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In conversation with Alexandra Senes for Kilometre Paris

Posted by Marie Giammarino on

Launched by former magazine editor Alexandra Senes, Kilometre Paris is a playful collection of embroidered tunics, made by international artisans and inspired by some of the world's most beautiful travel destinations. Read on to learn more about Kilometre and Alexandra's exciting project in collaboration with Scoop.

What is your background?
I was born in Dakar and I spent my teens in Manhattan. I arrived in Paris aged 17. When I was 18 years old I studied at La Sorbonne whilst interning at Elle France. I later went on to start a fashion magazine under the same publishing house as L'Officiel. The magazine was called Jalouse and I worked as the editor in chief for 8 years.

Tell me about the inspiration behind Kilometre...
My creative process is directly influenced by what I see during my travels, and when I meet new people.

There's something about discovering unexpected spots that lie off the beaten path. I love the contrasts between destinations, and adapting myself to very different surroundings.

I embroider all of these experiences on Kilometre's garments. Typically, these embroideries are not literal representations, but a condensed version of my discoveries; like memories that I've held of these places.

Your designs are inspired by the discovery of unique travel destinations. Where is your favourite place you have visited and why?
It is very difficult for me to pick one place, however I remember whilst I was on an Italian road trip, I discovered a beautiful labyrinth garden in the middle of nowhere. It was in Fontanella, near Parma and it was called the Labirinto della Masone. It was made from 120,000 plants by Franco Maria Ricci, a former book publisher. Simply amazing! I'm hoping to use this place as inspiration for one of my shirt designs soon!

Why work with artisans?
Kilometre celebrates the hands and the talented skills that artisans have. I feel comfortably leaving the manufacturing of our products in the hands of people who have traditional know-how, and have mastered their craft. 

There are multiple countries in which we have our products manufactured, and this list continues to evolve as we meet new collaborators.

It allows me to work in Mexico, Morocco, India and learn about tribes and regions I am yet to discover.

What are you looking forward to most about having your collection exhibited at Scoop?
Scoop is an amazing show! It is a chance for UK and international buyers to discover our collection. The unique Saatchi Gallery location is quite fitting with our garments often being described as works of art.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
I was hired to start Harpers Bazaar in France so spent more than 3 weeks in the archives of Diana Vreeland. She always said it was compulsory to be curious and let your eyes travel… I've lived by this ever since!

There will be a special installation of Kilometre Paris at Scoop and a chance to meet Alexandra Senes from 4pm on Monday 29 January 2018. Kilometre Paris is stocked at The Place, Connaught Street. London.

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