A woman of true val­ues

L’Officiel Middle East (English) - - Contents - BY MATHILDE BERTHIER

San­dro is con­stantly grow­ing and this sea­son sees the launch of its first line of ac­ces­sories. A per­fect op­por­tu­nity to meet the brand’s creator, Éve­lyne Chetrite, who works with her fam­ily and keeps her feet on the ground.

San­dro is launch­ing thir­teen bags and de­vel­op­ing a shoe col­lec­tion, thirty years after its cre­ation... What was the trig­ger? Éve­lyne Chetrite: More than a trig­ger, an ob­ser­va­tion. To­day, the ac­ces­sory is no longer just an ac­ces­sory, it has be­come an es­sen­tial part of the wardrobe as im­por­tant as a well de­signed pair of pants or a nice sweater. Women are ob­sessed with bags, and it’s a pity that San­dro does not take part of that craze. I want to cre­ate things that make sense and it was con­sis­tent with the brand to launch this line at this mo­ment!

Do you feel that you have given up to the temp­ta­tion of the it-bag? The it-bag is a nice word. To cre­ate a bag that women de­sire and are ea­ger to get their hands on, it gives you strength to carry on. I speak from ex­pe­ri­ence: in the ready-to-wear, San­dro had wit­nessed too many “it” items. But I am re­served and re­al­is­tic, be­cause I know it’s a long way. It is nec­es­sary to take the time to de­fine our path: met­al­work, sewing, com­fort ... All th­ese el­e­ments are de­ci­sive.

What woman did you have in mind when de­sign­ing your bags? As with our ready-to-wear, I think of sev­eral women, never a muse or a unique in­spi­ra­tion. This plu­ral­ity has al­ways been the leit­mo­tiv of our house.

Since the cre­ation of San­dro, have you changed as a woman? I’m al­ways afraid of not be­ing up to it. This an­guish, good or bad, makes me re­main the same, it helps me keep my feet on the ground.

You still doubt, after all those years of suc­cess? My ob­ses­sion is to lose the pas­sion, the in­fat­u­a­tion of the be­gin­nings. Then I made up a kind of imag­i­nary suit­case in which I keep the first mem­o­ries of the brand: I open it ev­ery day to re­mem­ber.

You have worked with your hus­band (Di­dier), your sis­ter (Ju­dith Mil­grom), and now your son (Ilan). Is fam­ily a key to suc­cess ? An­other one of my vices: I am too fam­ily ori­ented. All the na­tives of the sign of Can­cer dream of stay­ing home, with their loved ones ... This is my “can­cer” side. I try to change, but it is hard.

In your case, it is rather a virtue... If the souls are pure, if there is love and re­spect, fam­ily is a great ad­van­tage. I have of­ten won­dered whether I should not be more cor­po­rate ... But this au­then­tic­ity is a priv­i­lege. A lot of bosses are try­ing to in­fuse fam­ily val­ues to their com­pany, but fail for lack of au­then­tic­ity.

You left your his­tor­i­cal HQ of the Marais? We were cramped be­cause the com­pany grew, but we did not want to go. It was our house. I was re­luc­tant to leave this creative anthill that is the Marais for the Hauss­mann boule­vard, but I felt good vibes when I vis­ited this place. I said: “We are go­ing to set­tle down and feel at home again. “

San­dro to­day has more than 4,000 em­ploy­ees in the world and over 200 shops in France alone ... Th­ese fig­ures.. Do they make you feel dizzy? Quite frankly, I do not look at the fig­ures: they scare me, and I do not think about quan­tity. It cer­tainly comes from my coun­try of ori­gin, Morocco, I think about the fragility of things and I do not want to get car­ried away. The less I know, the bet­ter I am. Do not think that I am blasé, es­pe­cially at our era where there are so many eco­nomic prob­lems... But my pride is col­lec­tive, not self­ish.

You are the anti-busi­ness­woman! I do not have re­quire­ments for suc­cess, I have be­liefs. When I cre­ate a col­lec­tion, I want it to sell: it is firmly rooted in me. My pride is to make, and for peo­ple to wear my creations. I’m far from align­ing ze­ros and think­ing of the thou­sands of pieces that San­dro could sell.

Once your day is over, what do you do? I’m not worldly. I have a worked hard, I had four chil­dren ... I al­ways tell my­self: “You work hard, but in the evening, when you go home, you will not go mop­ing.” My youngest son is still in high school, so after work I spend time with him, then I dine with friends or I go to the movies. In the sum­mer, I love to walk in Saint-ger­main-des-prés , it’s a neigh­bor­hood that moves me. There is al­ways a passer-by or a place that at­tracts my at­ten­tion.

Where do you spend your sum­mer? I am a daugh­ter of the sun and the sea. I love Italy for its an­tique and modern sides... The Ital­ians have this fam­ily, artis­tic and gourmet cul­ture, very close to mine.

What if you could travel in time? I would like to know the joy of de­liv­er­ance after the Sec­ond World War. There Must have had greater hap­pi­ness than the Lib­er­a­tion. Even if my son al­ways tells me that I am a woman of the 80’s, I would have wanted to live in the 50s.


“Deb­bie”, “Grace” and “Alise” shoes in leather and goat vel­vet, San­dro.

The “Lou” bag, small and medium models in tri­color leather, San­dro.

Éve­lyne Chetrite

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