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Interview - Marie-Sophie Lockhart

Marie-Sophie Lockhart is an inspiring woman. The kind we love.

On the occasion of our collaboration, we wanted to ask her a few questions...

Interview by Julie Bluteau

Photographs by Jay Carroll

Hello Marie-Sophie! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Marie-Sophie Lockhart, I’m 33, I’m French and I’m an embroiderer, among other things. I’m a “self-made business woman”, as they say in the US! I started embroidering about four years ago. It has gone from being just a hobby to my job, and has enabled me to work for myself and be my own boss, which has its advantages (especially since I’m one of those people who’s always late). Although, I still have to deal with a big workload and the stress that goes with it. However, I’m free to manage that in my own way, which is ultimately both challenging and rewarding on a daily basis.

I lived in New York for seven years, where I worked for several big fashion houses. I was fortunate to have been able to work with clients such as Drake, Beyonce and Rihanna.

When I arrived in New York, I had to start all over again (I was working at Colette in Paris before that). In the Big Apple, it was a long, hard struggle, but I managed to find my way and make a living out of my art. Now I’m lucky enough to be able to work anywhere in the world. I just moved to Hawaii. I wake up every morning in such a beautiful place that it makes me wonder what I did to be so lucky!

Living in connection with nature is really important. I look forward to seeing the impact of my new living environment on my work. It’s very important for me to be a nomad and to continue to travel.

How did this collaboration with Sessùn come about? 

Jessie, a friend of mine, works at Sessùn. She showed my work to Emma who loved it and got in contact with me so that we could work on a collaboration together. I've been a big fan of Sessùn for ages. I’ve seen the brand grow at the same time as me, we are of the same generation. I was really honoured that Emma thought of me. 

What is the main concept that you wanted to convey with Emma through this collaboration?

The main concept is that of the American Wild West, the huge, open landscapes that led men and women to discover America and travel the continent in search of freedom.

The men that work the land and take care of their animals, the wild horses, the real cowboys!

I was also inspired by Nudie, an American tailor, who made costumes for some of America’s biggest stars (both singers and actors), in a cowboy style with incredible embroidery work. A real genius! He made costumes for Elvis and Gram Parsons, one of my favourite country-rock artists of the 70s.

Emma and I are both fans of the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", starring the charismatic Robert Redford and Paul Newman, which is based on a true story. The landscapes, photography, costumes, film score. Everything is magnificent in this cult film, which evokes the spirit of the American Wild West, the outlaws and the friendship between these two men.

We decided to make a lot of denim pieces, which were the original workwear. We wanted to develop this idea of "workwear" and we also designed our own bandana pattern.

It's funny, because my jeans and my bandana are the first pieces I ever embroidered. True love, as they say.

What were your main sources of inspiration? 

The movie we were talking about and films about the Wild West in general, country music, the designer Nudie, and workwear. 

What was your role in this collaboration?

It was super simple and fun, a real pleasure to work with Emma and her team. I was pleasantly surprised as most of my clients are American, and I had never worked on a project like this for a French brand before.

First of all, I sent them some mood boards.

Then, the Sessùn team sent me drawings for the designs, and then we decided on everything together. We chose the pieces to embroider and I started drawing once the designs had been chosen. I received the samples and embroidered them by hand.

Working in different time zones didn't bother us at all, or complicate the task. I also did the artwork for the Jacron labels, which are the leather labels you find on jeans.

The fact that I had complete carte blanche was super cool; the team at Sessùn really allowed me to express myself 100%.

If you had to describe this collaboration in a few adjectives?

I would say  an epic country and western journey into the Wild West.