I'm always fetishizing the French woman and French taste and style. My assistant will make fun of me because every time we're picking the direction of a collection, I say the same thing: 'I want it to be really French.'
I don't think I'm an artist or that I'm doing anything superintellectual. What's important to me is to get a visceral reaction from people, for them to want that coat because they think it's beautiful.
We're making clothes - we aren't saving the world. I'm not saying that designers aren't artists, but at the end of the day, we make clothes. Hopefully we make beautiful clothes with a message, but in the end it's for people to wear. I think that the hype of fashion has come down a level.
My mother has always encouraged me to do what I love. When I started being interested in fashion, she was very supportive, bringing me to see exhibits and buying me books. And when I started my company, she was right there to help me!
When you live in Paris, and fashion is such a point of pride for the French, it's always around and you're very much exposed to it from an early age. It was always something I knew about and really liked.
There's a side to me that likes to make clothes for everyday. But I also think of fashion as an escape. It's like a dream. Even in an economy that isn't strong and where it's important to sell clothes, you have to make things that let people dream a little.
I was not a very popular kid in high school, and I had this idea that the way that I dressed would change how liked I was. It was that kind of Pygmalion story. I think, ultimately that's probably why I became interested in fashion, its transformative power, and how it can change your identity.
I honestly think that with our generation - Alex Wang, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Christian Cota, Robert Geller - there's a different expectation of what our behavior should be. People expect designers to be good businesspeople and PR people, and I don't think partying is a part of that persona the way it used to be.