MEET WE FOUND IT STUDIO W/ JONES AND LAURIE
WE FOUND IT STUDIO is the brainchild of Laurie and Jones from Toulouse, France. The brand started off as WE FOUND IT VINTAGE, a space to curate and share exceptional as well as timeless vintage garments but eventually evolved into its own line of made to order pieces from deadstock designer fabrics. We chatted to Jones and Laurie about their inspiration, fashion that exists already and what it's like being business and life partners.
"For us, it was obvious that we had to use deadstock or vintage fabrics as we knew that all these amazing gems were sleeping there!"
What 2 words best describe WE FOUND IT?
Two words it is so hard to choose; I’d say playful and feminine, and Laurie would say bold and versatile.
When did you start WE FOUND IT, and what inspired you to?
Firstly we started as vintage hunters with We Found It Vintage which is our vintage shop since almost 4 years. We use to thrift some antique Japanese kimono (we truly love the Japanese styles and culture btw, so inspiring) and one day we had the idea of a top inspired by the kimono but revisited, with a contemporary and minimalist design, the Flâneur top. So the idea of creating a brand didn’t come directly, it was initially more the desire to create a cool and playful top. Then being aware of the global impact that fashion has on the planet and those who compose it we really wanted to think about how, where and with whom to produce. For us, it was obvious that we had to use deadstock or vintage fabrics as we knew that all these amazing gems were sleeping there! So we started from a desire to create something but thinking about the most respectful way.
Tell us about the team behind the brand.
In the team there are our 3 or now even 4 seamstresses : Jeanne, Margot, Mariska and more recently Marcelle. They all work in their own workshop and are independent seamstresses all based within an hour of our home, we can say we are a local business! There are also our 2 interns Basak and William. And finally there are us! Jones and Laurie, the founder and designer of the brand. We make the designs, we do the photoshoots and the photo editing, but also all the artistic direction is by us. We like to be in every stage and to touch a lot of areas.
Jones and Laurie behind the scenes of their campaign shoot
How do you, Jones and Laurie, find working with your partner and what different qualities do you bring to the brand?
Working together as a couple is quite challenging actually. We’re a very fusional couple but we’re also very different. It can be difficult to find the balance when we have very different visions of our project but in the end it becomes a real strength, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, renewal and questioning to always try to become better. So far we have worked as a team at all levels but little by little roles are being defined. Jones is more the one who brings the ideas and I'm the one who makes them happen. Since we also run a vintage shop, we alternate from week to week and take turns being responsible for a vintage shop and then the Studio the following week.
What’s playing on the office / studio stereo?
Depending on the mood: For mornings Quand la ville dort by Niagara and We Found It by Myd (Nothing to do with the title haha). For the afternoon generally we need to wake Laurie up from digestion haha; with Whole lotta money by BIA and we will finish the day with Lapdance from Asia by Cosha & Shygirl.
To us GOOD DESIGN means making positive impact on people and the planet a key input in your design stage. How do you approach this at WE FOUND IT?
As mentioned above, it has been fundamental from the beginning for us to create with a global respect: environmental and human. We have therefore chosen not to buy new fabrics in order not to encourage the overproduction of fabric which is already very wasteful. For the production, we chose to go local, in the South West of France where we live, because it's cool and important for us to be able to see all the people working with us easily, it allows us to keep a real link with them and moreover, in terms of carbon footprint, it's great not to have to go too far! We’re working in made-to-order so we could be perfectly size inclusive and speak to every woman. But the made to order also have the asset to avoid any waste and only produce what is needed. Anti-waste is in our DNA haha! Finally, we don’t encourage a massive consumption, all our designs are in very limited edition!
You get a lot of deadstock from premium fashion houses in Paris, so you must have access to some amazing quality materials...
Indeed with the time we found exceptional suppliers in Paris, very unknown and only thanks to professional encounters that allowed us to open up our networks little by little. These are Alibaba caves in small corners of Paris, with large spaces filled with rolls from many of the major French fashion houses. We are obliged to keep the sources and brands secret but without specifying which fabric we are talking about we can mention for example Dior, Givenchy, Lanvin or even Yves Saint Laurent. But it is sometimes difficult to find exactly what we have in mind because we are also very picky, so we are constantly looking for new suppliers and good deals for forgotten or surplus fabrics.
WE FOUND IT's studio in Toulouse
To champion transparency, we always ask designers - what would you like to do better, or are you working on improving?
As we are young we consider that we have to improve in everything hahaha! Maybe the first step where we could improve is our packaging. We tried for example recycled and biodegradable and reusable plastic packaging, but after trying 2 different brands we preferred to go back to cardboard boxes because the bags arrived sometimes damaged and with little care in our packages too.
We want the customer to be happy when they open their package but we can improve and reduce our packaging and shipping containers.
For example, there are fully reusable bags for which the customer pays a deposit. We are looking into this and are always looking for ways to improve.
Where is WE FOUND IT going in the future?
We’d be so happy to find a knitter actually, since the beginning we have jumper designs just waiting that we find someone to produce them. Also we’d love to put a more creative aspect in the project by creating our own pattern… It could be amazing!
As we all know, the fashion industry as a whole is responsible for huge environmental and social issues. How would you like to see the industry change and progress?
Fast fashion and big brands have to be controlled and forced to be produced better, so less, and in better condition. We hope for more and more websites like yours, proposing a creative, cool AND sustainable approach with amazing designers ! The more we will see that kind of space the more people will be aware and conscious.
What advice would you give to people who want to be more responsible when they’re shopping?
We would advise you to really think about what you’re buying. Do you really need it? Or is it an impulsive purchase? Will you wear it for a long time or is it just right with your weekly mood? You just need to think about what you’re buying so it perfectly fits your personality, your style and maybe your needs. If it does then it’s already a first step to a conscious purchase! Then, you can also ask yourself: who made these clothes? In what condition does the maker of these clothes work? Yes it is way more annoying than just clicking and purchasing but we are convinced that change can start and go faster with consumers, they have to change their habits too and slow down.
Thank you Jones and Laurie!
You can explore and shop the WE FOUND IT collection here.