Sophie Esteve

Senior Designer Prints and Embroideries, Patou

Mon Métier d’Excellence

I’m Senior Designer for Prints and Embroideries at Patou, which means I design all the embellishments on the Maison’s clothes, working from a brief by our Creative Director Guillaume Henry. But my role goes even further since I supervise the development of the clothes. I work closely with the Patou team, with the manufacturers and the artisans to select the best materials and understand what’s possible or not, and then develop the models based on our exchanges.

My background

My career is linked very closely to that of Guillaume Henry. He was president of the jury when I received my degree from the ESMOD fashion school in Lyon. I did an internship at Carven, where he was creative director at the time. Then I followed him to Nina Ricci and now, for the past three years I’ve been at Patou, where he is reimagining the Maison. Which means I’ve been part of this adventure since the outset.

The most important things you need for this métier

It isn’t really an attribute or a skill, but I think it’s very important to learn not to create barriers, in order to remain creative. You also need to be very rigorous in your work, because my creations must satisfy technical constraints and require thinking that’s almost mathematical. That’s the great challenge in my métier, to be creative despite these constraints.

What I love most about my métier

Doing manual work, meaning physical contact with things thanks to the design. I find that tremendously motivating. And what’s truly fantastic in my métier is that, even ten years on in my career, I’m never bored because there’s always something fresh, new stories to be recounted. I’m also extremely proud to work at Patou, to be part of the renaissance of this historic Maison for the past three years, and to see people in the street wearing our creations.

My advice for someone starting out in this profession

Watch everyone around you, because everyone can be a source of inspiration. It’s very important to take in all sorts of very different things and, as I said, to avoid creating barriers, especially when you’re starting out. You have to keep that freedom.