A Frenchonista photo shoot in Amsterdam
By Lou Kisiela Young French student and aspiring Journalist 😉
Not long ago, I attended a photo shoot for the first time in my life. And not just any photo shoot. The one of Samia Taika, designer of the clutches brand named Frenchonista.
I went to Amsterdam to visit my friend Elsa during Fall Break. I initially expected nothing more than an average party-friendly reunion. But I underestimated her. The very first day I arrived at her cozy apartment in De Pijp neighborhood, she immediately took me to the fashion photo shoot of her friend, Samia.
Elsa, Pauline (another friend) and I arrived where the shoot was going to take place. Trying to look as distinguished as possible while we stepped out of the cab, we were catching glimpses of the delightful afternoon-to-be.
Samia’s Moroccan roots, the same roots that drove her out of France and its die-hard prejudices, enabled her to cross off “fashion world” from her bucket list. As a result, the majority of the crew made us feel like pale-faces.
We were wandering between the models, sipping white wine and trying our best to look unimpressed.
After a talk on the purpose of the shoot (since it was in Dutch and English, we were rather focused on the cupcakes), the lights darkened while the whispers faded out. And then the first bars of a punchy R&B French sound resounded, energizing the crew. This song from Nâdiya reminded me of my first years in middle school, in the most pleasant way. You know these songs that make you travel back in time? This one totally made me feel like a child again. But it was not the only reason.
The models appeared in front of the camera. All of them are dressed according to the clutches. First shoot, comes Linsey Sijmons, young blond fashion blogger with doe eyes (You can find her impressions on the experience on her blog: http://www.POSE-BLOG.com/). The next one to go is Beertje Van Beers, a famous doll-looking journalist.
It was an eclectic crew in front and behind the camera. Different body types. Different personalities. Different jobs, hobbies, tastes. Their thing in common? The Frenchonista clutches. They brandish them, play with them, and make them shine into the spotlights. Big, small, silvery, leather brown, pink, leopard print, trimmed with dots, pendants or feathers … There is one for every occasion, not to mention the confidence and elegance they provide to their lucky bearers. Samia decided not to call on young professional models for her shoot, because her clutches are not only made to be ornamental on young beautiful people. They are the ultimate accessory for every strong personality. You can find more about the Frenchonista’s universe, and most importantly its collection by following this link: http://frenchonista.com/
Samia’s brand encountered immediate success when she launched it in 2011. She explains it by the fact that even luxury labels such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton offer a very restricted choice of those products. Every single clutch she produces is a limited edition, where she selects herself the type of leather to be used. 30 clutches models exist as we speak, and she is planning to reach 50 in the years to come. With this aim in mind, she is looking for an investor, someone who will make her trademark thrive and expand. She targets all the leather goods lovers, and aims to conquer the American market (among other things). As Elvis Presley once said: “Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine”.
But let’s get back to the shoot. Once the models finished striking poses, Beertje hugged Samia so hard…it was moving. She calls her Clutch Warrior. It was a wrap! After some laugh and applause to the photographer and crew.
We came to congratulate her. “Until the last moment I felt ok, I didn’t feel stressed at all. But in the last minutes before the shoot began… I was freaking out,” she confessed. But everything went perfectly well. Everyone involved in the shoot was more than satisfied, starting with my friends and I. The head still filled with colors, music and clothes, I went out of the room. I was feeling so Frenchonista. The brand Samia created already carries its very own style, has this little extra that makes you feel different while you wear her products. I believe Frenchonista has a bright future ahead of it, it is definitely a name to remember.