©Philo Cohen

©Philo Cohen

MARIE FRANCE COHEN

By SPECIWOMEN Illustration PHILO COHEN

"I am not anxious because no one is giving me orders. If you love passionately what you do, and that you respect others, you will create a harmonious atmosphere."

What do you do?

I am a creative. After creating the luxury children clothing brand Bonpoint, and the charity concept store Merci, I started a design business with my daughter in law, Stéphanie. I work on multiple projects, all related to fashion, decoration and the art of living. 

Have you always known what you wanted to pursue?

Not really, but I always knew that I wanted to create in an aesthetic field, but especially that I wanted to be my own boss, no matter how hard that would be. I wanted to work with a team in order to add up talented brains together, as well as to have the happiness of being together, a big family.

“If we, females, each possess an object, and that we trade it to one another, we, females, each possess an object. If we, females, each have an idea, and that we communicate them to one another, we, females, each have two ideas.” (Chinese proverb) 

How has art shaped your life?

My passion is beauty as well as freedom. Freedom to think differently, to do things differently, to choose the life we want. The price of this freedom is that it is important to taste its happiness while accepting its cons. To dream of beauty, not of money. 

How do you reconcile art as a purely creative outlet with the need to make a living?

If you possess talent and bravery, and that your freedom allows you to express it, then money will come with success. We became rich only when we sold Bonpoint, but we had such a beautiful life.

How do you get over a creative block? 

I am not anxious because no one is giving me orders. If you love passionately what you do, and that you respect others, you will create a harmonious atmosphere. We’ve done a lot. I cannot even call that work because of how everything we have done was done in the pleasure to share. 

When are you the most efficient?

Alone, in the midst of a lot of people, surrounded by life. In a café, in my office, at home, isolated but in the middle of a certain thud. 

What brings you inspiration?

Others, nature, beauty as all of its shapes, creativity, intelligence, travels, exhibits, the market… Everything. 

What's the best advice you've ever received, and what advice do you wish someone gave you when you were starting out?

  • Get Paid
  • Be ready to work for nothing if you are learning something, if it fills you with happiness, but learn how to ask for what is due to you. 
  • Never let yourself be mistreated, nor humiliated. Leave. 
  • Be generous, greedy, enthusiastic, open your eyes, look, be good with yourself and others. 
  • Giving is always a positive account of exploitation 
  • One must do more than talk.