With master’s degrees and motherhood under her belt, Marine Lloris, wife of Tottenham Hotspur captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, is now turning her hand to fashion with the launch of her own luxury girlswear brand, Manège en Sucre.
Laura Turner: With master’s degrees in social psychology and human resource management, what led you into childrenswear design?
Marine Lloris: I love psychology. I studied for five years, specialising in human resources. After having my first daughter, I stopped working, moved from Nice to Lyon and then to London. After my second daughter, I felt ready to work again.
Since I was a child, I was always creative – from painting to playing the piano – and growing up, I was drawn to textiles, different fabrics and the use of colour. So as an adult, I felt inspired to create something. It was when I had my girls that I found the perfect opportunity to channel my passion for creativity with my love of fashion.
Initially, I considered a maternitywear brand, but having so much fun dressing my own girls led me to settle on childrenswear – girlswear specifically. I started alone, working on building the brand for a year and a half before meeting my designer, Claudia Gamba. We now work together on the brand.
LT: How would you summarise the look of your brand?
ML: French; chic, sweet and smart. Manège en Sucre has its own vibe and a strong sense of dressing kids as kids.
LT: Can you tell me more about your debut collection for a/w 17?
ML: It’s a very Christmassy capsule collection of dresses for 2-12 years, with each dress named after a princess. A Christmas dress is a must for me; I always pick one for my daughters to wear on Christmas Eve and another for Christmas day – it’s tradition. I feel the collection really captures that sense of celebration. In terms of design, there’s lots of glitter, shine and attention to detail, such as Swarovski Crystal on the zip pulls. It’s important that the garments do more than look nice, I want children to want to wear the dresses and to be comfortable all day, which is why I include elements such as high quality, soft cotton linings.
LT: What can we expect from your second collection for s/s 18?
ML: The look is fresher and simpler, and includes shades of mint and peach. There are more everyday pieces as well as items for special occasionwear.
LT: What inspires you design-wise?
ML: I’m naturally attracted to certain colours and designs – I know very quickly if I like something. I do try to incorporate fashion trends, but I’m not led by them. It’s often a case of meeting somewhere half way, but I have to love something to go with it.
LT: Do your daughters provide you with feedback?
ML: Yes, my girls are my muses. They are very honest about the dresses and are always giving me ideas about how to make them even more special – they both love anything shiny, for instance. They also help me a lot in terms of the cut of the garments and how shapes work on different ages.
LT: Would you consider branching into boyswear?
ML: I think the brand will remain girlswear-only. I don’t find the thought of designing boyswear as much fun, there’s more potential and more options in girlswear. It’s hard to create a luxury brand for boys and the high street does boyswear very well.
LT: Where is Manège en Sucre available?
ML: The Christmas collection has launched exclusively in the childrenswear concession of Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge, on the Harvey Nichols website and via manege-en-sucre.com. We will be expanding to more stockists, but we want to keep our volumes low, our quality perfect and our distribution exclusive.
LT: Which other childrenswear brands do you admire?
ML: I like Bon Point and I bought Tartine et Chocolat a lot for my daughters when they were babies. I don’t buy something for the brand name though – if I like a style, I’ll shop for it.
LT: Where did the name Manège en Sucre come from?
ML: Translated, it literally means Carousel in Sugar. The carousel element is because my daughters adore them and ‘sugar’ rounded it into a proper brand name and made it a bit sweeter. I designed and illustrated the brand logo myself, which is of a carousel with a horse on a striped candy cane.
LT: What are the plans for the brand?
ML: To develop in London and the UK – the a/w and s/s collections will only be available in the UK. Once we are more established here, we will look to expand into Europe.