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Ernest Leoty Couture for Leisure

Text: Anne Bessaguet - Photos: Alexandra Nataf

“We’ve put everything into a brand that resembles me.”

marion rabate, founder
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She is gentle and determined. She likes the notion of balance in life, knowing how to do lots of things and find time to recharge. She says that everything you do must be seamless. Flexible. Her brand? It's not a job, it's not clothes. It's her life, her world.

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“Left brain, right brain.”
MR

A few words on your story

Marion Rabate

I’m interested in thousands of things. I have a very structured and logical side (banking, technical degree, etc.) and a more intuitive one. I am passionate about dance and art. I grew up in London. I was at a French high school until I was 16 years old. I went to university knowing that I would never become an engineer. My first internship was at the Ritz, my second in the marketing department of the Louvre Museum. My third shook up my career: I landed at Goldman Sachs at the age of twenty. They gave me a sum of money and told me, “Do whatever you want with it.”

“Don’t have preconceived ideas.”

MR

... And to all those who’ve told me “You're selling your soul”, I still answer that I learned a lot. The basics of investment, of course, but not only that. An investment bank has an energy: that of entrepreneurship. I really felt it there, and it has never left me since. I was in charge of an investment fund in fashion. It opened up a whole network, which I needed afterwards. Sincerely, I loved this atmosphere... but in the investment meetings with the firms we met, I always wanted to go over to their side.

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“I don’t think there is a key moment.”

MR

I think that the period of entrepreneurship in which all entrepreneurs recognize themselves is the one that precedes the act. And it’s everything we do before that counts. I knew I wanted to create my own business, and I knew it was going to be in fashion. I asked myself a lot of questions about femininity. I knew what kind of clothes I wanted. In addition, I do meditation, yoga... I had the idea for my business at least 5 years before I started.

Why be-poles?

marion rabate

I didn’t know anyone in this sector. I reviewed the brands that I liked, did some research on Google and found myself on the be-poles website, projected into a universe that I love, my universe!

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Why this name?

Marion Rabate

The first time I spoke to Antoine about the project, I thought we were going to talk about colors, etc. In fact, he asked me why I wanted to create this brand. This was when he advised me to build my story on an existing brand. So, I searched. For months. A French brand, dormant, that could inspire me and be the basis of my story. And I found Ernest Léoty.

I went through all the archives at the Decorative Arts Library. I fell in love with lots of brands, but what Ernest Léoty had written about a woman's body spoke to me more than anything. He was a corset maker. And he was the most famous of his time. Next, be-poles really managed to synthesize my vision, my personality. The philosophy of Ernest Léoty has become mine.

“I had to convince everyone.”

MR

Today, the people who surround me on Ernest Leoty (there are 10 of us in London, not counting the model makers) are as much involved as me. But, initially I had just an idea. I loved brands like Outdoor Voices or Glossier which are defined by their Instagram. And even if Antoine is more convinced by individuals than by projects, I think, the hardest was still to convince him that I was going to be able to do it.

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The result?

Marion Rabate

be-poles helped me to invent my brand, to translate my aspirations, and to incorporate my inspirations, those of ballet, lingerie, luxury, and couture. To go towards sexy while staying chic. To make a garment that is both technical and that we can wear in everyday life. The brand was launched in February. It's going really well. Half of the production is made in France in the Eres atelier, the other half in Lithuania.

Future projects

Marion Rabate

Introduce swimwear, create physical locations, collaborations with recognized designers. Every day, we have five new projects!

 

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Thank you, Marion

Marion Rabate

Thank you, be-poles! I’m not kidding, without them, I couldn’t have done anything. Their involvement doesn’t end with a project, an act. be-poles is a real community. They introduced me to a lot of people and all of them are still around me today. be-poles is a big family that helps each other and gets along. Well beyond an identity.

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