At only 26 years old, Pauline Ducruet has already made a lasting impact on the design world with her own sustainable unisex fashion label. In the past, she represented Monaco in diving competitions across the world, participated in off-road rallies, presided over circus competitions and studied in Paris and New York. Now, Pauline Ducruet has realized her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion icon with her own label. Using upcycled materials and gender neutral shapes and colours makes her part of the newest wave of designers who demonstrate that openness and environmental responsibility belong in the high fashion world.
Pauline Grace Maguy Ducruet was born on 4 May 1994 at the Princess Grace Hospital Centre in Monaco. She is the daughter of Princess Stephanie and Daniel Ducruet. Her parents married in a civil ceremony a year after she was born, on 1 July 1995. She has an older brother (Louis) and three half-siblings. Pauline Ducruet is currently 16th in the line of succession to the Monegasque throne.
Pauline Ducruet received a baccalaureate from Lycée Prince Albert I de Monaco. She reportedly skipped a year of school, making her only one year behind her brother. She received her French Baccalauréat degree in July 2011.
Strong sense of adventure: diving championships and races through the Moroccan desert
Pauline Ducruet spent much of her teenage years leaping off diving boards across the world. In 2010 she represented Monaco at the World Junior Diving Championships in Germany and in the European Junior Swimming and Diving Championships in Finland. In August 2010, she participated in the Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore. On 5 November 2010, Pauline Ducruet was nominated as ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ for the 2009-2010 season.
International diving championships are not the only outlet for Pauline Ducruet’s sense of competitive adventure. In 2018, she crossed the finish line during the Aïcha des Gazelles, an off-road motorsport rally straight through the Moroccan desert. Pauline Ducruet and her teammate Schanel Bakkouche finished in 81st place overall out of 147 competitors in the ‘4X4 / Truck’ category.
From Paris to New York, from Vogue to Louis Vuitton
Pauline Ducruet studied at the Marangoni Institute in Paris for three years, a private fashion school where participants meet established and international professionals from top fashion houses. In 2015, Pauline Ducruet continued her studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York. The University is known to offer students the tools needed to challenge conventional thinking while fostering environmental and social sustainability. While in New York, Pauline Ducruet did a five-month internship at Vogue and a six-month internship at Louis Vuitton. In 2017, she received her Associate Degree in Fashion Design.
In June 2017, Pauline Ducruet realized her lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer when she launched Alter Designs. “I always wanted to be a designer,” Pauline Ducruet said in a recent interview with Hello Monaco.
Upcycling denim for a sustainable future
When Pauline Ducruet was a student in New York, she visited thrift shops selling unused stock and had an idea. She decided to reuse denim and other materials to make her label more sustainable. Sustainability is now part of the DNA of her brand. The very first piece ever created for her brand was ‘The Signature Jeans Jacket’ which is Alter’s current wardrobe icon. Made from at least three vintage US denim pieces, each jacket is sustainable and unique.
High-Fashion that is diverse and inclusive
Diversity, gender neutrality and inclusivity are all really important for Pauline Ducruet. “The fashion industry should not only choose 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,” she told Hello Monaco.
On 2 June 2020, Pauline Ducruet participated in blackout Tuesday by posting a black square on her instagram, a platform she uses to promote her fashion label. The gesture demonstrated a stance against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week
In the spring of 2020, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Pauline Ducruet showcased her Alter designs during Paris Fashion Week. Princess Stephanie and Pauline’s half-sister, Camille Gottlieb, attended the fashion show dressed in Pauline’s new creations. Pauline also designed an outfit for Princess Stephanie for Louis Ducruet’s wedding in July 2019.
Inaugurating Monaco’s new Place du Casino with Princess Stephanie and Prince Albert
To help inspire a sense of community and mark the return of social life in the Principality during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pauline Ducruet helped inaugurate the newly renovated Place du Casino beside Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, Princess Stephanie, Camille Gottlieb and other members of Monaco’s Princely family in the summer of 2020. The event included a tribute to all the caregivers from the Princess Grace Hospital Centre and the Monegasque Red Cross who have worked tirelessly on the front lines of the crisis.
Promoting young people in Monaco
When her fashion creations aren’t taking her across the globe, Pauline Ducruet enjoys being at home in Monaco. “When I come home from Paris or New York, I enjoy staying at home,” she said to Hello Monaco. She regularly attends events and galas in Monaco for charitable foundations, including Fight Aids Monaco, which was founded by her mother. Pauline Ducruet was also present for the tenth anniversary celebration of the reign of Prince Albert of Monaco. She founded and presides over the jury for New Generation, a circus competition in Monaco specifically aimed at people under 20 years of age.
Bringing attention to the visions and ideas of young designers in Monaco is something that Pauline Ducruet believes in, as she recently expressed to Hello Monaco. “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.”