Because either offering a definitive biography of Sessùn or sketching a fixed portrait of its founder would be rather a simplistic exercise, instead what we’d like to do now, more than fifteen years after she first started, is to report on a state of mind, to talk about someone who is the guiding hand behind a style, inventing a whole world of her.
Own and inviting us to step inside it without worrying about the coming trends and compulsory routines. Sessùn moves ever onwards driven by a wandering inspiration; it takes us by the hand and reminds us that we love fashion when it tells us about lots of other things too.
The former anthropology student from Montpellier could have become a researcher or an archaeologist, for the intense pleasure of discovery.
In the end the things she saw and the people she met on her travels led her to print her memories of several ancient civilisations onto our contemporary fabric.
It was in South America that Emma François felt the first mystical impact, the turning point which foreshadowed a vocation. OK, that may be a cliché but it really doesn’t matter. It was when she came into contact with people who weave, embroider, sew and make things, drawing unquestioningly on a heritage of techniques and know-how, that she finally understood what she had to do and found her own way.
1998 saw the obligatory trip to Paris and the Who’s Next show at which she presented her brand for the first time. Then, having set up base in Marseilles, she got herself noticed in 1999 and 2001 when she was awarded the Jeune Créateur (Young Designer) prize by the Institut Mode Méditerranée (Mediterranean Fashion Institute). Sessùn is now extending its distribution to more than eight hundred points of sale internationally, with two hundred in France, and has a world of its own, its own space, its own chosen design, in seven own-name boutiques in Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, Paris Avignon, Lille, Berlin and Bruxelles.
While her brand is travelling, Emma herself still goes out on the road.
At the moment she manages to get away to Japan at least twice a year, drawn by the Japanese sense of contrast, extreme gentleness and urban insanity, the respect for culture and the addiction to technology and certainly also because of the country’s sincere eco-civic global awareness. This is an aspect which Sessùn develops naturally, whenever possible, through series using organic fibres or from fair trade crops.
It’s a brand which, although rooted in its own time, is still subtle enough to lean towards timelessness.