Q: Why did you start Apparis?
A: We started APPARIS because we wanted to bring the latest French fashion to the U.S. since the only way to access it was by traveling to Europe. When we opened our pop-up shop last year, we carried pieces besides faux fur, but noticed that our most popular items were our jackets. Girls would come by to try on all our coats in all our colors, and take pictures to post on social media. That’s when we knew we had something to focus on – chic and affordable faux fur coats.
We also noticed that faux fur coats had a huge price gap; either they were $50 and felt terrible, or were luxurious and cost a fortune. We wanted to bring something to the market that felt lush and was gentle on the wallet.
Q: How do you both know each other?
A: We met around ten years ago in Boston through family friends. Lauren was studying there and I lived there at the time. Coincidentally, we both went on to work at Louis Vuitton at different locations, and were able to reconnect and stay in touch. Two years ago, we met for dinner in Paris to catch up, and after a few glasses of wine we decided to quit our corporate jobs and start our own business!
Q:How does your brand personify French fashion?
A: We’re from Marseille in France. The people there are daring and they express themselves with bold colors, which we have incorporated into our designs. We also feel that there is an ease associated with our designs. You can seamlessly wear the Sophie coat from day to night and still feel chic, which is what French fashion is all about – being chic all the time!
Q: Why do you only sell cruelty-free products?
A:We strongly believe that you don’t need to sacrifice an animal to create a beautiful coat. The fashion world is changing for the better with Gucci, Versace, and other big houses banning fur from their collections. We even see whole cities like San Francisco making it illegal to sell real fur. Being cruelty-free for us is a no brainer, and it should be for everyone.
Q: What are your favorite colors and coats of the season?
A: We love the Sophie, especially in cobalt! The cut and length are extremely versatile; You can dress it up with a chic dress for a night out, or dress it down with some jeans and sneakers for some Sunday brunch, and the cobalt make for a fun splash of color. Another style we love, and that we designed for our clients, is the Goldie. Last year people begged us for a faux fur with a hood so much that we decided to make one. We love the Goldie in army green because it goes well with everything!
Q: Is this your first business? Have you faced any challenges as female CEOS?
A: Yes it’s our first business, and as women entrepreneurs we’ve some challenges. You would think that women working in fashion would be a perfect fit, but women are still underrepresented in this role. You need to have confidence, hold your ground, and not let others shake your values.
Q: Who is your target consumer?
A: We like to think of the APPARIS woman as a Fashionista who loves all things French, and who isn’t afraid to have a little fun with color. Our coats make a statement and bring joy to the wearer, so we think everyone should be able to rock them with confidence.
Q: Who are your fashion icons?
A: Some of the fashion icons we draw the most inspiration from are Brigitte Bardot and Carine Roitfeld. For us they’re representative of bold, empowered women, and that’s exactly how we view APPARIS. They were always so chic, sexy, and feminine, and that’s how we want our clients to feel when they wear our coats.
Q: What are some things we can expect from the brand in the future?
A: We get this question a lot from friends and clients! They ask us, “when are you doing a children’s collection?”, “Will you be doing men’s?” We are looking into what makes sense for us. Our mission is to be the number one faux fur brand out there, so that’s our focus right now.