A woman of true values
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.