DANIEL MARTIN & SOPHIE THEALLET

DANIEL MARTIN & SOPHIE THEALLET

FADE IN:

INT. SOPHIE THEALLET STUDIO, GARMENT DISTRICT, NEW YORK CITY — MORNING

Midtown Manhattan’s high-rises tower outside the windows of the Sophie Theallet studio’s showroom, which is on the 18th floor of a West 37th Street building. Garment samples from the collection hang on racks along curtained walls, and SOPHIE THEALLET’s dog, Minnie, freely roams the space. DANIEL MARTIN enters, carrying his makeup kit. SOPHIE greets him, and the two walk toward a gray sofa.

CUT TO:

SOPHIE sits on the sofa while DANIEL gives her a quick touchup. When he finishes, DANIEL takes a seat beside her.

DANIEL
We first met almost ten years ago, through [the model] Veronica Webb, who worked with you in Paris alongside Azzedine Alaïa. Veronica was his fit model in the ‘90s.

SOPHIE
Naomi Campbell was one, too! But not me [laughs]. We were very young at the time. I was 18.

DANIEL
Veronica would tell me stories about how she and Naomi would sleep on Alaïa’s floor.

SOPHIE
Yes, they would. When you work with someone like Mr. Alaïa, you don’t care about how long it takes because he’s a master who knows how to cut clothes beautifully. He does something that nobody else in the industry can. So of course girls like Veronica and Naomi would want to spend night and day with us.

DANIEL
And when you moved to New York you reconnected with Veronica, whom I had become friends with by then.

SOPHIE
My best friend, Rupert Everett, was coming to New York to make My Best Friend’s Wedding with Julia Roberts. I came around the time he did, and shared a little place at The Chelsea Hotel with Steve [Francoeur, the CEO and president of Sophie Theallet]. Back then, I was in another relationship and Steve was just a close friend. But we had a bohemian life here and I didn’t want to go back to France. So I broke it off with my old boyfriend and now Steve is my husband. My life changed a lot.

DANIEL
I remember you had sales meetings for your first collection in a room Rupert got you at The Greenwich Hotel [in New York City]. Veronica lived around the corner from there back then, and she and I came to meet you and Rupert for lunch. That was the beginning —

SOPHIE
Of our love story!

DANIEL
For a kid who grew up buying international fashion magazines at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, meeting someone who used to work with Azzedine Alaïa was an omigod moment. You and I hit it off right away. Your stories are simply amazing.

SOPHIE
My love for fashion was originally inspired by Vivienne Westwood — I listened to punk music and found her clothes romantic in a certain way. When I first met Mr. Alaïa we clicked very well. I told him my dream was to work with Jean Paul Gaultier, so he let me go and I worked with Jean Paul for about three years. When I left, I went back to help Mr. Alaïa for what was supposed to be one month, and ended up staying there for a decade.

DANIEL
Your training in France was so different than it would have been here in New York. There, you really learn about clothes and the way they drape on a woman’s body. Alaïa would create a collection whenever he felt like it, whereas here, you’d have been churning out multiple collections a year.

SOPHIE
My first professional experience in New York after working for Alaïa and Gaultier was at a company where I sat at a little cubicle, and I freaked out like an animal in a cage [laughs]. If you’re truly creative, you need space. You need to be able to step out and have a glass of wine. A designer should be free.

DANIEL
How we came up in this industry is part of our camaraderie. We’re part of a generation that was in love with and inspired by the process of creating something. I don’t think that attitude is as prevalent today. There are a lot of makeup artists who don’t even assist. They just go on Instagram and brands will throw money at them because of their reach.

SOPHIE
My goal was never to be a designer. It was — and still is — to make a woman look beautiful. It goes beyond fashion. And I think you approach makeup the same way.

DANIEL
Yes, I think of it as a supportive role. Above all else, a woman should feel good in what she’s wearing. My makeup is the icing on the cake.

SOPHIE
A woman doesn’t want to look like she has too much on her face, myself included. Though I am a lipstick addict. I always wear red and normally it’s from Chanel. But you recently gave me the most beautiful new shade.

DANIEL
It’s called Kyoto Red, and I created it with Victoria Tsai for Tatcha. It was so expensive to manufacture that at first we made it solely for Chloë Sevigny to wear to the 2013 Met Gala. But Vicky ended up producing three thousand pieces exclusively for Barneys New York and they all sold out. I was left with only ten samples, one of which I gave to you.

SOPHIE
I’m wearing it right now! I always trust you with my makeup. You have a unique touch I really like, which is why we work together a lot.

DANIEL
Whatever the job, whether your resort collection or your line for Lane Bryant, ours is a very easy collaboration because you’re very specific with the type of woman you want to dress: she’s a respectable girl who doesn’t just follow the style of the moment. And my makeup celebrates the woman by embracing and enhancing her best features, not working a trend.

SOPHIE
I don’t like that shit when one day you’re punk, the next you’re bourgeoisie, and the next you’re grunge. Who are you?! I don’t believe following every trend, because you need to be yourself.

DANIEL
I’m going to be straight up: that’s one reason why I was really surprised when you first dressed Kim Kardashian. I mean, you’ve dressed Michelle Obama. Kim just never seemed in line with your type of woman.

SOPHIE
Kim is a strong woman who created the life she wants. I respect her, and I’m very happy that she wears my clothes. That’s why I love my job: I get to dress all kinds of people, famous or not. To me, what matters most is true diversity and freedom. I want the women who wear my clothes to keep dreaming and to always feel beautiful.

CREDITS

Photography byMolly Hodson

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Daniel Martin is a makeup artist based in New York City.
Sophie Theallet is the founder and designer of Sophie Theallet. The current collection is available in-store and online at select retailers.

Did you see? Designers Adam Selman & Bob Mackie talk tricks of the diva-dressing trade, makeup artist Frank B. displays his talent in a 1998 Vogue Italia editorial.

THE END