MAINTAIN CALLS: Add Frédéric Martin-Bernard to the ranks of the start a side hustle during the pandemic.
After 25 years of journalism, the French fashion editors are branching into interiors design with the launch of Window, a service that delivers curtains designed to measure in the Vosges region of northeastern France, a place formerly textile industry center.
Martin-Bernard grew up in a local home linen factory, started sewing at the age of 12 and studied textile engineering before moving to Paris to pursue his dream of working in fashion.
After leaving his longtime position as fashion director at the daily Le Figaro in 2019, he felt the urge to return to his roots. “Sewing is like riding a bicycle – don’t forget it,” he says.
His first project is a curtain made from vintage bed sheets sourced at the flea market. Admiring the results, visitors to his apartment began to share their difficulties in finding curtains, prompting Martin-Bernard to conduct a market analysis of the area.
He found there was a big gap in offer between low-priced, ready-to-hang and custom-made blinds at the top end. Window provides an intermediate solution, with Martin-Bernard taking care of everything from measurement to installation of curtain rods.
Customers can choose between an inventory of vintage linens and around 20 fabrics, including linens, wool and cotton jacquards, all sourced from French factories.
“The idea is to work with a limited selection of fabrics, like a seasonal collection in fashion. I order fabrics from factories, so I meet their minimum order requirements. That means I can offer a lower price than the upholstery, and that’s how I can afford to make it in France,” explains Martin-Bernard.
“In reality, there is very little furniture design it is still made in France,” he noted.
He works with two textile manufacturers in his hometown, who deliver the curtains within three to four weeks. “During the lockdown, I worked on my sewing machine on prototypes to perfection, designed a bit like reversible clothing, inspired by my background in ready-to-wear. All seams are trimmed,” he said.
Tuesday’s launch of the brand, via the website windowparis.fr and Instagram account @window_paris, was originally timed to coincide with the interior design fair Maison & Objet, which has now been postponed to the end of March. .
Martin-Bernard, who continues to freelance for publications including Les Echos Week-end and Icon magazine, plans to open a pop-up store in Paris around the time of the trade show. and came up with the idea for ready-to-manufacture curtains. In France, natural fabrics are used.
Just like the coronavirus pandemic has has inspired many people to improve their homes, it helped him reconnect with his original passion.
“Sewing is like gardening or cooking. You have to pay attention to every stitch,” he said. “I remember sitting on the couch while locking the door, embroidering different versions of the Window logo. It feels really good. ”
https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/le-figaro-fashion-editor-frederic-martin-bernard-launches-curtain-collection-window-1235035239/ Veteran French Fashion Editor Lifts Curtain on New Project – WWD