The word from La Founder: Les Makers Stories start with me, for obvious reasons. But also, this is my way to tell you a bit more about myself, beyond my resume.
Your astrological sign:
A special feature about you:
I am always hungry, I am obsessed with food. I grew up with the most delicious homemade Chinese food of my mother, in the French gastronomic capital of Lyon, worked several years with Italians (at Armani and Dolce&Gabbana) practicing the art of Aperitivo, and married a restauranteur with Burgundy roots. I can’t make any diet happen properly, i am doomed.
Your credo/mantra in life:
Alone you go faster, with others you go further.
Why you love your job/craft? Or why you have chosen this path ?
I chose this path because i fiercely believe in the value of image for a brand to prosper. That is why I was always fascinated with Luxury brands. Within ten years in the industry, I got to work with amazing talents all over the world, sometimes to tell one same brand story through different angles and on different platforms over different continents. It is thrilling and so insightful. I love my job because it’s creative and operational at the same time, it is all about « brain juice » AND running on the field, there is no compromise, and I love it!
A special project you loved doing:
2016, Acqua di Gioia influencer trip in Sicily. It was the very first big-scale influencer-focused event for Giorgio Armani Fragrances, a team work between Paris and Milan. We all believed in it, it was new territory, and the message was « share joy ». It was a great success because it was respectful of the brand DNA and authentically joyful. And so the products were authentically endorsed by top influencers, generating a real impact on the franchise’s visibility and sales.
An anecdote about you that you would like to share:
I was born in China, came in France at 8 years old and I did not speak a word of French back then. And kids can be cruel at that age. Nobody could pronounce my Chinese name, they made fun of me, so I asked my mother to pick a French name for me. She did not know much about French names, so she took a calendar with all the saints written on each day, and let me pick. I closed my eyes and got « Isabelle ». And she said « It should be fine, there is a famous actress here called Isabelle Adjani, you can be Isabelle Ni, it sounds alike ». So I agreed. I could as well be called « Immaculate Conception », it all sounded the same to me!
A special person/encounter, or a mentor/partner:
My very dear friend Vera. She is my partner in crime, she knows me personally as one of my best friends, she knows me professionally as we met at work and shared an office for years, she is the one who triggered my entrepreneur inner self. She is my person.
The Great Gatsby, F.S. Fitzgerald, in English. Un Pedigree, P. Modiano, in French.
Scarface for any occasion. Only Lovers Left Alive, for very special occasions.
Favorite TV show:
I can’t pick one.. The West Wing, The Wire, Downtown Abbey. And of course, Sex and The City.
Favorite song/music artist to listen to for work:
Depends on the mood and the project. Generally speaking, I like to work in silence or with the ambient sound around me. Some Cat Power to organize my ideas, and The Kills to boost motivation.
Favorite song to dance:
All Bs. Beyoncé, Britney, Bruno Mars
This is the toughest question one can possibly ask me. I would say my mother’s Hoisin duck, my mother-in-law’s chicken from Bresse with cream and morels, and my husband’s Patotto (coquillette pasta risotto with Comté cheese and ham). And Sicilian gelato for desert. I am hungry now, again.
Pouilly Fumé for white, Volnay for red, and Glengoyne, neat.
Favorite city, and a place you love in that city:
Rome, Via San Eustachio next to the Pantheon.
Again, can’t pick one. In Paris, Le Pied de Cochon for traditional French and the scenery, L’Orient d’Or for Chinese, Rachel’s for comfort food, Loco or Loca for a good argentinian steak and a kiss over the bar from my husband (too cheesy, right?).
For other cities, don’t get me started.. it could take a while.
Favorite brand or brand of the moment, and why:
I discovered Alighieri thanks to my journalist friend Anne-Sophie, it is a beautiful handcrafted jewelry brand, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy tales. I wear the Leone necklace everyday, it stands for courage, the designer Rosh Mahtani told me she created this piece when she launched her brand, to give her courage. And I bought mine when I created Les Brand Makers.
A guilty pleasure:
I wish I could say oysters with champagne, but really I am more a « pâté, pickles with a glass of red » kind of girl. But always with really nice shoes.