What if style is much more than just our clothes?
Yeah, sure, ok. We all know that. Obviously style is much more than our clothes. It’s how you wear them, how you move, it’s about being present. But maybe it’s also about the way you live your life.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. When I see other people’s lives on Instagram, for example. It’s annoying sometimes, sure – but it’s also super inspiring at the same time. Style is a way of life, and it has absolutely nothing to do with money. It’s all the things, little or big, that make up the art of living.
It’s putting together a beautiful dinner. Cultivating your passions. Knowing how to pick out flowers. Creating beautiful friendships. Writing a letter. Being fulfilled in your work. Knowing how to travel.
I was telling you monday about my friend, Laura, who splits her time between the farm and the city. Her life is like a dream to me. Not the working on the farm part necessarily (the passion I’d like to cultivate as soon as I can would actually be laziness and laziness has no place at the farm), but the fact that she lives both in nature and in the city.
The way my friend Richard lives and works also seems really dreamy to me. He’s renting a gorgeous little house in Montauk (you might remember, he lent it to me for a weekend) and his employees are all permanently invited there. He even had pillows embroidered with the name of his Surf Shack on them – it’s a little detail, but it shows the empathy involved in creating your own world, a world you can share with those you love.
I remember the first time I really understood what the art of living was.
My mother had just come back from spending a weekend with her friends in Bonifacio, and she said to me: “Can you believe it? They love going to the beach with their friends so much, they had a huge beach blanket made just so everyone could share it!!!”
I remember thinking that was so amazing. It’s a way of thinking about life and doing things differently, even if it’s just a tiny detail.
Maybe I’m asking all these questions because I’m starting on my fifth year in New York*, and maybe it’s also because my relationship with fashion and style is changing thanks to everything I’m learning with this blog.
And it’s also because, since I created my own company, I feel lucky to be able to decide how I want to live my life and what kinds of people I want to be around when I work, so I often find myself wondering: “but why do we do things that way?”
The funny thing about starting your own business is that you can do whatever you want, but even so, you often find yourself repeating whatever is familiar to you.
Work hours, vacation time, and even behaviors – like sitting at a desk, for example.
Last week, I posted a photo of Emily working at the Studio.
I explained that I’d always wanted the Studio to be a little bit like a home for the team. Last year, I ordered them all fuzzy slippers so they’d be comfortable. And I encourage them to take their laptops and work wherever they’d like.
So, the photo I posted on Instagram was of Emily chilled out working on the couch in her socks, which she does often. I got a lot of reactions like: “dream job” “I want to work with you all!!!” “Life goal!!!” and I thought it was interesting to see how inspiring it was for people just to see someone looking cozy at work.
Things like giving two weeks of vacation at Christmas to your employees in a country where two weeks is typically the total amount of vacation allowed for the whole year. Encouraging them to work wherever they want in the Studio. My next project is to send us all off on a trip together with different assignments… But I’ll tell you more about that when the time comes, if it comes.
These are little things, but I think it encourages people to push the limits a little bit and think about living in a way that’s really personal.
It’s not just work, it’s kind of the same way with life. I really admire people who question the way things are done and don’t just follow the established rules. I was telling a friend recently that my goal is to work less (friends of laziness, who’s with me?). If I said that in France, everyone would be like: of course!!!
But, here in the US, that shocks people right away. But, actually, I like that. I love working. I think what I really wanted to say to my friend was more like: “I want to live and work differently” – and, most of all, I don’t want to confuse my career with my life – and that can happen quickly in the fashion world…
I want to keep coming up with new ways of doing things, not get too attached to typical methods, find inspiration in others, like Laura, so I can find what really works for me, and never forget to keep questioning the rules – am I doing things mechanically just because “that’s the way it’s done”?
I want to invent my own lifestyle, I guess.**
And it’s funny, right now. I’ve been talking about this with my friends of all different ages, whether they’re employees at a company or they work for themselves, and they are all asking themselves the same questions.
How do you organize your life so that it really fits you? Is it like in the fashion world? Do you have to try different things and make mistakes? (I think so) Find inspiration in others? (Probably) Question your way of doing things every season?
I think so, yes. Otherwise you end up with a boring and dull life, like an old sweater that’s too comfortable. Well, ok. We all like old sweaters, you feel good in them. But aren’t you going to regret not trying the candy pink-colored top one day?
(Oh, the worst analogies ever. This snowy weather is going to my head…!)
So I wonder – what do you think about all of this? What does your ideal life look like? What do you dream of doing?
* It’s a city I love, and I’m here for good, but it’s also like it’s own planet sometimes.
** That’s kind of what I did with this blog, I guess. But once blogs become a kind of establishment, how can you keep reinventing?
Translated by Andrea Perdue