This month’s Spotlight falls on French entrepreneur Fanny Signeyrole, formerly Fanny Zara. A History of Art and MBA graduate, Fanny has returned to the fashion industry after several years in the business coaching and finance world in North America.
- Where you do call home?
I don’t feel attached to places but people. Home is where I live with the ones I love, my Austrian husband and my kids.
- Tell us about your new business venture
“Fashion Talents” is a Blog and a Marketplace empowering new designers to start their own fashion business outside the established fashion industry, either as a primary professional activity or as an extra job on the side. Starting a fashion label today is feasible at a fraction of the time and cost it took before.
- What inspired you to set up Fashion Talents?
I have always had a passion for the fashion business, since I was very young. My father was a fashion designer and an entrepreneur and in the 70s and 80s he founded 2 fashion companies in Brittany. He had always been a great inspiration for me, from the time I was a little girl and was watching him at work. That led me to get a master’s degree in History of Art and an MBA in Luxury Brand Strategy and International Management.
Recently, I was inspired by the sharing business concept and marketplace technology. To me, it’s the future of online business. I am already a regular customer of of many different marketplace businesses in my daily life such as: Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, BlaBlaCar, Fiverr… And I love all the inspirational discussions about business I have with my husband.
- What makes a good fashion designer in your opinion?
A good fashion designer is one that understands that clothes are made for people and not for museums or books! Fashion is not art. Fashion should not be limited to models, editors or celebrities either. It’s made for you, for me and for billions of people all over the world.
- What sort of fashion do you like?
My own personal fashion is very diverse. I don’t like wearing the same style. It would feel like eating the same food every day. Life is too short to be boring!
I love certain designers’ clothes for their creativity in all aspects. But I don’t pay much attention to famous fashion brands, logo and labels. As I feel they’re lacking in creative spirit. They just do advertisements and marketing.
- What advice would you give to others starting up a business here?
I am a follower of the Lean Startup business model. You start very small in everything: idea, investment, material, people… You test one thing after another. You learn from your mistakes. You adjust your business accordingly and then you move on.
But first and foremost, you need to make sure you have the energy to do whatever it takes for your business.
- What differences do you see between North American and Spanish fashion?
North American people are quite serious in their fashion style. Spanish designers are more daring. I think that Cristóbal Balenciaga or Manolo Blahnik are the best representatives of the playfulness of Spanish designers. Fashion is also a question of culture.
- If you could wave a magic wand where would you go next?
I wouldn’t use a magic wand to go anywhere. I relish the surprises of life!