Luminous, that is the word that comes to mind when one meets Diane for the first time. Blonde, with a clear complexion and powdery colors – everything about her evokes softness and femininity. Her eyes, clear but piercing, reveal a fierce determination. Or rather passion, as Diane has lived and breathed fashion since childhood. For her it is a lifestyle, an aesthetic. She inherited an awareness of fine things from her parents, a sculptor and an architect, and she has developed the Soulages, Rothkos and Klimts which were her first loves, into something more contemporary. Today, she is more excited by Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud or Cindy Sherman and wouldn’t miss out on a FIAC exhibition for anything in the world. But the essential, vital source of Diane’s inspiration is drawn from those around her: her friends, her family and the artists she surrounds herself with.
What’s the story behind the name of your label ?
Well, I was born in April and Yohan, my husband and partner, was born in May. Both April and May are springtime months, and spring marks the beginning and renewal of the natural world, which blossoms after the gloomy winter has ended.
You got your start designing for another French label, Paul & Joe. How would you compare and contrast the aesthetic of the two brands ? After my studies at Esmod and Central Saint Martin school in London, I was very fortunate to have started my design career at Paul & Joe. While working there, I was involved in all aspects of the design process, both catwalk and commercial. I learned so much so quickly. The company was very small when I started, and proved to be the perfect environment for me to begin my career. It wasn’t until much later, however, that I began thinking of launching my own brand Do you have a particular muse in mind when you design ?
My muses are my friends, my “entourage.” In general, I design clothes for girls and women who have a passion for fashion and who like to get dressed up, but who also have a cool attitude about them.
How would you describe the April, May aesthetic in a single sentence ?
April, May is about attitude about mixing and matching coolness and elegance. What’s next for your label in terms of expansion?
We are planning to open our first shop in Paris very soon, and are certainly continuing to grow with concept stores that share our spirit. We hope to eventually open retail stores in the US as well.
What are three key pieces every woman should have in her closet?
A leather jacket, a men’s-style shirt in a nice cotton poplin, and a sexy skirt. You travel a lot and you spend a lot of time in New York and Los Angeles, Paris style versus New York City style…thoughts?
New York style is very inspiring, it embodies elegance and attitude perfectly. But French style is actually quite similar. The staples for women in both cities are a masculine or leather jacket, a great pair of jeans, and the perfect pair of stilettos or boots. Think casual, but twisted — and always with good accessories!
THANK YOU DIANE