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This time, we take you to Montpellier, at Julie Aleman's, the director of business development in France and overseas, to give you a tour of her californian-inspired house.
How did you come across Sessùn?
I knew Emma well before Sessùn even existed.We were just 15 years old when we met. I saw her very first designs, the crochet headbands from Guatemala, the vests and then the jumpers. At one time, Emma had those jumpers all over her apartment. I remember their smell. I thought she was so brave but also a bit crazy; her project was not a simple one to execute.She was both stylist and entrepreneur, with her own original ideas and financial means. She was driven by a passion for the local crafts and traditions of the countries she travelled to in South America. She had another life over there, full of amazing encounters. She showed a lot of love and affection for the people she worked with. I didn't know them. Sessùn is all about what Emma brought back from her experience and what it inspired her to create over here in France.
What is your job at Sessùn?
When Sessùn first started up, I had a clothes shop in Montpellier. It goes without saying that I was keen to sell the pieces that Emma brought back in her luggage from her trips.Firstly, because I loved them, but also because I saw real potential in her vision, there was already a fashion style, and a unique story behind each piece. So, I suppose that in one way you could say that I was the first person to sell the Sessùn label. Nowadays, Sessùn is a full-time job and it’s on a completely different scale. I’m currently the director of business development in France and overseas. I have accompanied Emma on this fantastic journey. We were lucky enough to share this passion, and achieve all this while still remaining as good a friends as we were when we were 15. The advantage of us being such old friends is that during a work meeting there’s always a moment when we can switch off, and vice versa, an out of work chat often triggers great new ideas for Sessùn.
The decorative influences of your apartment/house?
My inspiration comes from the past, my past, from my childhood. I’m also very nostalgic about the places I have travelled to. I grew up in a small town in the Gard where most of the houses in my neighbourhood were old stone houses. They were renovated very simply with a touch of 1970’s, slightly hippy-ish modernity that I still love today. It's a warm mix, which makes you feel at home. Surprisingly, my house is a modern build and not an old house. So, I had to recreate this spirit with contemporary materials. I also drew a lot of inspiration from Californian houses of the 1950s - 1970s. I have a fabulous book, that I bought a long time ago in a bookstore in L.A., which we used as inspiration for the plans when we designed the house with the architect. I was determined to have bay windows with wooden frames! Bench seats scattered with cushions where the whole family could laze about. I also wanted several different levels, both small and big. Lamps too, I have a real passion for lamps. I always prefer indirect, soft light. And rugs, objects, concrete, a large table for drinks and meals with friends, a fireplace, a very low-slung sofa 70's inspired sofa (a classic Togo sofa). And I wanted somewhere light, very light. There’s a mixture of vintage pieces that I’ve collected over the years, and far more contemporary pieces. But the most important thing is that it’s cosy and welcoming, and feels like a house that is lived in.
The room where you spend the most time when you’re at home?
I’m lucky enough to have a big room which includes different areas for the kitchen, the fireplace and the sofa, a dining area, the TV bench seat area, all in one, but set out on different levels. It’s the room where everything happens, the room that we live in, where we can be all together as a family or scattered around. I like the idea of having everyone close to me. And it also has big glass doors which lead out into the garden, which is another key area of our house.
Your favourite outfit to wear for work?
It depends on the day, on my mood and on what I’ve got planned. If I’ve got a busy day ahead with lots of meetings outside the office, I’ll wear a pair of raw denim Marino jeans, my denim shirt from a previous collection (that I’ll never part with!) and this season’s Emdem blazer. It’s elegant yet simple. I like easy classic combinations, they’re always effective. This season, my favourite boots are the Ludds; they’re perfect and very comfortable, I can't seem to take them off, they go with everything!On a day when I’m not sure what to wear, I’ll put on my white Momon jeans, they’re always a safe bet.
A piece of Sessùn clothing or accessory that you love?
A summer dress from the 200…? collection, actually I’m not sure which one. It's a chambray shirt dress, which is very simple and has a beautifully cut sleeve. It's a little faded now, and the fabric has gone very soft, but I still love getting it out every year when I pack my bag to go on holiday. For me, it symbolizes happiness, going away and all those great times spent with family or friends, and very often with Emma, Johanna, Amelie etc.
Your favourite colour at the moment?
Navy blue, forever.
What do you always carry in your bag?
Anything and everything, I travel a lot. I carry around my whole house and my office in my bag! I have lots of Sessùn pouches in my bag, too many probably, but they make me feel like there’s a sense of order in my all the chaos.
The song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?
"Metti una sera a cena" by Enio Morricone.
If you had to describe Sessùn in 3 words?
Friendship, passion and shared happiness ....
A design piece you would love to buy yourself?
At the moment, I’ve got a real thing about the Seventies. I’d love to have one of Pierre Paulin's Pacha Lounge Chairs in my bedroom.
Your favourite piece in the current collection?
The suit, I love the return of the suit! The Alta jacket and the Solna trousers in navy blue velvet.