1/1
  • Photography by Mr Michael Bodiam
  • Words by Mr Peter Henderson, Senior Fashion Writer, MR PORTER

Established in the French capital in 1984, Sandro's unfussy and effortlessly chic clothes have come to define Parisian style. The menswear collection, launched in 2008 by Mr Ilan Chétrite, the son of the label's founders, continues to impress us with its pared-back tailoring, covetable biker jackets and printed shirts. Sandro's clothes are the sort of stylish wardrobe essentials that you can wear every day in an almost limitless number of ways. We visited Mr Chétrite in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris to talk about his impressive work space and the brand that has been an integral part of his life.

Where is your office based, and why?
We're located in an 18th-century building in the Marais district of Paris. I like the area a lot because it's an old neighbourhood that has developed an inspiring new energy over the past five years.
Describe the aesthetic of your office
It's a big room with original wood panelling on the walls and moulding on the ceiling, but at the same time there's a surfboard and contemporary furniture... it's a mixture of old and new.
Is this the room you design collections in?
No, it's not. This is the room where I have meetings and come to think. The room in which I design things is one level up, where I work with my team. This is a space for thinking, documenting, being alone...
The decoration is quite clean and minimal. Was this intentional, to aid thinking and contemplation?
To be honest, it wasn't really designed to be calm or to help thinking. I just decorated it in a way that seemed natural.
Are you interested in interior design as well as fashion?
Yes I am. I appreciate all good design, regardless of category.
There are several photography books in your office. Is that something which inspires you?
I'm really interested in photography and photographers. I like Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber, Helmut Newton and Peter Lindbergh, to name a few. I like documentary photography as well: the book that is open on the Muhammad Ali image is a compendium of the most famous pictures from Life magazine. It can be inspiring when you're thinking about brand image and things like that.

I've figured out that Parisian style is this nonchalant, almost thoughtless, chic - as if your look is accidental and came about unintentionally

What's your favourite place in Paris?
When I go to work in the morning on my bike and ride by the river Seine the view is just beautiful, especially when the sun is shining - it's magic and I wouldn't like to be anywhere else in the world.
Are there any other cities that inspire you?
I go to LA once or twice a year. It's a city I like a lot, and I have friends there. It's a city of great colours (especially by the sea) and there are a lot of things that can inspire you. Of course I like New York and London too: they both have good energy.
Describe your relationship with Sandro.
I grew up with the brand, so it's almost like a brother to me. Before finishing my studies I hadn't thought about working for it. But Sandro has become bigger and bigger, and I thought I could contribute something even more, which is why I decided to launch the men's collection. Originally I thought I would work in finance, as I studied economics at university.
What is the philosophy of Sandro menswear?
We don't want to dictate what men should wear. We make whole looks for the presentation, but I don't want our customers to feel that they have to wear it all at once. I want people to be free, because I think you look and feel best when you are free with your clothes. It's about breaking the rules a bit.
Sandro is often described as embodying Parisian style. What does that mean to you?
You know, before talking to foreign journalists I had never really noticed that there was a "Parisian style", but it kept coming up in interviews so eventually I've figured out that it's about this nonchalant, almost thoughtless, chic - as if your look is accidental and came about unintentionally. It's not easy to identify something which is deeply in your skin.
Do you have any personal style icons?
Not really, because these days I think the most stylish people are found on the street and are not famous - you see them out and about and on blogs. But I did grow up in a family in which style was important for everyone. I think my grandfather taught us about elegance without even being conscious of it, and I still have memories of the clothes he wore.

Try These...


Advertisement