Sessùn is a women's fashion brand, created in Marseille, by globe-trotting anthropologist-turned-designer, Emma François. The French brand's collections are inspired by a myriad of wonders - art, design, photography, film, colours and books - but nothing influence's Sessùn's style more than Emma's travels. From South America to Africa, by way of Japan and Marseille, Sessùn's collections are filled with ethnic, bohemian prints and timeless, slightly tom-boyish silhouettes. Each season, the brand takes us away and inspires our sense of adventure with its imaginative collections. Whether it be through a great coat, a romantic skirt or dress, or its beautiful range of women's shoes, we’re always on board for a Sessùn sartorial journey.
FOUNDER OF SESSÙN
Sessùn’s creator, Emma François, took the time to share with us a bit about the brand's history and her vision for its future.
HOW WOULD YOUR CHILDREN - NINE, LOUISE AND CÉSAR - DESCRIBE YOU?Happy, (“Likes to laugh”, César adds. “And dance!” says Louise.), often daydreaming. Busy, works too much, doesn’t get annoyed very often, but when she does she shouts very loud. Nice and gentle. The most beautiful woman in the world!
Tell us the story of Sessùn. What did you do before?The adventure started with a trip to Guatemala at 21 years old. I was studying anthropological economics, and the cultural and artisanal richness that South America offers was a real discovery. Back in Paris, I surprised myself by designing little pieces, from crochet and pure wool, and I decided to leave again to have them manufactured by artisans hidden away in the mountains of Latin America. The raw materials lent themselves to the feminine shapes, inspired by urban culture that was very familiar. The blend was charming, people liked it and the real adventure started. In 1996 the brand was born. This interest for anthropology shows in the way that I work: the respect for the people that I work with, an ethical view of the world, also a respect for the traditional knowledge that helped me to build my project.
What makes the world of Sessùn so special?A blend of freshness and soft nonchalance that emanates from the collections, with a couture twist. A close attention to the fine, controlled cuts that create a chic allure with vintage accents. Clothing that is always welcoming. A deep love for different traditional knowledge that can also be seen in the boutique’s decoration.
Today, what inspires you (e.g. places, designers, photographers and musicians)?There’s so many of them! I am very curious and love discovering things. For example, all of the markets of the world where I find beautiful vintage embroidered fabrics, printed, woven or dyed by hand. American photography from the 70s, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Alexander Girard and Charles Eames, Tokyo and California Indigo, New Wave cinema, etc.
Has your passion for decoration and your collaborations with the potter, Pierre Buisson, made you want to create a Sessùn home collection?Of course! We started to create decorative objects with our themed exhibitions (Chic chic chic c’est picnic in 2011, Indicrafts in 2013 and then Marine Girls), which group together lots of different disciplines around the same subject. But also with the décor of our boutiques, which are all different, for example, our recent collaboration with stained-glass atelier Bespoke Glass in Brooklyn. This has naturally made us want to explore, little by little, our work in this domain even further.
And your children, we're sure that they would love to wear Sessùn. When will you be creating a Sessùn children’s line?We are thinking about it. We would love to create a capsule collection for girls, it seems so obvious to me to put little girls in Sessùn, and it would be a natural extension of our current work. But we have many, many other projects and I like to take my time!
What is your vision for children’s fashion? which designers do you like?It’s a very creative and dynamic sector, where independent brands with strong personalities have made a real place for themselves. A few years ago I was baffled by the fact that multi-brand children’s boutiques were disappearing in favour of chains. It is no longer the case, the dynamism of new independent brands has allowed a new generation of kids' boutiques to emerge with a very rich and creative offering. I find the Emile et Ida collections stunnin. I love Simple Kids and, of course, also Zef and Finger in the Nose.
Where does Smallable come into all of this?I am a loyal customer. Smallable is a breeding ground of very beautiful things.
Can you share your address book of secret spots in Marseille with us?My favourite restaurants
- The Santa Bongo for Tania’s inspired cuisine. [Address: 126 Rue Sainte]
- The bar, La Relève, for its festive and convivial aperitifs and excellent tapas. [Address: 41 Rue d’Andourne]
- Le Cabanon Carton, to taste the great little dishes and listen to good music. [Address: 7 Avenue Alexandre Dumas]
My best addresses for shopping
- [Maison] L’Empereur, an essential place where I can spend all day, as well as their annex specialised in workwear. [Address: 4 Rue des Récolettes]
- Egg, for their romantic and perfectly chosen vintage selection [Address: 121 Rue Sainte]
- Honoré Déco. I love their creations that blend artisanal pieces with modern design. [Address: 121 Rue Sainte]
- Mademoiselle, an absolutely perfect manicure salon. [Address: 31 rue Sylvabelle]
- My top secret address: Le Figuier, in the Saint Giniez quarter, for a massage with Muriel and for the serenity of the place. It’s a real haven of peace and relaxation in the heart of an old provincial farmhouse. [Address: 25, Boulevard Barral Prolongé]
- “La plage du bout du monde”: The little creek in the Baie des Singes where you can reserve a sunlounger on the rocks.