You know her. The French girl with the just-rolled-out-of-bed, can’t-be-bothered look. She pulls on last night’s clothes—slouchy tee, gray jeans. Fingers through the hair, a touch of makeup, and she goes out. Yet she looks smashing. Perhaps it’s her ankle boots (scuffed just so), boyish jacket, and lambskin shoulder bag. Or maybe it’s the way that skinny chain-mail scarf or mass of bracelets come off as an afterthought. Equal parts confidence and nonchalance—that’s what makes this Gallic gal so enviable, and no one captures it better than Isabel Marant.
A native Parisian, Marant blends ethnic bohemia and tomboy street chic effortlessly, and her name has long been on the lips of fashion insiders. Until recently, Americans had to jet across the pond to get their hands on her notoriously hard-to-find pieces—slim pants, sheer tees, and draped minis—which they carried home by the armload. The label’s exclusivity was just part of its mystique. “It took some time to build up,” Marant acknowledged in 2008, “but I have never fallen.”