Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet is the daughter of Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, and granddaughter of Rainer III, Prince of Monaco and Princess Grace. Pauline presented her new collection from her fashion brand Alter during the Fashion Week in Paris which took place in February. After graduating with a degree in Fashion Design in New York, doing a five-month internship at Vogue, followed by an internship at Louis Vuitton, she decided to create her own Brand Alter, which focuses on «Fashion For People», as she explained in an exclusive interview for HelloMonaco. Making fashion for all kinds of people was one of her main goals. She underlines the idea of making clothing inclusive by creating unisex garments that can be worn by everyone.
This summer Pauline Ducruet has opened for several days her own ephemeral store in the Tunnel RIVA in Monaco and offered its visitors unisex clothes of her own brand Alter, which was presented during the Paris Fashion Week. She introduced about 50 items of clothes from the Spring-Summer collection.
The presentation of her new collection during fashion week in Paris was a homage to club kids in New York: cool, avant-garde, and authentic. In the conversation with HelloMonaco, Pauline tells us everything about her inspiration, her path to becoming a designer, and about Monaco being a place she always returns to.
HelloMonaco: Why did you want to become a designer?
Pauline Ducruet: Actually, I always wanted to be a designer. I can’t remember a moment when I did not want to become a designer.
HM: Do you think Fashion has a strong impact on people? How can Fashion make a positive change in society?
PD: I feel like fashion is a catalyst to make changes. Especially in subcultures where fashion plays an important role, fashion can have an important impact. I guess fashion always was and still is a way to impact people, their mentality, and the way society is thinking and acting.
HM: What were the difficulties you faced while becoming a designer?
PD: Fashion is a lot of work. People tend to think that fashion is only glitz and glamour, but it is really not; it is really a lot of work and you need to know what you are doing and what you want to achieve. You have to be really precise: timelines and deadlines are really important.
HM: What is the main idea behind Alter?
PD: Alter is made for people, so when I am creating the collections I am thinking about my Family and my friends and how my creations would fit and please everybody. I am like that myself, I like to please everybody so that is what I try to do with Alter. The unisex and inclusivity part is really important for me.
HM: How important is sustainability for you and your work as a designer?
PD: It was one of the main aspects I was thinking about when starting my brand. When I was a student and I saw all those shops in New York selling their stock of non-used materials, I wanted to reuse denim and other materials to make my brand more sustainable — so sustainability became part of the DNA of the brand.
HM: What were the challenges while creating the new collection?
PD: This collection was way easier than the first one because with the first one I just started and I did not know where I was putting my feet. For the new collection, the problem was rather to restrain myself because I wanted to do so much, but I have learned you have to be really consistent in what you do — so I took some of the DNA of Alter and enhanced it for the new collection.
HM: Do you prefer Paris or Monaco as a place to present your work?
PD: I feel like it is important to have a mixture of everything. I think it is not good to stay in one place for too long otherwise you will get bored of it. Therefore, I am a lot in New York, a lot in Paris, and also in Monaco. In terms of work, I am hyperactive, so I need to get my inspiration from everywhere.
HM: What is your opinion about the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week?
PD: I am going to attend the next Monte-Carlo Fashion Week. Being a designer myself, I want to support the designers in Monaco and push Monaco as a fashion platform. I feel like Monaco is more classic and more about big brands. I think it is important to bring new visions and young designers to Monaco.
HM: How important is diversity for you and your Fashion?
PD: It is really important for me, I think it is where the fashion industry should go and not only take the standard models that are super tall and super skinny. Therefore, I think it is really important for fashion to be inclusive and show fashion for every kind of person.
HM: What kind of people do you want to reach with your brand and clothing?
PD: I would say it is very inclusive. I can imagine the clothing being worn by my mom or young kids like my sister. It is really broad and I don’t think of a specific target when creating. I think of a broad spectrum of people.
HM: How do you think your brand can help people to express their personality?
PD: My pieces are really simple, straight forward, and classic. I feel like it is up to the people to personalize the garments and to style them in the way they want.
HM: What are your next goals?
PD: My next goal is to make my brand Alter become bigger and bigger and to make it a major actor in the unisex fashion industry.
HM: What are your favourite places in Monaco?
PD: I enjoy all the places in Monaco, but when I come home from Paris or New York I enjoy staying at home sometimes too.