Creative Director of Les Petit Joueurs Mariasole Cecchi has taken the world by storm with her effervescent handbags and dazzling shoes. Since launching in 2013, the luxury accessories brand has been spotted on our favourite IT girls - Amal Clooney, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Alba, and Chiara Ferragni (to name a few). We spoke with the Italian designer about how she started the brand, finding creative inspiration, and the Sommer Swim pieces she’s obsessed with.
I come from Florence and grew up in a family of five, which represented a big influence on my career and personality. I would call myself a dreamer, endlessly curious and passionate about travelling the world, yet I built my path as a self-made designer with a powerful value for the family. Les Petits Joueurs is the full expression of who I am - it means playing with ideas, materials and colours. It’s a constant stream of freedom of expression, with a forever connection to my roots and personal experiences.
How would you describe your career journey so far, how was Les Petits Joueurs brought to life?
Ever since my childhood, I was surrounded by a very creative and stimulating environment, but it was when I decided to move to Paris in my early twenties, that my creative expression really took off. Les Petits Joueurs started by chance, as one day I started gluing Lego bricks on top of an old bag I owned, playing with bold pop colours on top of a simple plain item. People started stopping me in the streets and I slowly experimented with more colours, building a small idea of a collection.
A few years later I moved to Brazil which was where my designs started gaining attention, celebrities were wearing them and the press excitement was amazing. São Paulo was an incredible place, the tropical landscapes mixed with parties, nightlife, freedom and beach life were a constant stream of colour and inspiration for what LPJ is today.
Tell us about the process of developing your designs.
I feel very connected to Florentine artisanship, with the extreme care for detail, quality of materials and constant research and creative experimentation. Research is key, and it literally comes from everywhere - books, music, travels, jewellery, vintage. The stream is endless. But when you see your idea be translated into the actual shoe or bag by the artisans, well, that’s just magic!
What actions do you take to feel creatively inspired?
I love to dig into the past and do vintage scouting when it comes to inspiration, I just feel so stimulated when it comes to music and design from past times, yet I always try to add a contemporary or futuristic touch! I own a book about Henri Matisse, called “The Cut-Outs”, and it has been an incredible source of colour combinations and geometric shapes for my collections, I just love it every time!
Who or what inspires your own sense of style?
I grew up in the fashion world, as my mom was the curator of a high-end fashion retailer. This gave me the chance to see, touch and learn the meaning of Made in Italy quality and to access the dreamiest défilés in Paris. Fashion really influenced my childhood and who I am today. When I was younger I would always dress very unconventionally, but did not care about people’s reactions. I felt people did not understand (even presenting a Lego bag was not easy at first!), but I loved the feeling of simple self-expression. Everything surrounding my brand Les Petits Joueurs is a special translation of my personal style too
Which pieces from Sommer Swim’s Summer 2022 collection are you most drawn to? Where do you see yourself wearing these?
My absolute favourites are the Cece Bandeau Bikini Tops! I love the dramatic golden hardware decorating the design, adding a fun touch. I have been wearing mine to romantic getaways on the Italian Coast.