For fashion cofounders Maxime Tran, ’18 (EXP-23), and Maria Tran, their inspirations have become their business model.
- January 10, 2020
Maxime Tran, ’18 (EXP-23), and his wife, Maria, cofounded France-based Josephine Silk Couture, ahaute couture online brand of custom-made clothing that combines natural silk and 3-D scanning technology to offer customers perfectly fitted outfits. The goal: to outfit customers in made-to-measure pieces that they can order by uploading two photos of themselves on their phone or computer. The scanning technology does the rest. Within two weeks, their garments arrive, ready to wear and perfectly tailored. Here, the Trans chat about what keeps them excited about their business.
Maxime: I enjoy French creative cuisine, especially seafood. For anyone visiting Paris, I would recommend chef Thibault Sombardier at Antoine, a 2019 Michelin-starred restaurant on the banks of the Seine and in view of the Eiffel Tower. The refined fish dishes created from fresh seafood brought from the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea create an emotional taste and an unforgettable moment. Not to mention that they have the best oysters we’ve ever eaten!
Maria: L’orangeraie (2013) by Larry Tremblay is a book I recently discovered. The author has questioned major current issues such as war, religious fanaticism, revenge, sacrifice, courage, and family love.
Maria: Climate change has now reached global awareness. Events such as Greta Thunberg’s choice for boat trips across the ocean should have a deep echo in anyone’s consciousness, shouldn’t they? So I like brands such as Stella McCartney’s. She took early action toward sustainability, and inspired many small, sustainable businesses.
I do not miss any opportunity to teach my 5-year-old daughter how to pay attention to our impact on nature by wearing natural fiber clothing—even if it is not as bright and fashionable as some other synthetic fibers. And our company uses 100 percent natural materials and local production in order to be sustainable. It’s time for fashion to become greener! Do not underestimate the power of informed consumers to make a difference.
“Meeting extraordinary people continues to inspire us.”
Maxime: My favorite musician is the contemporary saxophonist Claude Delangle. Passionate about his instrument, Delangle is distinguished by his inimitable French touch. I highly recommend A la française, where he is accompanied by his wife at the piano.
Maria: With Sleeping Muse, the artist Constantin Brancusi emphasized feminine traits in a very simple form. Brancusi once said, “Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things.” The silhouette of this sculpture inspires me with its serenity and timelessness: it captures the singularity of every woman through the features of her face and the folds of her hair. It’s definitely my favorite, a powerful creative muse.
Maxime: We love traveling. Southeast Asia is our favorite destination, because of my origin. Although I emigrated from there at a young age and was raised by a French family, I am always fascinated by those cultures. Exploring the magic of Angkor Wat, a temple complex in Cambodia, and meeting extraordinary people continues to inspire us.
Maria: I love silk and I admire how Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, cuts fabric to create sophisticated seams. I am a fan of his baroque style, rich in historical inspirations, bold colors, and prints. His creations may not meet the lifestyle or personality of every person, but everyone can inspire themselves and free themselves from the dictates of fashion standards. I really believe that made-to-measure and self-style creations are a rising trend, as we aspire to be unique as human beings and [in terms of] our wardrobe.
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