Designer Profile: Emma François of Sessùn™
French-born Emma François founded Sessùn over 15 years ago, and continues to push the Marseille-based label towards new definitions of elegance using a rich set of material references.
Prior to starting Sessùn, François lived and traveled throughout South America for 20 years, and credits this time in her life for exposure to new material juxtapositions and pattern inspiration. François’s humble introduction to fashion began when she returned to France and started experimentation on her own clothes. She would alter the fit of sweaters, re-dye garments, and combine separate pieces to create a new unique wearable item. A little over a decade ago, you could have found François selling her creations to shopkeepers out of her backpack on the streets of Paris and Marseille. In 1999 she finally had the opportunity to debut her brand, and a Jeune Créateur (Young Designer) prize from the Institut Mode Méditerranée was soon to follow.
We love that François’s collections cite a broad range of influences. She still travels regularly, and has stated that this is an integral part of her design process; “Even today, whenever I can, I go to the end of the world. I stay in Tokyo. I love the contrast of this city, its urban madness and refinement. I can walk kilometers, alone and wander in all neighborhoods. In China, I take pictures, and I bring all sorts of things [back] : packaging, postcards, traditional papers…” (Elle France). François has based an entire season’s tone on a song she might like at the moment, and regularly uses motifs from the most unlikely of places (an 18th century paper marbling catalogue, for example) to inspire the unique textiles Sessùn has become known for. Her pieces begin with unlikely pattern and material pairings, but somehow resolve into effortlessly classic garments that remain relevant season after season - just one of the many reasons Sessùn has stayed a headliner at Penelope’s. We can’t wait to see what comes next from this talented designer.