The Beauty Spots
At the ready-to-wear house CHEYMA, we do business differently. The world of fashion can be brutal but we want to stand out by adopting a kind, fair and careful attitude towards everything we do.
Cheyma takes pride in having built a business that is not just about money and glitters: she is extremely down to earth and aims at building long lasting relationships with everyone that crosses her path. Her customers play an active role in the brand, becoming #CheymaGirls.
Today, we want to know more about her. Why did she choose a career in fashion? What are the values and positions behind her eponymous brand? Who is Cheyma? What does she like? How does she do her work?
In three words: who is Cheyma?
(A pensive look, smiling) An ever-laughing eccentric girl!
What sparked your interest in fashion?
As far as I remember, I’ve always been interested in everything feminine-related. I used to steal my mother’s Dior lipsticks to draw on our house walls. And my drawings always represented women in big dresses. I was 2 or 3. Then I got even more interested in the process of creating clothes in itself thanks to both my grannies who were brilliant seamstresses. One taught me how to sew, the other taught me about gems and embroideries. I also remember always wanting to choose my own outfits. They were pretty crazy for a 5 year old growing up in the 90’s, so my mother wouldn’t let me wear them to school (laughs)!
When I grew up, I had several experiences in the fashion industry. The one which left a real mark on me was Christian Dior Couture, at the women ready-to-wear. When I saw my first show there, I thought to myself “That’s it, that’s what I want to do”.
What’s it like being in the industry?
It’s a big shot of adrenaline all the time, both very exciting and scary. I won’t complain, it is a blessing to be able to do what you love as a job. You never know what tomorrow has in store for you, and it’s both motivating and annihilating. I love not being to be able to sleep at night because I have all these sketches in mind I have the urge to draw. I love waking up to the idea that I have a huge to-do list to cross out during the day. And I love how people are responsive to my creations.
How would you define your brand?
Did you know that Cindy Crawford always hated her mole? She eventually said that what she considered to be her biggest flaw became her biggest strength, her signature. Well, I have two moles on the side of my face too. I’ve always hated them. But then I learnt that “Cheyma” means “a woman with a beauty spot”, how fun is that? Serendipity, you know. As I decided to launch my brand, I also decided to embrace my flaws and turn them into a big shield thanks to creativity. Now, my logo represents me, with the two spots, one is the beauty spot, the other is the touch of whimsy.
Where do you seek design inspiration?
In between each collection, I need to take what I call an “inspiration break”, meaning I try to empty my brain from all ideas of a new collection. This process is necessary for me to be able to think about another theme. And then, the idea comes on its own. I think about a lot of possibilities first, but when it’s The One, you just know it. I wish I could tell you about the next collection but it’ll have to remain a secret for now!
If CHEYMA could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be?
Freja Beha. I’m in love with her pure and sweet face, she embodies the perfect Cheyma Girl, looking fragile yet capable of a great strength.
What is your favourite shop or boutique in Paris, London or beyond?
I really like GLASSWORKS in London. A friend of mine, who is actually my business partner, introduced me to the concept, a nice boutique in Shoreditch selling items I would see myself wearing, all of them! They come in very small quantities to make sure every piece and everyone is unique, I like this idea of not looking average, standing out.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
Hum.. tough question but very good one! Well, since I started my company, I’ve had the proof that everything is eventually gonna be okay. No matter how low you feel or how sad you are, there’s always something positive that comes up and makes you forget about what doesn’t work. I don’t believe in coincidences, rather serendipity (again!), happy hazards.
What’s your motto?
In French, there’s a saying I’ve been living by since I’m a kid, I remember thinking to myself, when we played hide and seek with my cousins, “Qui ne tente rien n’a rien”. It means nothing ventured, nothing gained in English.