I found Tiphaine and her magical trio not long ago on Instagram and soon after I came across her blog Simples et purs. She is a very inspiring person to follow, writing, in French, about living in Paris and documenting all their, mostly cultural, outings.
Having met up I can say she is as lovely in real life as she appears on her blog! She will soon write another blog for Les enfants a Paris. (read her last blog about Monumenta here)
Recently I was asked a couple of question about my blog and my vision on the Parisian Kids Fashion industry.
I’m definitely not a traditional Parisian mum and I will never become one. Not even if I loose 50 kg and work on my French, and even Alexander, who is growing up in France is not always dressed in French clothes so I decided to ask Tiphaine about her vision on the Parisian Kids Fashion industry.
This is the first interview with a blogger on Les enfants a Paris so why don´t you tell us about yourself, your blog and how everything started.
I have always loved writing, taking photos, communicating. I started blogging in 2005 when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter. A long way from our families (in Bosnia and Brittany), wanting to share our daily lives… Then I created “Simples et Purs”, with a more general readership in mind.
How could our everyday life be relevant to them? I decided to highlight our simple, pure sources of happiness (not forgetting our doubts and questions). I want to demonstrate children’s thirst for finding out, going deeper, discovering. The blog is a way of encouraging readers to venture into museums, to bring culture into their home, little touches which nonetheless will have a big and lasting impact on their children. Paris is absolutely brimming with things to see, do and share!
What can you tell us about the kids fashion scene in Paris of today? Has it changed the last couple of years and in that case in which direction?
I think fashion is changing. Paris has been at the forefront of children’s fashion, instrumental in propagating the idea of design especially for children. Some of the most prestigious brands have had a free rein. But all that is now falling apart …
While many small designers continue to fly the flag for French style, the big brands are visibly struggling. Their collections are short on panache and lacking that extra kick. They are conventional, unsurprising, taking no risks. The economic crisis has certainly taken its toll, not to mention other European brands and their unashamed offerings of sharp, creative, fresh designs.
French brands have been choosing to offer tried and tested collections. Adult brands have been churning out children’s versions of their designs with little change or innovation. I think the big French brands are more focused on making a profit than on creating and enjoying. They are losing a lot of their credibility, and that is a great pity.
However, there are still some small brands and collections which manage to define French class that moves with the times. So all is not lost, but we need a wake-up call.
In France there has always been a more traditional and a more dressed-up taste compared with the rest of Europe. Do you feel that the market for kids fashion has become more diversified in Paris too?
Yes, the market has diversified and is very open. Even though, as I have already said, everything is starting to look more and more similar. This interest in children’s fashion is fairly recent. In the beginning, a few multi-brand stores paved the way and started some trends. Then the Internet helped to make children’s fashion widely available. Today in Paris there are highly-specialised shops, where we can easily create great looks for our children.
Is there any difference in the way a Parisian dress their children compared with the French countryside?
In France you can quite easily guess children’s backgrounds just by looking at them. There is the traditional family, the classic family, the “my children call the shots” family, the “I never really think about it” family, the bohos, the fashionistas…
And they can all end up together in one class at school!
One thing I am sure of is that in Paris you can dress your children any way you like, with no chance of their being singled out in the playground. Wearing scarves or big hats is completely normal for stylish Parisian children. I have friends who tell me that outside Paris it would be quite another matter! Mixing and mismatching fabrics or prints too… I often mix stripes and Liberty prints … In Paris, nobody turns a hair, but in provincial areas it would attract a lot of comment. I think this is a feature of big cities, particularly Paris in its role of fashion capital. Dressing well and working on your look is not frowned upon here, quite the opposite. Even for children!
You are an expert on Paris so please give our readers your top 5 hotspots regarding kids- and design shops as well as the best districts to go to be inspired.
The district of le Bon Marché is essential and it extents all the way to Saint Germain.
My neighborhood, around Bastille is of course one of my favourites as well. For the beautiful toys go to Filament, Petit Pan, Mandorla Palace and dont forget to visit Merci & Balouga. Eventually a picnic in Place de Voges, there’s a little sanbox and little boats in the fountain.
Alexander with Tiphaine and 2 of her 3 kids cruising around in Paris in their Velo Cargo Babboe