Jessie Chase is a woman with a truly international perspective. While attending college in New York City, she began working for the alt-chic French clothing brand A.P.C. as a retail assistant. Upon graduating, she was offered a position in the Public Relations offices at A.P.C. — in Paris. She picked up everything and began a new life in the city of lights. She is now the Assistant Studio Coordinator at French contemporary brand, The Kooples, where she works sourcing fabrics for their collections. VIVA sat down with Jessie to discuss how her life has changed since her move overseas.
Who is the most interesting/inspiring person you have met working in the fashion industry?
Diane von Furstenberg, hands down. I interned at her studio in the meatpacking district every summer while I was in high school. She worked pretty directly with my team, the merchandising team, so I felt as though I was truly working directly with Ms. Von Furstenberg herself. She is so incredibly inspiring in every possible way. Her memoir also helped to seal the deal.
What is the most exciting thing about living in Paris, compared to New York?
I find that there is a real joie de vivre in Paris. People really love life and take advantage of every single day. Every meal, night out, coffee, or cocktail is made the most of, and I love that.
What does an ideal weekend in Paris for you look like?
Friday night is spent decompressing from the week. I usually finish work rather early, around 4 pm, and stroll from my office in the 17th arrondissement back to my apartment in the 3rd to get ready for a yoga class. After yoga I grab take out sushi, relax and FaceTime with my friends and family in the states. Saturday consists of more yoga, brunch in my neighborhood with friends (preferably at Cafe Charlot or Merci Cinema Cafe ) and walking around town. My neighborhood, the Marais, is so close to everything, so I rarely ever take the metro on the weekends. On Saturday night I usually have drinks or dinner with friends on Rue de Bretagne, Carreau du Temple, or right by my apartment at Le Saint Gervais. Sunday mornings are very calm. The city doesn’t wake up until noon, so I take advantage and chill in my apartment. Then I usually take a long walk on either the Coulée Verte - the Parisian version of the Highline - or in my favorite park, The Buttes-Chaumont. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I love spending the day at the museum. My favorites are Palais de Tokyo and the Jeu de Paume . Then, I usually have an early drink with a friend before calling it an early night to prep for the busy week ahead!
How has your style changed or evolved since moving?
I believe my style has changed only subtly since moving. But I do find that I dress up and dress in a more feminine way in Paris. Anything goes in New York, but in Paris, I wouldn’t be caught dead running around in yoga pants - so I definitely keep this in mind. I wore mostly French designers before moving, so I feel I still wear the same brands, but even more so.
What other places inspire you?
I am very inspired by Berlin. I went for the first time last May and I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. It may not be the fashion or architecture capital of the world, but it has such a special vibe that I can’t just can’t describe. I can’t wait to go back.
What is the difference between working In the fashion industry in Paris, versus in New York?
I find that people take themselves way less seriously in the fashion industry in Paris, versus in New York. In Paris it is so not about who has the coolest thing, but more about creativity and a passion for the creative arts.
What are your day to day duties like in your position at The Kooples?
My day to day duties include anything from completing spreadsheets, which log fabric orders for the upcoming season, to meeting with fabric suppliers to select fabrics for the designers, to monitoring the status of prototypes with the atelier. Every day is really different. Some days are super exciting, some days are spent in front of the computer.
Other than the Kooples, what are the brands you find yourself wearing most?
I find myself wearing more and more Isabel Marant over the past few years. I still do wear a bunch of A.P.C., because it occupies most of my wardrobe having worked there for over 4 years, but I am transitioning towards more feminine pieces and brands. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I am a HUGE Vanessa Seward fan. I would have her whole collection if I could!
What trends are you looking forward to wearing this fall?
I am looking forward to loafers with cropped vintage jeans and trench coats! Classics revisited.
What is your beauty routine like?
My beauty routine is very very simple. I use Bioderma as both a toner and liquid moisturizer, and dry therapy by Aveda in my hair after showering. I love to mix essential oils with my body moisturizer, it has such a soothing effect. I wear very little makeup, a bit of blush and Bobbi Brown rose colored lipstick. That’s it!