It goes practically without saying that the fashion industry is obsessed with French style. But there’s one reason we never thought of when considering why our European friends have such a desirable approach to what they wear. Have you seen how they shop? If you find yourself in Soho in New York, you can now get a taste of it for yourself.
Making its stateside debut, Sézane just arrived on Elizabeth Street this week. Though the brand has a massive following among its French shoppers, this arrival marks a new chapter for its elevated everyday staples, pretty uses of print, and structured denim that gives all your skinnies a run for their money. What else sets Sézane apart? Just walk through the door.
“Our new shop, L’Appartement New York, will be a very unique place,” owner Morgane Sezalory tells us. “Similar to our flagship in Paris, we designed it to feel like a French woman’s home.”
Inside the brand’s new NYC digs, you won’t just find the styles you could once only purchase online—the charming café in the corner serves coffee from Maman, fresh flowers by Flower Girl NYC adorn the tables, and rotating art hangs on the walls, making you feel like you’re in chic gallery space, one that can inspire your purchase and so much more. “I wanted people to feel a little bit like they were at home,” Sezalory continues, “That they can be free to take their time and truly enjoy every minute they spend in there, and I wanted it to be a living, breathing, dynamic space that people are happy to be in and happy when they leave.”
Below, take a first look inside every Francophile’s new shopping destination, and read the rest of our conversation with Sezalory, including her take on the difference between French and American style and the pieces she’s betting will sell the fastest this season.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Okay, we have to ask right off the bat—what’s the biggest difference between NYC and French style?
MORGANE SEZALORY: Biggest difference is the attitude! French girls always want to have a natural, don’t-care attitude like they just woke up and got ready in 10 minutes. I think NYC style is more intentionally put together.
WWW: What’s similar?
MS: From what I’ve seen, it’s an appreciation of fashion and investing in key pieces.
WWW: Have you personally picked up any style trends from American women you’ve observed?
MS: I notice a sense of high-low and mix and match with American women. Like wearing a very chic dress with a pair of Nike sneakers or mixing patterns and prints in the same color scheme … It reflects a sense of open-mindedness and accessibility that I like and am definitely incorporating into our styling.
WWW: What do you believe makes NYC style special that you wish was a bit more present among the French?
MS: It seems that NYC women are more open to trying new things—whether it’s new trends or new designers or even new ways to wear the same clothes. This sense of curiosity and spontaneity is really nice … I think in France, the women stick more with their uniform and routine, so I appreciate what I see in NYC.
WWW: What are three Sézane pieces you know NYC women will all gravitate toward once they’re in your store?
MS: I think they will love all our denim but especially our Brut Sexy. It’s high-waisted, a more structured denim material but still has some stretch so it’s very flattering and unhemmed at the bottom for a more casual look … great with sneakers or ankle boots!
Our Jacks. They are iconic and perfectly easy yet refined still. We designed them to be very comfortable with padding on the inside, little gold details, and available in classic black and white but also leopard print and new embroidery prints for fall!
And our Tiger Bag. It's our new perfect It bag for fall.
WWW: Where else in the world are you currently looking for fashion inspiration right now?
MS: I like seeing the street style in London—my sister lives there, and it’s always fun to see how the British women have their own unique sense of style and how they incorporate the trends.
WWW: And finally, after four years since Sézane’s launch, what’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about running your own fashion business?
MS: So many lessons. I’m always open to listening to others’ advice and opinions but ultimately trusting my intuition. I am always looking for signs, and when they happen, I have a strong sense of which way I should go—and it has guided me very well so far despite the somewhat unorthodox business method. I am also always looking for and finding inspiration: Anything from a color, a moment, a picture, the way I feel, a fabric I brush upon, my eyes are wide open to everything, all the time, and I think this sense of curiosity and spontaneity is key to our fashion brand.
Shop Morgane's Fall Favorites
Opening image: Sezane