The DreamCatcher series is back and I couldn't be happier! We start the year off with a shoe couturier and true artist in the world of footwear, French designer Guillaume Hinfray. Mr. Hinfray was kind enough to give me a glimpse into his world. After featuring his work back in June of '09, I had to add him to the series. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did gathering the answers.
Could you please tell us a little about your background?
My background is very traditional. I learned the sewing art both in the atelier fashion house and at the Haute Couture school, like Silk Taffeta, Grain de Poudre, needle and thread. But overall I have so much love for tailor-made dresses, sewed-up so many times, until you reach absolute perfection. Today I am proud of my background, because you need to find again the very essence of the beautiful things when the world around you is full of stylistic excess.
Where did you study or work on prior to debuting your eponymous collection?
At the very beginning I was an all rounder, what we call in French "touche a tout", Ready-to-wear, Jewelry, fragrances, make-up, interior design, handbags . . . everything. Then one day I started with shoes and found out it was the most difficult accessory to product and therefore the most exciting. And I never stopped. My own label was the natural outcome of this passion.
What inspires you?
It depends. Anything from an historical character to a tree bark. But there is always a common view, like my roots, the Normandy. This land is built with strong contrasts, landscapes, history, even human nature, and all of this creates a wild beauty. A very unique aesthetic.
Besides shoes what else are you passionate about?
The list would be too long, it's just life that gives me passion in so many ways. What really captures me is the work that requires time, passion, and devotion, as the illuminated manuscripts of medieval books. Easy things often don't have any flavour.
Who are you top three writers and top three painters?
Balzac, Carson McCullers, and Jonathan Coe, because even if they belong to three different ages, all of them have been able to trace in such a touching way the sweet, fragile and beautiful cruelty of human beings. For the painters, Giotto, Conrad Marca Relli, and Soulage, because of their extreme sense of light and texture, till the obsession.
What are you doing right at this moment?
I'm working on the next F/W '10 collection, that will be a new chapter, a turnover. I'm trying to go through a new path, looking for a new luxury vision, new codes, and I'm trying to this research with a cap in hand.
Do you have any plans to move beyond shoes and perhaps into handbags, or a ready-to-wear collection?
I will answer this in February when you will see the new collection.
Who is the Guillaume Hinfray Woman?
My first collection was inspired by Joan of Arc and still today I love this kind of warrior woman, who is so modern and free with ancient stylistic echos. I've always had a social committed woman in mind, who rules the world with extreme luxury and understated elegance.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to become a shoe designer?
Fly high, so high with your dreams, but always down to earth. At the end of the day we're cobbler artists and our mission is to create nice shoes to make a woman more beautiful and confident.
What is a "DreamCatcher" to you?
It's the life boost. We must pursue our dreams and try to catch them. The day we stop is when the world will not be interesting anymore.
All styles are from Guillaume Hinfray's S/S 2010 collection. Many thanks to Mr. Hinfray for his time, Roberta, and his assistant Marica. I look forward to the Fall 2010 collection, which will be shared on here in the next month or so!
Please visit http://www.guillaumehinfray.com to shop directly on his website and for stockist.This Interview was translated from Italian to English by Roberta and DS De Carvalho.
Fotos Courtesy of Guillaume Hinfray for usage on SheBreathes. This interview may not be reproduced without permission.