Let’s meet Marie Morvan, the founder of Hesra Studio. In this interview, she answers 10 questions about herself, fashion, and style influences.
Let’s start from the beginning
Hi, Marie! Can you please start out by telling us briefly about your background and where you’re from?
Hello! I am originally from Pont-L’abbé, a town in southern Finistère in Brittany, France. This is where I spent all my childhood and where I recently came back to live. It is a region that has a strong cultural identity through its traditions: dance, music, costume, and food. With the sea just next door, surf culture is also very present.
As far as my background is concerned, after receiving a high school degree with a specialization in science and my first work experience in the field of aesthetics and perfumery, I decided to reorient myself toward the field of stage costumes (costumer dresser and designer) in Cannes, as well as in fashion in Paris.
When and how did Hesra begin?
The idea first occurred to me in 2019, after receiving a degree in costume design. I would often visualize a specific shape of piece or accessory. So I decided to make some clothes for myself to go to parties. or make my own jewelry when I couldn’t find what I wanted in the shops. I noticed that it caught the eye of those around me. And it was when I came back to Paris after the covid wave that I seized the opportunity to start this project.
Why did you choose the name Hesra?
Hesra is an invention. I love the aesthetics of ancient Greece, its mythology, deities, and architecture. It’s a period in art history that I find very inspiring. And through it, I discovered the name Ezra. I liked its sound which can be compared to that of an ancient goddess. I then decided to transform its spelling to give it a Greek connotation. Hesra was then born, a sort of mixture between the names of the goddesses Hestia and Hera.
Fashion and design influences
What inspires your designs?
I am a costume designer so I am very inspired by the history of fashion and art, the cinema, and the traditional costume of my region: the Bigouden costume. I also keep up to date with the latest trends and high-fashion couture runway shows. The combination of all this helps me to imagine the designs.
List some of your design influences, past and present.
I am particularly influenced by the history of fashion and cinema. I even believe that it is thanks to movies that I developed this passion for fashion and costumes. Some films have particularly marked and inspired me since my childhood. I am thinking, for example, of Jacques Demy‘s films (Peau d ‘âne, Les demoiselles de Rochefort, Les parapluies de Cherbourg) that I watched at my grandmother’s. And my favorite periods in costume history are antiquity, renaissance, 18th century, la belle époque in France, and the second half of the 20th century.
Who are your fashion icons?
I like this idea of an icon. I think we are all consciously or unconsciously influenced by models. Naturally, I find my references in terms of fashion icons in cinema and music, which have a very close link with fashion. From the actresses of the ’60s and the French new wave (Jane Birkin, Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider, Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, Françoise Hardy); to the supermodels and actresses of the ’90s (Vanessa Paradis, Monica Bellucci, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss), through to the pop stars of the ’70s-’80s (Deborah Harry, Isabelle Adjani).
Personal style and view of ‘fashion’
What does “fashion” mean to you?
Fashion is a reflection of so many things. It is a time marker that speaks volumes about the morals and society of an era. Even though it may seem like a trivial subject, and not everyone is interested in it, fashion impacts us all. Fashion also allows everyone to express their personality and to play with the rules and the self-image that we offer to the world. It is very rich in meaning, it is a true form of language. We play our own role in everyday life, fashion dramatizes in some way our daily life.
How would you describe your brand aesthetic?
For me, Hesra is a mixture of vintage and contemporary inspirations. I try to create connections between the latest fashion trends and cultural and historical references. I like to work with simple cuts but with refined fabrics and details, for a result that is both eclectic and timeless.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say that my personal style is more in a classic minimalist genre. I often wear pieces with simple and timeless cuts in a neutral palette. To this, I add a bold element or accessory, according to the current trends, which will complete or enhance the look. I think accessorizing is very important. This is what allows you to follow the evolution of trends without having to completely change your wardrobe.
And finally, what do you think the fashion industry will look like in 10 years?
It’s hard to predict what the fashion industry will look like in 10 years. One thing is certain: we have entered a period of change. There is a real awareness today. We are opening our eyes to what is going on. We weren’t talking about fast fashion 15 years ago. More and more people are becoming aware of the consumption pattern we have reached. We are in a society of overconsumption: producing more and more, faster and cheaper. This overproduction leads to an excessive supply which only creates a false demand.
In the future, we must go back to the basics, to good quality and well-made pieces, manufactured in smaller quantities and which will last longer over time. We must learn to recognize the true value of things, the quality of a garment, an accessory, and know-how; consume more consciously.