French luxury brands arrived late to the e-commerce game but one unknown designer pioneered the industry. Morgane Sézalory left school before finishing her final year and set up an eBay vintage shop (much like Sophia Amoruso of Nasty Gal fame). A website, Les Composantes, followed before Sézane launched in 2013 as the first online-only e-tailer in France.
Sézane, an amalgamation of her first and last name, specialises in high-quality, feminine classics, which are effortlessly cool. Case in point, the Jim coat (as pictured below) – a quietly confident, timeless wardrobe staple that can be layered over almost anything. Sézalory embodies her brand, creating wear-forever pieces that easily slot inside her own wardrobe.
“It was a brand new concept in France. We offered customers a unique way of shopping.” – Morgane Sézalory
The label creates two seasonal collections each year, supported by limited pieces that are revealed monthly. Items tend to sell out quickly, meaning that that you have to act fast for a slice of Sézane, and the short product cycle ensures that the brand avoids leftover stock (Sézane never discounts).
Sézane's first bricks and mortar shop has opened on South Molton Street and sits in good company amongst Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot and Zadig & Voltaire, all of whom share a similar audience and price points. To mark the launch of the pop-up boutique, Sézalory sat down with Luxury London to talk style tips, social media and what the future holds for Sézane.
I have been visiting London for more than 10 years because my sister lives here. I love the vibe of the city – there is always a new art exhibition on and you discover new things all the time. I love strolling around vintage shops and the flea markets are also amazing.
I believe London is more daring with fashion. Londoners wear more colour, shorter skirts and higher heels, while French women are more classical.
I don't really try to look stylish, I just select pieces that I know make me feel good. I think that fit is everything – if the product is not properly cut, it won't be flattering.
Sézane is suitable for every age and is also reflective of my own style. I love to dress in simple but beautiful pieces. Our clothing is designed to last forever, not just one season.
Social media was instrumental in growing our brand. Word of mouth spread very fast, and things can be promoted so quickly on Instagram. Sometimes I do feel that too many Instagram accounts look the same, but I love to discover inspiring new handles. Some of my favourite acounds are Garance Doré, Cup of Jo, Lily Barberi Coulon, Une Libanaise à Paris.
We make all of our products where we can find the best savoir-faire. As we have a huge collection, it’s easier for us to manufacture clothing somewhere that's not too far away, so we have several fabricants in Europe – Italy, Spain and Portugal. We source incredible silk in China and for the perfect embroidery, it’s India. My team and I are always searching for the best material at a fair price and with no intermediaries.
We don’t plan to open a lot of stores but we are interested in cool collaborations and innovative concepts. In France, we have a new corner in Le Bon Marché. In London, my dream would be to organise a partnership with Liberty.
We are also collaborating with Hotel Magique for Christmas on a selection of printed T-shirts, sweaters and cups. Next year will mark five years of the brand and we hope to explore different cities in Europe and America.
I will be spending Christmas at home with my family. I love to make our home very festive. My wish list includes the Joseph scarf and I would really love it if someone bought me the Tiger bag in green, which is a very pretty colour in winter.
20 South Molton Street, London www.sezane.com.