The Internet has a wonderful way of connecting souls beyond the physical plane. I personally became E-Friends with a slew of people that I’m patiently waiting to encounter in real life. One of those distant yet remarkable individuals is the glamorous Elisabeth Hadida.
The Parisian Fashionista was introduced to me through Instagram. At the time, my photographer Erick Hercules and I initially embarked on our levitation spree and she just so happened to catch a glimpse of the ethereal shots. Fascinated by them, Elisabeth followed me on the app. I abruptly returned the favor after viewing her lavish feed, filled with amazing landscapes of Paris and exclusive fashion content. More than just obtaining a keen vision, I later discovered how much of a great person Elisabeth actually was after our conversations. We connected so well she bought my FRNDY LMRN™ Logo Tee without me having to persuade her one bit!
Having such an amazing personality and even richer spirit, Elisabeth left me no choice but to share her story with you all. Allow me to introduce, the original Balenciaga Mama.
FRENDY: You have an interesting last name. What exactly is your background?
ELISABETH: My family is from North Africa. My parents migrated to France with absolutely nothing. They met each other thanks to a mutual friend and have been together ever since! It was the best image of love I could witness as a child. Since both of them built their careers from scratch in Paris, they taught me the value of hard work, tolerance and sharing. I will always be thankful for that.
FRENDY: What was it like to grow up in the city of love?
ELISABETH: I feel blessed to be born in Paris! It’s truly a magical city, steeped in history. I grew up with an array of people from various countries and origins. As a child, I was lucky to know different cultures without the need to leave my country. I think it's a gift that every new generation born in France should acknowledge everyday!
FRENDY: Your positive energy is always bursting through my phone screen whenever we converse. What values were instilled in you as a young girl that allowed such magnificent aura?
ELISABETH: Well, Thank You *Blushes*. It was friendship-at-first-sight with you! To be honest, it’s really difficult to talk about myself in such a way without being seen as pretentious. I rather learn about others than rambling about myself, but thank you for the kind words Frendy!
FRENDY: Your love of fashion runs deep. When did it begin?
ELISABETH: I was seven years old when my dad began bringing me to his men’s clothing store. The shop was absolutely incredible to me! I spent my time playing dress up with the numerous amounts of threads and accessories available. I loved to wear men’s pieces even when I was young, which now explains my obsession with androgynous looks rather than feminine ones.
My father taught me everything about fashion. I learned how to trade and even recognize a man’s size as soon as a client entered the door (it was very helpful). My father was and still is the Master of Fashion in my eyes *laughs*.
FRENDY: Who are your style inspirations?
ELISABETH: I really like to mix different kinds of brands -- from luxury to mass market, and from women’s dress code to men’s style. I do not have any specific inspirations; my main goal is to wear something that makes me feel comfortable, but always different from an actual fashion trend.
My weakness is vintage clothes. They are very dangerous for my bank account! When pieces have a past, the attraction is stronger for me.
FRENDY: It would be a dream come true for most people I know to work for Balenciaga. How is it like working in the headquarters of the luxury fashion house?
ELISABETH: Yes indeed! I know how blessed I am to wake up every day and go to work for this brand. The best quote that can sum up the way I see my work life is, “choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Balenciaga was the brand I chose amongst all the others because of its history and uniqueness. The product, either RTW or accessories, stands out for it's avant-garde qualities and beauty.
The fashion house is like a little family. You learn to grow, sometimes fall but will always have someone or something to help innovate and find a solution. That's why I've remained there for six years now!
FRENDY: When did you start working there?
ELISABETH: Well, I started in 2010. My bosses, Severine Heidet and Axel Keller, granted me a great opportunity to make such a huge step in my career. I will always be thankful because they gave me a shot as I was coming from a mass-market industry. It was a daring bet *Laughs*. I have the chance to grow up by their side and they teach me alot everyday.
FRENDY: What is your role in the company?
ELISABETH: I work as a Europe Retail Buyer. I select all the products that will be offered in stores in each country (France, UK, Italy and Spain) for men, women, accessories and RTW.
It’s also a great opportunity to work in retail because it allows me to be connected with many departments, such as the press office, studio, merchandising and production. Basically we never get bored!
FRENDY: Would you ever branch out and create your own line?
ELISABETH: In fact, when I was pregnant I found it very difficult to wear something cool and I thought, “wow! I can really create a line of stylish maternity clothes”. There is so much to do in this industry, but I know my limits and unfortunately I do not have an entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t have the shoulders to start from scratch, especially in this new competitive fashion world.
FRENDY: Apart from the world of Fashion, you are happily married and have a wonderful bundle of joy. Is it difficult to be a family woman while working at such a fast-paced industry?
ELISABETH: Well…yeah! Nobody knows how hard it is to have a baby until they actually have one of their own * laughs *. I really think it’s an everyday struggle for businesswomen. However, my mum was the best example of having an impressive career with two children. She is the one who taught me the most about finding a balance between family and the professional life. She was always there as a mother but also as a working girl!
FRENDY: I see that you love traveling whenever you have a break from work. What’s the best place you’ve visited around the world?
ELISABETH: I am very lucky to have married a globetrotter! I hate planes but thanks to my husband, I overcame my fear. The best place I’ve visited is Japan. We did a big trip around many cities for our honeymoon--from Tokyo to Okinawa, through Kyoto, Hiroshima…
It was so amazing to learn about the Japanese culture. They are so respectful and kind. I was impressed by their landscapes and way of life. I’ll definitely go back.
FRENDY: What advice would you give those who are interested in entering the fashion business?
ELISABETH: The fashion business has changed a lot since I entered it 10 years ago. I chose to go to business school and obtain an English Business diploma in order to build a strong profile. I really think it’s important to have this kind of basis to understand the complexity of the fashion industry.
But above all, passion is truly the key to success.
FRENDY: Thank you so much for your time Elisabeth. I hope my readers caught a glimpse of your wonderfulness. Any last words?
ELISABETH: Yes, thank YOU Frendy for giving me the opportunity to talk about my experience and I hope to have lived up to the expectations of your many readers.
I prefer to let “Frendy Speak ” now * laughs *.
Written by: Frendy Lemorin
Photos by: Jonathan Hadida & Nicolas Chauveau