“Indigo girl” is Heinui’s first collection. But it’s not the first time its designer, Claire Pignot establishes her own label. Her former brand, Cocotte, already had a group of cult followers. In this interview, Claire explains why she is back with a different name and tells us the story that lies behind Indigo Girl.
After Cocotte you focused on custom-made clothing and wedding dresses, what made you come back?
I never fully left. I had a child and I decided to put the label aside. I thought it was the most sensible thing to do at the time; I couldn’t see how to reconcile my baby with all the work a brand involves. Custom-made clothes were ideal to try new things, test new patterns, keep working on my stuff and spending time with my child. I always thought of coming back, but I didn’t identify with Cocotte anymore, neither with the name nor with the style. I wanted to start from scratch with a new project. It would be like an adult version of my old brand.
Why Indigo Girl? What inspires this first collection?
My inspiration were french work clothes. The classical utilitarian clothing named “bleu de travail” characterized by its blue colour. This led me to investigate Japanese indigo and its use in everyday life. Peasants used to wear indigo dyed cotton kimonos, handwoven with an elaborate technique. This clothing was cared and looked for with love. They worked and slept on it and it was hand down through generations. I really like the idea of something simple, made with humble materials turned into something luxurious. I wanted uncomplicated garments but sober and elaborate at the same time, with a touch of fantasy.
I also wanted them to be clothes that could be worn everyday and resisted the passage of time, both in style and in quality. In fact the chambray cotton I used to make the collection comes from a Japanese factory established over 120 years to make indigo kimonos that now produces high quality denim.
The name “Indigo Girl” is also a reference to “indigo children”. According to a New Age theory they are more creative and empathetic children than the average. I was very inspired by artists and creative women in general, women entrepreneurs, sensitive, intelligent like Gail Rieke, Louise Bourgeois … among others.
Your clothes have a very defined style full of feminine silhouettes, do you actively stay away from trends?
I feel fascinated with the notions of elegance and femininity. They are timeless ideas.
About not following trends…time will tell! I think it’s rather intuitive, I am not obsessed over it. Things are arguable. As a child I was horrified at the idea of my mother wearing a 70′s hippie dress with boots for her wedding. Now I think that was really cool.
Prints are really strong along the collection. They were a collaboration with Nuria R. Artuñedo. How did that happen and why did you choose prints?
Within a collection a print is a form of telling a story and also a way to be different; it’s evocative and it can give a purpose to simpler garments. It was really important for me to have prints in this collection to make it dreamy and mix them with more sober garments. I had ideas but as I am not a good illustrator I asked my friend Nuria for help. Without her it would have been only a project. I turned to Nuria because she’s an excellent illustrator and she gets on well with a variety of styles. Besides, as she’s also a tattooist -among other things- she’s used to listen and interpret people’s ideas.
How do you see Heinui’s future?
I don’t know. For now I do things on a small-scale trying to raise awareness of the brand. I am starting to work in the next collection. It’s hard to plan things on the long term and I don’t want to rush.
Spanish version after the jump.