“When I launched the brand in 2013 I wasn’t that confident that it would be a success,” Kyle Robinson, co-founder of être cécile admits. “But I think people gravitate towards French style because it’s timeless and effortless, and who doesn’t want to be those things?”
Collections include French classics like Breton stripes, slogan T-shirts and premium athleisurewear, but it’s the subtle wit Robinson adds to his designs that hint that they don’t belong to a Parisian label. Words printed on jersey separates translate to read “être cécile: almost Parisian” and “made somewhere near France”.
Robinson steers clear of cliché fashion icons and looks to young creatives for inspiration. “I’m obsessed with this girl,” he says, scrolling through Instagram videos of Belgian musician Angèle, whose recordings are undeniably captivating. “How cool is she? She’s so young, but there’s just something about her. I’d love to work with her.”
Film also plays a big part in sparking ideas. “There was one collection that we took a lot of inspiration from Woody Allen films for and then just before we were about to launch, the press went crazy with stories about him and we had to cut a few pieces,” Robinson remembers. “A lot of this season’s slogans are inspired by John Hughes films, but not everyone gets them.”
Robinson’s playful approach to messaging brings character to the brand and his excitement is contagious.“The slogans were never intended to be such a focus, but it felt natural,” he explains. “No regrets more baguettes” is the most recognised one to date. It’s relatable, just like the label, so much so that it’s now printed on the mirror of the newly launched boutique on Cross Street in Islington. Small yet full of personality, it’s the only location where the entire être cécile collection can be seen in one place. “Having a physical store is so important to me,” Robinson says. “It’s a chance for people to experience the brand, to spend time with us and to find out what we’re about – keeping fashion fun and not taking life too seriously.”