Grasping the DNA of the brand to find inspirations to fit with it, drawing and shaping future collections: in this article we explore the universe of Emilie Riquelme, stylist for Horse Pilot.
Émilie, tell us about yourself and how you came to join the Horse Pilot staff …
I have a Fashion and Environment Design background, I studied styling and marketing in Lyon. I then moved to Sallanches and after a 6-months internship, I got my first permanent job as a graphic designer at Dynastar. Next I followed my boss at the time to Eider and met Lionnel Ducruet, who was then director of the design office. I spent 10 years working with him, understanding or at least trying to understand everything about product construction, how to design volumes, the ergonomics of a garment, fit, etc… When he introduced me to the owners of Horse Pilot, the 3 founders, I was pretty intimidated. When he introduced me to the owners of Horse Pilot, the 3 founders, I was pretty intimidated. I presented my trend boards, designs and my vision of colours for their market and we started our partnership.
What exactly does your job consist of and how often do you work on the Horse Pilot collections?
My job is to design products, to create garments that embody the brand’s values each time. I also provide trend mood boards that show directions in terms of design, style and colours that brands might take for their upcoming collections. I also work on colour ranges and each year suggest options to suit a given ‘world’.
I work for Horse Pilot all year round, we only do one collection, which covers winter and summer. My workload depends on the requirements of the design office.
Generally speaking, where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! When I’m travelling, outdoors, on social networks, on the web, at design shows in Paris, fashion show in Milan or Berlin, or even at ski or horse riding shows! In articles, blogs, inspiring stories by riders and athletes, or just trying things out for fun. And also in boutiques, concept stores, basically in everything that surrounds us.
Not being a rider, is working with a horse riding brand a challenge?
Working with Guillaume (co-founder – Sales & Product Director) is a challenge! Ha ha ha I’m kidding, it’s awesome. Guillaume has always told me: we’re the riders, what we are looking for is someone who’s capable of designing technical products, and that’s my field. Without skimping on the femininity of the products in the women’s range, of course! And then a big plus is that I’m really into what I do.
I love this brand, I love the brand’s mindset, and I look at everything, the team riders, Facebook posts, Instagram, I don’t miss a thing. So yes, it’s true that I’m not at ease on a horse, but thanks to Chiara (Product Manager for Horse Pilot) and Guillaume, I can understand the rider’s constraints and requirements and then I have a ball with the product designs. Lionnel, who makes sure production runs smoothly for them, gives me a hard time when I do things that he can’t handle, but other than that, I’m all in.
So to answer the question, no, no challenge, that’s a word for brands that pressure their employees, I’m happy with Horse Pilot!
By Camille Méquinion