Interview: Marilyn Feltz, Parisian Designer
As soon as I set foot at Marilyn Feltz’s, I felt at home. Not the “at home in pajamas” kind, but the glam and refined version, the dream boudoir. It’s a place where you can lounge around, relax, admire and contemplate the voluptuous opulence, the beautiful fabrics and your best reflection in the mirror, clad in the best dresses…
The shop is located in a roofed passageway near the Etienne Marcel metro (Châtelet) in Paris. It’s small but not cramped. It’s dark, but everything looks highlighted. The wooden façade with a vintage sign, the cloth tapestry on the wall, the elegant velvet couch for sitting down… the place is cosy and intimate, far from the rush and noise of the big shops. Here, one can afford to just take time.
As it was, I had planned to stay “an hour at most” (pokes Florence), to do my interview. I spent the whole afternoon there, talking, trying on sumptuous pieces and drinking champagne… “Here, clients can spend the day in the shop, they have time to do their shopping. They are pampered, coddled and we always have cakes, tea and champagne for them!”. And you never feel compelled to buy something (not that I didn’t want to that afternoon, but my bank account was adamant that I couldn’t). You feel welcomed, even when you can’t buy anything. This is a precious feeling for me. I couldn’t buy anything that day (re-poke Florence, who bought a beautiful blouse, thanks for the purchase by proxy), but I’ll buy there as soon as I can. In fact, I’ll make it a priority 😉
It must be said that their collections are not only intemporal pieces that can be worn for years, they are also 100% certified “made in France”, in good conditions and with quality fabrics! In fact, two types of clients come to this shop: those who are looking for authenticity from the start, and those who are trying, little by little, to change their way of buying clothes, making them “rarer but longer-lasting” commodities to invest in.
Marilyn Feltz is about not one but several love stories. First, that of Marilyn and Alexis, who from Berlin to Paris decided to take a further step in their relationship: “the wish to work together… and the creation of our brand. This brand is our firstborn.”
Marilyn lived for 7 years in Hollywood and for 3 in Berlin, where she met Alexis, before going back to Paris. This brand is “a mix between these different cities that we love: Berlin, where they recycle a lot and love vintage, the glamour of Hollywood and the parisian haute couture.”
From the beginning, “we had the desire to create this little bubble of esthetism and glamour where the clothes would be beautifully cut and made in fine and sturdy fabrics. We don’t follow any trend but our personal tastes.”
Very soon after they moved from Berlin to Paris, they created the brand and launched the e-shop, already two years ago. The parisian shop arrived only 3 month after the e-shop.
Everything went very quickly, and Marilyn is an autodidact! She never went to a specific school in the past, but “her past experiences helped her. Rock journalist in Los Angeles, assistant for an artist in San Francisco and working in events in Berlin. You have to know how to do everything to create a brand, it’s a lot of work!” There’s no age to learn and go for it, you just have to be curious and have a lot of motivation! This couple is an inspiration for me.
What I most like in their clothes is that they’re not just beautiful. they’re comfortable. They are made to go out, or for any kind of event: going to the club, to a concert or to a very classy restaurant. They are feminine, glamorous, made in fine fabrics but very sturdy and practical! It is possible to be elegant and run in the subway!
The inspiration for Marilyn’s pieces comes from her personal experience: “where did I go in the past? What would I have dreamt to wear at this moment?” The old Hollywood actresses also inspire her a lot: Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe…
Vintage enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the creator works with an 80 years old modelist who worked for Dior… At his side, Marilyn works on the toiles and patterns of her future collections. The workshop being right next to the shop, we can proudly announce that the work is 100% “made in Paris”. But not everything is made in Paris: Marilyn and Alexis like to “meet craftpersons directly at the source. Alexis is from Cambrai and went to school with the children of the northern embroiderers. we trust each other and we’ve been helped and counseled by talented people. We wish to see these traditional craftsmanships endure, everywhere!”.
They don’t hesitate to buy “second-hand fabric from famous brands like Dior, Dolce&Gabana, etc. that they don’t use anymore. We work with weavers from Lyon, embroiderers and lacemakers from the north. Our cardigans are made in the south of France, along with the silk that is weaved there.
Some prints are made in other countries, like Berlin or Amsterdam. Craftsmanship is indeed tightly linked with the country. It’s for this reason that one collection was made from african wax, “a lot of clients had never imagined wearing it one day! We used it to make little tops, pencil skirts and they liked it!” The government doesn’t help the “made in France” craftpersons while claiming their craftsmanship as patrimony. “We made the choice to help all of these craftpersons, wherever they are, and to integrate them in our brand so they can make a living from it! How lucky we are, everything makes sense with our brand.”
There is only one shop in France for the moment, in Paris. Indeed, they refuse offers for their brand to be sold by other shops for a higher price, because they want to stay affordable, but “we often make popup stores events in other cities.”
The brand follows no specific trend or fashion. There are 3 capsule collections a year, and mini-capsules every 3 months with some limited pieces (like this skirt), so new items come regularly. Some pieces are staples and Marylin has three patterns for pencil skirts that are always hits! “I love them, and wear them often.” Hmmm, how lucky, me too 😉 (Edith suit, I’m coming!)
In the future, Marilyn and Alexis would like to make pumps from vegan or recycled leather. They are currently working on it.
Now is the time to make deals!
- Mimosa skirt size 38, 95€
- Black velvet balloon skirt “la parisienne”, 95€
- Tatiana dress, 150€
- Claudie coat, 389€
- Frou Frou Bamboo, 195€
Credit photos: Shop: Nella Fragola; others: Marilyn Feltz by Tatiana Gigi with models: Miss Mosh, Gia Genieve
This article was not sponsored by the brand.