Born in Mauritius where she spent her childhood, Estelle Desmarais came to Paris at the age of 18. In 2009, she graduated in Fashion Marketing from the ESMOD school before going on to help manage the launch of Abercrombie and Fitch in France.
Estelle then decided to move to join her fiance in Brazil and has been there three years and counting. Today, “Estelle”, her brand of Brazilian foldable leather ballet flats is sold in several boutiques in Brazil as well as globally online (www.myestelle.com).
Country / City: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
Instagram: instagram.com/estelle_sapatilhas (Estelle Officiel)
Profession / Occupation: Fashion designer – “Estelle” ballet flats
Why did you decide to live in this country and what aspect of your new dual culture do you find most enriching?
Brazil is a country which has always fascinated me, whether it’s the beauty of its designs or the kitsch and dramatic side of its novellas, or its music. When the opportunity arose, I didn’t hesitate much. It was the chance of a lifetime! Launching my company in a country with such different outlooks and ways of doing things was a real challenge and personal accomplishment. It’s a country where spontaneity is natural and, at the same time, where lack of precision and nonchalance sometimes slow things down. A considerable skill I’ve gained is learning to grasp and understand reactions and responses. The formalism and discipline that are normal in France have never been put to the test so much as in Rio. “Patience is a virtue” is a quotation that takes on its full meaning in Brazil for anyone wanting to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure.
What French touch do you pass on there in your daily life and/or in your profession?
I think that my French touch is to be found in my ballet flats, a beautiful product, without frills and governed by comfort and quality, as well as in the management of my company where I’ve applied my own habits: punctuality, structure and follow-up.
Which experience epitomising French Art de Vivre in your country and/or city would you recommend?
I’d recommend attending a concert or ballet at the Municipal Theatre, where the architecture is inspired by the Palais Garnier. I also like having a bet on the horses at the weekend at the Hippodrome Gávea, a little architectural gem from the early 20th century which reminds me of the old grandstands at Longchamp.