Come Dine With Me... Coperni
Runway shows? So last season. Instead, to showcase their AW19 collection Coperni’s young founders Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant created “Copernize Your Life”, a series of tongue-in-cheek Instagram videos featuring cameos from friends including Hanne Gaby Odiele and Teddy Quinlivan. Dining out with Browns at Paris’ La Belle Epoque, the two discuss the campaign, their relationship and the essential ingredients for creating one of Paris’ most exciting young labels.
Where are you and what are you eating?
Arnaud: We’re at La Belle Epoque which is an institution in Paris. Franck Maillot relaunched it few years ago and it’s been a huge success. I’m having a detox salad because we just came back from Sonar festival in Barcelona with all our friends. It was epic!
Why did you choose this restaurant?
Sébastien: We chose it because it’s traditional and cool at the same time. It looks like a classic brasserie but you always have inspiring people coming here.
Arnaud: It’s a bit like Coperni. We always love to have this classical / respectful / historical / Parisian spirit, but mixed with a touch of cool and fun.
What’s your favourite thing on the menu?
Sébastien: The summer truffle pasta with ham and country cheese.
Let’s talk about the ingredients that make up your career.
Arnaud: I would say 500 grams of talent (mainly from Sebastien, who is the creative one), 10 000ml of work, many squeezes of passion and a touch of chance.
How did you get started?
Sébastien: We met each other at a young age and then became soul mates. We are very lucky and grateful for that. We started Coperni at twenty three in a very spontaneous way, and it worked!
What are the essentials for creating Coperni?
Arnaud: The way we complement one another is essential. Sébastien takes care of the design and I take care of the organisation. It’s very important to have both sides of the game today. Then we have amazing people surrounding us; stylists, creative directors, the best team, investors, partners, stores, friends etc. - you need a bit of everything to make it work.
What inspired the name “Coperni”?
Sébastien: Coperni is inspired by Copernicus because we love the idea of research, progress, innovation but at the same time rigour, respect and history.
Arnaud: The brand is all about chicness and innovation. It’s this idea of having a practical, efficient wardrobe, with plenty of desirable pieces that you can mix together effortlessly. Chic with a touch of futurism.
How did you two begin working together?
Arnaud: We started working together at school in a very naïve way. Sébastien was studying design and I made his projects more rationalised. I was studying management and he made my PowerPoint much more sexy.
You recently released an amazing Bandersnatch Instagram campaign – how did you come up with this concept?
Arnaud: ‘Copernize Your Life’ (the Instagram project) was such a good experience. Sébastien came to me one day and said: “we’re gonna do a digital adventure on Instagram with fifty different stories including all the people that inspire us,” and we were like: “okayyy...”
He started working on the script with our amazing friend Cecile Winkler, who then directed all the videos. The final goal was to give more power to the user and the customer of the brand, to make it more playful and fun to discover the collection and follow the Coperni woman in her life.
What was the process of making the campaign like?
Sébastien: The script, the organisation, the cast, the clothes, the locations (France, Italy and the USA) were crazy ambitious, but so fun. What we’re most proud of is that you have so many different people in it; people we admire and we love. Famous, not famous, from different backgrounds, sexual orientations, and all beautiful to us. It’s also a satire of all the videos we consume everyday. There are nods to Carpool Karaoke, makeup tutorials, Tinder, memes or scenes from different movies.
Your work is chic but also a lot of fun. How do you find the balance between the two flavours?
Arnaud: I guess it’s because we are chic but fun people. We received a good education from our parents and strong values, but at the same time we know how to enjoy life! It also comes a lot from our stylist Helena Tejedor who inspires us a lot. She’s such a beautiful woman: she’s chic, fun and real. One of the most important qualities to me is adaptability. It’s the possibility of having a conversation with different kinds of people or sharing different types of things.You don’t need to be boring to be chic.You don’t need to be crazy to be fun. We like being in between, adaptable, that’s important.
How do you cook up an idea? Talk us through your creative process.
Arnaud: In term of collections, usually Sebastian starts from a shape inspired by astronomy (planets, stars...) or architecture or art. Then we develop it into textile manipulation, embroideries, prints etc. It’s the red thread of the season. In terms of concept Sebastien goes really deep when he believes in something. If it’s tailoring it’s tailoring. If it’s black it’s very black. If it’s fifty videos on Instagram instead of a classic fashion show...
Now for the fun questions - favourite thing to eat?
Sébastien: Meat and cheese.
Arnaud: Pasta and nutella.
Least favourite thing to eat?
If Coperni was a dish, what dish would it be?
What would be your last meal and where?
Arnaud: Fish on the isle of Hydra.
Sébastien: Paella with my family.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Arnaud: We travel, we discover things, we hang out with our friends, we go to museums, to the cinema. Play with our dog Neo.
In life, what’s the best recipe for success?
They say that success smells sweet. What does it smell like to you?
Arnaud: It’s our dream to launch a fragrance, so let’s say it smells like the first Coperni perfume.
Photography by Jonathan Middleton
Interview by Georgia Graham
Styling by Sally Bottomley