Sovandy & Cécile, the bubly duet of Sok Sabaï

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Our leitmotiv: the upcoming season !

Sovandy and Cécile are the dynamic pair behind Sok Sabaï, the young Parisian trademark I recently worked with. Actually, in the beginning, Sovandy was the one who created the brand, then joined by Cécile. Sok Sabaï represents the Parisian style meeting the traditional art craft techniques and the world fabrics, all made in France. They tell us about their adventure.

-Sovandy, Cécile, who are you? Tell us about yourselves!

Sovandy: I have a marketing formation, and after some experiences in well-known luxury brands, I decided to create a new one resembling me and making sense.

Cécile: I am trained as a graphic designer (in specials effects too). I have worked for women’s magazines and for some post-production companies. Then I became a free-lance designer. I always liked fashion and imaging jobs. To-day, I have a daughter of 7, I’m working for Grande Galerie (the Louvre newspaper), and quite happy to work with Sovandy, for Sok-Sabaï, such a breath of fresh air!

-How would you describe Sok Sabaï in a few words for those who never heard about it?

Sovandy: Sok Sabaï is born from my aspiration to express myself in a genuine way through my creations, with elegance and lightness, and a real desire to work with people who are important for me: some women’s associations for professional integration, embroideresses from Rwanda, and craftsmen of all around the world. Behind each creation, there is a human being, with a neo-Parisian style (effortless smart, curious and cosmopolitan, this kind of woman likes to invite a foreign influence to complete her look).

Cécile: Sok Sabaï is a young Parisian brand with a nomadic spirit. By developing a collection of kimonos, Sok Sabaï decides to interpret a traditional clothing with an urban cut, more modern, and for each piece, many different materials: precious, fluid, pop, for winter or summer, vintage, denim, brocade or cotton…with various inspirations, each model is a new way for wearing a comfortable clothe, chic and unique. In the same personalizing spirit, Sok Sabaï had created a collection of jewelry, centered on cowries. Those shells can be found on every beaches of the world, we customize them with paintings or gold-leaf, and they are put up on golden-plated pieces.
The whole production is made in France: the kimonos in workrooms dedicated to professional integration and the cowries in gilding workshops in Paris, and in our own atelier by us.

-What is the added value of Sok Sabaï in comparison with others brands?

Sovandy: A certain curiosity for the world around us which is a source of inspiration for all our creations.

Cécile: There is a great strength of collaboration and openness. Sok Sabaï is not a brand building itself apart of the world. Always evolving with the encounters, the collaboration, always adapting, learning from partners and clients, renewing its creations, and finding inspiration from all cultures, without prejudice.

-“Sok-Sabaï” means “everything’s fine” in Khmer. Is it a name for good luck?

Cécile: The idea is always with us, it seems, we have a new collection of amulet jewels!

Sovandy: Anyway, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and Sok Sabaï will exist as long we take pleasure in creating.

-Let’s talk about your duet! How do you manage to create together?

Sovandy: Cécile is very easy to work with. She’s a good creator, and our exchanges are always positive. I have a tendency to stay classic, 70% of the time, with a 30% of novelty. And it is the opposite with Cécile. She’s got very sharp and arty ideas. We are very complementary, with good humour and laughs.

Cécile: There is a secret…to be at the good distance and complementary. And of course we can add a lot of confidence. We always are exchanging about everything, about fashion, decoration, resources…Sovandy never gives up, she always finds her way to do what she wants, it’s so inspiring!

-You met right outside your daughters’ school. How come did you decide to become partners?

Cécile: We are on the same wavelength, it was the right time to find each other and share our experiences. Sovandy created Sok Sabaï on her own, and it became too heavy a charge for her to go on her aim alone. When she asked me to collaborate and help her to give Sok Sabaï a chance to grow and bloom, with a new energy, my answer has been at once: YES!!!

Sovandy: I have asked Cécile to come and help me many times to develop Sok Sabaï. She finally accepted to come and support me when another plan of hers didn’t work.

-We worked together on kimonos, the star piece of the Sok Sabaï Collection. Why kimonos?

Sovandy: I find kimono an important piece. I am inspired by Japanese culture, where the kimono is considered an art. I have a bit of a collection of kimonos, ancient clothes and of different brands. I wanted to work this clothe anew, to make it more actual, by focusing on each material I choose, in order to achieve unique pieces.

Cécile: Kimonos are clothes for all circumstances, for any time or season. It is really the piece “easy-chic” in one’s dressing. It suits every women, it’s a must.

-Do you consider enlarging your collection Sok Sabaï, besides the kimonos?

Sovandy: I would love to, and I’ve got a lot of ideas 😉

Cécile: We are already doing it by creating a kimono for men. We still keep our ideas in secret, but we have plans!

-What is the best compliment ever on your brand?

Sovandy: It was our client’s feedbacks, about our risk taking in our creations, underlining this special refinement of our work, it is very moving.

Cécile: When we are told that our collection is special by its consistency and its diversity all together.

-Et le plus beau compliment à vous?

Sovandy & Cécile: We have been told that our kimonos and our jewelry look like us! As we are so different, it’s quite a compliment.

-What is your favorite leitmotiv to give you a boost?

Sovandy: Have fun !

Cécile: The upcoming season!

-And what about your ambitions for Sok Sabaï?

Sovandy: I wish that Sok Sabaï may become a famous brand mark.

Cécile: We have the ambition that Sok Sabaï will become a top brand in its sector of activity, while always keeping its diversity, its very special savoir-faire, and its politics of made in France.

Read in: Français