Hi Marine! We are in absolute awe of your new girlswear label Manége en Sucre. Can you tell us why mamas everywhere should head into Harvey Nics to check out the label?
We really specialise in dresses, that’s our main identity. We want mums to think of us when trying to choose a dress for a wedding, or a very special occasion, so we really try to make people aware of this specific touch. We have a French touch to the brand; it’s very chic, especially with the shape and colours. I really want mums to come and discover the brand and share these French chic vibes, we’re trying to do something that you don’t see in ordinary girls dress brands.
Where did you draw inspiration from when coming up with the designs and colour palettes? Did your daughters inspire any of the creations?
It isn’t only a French inspiration that shines through on this brand, but also colour. For example if it’s Christmas you can expect very shiny pieces, not in a ‘ballerina’ type way, but in a chic way. You can expect lots of golds, silvers and bronzes. So yeah, the main inspiration really comes from the seasons and colours around us. Saying this, I do really like to keep continuity within the collection. There definitely aren’t any loud colours here!
As for my daughters, yes, they absolutely did have a say! Any time I work on a new shape, I work on my daughter so they have the first try. They aren’t always as happy to do that part though! Sometimes I have to bribe them with sweets to get them to try on the work in progress pieces haha! They love the final pieces though; they’re always the first ones that want to try it. Their wardrobes are definitely full of dresses!
How do you pick and choose outfits for your little ones? Are they developing their own style as they grow older?
My older one is 7, so she starts to pick the stuff herself and I prefer to let her. Sometimes it’s very crazy, she pairs leopard with zebra print but she’s happy with that so that’s the main thing! As long as she’s comfortable I’m happy. Obviously when we have parties I like them to wear dresses, but they love wearing them as well!
All of your outfits on Instagram look incredibly well put together. Who are your favourite designers at the moment?
I’m not really in love with one particular brand, I tend to shop more for the style I like rather than the name, so at home I have a lot of different labels, but of course I’m in love with French brands. Bon Point for example is one I like for my kids; I like to go for luxury dresses when shopping for them. If I had to name my absolute favourite designer, then I’d say Alexander McQueen. I love Alexander McQueen. It’s chic yet rock’n’roll and I love that.
Can you tell us your pitch-side handbag essentials?
When I go out and I don’t have my kids, my bag is very different. With them, I have two bags: one small and one big. When I’m alone I don’t have a very big bag because I just like to feel comfortable, so I just throw in my favourite lipstick, phone and credit cards. Very few things! I like having a light handbag.
What are your beauty essentials?
I really love three main brands. First up, Clarins. They’re very simple and I can feel their products actually working on my skin. I discovered a product a few weeks ago from Shanie Darden, it’s a serum called Resurface. I’d so recommend that to anyone. Then I’m also in love with Caudalie, they’re just amazing.
What does the average day consist of for you?
My day? I wake up to prepare my girls for school every morning. We are lucky that the school isn’t too far away which helps me a lot. Then I prepare myself and go to my London based studio and depending on whether it’s a busy day or not for me, my husband will go and pick the girls up, but I do try my best to be at school for around four. I always make sure I have time with my girls and try to balance work with family time.
How do you and Hugo balance having such hectic schedules with spending time as a family?
We are good at this actually! Hugo is here quite a lot, he gets home around 3/3:30 so he really is here to help me with the girls a lot. It’s very important when you have your own business and when you have to work a lot that you have support from your partner. We try and have time for just ‘us’ as well. Once or so a week we have our time just together to catch up and speak without noise! It’s so important. We have found a nice balance.
Do you have a favorite family recipe?
Oh my god yes, Lasagna. I’m cooking lasagna all of the time at the moment. It’s my favourite. I can do this in like 10 minutes now because I’ve made it so many times! My little one doesn’t eat a lot but if I really want her to eat I’ll make lasagna and she’ll eat the whole plate. It’s all homemade of course!
A lot of mums stress about their post baby body. What steps did you take to ensure you regained your fit and healthy physique?
I took a lot of weight when I was pregnant, around 20 kilos! But for me, losing weight quickly wasn’t something that was very important. I was very happy, I had a nice pregnancy and because I breastfed them I was not in a rush at all. It was not my priority. I think when you just live it and enjoy every moment, your body is more open to taking back its previous shape. I never did anything special; I just began my usual sporting activities after 3 months, not before, and just very slowly started exercise. Just running, basic gym exercises etc. People shouldn’t focus on getting their bodies back so quickly. With social media, I find it crazy that some people want to show off that they don’t have their bump anymore – why? You should be proud of it, you had a baby!!
Finally, what three words best describe your lifestyle?
Me and my family, we’re all very cool, family orientated and easy-going.