way defining her business by what worked for her in her own life. Even so, lately her pounding success, motherhood, and life’s demands have taken a toll on her energy and balance to life. Her latest endeavor is to get a healthy circle around longings and her world.
o Go at your passion with fervor and truth.
o Do it your way, within realistic business principles.
o The vision drives the operation.
o As you can, form your business to fit into your life.
o Hire help to realize your vision.
o Surround yourself with trusted people, who complement your skills.
o Treat people with grace and kindness.
Women attending the retreat, some business owners too, reflected this same desire for self-exploration, collaboration, goodwill, and a greater concern for the world around them. Success co-existing with these values.
Moving forward, all three speakers shared this sense of an impending shift—to how the consumer responds to brands, how social media takes us in, and to the relentless pace for women having it all. Everyone agreed, that story is a myth.
We introduce you to a beautiful pair of Sézane boots in our section, Flock To This.
Photos: Dawn Bell Solich, at El Fenn.