How a woman accessorizes her look speaks volumes about her style. No one knows this better than French jewelry designer, Gerard Gourdon. His line of unique jewelry, Mimilamour, is inspired by the creative, beautiful and expressive moments of everyday life. From fashion to nature to music, Gourdon draws from his past experiences and lives in the now to create his pieces. We spoke with the man behind Mimilamour. And his words, much like his collection, left us wanting more.
EV: How did you get your start designing jewelry?
GG: The first piece of jewelry I designed was the Mamba. I created this little baby snake bracelet to put in a press kit for a shop I was opening that sold objects and furniture I collected from all over the world. The Editors spotted the Mamba bracelet right away and it ended up on fashion pages in magazines. And so, Mimilamour was born!
EV: Have you always been interested in fashion and design?
GG: I started my professional life at 19 as an Art Director for beauty & fashion in Sydney, Australia. I also lived in Tokyo and Hong Kong working on ELLE magazine in Southeast Asia. Back in Paris, I had my own agency for luxury fashion that sold concepts and visuals to brands.
EV: What is the inspiration behind your line, Mimilamour?
GG: The name is the nickname I gave to my girlfriend. It’s “le Paris des années folles” – the Paris of the Roaring Twenties. Sweet and fun with a sexy side. People are always surprised to know there’s a big bearded man behind the name!
EV: Can you describe your design process?
GG: My head is full of many influences, ideas and dreams…suddenly an old shape meets a new color and just like that, something is born. It happens in a fraction of a second. It’s very exciting when it happens, and also when it doesn’t happen, because you know inspiration will soon surprise you again.
EV: What are your favorite materials to use in your designs?
GG: At the moment, and specifically for the upcoming winter collection, I’m using a lot of shiny, mirror-style metals, gold plated, and stone. But I like all materials. I have been using Plexiglas, leather, cotton, denim, brass, silver…I like mixing materials together to play with contrast and paradox. After all, isn’t life just one huge paradox?
EV: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
GG: Mimilamour is very graphic, but I like to keep it feminine, bold, and playful. I love fashion – maybe fashion inspires me more than women or men. I love nature. Not only the scenery as a whole, but also the little piece of wood lying on the ground. And last but not least, I’m a musician, so music makes my heart smile and brings tears to my eyes at the same time. I find love and life in all of these things and they constantly push me to go forward trusting, living, loving and sharing.
EV: What kind of woman do you design for?
GG: I also design for men! But I think about a woman who is not afraid, but is still fragile. Mimilamour is kind of a statement – it isn’t jewelry you see on everybody, so it is definitely a matter of choice to be different. I also think about the real fashionista who wears many big pieces, and the fashionista who wears only one delicate piece.
EV: In your opinion, what makes French style unique?
GG: A lot of result with very little effort. The famous “effortless chic.” This is our big secret. You will not get the how-to from me, but a Mimilamour piece can help!
EV: What do you enjoy most about your business?
GG: It is a very precious thing to be able to do what you love and do it 100%. I focus everyday on what is happening right now, but still am working one season ahead. It is a fun and exciting way to experience the present.
EV: How would you describe your personal style?
GG: My style depends on my mood that day. Very eclectic, colorful and comfortable. I mix personal timeless basics with updated young designers. I find men’s fashion too classified, too much into the total look – one inspiration, one style. If men could have the same fashion choices as women, we would have much more fun! But I always have fun anyways.