The Fashion Folk S02 ep1 : Sophie Albou, Paul and Joe Fashion, [State]
Interview with Sophie Albou
Fashion scholar Sophie Albou first got her stylish feet wet at France's Fashion Institute. She followed her graduation with an appointment at Azzedine Alaia and then became a stylist for Le Garage. In 1995 Albou launched her first menswear collection, under the name "Paul and Joe" - a shout out to her two young sons. Two years later the designer released a womenswear line under the same moniker, to critical acclaim.
Tell me the name Paul & Joe, where did this come from?
Albou: It comes from my son, I have two boys, they are Parisian born and my family comes from
Paris and my kids of course.
Albou: My parents own very, very, very high level shirt company in the 80’s, 90’s, called
Lugerhash so I always saw my family and my mum, especially my mum, really, really deep
emotion only in her work could and she could share her private family life and business life so well
so I had this example.
Albou: When I was a little girl and I was on holiday I used to travel with her to look for the fabrics
in Italy, in Como, in, so I had this, I think I have this in my genes.
Albou: I think the very important this education why, you would say education, what’s the
meaning? I learned since my childhood to appreciate beauty, art and very, very warm family. So I
always saw my mum perfect, very in the 80’s, very YSL with red nail polish and always wearing
beautiful high couture clothes and very, very, maniac in term of detail, stitch, fabric, always so it’s
really I think I have it from my childhood, I had this education of, this culture, I would say this
culture that my parents teach me of beauty and well finished tailored clothes.
Albou: Even if I’m not 100% technician, I have the eye and I know the shoulder, I know the length
of the sleeve, so even if I not a professional I would say pattern maker, I sew, of course I sew I
mean I’m not a very, I have, I see exactly the shoulder, the finish, the length, the I have the eye, I
am very, very, very maniac about nice finish and beautiful fabric.
Albou: Beautiful clothes has to be made in a beautiful fabric first of all and then beautifully made
and we are lucky in France to have the best manufacturer in the world who have the savoir faire.
Albou: Ten years ago I was starting to do men’s clothes, I wanted to do only men’s clothes because
for me the men’s world of clothes is a little bit tight, there is not so much offer, and I started to do
men’s with very fancy, happy clothes, lot of prints, lot of colour, which was very, very innovating
for this time because everything was grey, black, white, boring, severe, so Paul & Joe was a lot of
freshness in the fashion world 10 years ago. Then my customer push me to do women, do it, do it,
and I didn’t want it because I’m so much competition and so much, and so I started to do women to
please my, my friends and my customer. And then the woman came up like this, I started to do
shirt which I knew because I learn it from my parents, the world of Paul & Joe became more and
more and more complete and everything you know when you start something and you do
something else and everything goes after the other, and it’s, and it’s become even, an entire world
in term of decoration, interior, make up, I have Paul & Joe make up.
Albou: The world of this collection is fantasy, happiness, glamorous and it’s a woman designing
for women. So I have this feeling now that I think that I want a woman, please all the men and be
the most beautiful.
Albou: Today fashion is not only clothing, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the ensemble, it’s the way you
live for yourself, because it’s not only wearing clothes that you think you’d be more happy, it’s
being well in your head first.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Sophie Albou, Paul and Joe Fashion, State