After working with such iconic designers as Martin Margiela and Isabel Marant, designer Clara Cornaërt decided to harness her fashion awareness in a new and adventurous way. The result was a brand with a visual identity that stood out and invited people to share in its happiness.
Those of you who have lived in Paris will know apartments are small. Clara, ever the creative soul, embraced her spatially-challenged apartment and channeled her limitations into a business concept- Cornäert is a cool brand that focuses on designing socks with unique and playful prints.
How did you come up with the idea of creating Cornäert?
I had always wanted to work for myself and the idea for Cornaërt came from a very pragmatic place. I live in a very small apartment in Paris and designing clothes and large garments just seemed unimaginable when there is barely any storage space never mind designing space. So I started to work on socks instead as they represent a very basic item that can be found in every drawer of every person. There seemed to be creative potential there.
Can you describe your concept in a few words?
The concept stems from the idea of creating a stylish and quality product that is still affordable. I like the idea of buying Cornaërt socks as a gift to yourself or someone else. Moreover, I feel passionate about the product being made in France. The manufacturers are respected for their expertise and secured in their working conditions! In fact, our manufacturer was recently honored with the title “Entreprise du patrimoine vivant” by the French government which is essentially an acknowledgement of their long-established quality-service.
Tell us a bit about your design background.
I attended the French fashion school, l’Ecole de la Chabmre Syndicale in Paris and had two major fashion experiences: one was at Isabel Marant, whose success and ethics I always admired and the other was at the knitwear department at Maison Martin Margiela- he made no compromise for his passion for fashion!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs/prints?
Everywhere! (Such a cliché!) But seriously, I am very sensitive to my surroundings and images in general. I like the magazines Double and Holiday for their beautiful pictures and I go to the movies as often as possible. I loved the last Araki film.
Your look books are quite spectacular; could you explain the thought process behind the aesthetics of the pictures?
I want to give each collection a sort of identity and I think the pictures are an integral part to this. I work with a very talented photographer in London named Céline Bodin, we work as a team, discuss ideas and eventually put it all together in a shoot.
The Jeux de Plage collection, for instance, was inspired by holidays and parasol stripes…I wanted to capture the spirit of being a care-free kid, playing alone during the summer holidays. For the “Avant Garde” collection however, we wanted something more wintery and a little bit surrealistic.