Interview

with Alix Petit founder of Heimstone fashion

The designer and businesswoman Alix Petit spoke to us on how she manages to stay glowing and healthy while jet-setting across the globe and changing the face of French fashion one crazy, colorful print at a time.

French fashion brand Heimstone is colorful, casual, comfortable and très jetset-chic.
This is also a perfect description of the brand’s founder Alix Petit.
Petit is, like her collections, a mélange of a NYC rocker-chic and the French je-ne-sais-quoi effortless cool.
At just 32 years old, the young entrepreneur’s line has already attracted a cult following from fashionistas across the globe.

Next season’s upcoming Fall-Winter collection “Alberta”, inspired by a winter trip to Canada, is making freezing fashionable.

Heimstone is not only selling clothing, but a full lifestyle.
#Heimstonegirls are popping up all over social media as a worldwide #Heimstonisation fashion revolution gains momentum.
The brand boasts one boutique in Paris and a showroom in NYC and sells everything at the Heimstone.com e-shop.

Next season’s upcoming Fall-Winter collection “Alberta”, inspired by a winter trip to Canada, is making freezing fashionable. This season’s “Imperial” Spring-Summer collection is a wearable jungle safari through Africa. And then there’s this summer hit ensemble, a “pyjama-chic” one-piece putting a new spin on the “I woke up like this” adage.

Petit recently moved from Paris to New York City where she lives with her Turkish husband and one year old daughter Ellis Bloom, and not far from her identical twin sister.

The designer and businesswoman extraordinaire spoke to BWB’s resident Parisian/New Yorker Rebecca Leffler about hopping back and forth across the Atlantic, how she manages to stay glowing and healthy while jet-setting across the globe and changing the face of French fashion one crazy, colorful print at a time.

BWB: This may be the toughest question I could ask you, so we’ll start with it first. What is your favorite item of clothing in your wardrobe?

My mixed green suede Magnolia jacket from winter 2011-2012! I love everything about it, particularly the brightness of the greens and the shape!

BWB: What do you do to stay healthy?

I work out almost every day. Lately, I am into boxing, I go there with my twin sister. It’s very motivating because you see results very fast! I also run a lot and do some yoga, pilates, swimming and really anything that makes me feel good.
I try to eat well too. I was raised eating healthy food, so it’s not too hard for me, but I have a big chocolate and bread addiction. I can’t help it – it feels like a little hug in my stomach!

BWB: You have a one year old little girl. How did having a child influence your healthy lifestyle?

It’s even better now, because having a baby made me understand how amazing it is that a human body can create life in such an easy and natural way. I now take so much pleasure in cooking for Ellis.

BWB: You travel so much – what are your favorite tips for feeling good even when on a long trip?

Before a flight, I usually go for a run to sweat and stretch my legs, then I have a shower and end it with cold water. I wear my airplane socks, drink a lot of water before, during and after the trip.
I also use a lot of moisturizing cream since my skin gets dry very quickly.
When I travel, I eat a lot. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s all of the excitement? Food in airport lounges is not very healthy, but I’m fine with it. I eat whatever I feel like, but I try not to eat too much gluten.

BWB: What are your essential items to carry…

…in your handbag?
My cellphone and my lip balm

…in your suitcase?
My running shoes

BWB: Where was the last place you traveled to?

Paris last week then Australia and Thailand later this year.

BWB: What has been your most memorable trip?

Alaska.

BWB: What do you miss about Paris when you’re in NYC? And vice versa?

I miss “jambon de paris” (white ham – it’s impossible to find the real one in NYC).
And I miss the kindness of strangers in NYC when I’m in Paris. The two cities are actually not that different.

BWB: Where will you go on vacation this summer?

We are going to Tuscany for a wedding, then to our house in St. Tropez, then to the French Alps for a few days before heading to Southern Turkey.

My Heimstone basics: easy and simple dresses that I can wear everyday, three bathing suits, four pairs of shoes (including my running shoes!), and maybe two fancier dresses.

BWB: What will you pack?

My Heimstone basics: easy and simple dresses that I can wear everyday, three bathing suits, four pairs of shoes (including my running shoes!), and maybe two fancier dresses.
Now that we have our baby, my husband banned me from taking more than one suitcase for myself!

BWB: If you were vacationing on a desert island, what would be your five must-have items ?

My Caudalie Lip balm, my running shoes, a cap, some paper and pencils to draw and kill time …and of course a box of chocolate.

BWB: What is your morning routine like…

…in NYC?
I wake up, hug my husband and baby, have a cup of tea, go to the gym, come back, have a nice breakfast with my husband then start working.

…in Paris?
I wake up, hug my husband and baby, then go straight to work.

…on vacation?
It’s the same as it is in NYC! I am never really on a vacation.

BWB: Each season of Heimstone has its own theme – from NYC to Africa and beyond! What is this summer collection’s theme?

It’s Africa! I traveled a lot to Morocco, Egypt and the Ivory Coast when I was a child, so it’s filled with memories from there.

The next upcoming winter collection is called ALBERTA and is inspired by frozen Canadian landscapes.

BWB: Can you give us le scoop on what to expect from Heimstone’s upcoming seasonal collections?

The collections will be more and more beautiful! We are also working on more and more collaborations with other brands.
The next upcoming winter collection is called ALBERTA and is inspired by frozen Canadian landscapes. All of the details will be on our website in July.
The next summer 2016 collection is inspired by Thailand with a lot of lace, green colors and some surprising prints!
Right now I am working on the winter 2016-17 collection that is inspired by Hunters and Forests….to be continued!

BWB: You have a twin sister – how is your style different and how have you used fashion to stand out?

It s not really different as she is obliged to wear Heimstone. I would say that she is a bit more crazy than I am in terms of mixing all the prints and patterns!

BWB: You’re not only a creative artist and designer, but you also handle the business side of your company. What’s your best advice for young women entrepreneurs looking to stand out in the fashion crowd?

Work! And try to understand every single aspect of your business.

BWB: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced with your fashion line?

Having a “successful” brand, but trying to make it profitable at the same time.

BWB: If you could dress anyone alive or dead in history from head to toe, who would it be and what outfit would you choose?

I would dress up Michael Jackson in a Heimstone tiger suit!

Portrait Alix- 2014 Crédit Jonas Mason

Rebecca Leffler

Rebecca Leffler is a writer, journalist and wellness consultant. She is the author of best-selling French book Green, Glam & Gourmande and follow-up title Green, Glam & Happy. Her book “Très green, très clean, très chic: Eat (and live!) the new French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season” was released in 2015. Follow Rebecca at Lafleurparisny.com.

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