MAISON ATIA: Faux Fur Made Perfect
Hello ladies! Welcome to the fashion world, our favorite place in the Universe! We are super excited to introduce you to a new brand we have discovered and believe this is the next best thing since the little black dress. MAISON ATIA is disrupting the faux fur market by creating one of a kind statement pieces that rival the most sought after skins in the market. With a unique color palette and chic designs MAISON ATIA is fast becoming the must have faux fur brand in closets worldwide.
Chloé Mendel, a sixth generation family member of the house of Mendel, founded the brand with Gustave Maisonrouge, who together aim to continue that tradition of fine quality and craftsmanship with MAISON ATIA, designing each piece like a stand-alone work of art.
Let’s learn more…
Beverly Hills Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself…Where you grew up, family, currently living, hobbies, etc?
Chloé Mendel: I live ‘tri-coastally’ between NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles! A lot going on in our ‘gypsy’ lifestyle with 2 children, a fashion business, NWA wrestling and touring band (Smashing Pumpkins) between Billy and I. I love to bake gluten free/vegan desserts with my son Augustus-Juppiter, decompress in infra-red saunas, shop vintage, read cookbooks and just spend quality time as a family together. To me, family is most important and being hands-on as a parent. I learn from my children and simply being creative and having fun with them. They bring joy to my heart.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How did you get into the fashion industry?
Chloé Mendel: As a 6th generation designer, the fashion industry is a part of me. I grew up watching my incredibly talented father (Gilles Mendel) dress the most beautiful women in the world. I always admired his talent and passion. He allowed me to do internships in his New York Atelier starting in my teenage years, but forced me to do all the small tasks that seemed so tedious to me at the time and have realized with time how valuable they were. His high standards for every aspect of his creations taught me to only accept perfection – it is all coming together now with MAISON ATIA and I appreciate the opportunity he gave me even more now!
Fashion allows you to express eccentric elements of yourself. It’s how you show who you are on your sleeves! I have always loved shopping/vintage hunting. So when it came to being serious about my life and career, doing what I love and knew only rang true to me. Deep down I always knew I would be in the fashion industry.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Who or what are your inspirations?
Chloé Mendel: I have always been inspired by the 1930s and 1970s. People like Jane Birkin, Anna Mae Wong, David Bowie, Sonia Rykiel, and Busby Berkeley. There was so much mood, excess, creativity, and style. I just love the old movies, music, furniture and research. And I can’t pick between both eras. Both are equally important to me. Listening to ‘Life on Mars’ (David Bowie) or watching a movie like ‘Gold Diggers’ (1933) I am just in awe of it all…. If you don’t know who Anna Mae Wong is, look her up. What a striking and eccentric Asian woman. At the time she was the only Asian woman actress who had crossed over to mainstream.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What inspired the launch of your brand?
Chloé Mendel: I love faux fur and couldn’t find a luxury option in the marketplace for me. After working in my father’s atelier for the J.Mendel couture collection in 2016, I started thinking that it would be amazing to translate this unique approach to faux fur. This idea never left me, and after I had my son Augustus I knew I wanted to start my own company and needed help. Things naturally fell into place and Gustave the perfect co-founder helped complete my idea and turn it into reality.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is the mission behind the brand?
Chloé Mendel: To transform the past perception of faux fur as lesser quality into a true luxury medium. We want aim to become the reference in the luxury faux fur expertise, the way J. Mendel is considered in the fur category. I think of MAISON ATIA as the destination brand for women who love the look and feel of fur but want faux – we don’t necessarily want to look like fur, but definitely feel as glamorous and luxurious.
Yes, chic women can have it all! I am also so happy that, PAWS Chicago, a leading no-kill shelter in N. America, whom my family had been supporting for years, agreed to become our official partner when, from the get-go, we launched our campaign, ‘buy a coat, save a puppy’. It feels good to bring my love for fashion and animals together under one roof!
Beverly Hills Magazine: How do you hope to transform the fashion world with your work?
Chloé Mendel: I hope that more brands can embrace charitable models with their work. It is so important to give back to your community and educate their customers. But I believe it must be an authentic and transparent process, and the organization you work with but truly benefit from the partnerships. Deciding to give a percentage of your profits when you don’t make any or very little does not seem right to me.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Tell us about your creative design process?
Chloé Mendel: I am always inspired and snapping photos everywhere I go. I screenshots of other peoples’ Instagram posts and pay attention to details, colors, music, even quotes and always take notes on my phone. I eventually have to go through hundreds of notes and images, weed out the best ones. Naturally they start to create a story. It happens subconsciously.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What makes your work unique?
Chloé Mendel: I have a strong heritage of design behind me, as well as concrete understanding of the hard work that goes behind a beautifully crafted piece. I know how closely to work with the best fur ateliers with unique techniques that make our creations truly special. I do think there is some magical genetic component to it all, but also the sweat and tears that go into it. You have to love what you do, and I do! My goal is to make the most beautiful pieces I can for women of all shapes and sizes to feel gorgeous too.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your signature as a designer?
Chloé Mendel: MAISON ATIA’s signature is the reversible coat. Our Catherine coat is a trench coat with faux fur on one side and a brushed velvety material on the other with beautiful prints. Each piece is hand cut and sewn by a traditional old school furrier, and we cover the seams with decorative 5-thread top stitching. It’s a work of art, but the cool part of it is that both sides of the coat are finished beautifully. So you can wear the side you like based on your mood or outfit!
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you think of the Fashion World?
Chloé Mendel: Ha. I am not too caught up in it. Fashion is a business that you keep reinventing yourself in. You got to love it.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you love most about it?
Chloé Mendel: Personally I love it when I see a confident woman wearing a MAISON ATIA coat on the street. I usually will be anonymous and compliment them on their beautiful coat. It’s such a good feeling to see things come full circle.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you dislike about it?
Chloé Mendel: I dislike throw-away/fast fashion. We should be purchasing items we love and cherish. To me clothes are beautiful extensions of our lives and personalities. And we should make purchases that are meaningful that we want to share with our friends, mothers, children etc. I still borrow my mom’s clothes all of the time.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your favorite item to design?
Chloé Mendel: Coats! Coats! Coats! I am clearly a coat fanatic!
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your definition of style?
Chloé Mendel: Style is personality. It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What makes clothing beautiful?
Chloé Mendel: It’s all in the details. Designs, details and finishes are what make clothing beautiful. We work with old school furriers and craftsmen on making beautifully finished pieces. There is a movement in the industry, and factories are open to working with us to grow and develop with the times.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What can our readers look forward to from your future collection?
Chloé Mendel: The Autumn Winter 2019 collection is fueled by the 1970s. She is naturally beautiful and unapologetically chic. You roll out of bed and throw your coat on and look amazing, yet you can wear the same coat to a lovely dinner party. Our coats are versatile, warm and beautifully made.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers out there?
Chloé Mendel: Listen to everyone who has experience. Pick the brains of those around you and ask questions. I am still learning and am so fortunate to have great people supporting me through this journey. I watch YouTube videos, read books, and look at vintage magazines. It’s ok to not know what you are doing and ask for help.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Have you discovered a personal purpose in your contribution to the world?
Chloé Mendel: I am an animal lover, and have 2 dogs and 2 cats. It is such a joy to be partnered with PAWS Chicago a charity that is near and dear to my heart and share these experiences with my children.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you hope to be remembered for most?
Chloé Mendel: Being a great mother to my children.
Beverly Hills Magazine: If you had one wish, what would it be?
Chloé Mendel: To be a Rockstar and designer at the same time.