Isabel Marant is one of the most in-demand fashion lines in the world. Having already put lifts in all our shoes with her famous “hidden-wedge sneakers,” Marant continues to be the must-have designer for bourgeois bohemians and self-styled “cool girls” around the world, who just can’t get enough of her “I found this at a thrift store” aesthetic.
Her clothes are admittedly gorgeous and beautifully put together, but that kind of craftsmanship and designer pedigree comes with a maddeningly high price point. We’re curious to see how her “luxe thrift shop” clothes will make the jump to H&M prices when her designer collab comes out in November. Will they just be regular thrift shop clothes after all?
As much as we like seeing Elle Fanning look like a freewheeling hippie pixie in Marant’s clothes, this week’s big Wall Street Journal profile makes Marant come off as a child of privilege seriously lacking in self-awareness. So without further ado, here are the 10 most out-of-touch, rich-person moments from this profile of Isabel Marant:
“I never dreamed of being a big designer,” Marant, 46, says. “I don’t care about being known all over the world.”
All that hard work you’ve been doing to get ahead or just get by? Isabel Marant just has to put good energy into the world and now she is a gigantic success purely by accident. She doesn’t give a fuck, she’s a down-to-Earth hippie.
It’s a long way from her first fashion show in a Paris squat nearly two decades ago, when her designs were sought out by her friends: fashion editors, stylists and the models who walked her runway.
Do you ever worry about what would happen if you threw a party and nobody came? Isabel Marant does not, because when she throws a party it is instantly full of fashion editors, stylists, and models. Her accidental tumble into fashion world success doesn’t sound like an accident so much as what happens when one is already BFFs with all the people most fashion design students would kill to get coffee for.
Marant was raised in the upscale Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine and lived with her father and Caribbean stepmom, whose family she frequently visited in Martinique. “They became my family,” says Marant, who learned to speak Creole. “They lived in a very simple way in little wooden houses, and I fell in love with this way of life. They grew their own vegetables and had no electricity. I was always amazed that you don’t need a lot to be happy. I am very ‘less is more’ in my spirit.”
How much do you think the people with no electricity and running water loved it when their rich French relatives came to stay with them and learn about how you don’t need possessions to be happy?
(She has since replicated that way of life with a weekend cabin near Paris that doesn’t have electricity or running water.)
Marie-Antoinette built herself a little village so she could pretend to be a milkmaid.
“I quit smoking for a year, and I gained 10 kilos [22 pounds],” she says. “It’s not me. I was not feeling myself anymore. It was breaking my brain.”
Smoking in fact damages the brain‘s capacity for memory, learning, and reasoning, according to the BBC. But maybe it’s because Marant doesn’t smoke like a normal person:
She begins rolling a cigarette. Her process is arduous. “This takes time,” she says. “Instead of smoking a pack a day, I smoke four cigarettes. I spend less and smoke less.” She doesn’t buy loose tobacco, instead buying a pack of Bastos cigarettes. She shreds one and empties the tobacco into a candy tin. She then pulls out the rolling papers.
Does your cigarette break take 40 minutes? Isabel Marant’s probably does.
In person, Marant is a strikingly natural beauty. She wears no makeup and her hair, a multitude of varying shades of gray and amber, is pulled back in a messy bun. …When she smiles (which is often), her entire face creases and the ends of her large, toothy mouth almost touch her eyes. She is gracefully slim, and her uniform of menswear staples only serves to heighten her femininity.
This is the weird part of every fashion article where the writer pretends to be shocked that a conventionally beautiful woman looks good in her $900 pants and cigarette-fueled thinness.
“I’m not this goddess of fashion—I’m low profile. I look like a delivery guy,” she says. “I drive my scooter and always have my helmet on. When people meet me, they think this cannot be her, because I look like a bum.”
Isabel, the writer just spent a whole paragraph describing your impossibly French natural beauty and how you wear your own, excruciatingly high-end clothes almost exclusively. You do not look like a homeless person, and nobody believes this is anything but false modesty.
When asked about knockoffs, from which she often suffers, Marant exhales and says in a measured tone: “You are super pissed-off, but if you are not copied, it means you are not ‘the one.’ What I don’t like is that it spreads your style everywhere. Something you are doing gets old in a minute. It takes such time to achieve something well and find the right way of doing things. But what can you do?”
Given that so much of Isabel Marant’s aesthetic is about looking like high-end versions of all the girls who are better at thrift shopping than you are, one would think she wouldn’t be so concerned about her “style” being out there. It’s already out there, it’s just hard to buy sometimes because all the cool girls bought up all the Western shirts and lace dresses last week.
“I once said that I’m anti-consumerist, and that goes against the work I do,” she says. “It caused a scandal: ‘Who is she to think that? She is going against her clientele.’ But I do fashion because I’m happy when somebody gets joy from a new garment. There is a magic side to this.”
If seeing the designer of $1,200 boots say that she is “anti-consumerist” does not cause your brains to explode all over your desk, you have a tougher skull than I.
“I don’t want to be on every corner. If I open everywhere, then it becomes common. I don’t want to overflow the world with Isabel Marant.”
Good luck with that H&M collab, Isabel.
Via WSJ/Image: WENN