INSPIRING WOMAN : MEET RAPHAELLE
I’m Raphaelle. I’m 30. I was born in France and moved to Australia about 7 years ago. I’ve had multiple job experiences in different industries and organisations. Driven by my creativity and intuition I’m developing my business Imané in Melbourne. We design collections of handmade accessories to tell stories.
The tale originates in 2005, in the north of France with my Mum, Frédérique. After a career as a lawyer and four children, she decided to turn her passion for fabrics, sewing and embroidery into her job. As genetics would have it, her creativity and passion were passed onto me, her only daughter. Today I’m treading my own path with Imané. Beyond my passion for fabrics, patterns and colours, I believe that business can create social value. That’s why at Imané, we create with intention: to support crafts(wo)manship and female empowerment through our everyday actions as a business.
I also express my creativity and endless imagination as co-founder, co-director and actress at Marcel et Compagnie, an improvisation and theatre company in Melbourne.
Where is your favourite place to shop?
The way I shop has evolved a lot in the past few years, I’ve become more mindful in my choices and I’m looking for more sustainable way of shopping and ethical fashion brands. I enjoy shopping at second-hand shops. They can feel overwhelming and messy at first but they are like Ali Baba’s cave…full of treasures. They make me try different styles and are a great opportunity to give a second life to perfectly fine abandoned pieces.
What is your favourite outfit to feel confident?
A blazer jacket would be my favourite garment to feel confident. I like them colourful and/or with pattern.
What is the worst fashion crime you can think of?
A white linen shirt in the middle of winter. For me it’s like having tomato in July in Melbourne it’s a crime!
What is your favourite brand and why?
I really don’t have a favourite brand but at the moment I’m inspired by some brands like the Spanish brand Babaa for their timeless knitted garments, the French brand Make my Lemonade for their feminine, colourful collections and their ethical philosophy, the Australian brand Celine Martine for their unique designs of headwear and many many more.
Why is fashion important to you?
It’s another of many ways to express my personality, my creativity and my mood. And it’s a lot of fun to play with colours, textures, contrasts and accessories. I love the idea of not having a specific style to stick to.
Who is your fashion icon or inspiration?
I don’t have any icon in particular. Fashion is very intuitive for me. I found inspiration in the season, the weather, my friends, Instagram, Pinterest, people in the streets. I like playing with colours, textures and contrasts.
Do you have any advice to find a bargain?
Go to the second-hand shop with no expectations just an open mind.
Do you think fashion varies across cultures?
Definitely it does and that’s the beauty of it. For me it’s not only fashion but also the relationship with our bodies, the different norms. Fashion is a way of expression. In Melbourne I’ve learnt to be more open and free with my style. People have fun with their outfits, it’s less judgemental than in France. I love it. I find a lot of inspiration in other cultures outfits, patterns and colours.
What is your favourite accessory and why?
A scarf to knot different ways around the neck or the head. It can change the look of an outfit.
Do you prefer summer or winter fashion and why?
I think mid-season 🙂…
If I have to choose I’d say winter fashion because I can play with more layers and contrasts.