Walking into his office not far from Palais Royale, you sense something is going on, that Durand’s team are about to create another iconic campaign, whether with Balmain or Isabel Marant. His stature is slight and not too tall, but his character is soft and observing, careful before to answer any questions. On the table are all the issues of Holiday Magazine, of which Atelier Franck Durand re-issued after it was last published in 1977. Durand’s imagination and dreams are at the forefront of what is happening in fashion today and he provides us with his thoughts and answers
Reality, fantasy, what do these two things mean for you when working as an Art Director?
A dream is what has not been created yet and what isn’t always feasible. The term Art Director has two functions; imagination and ability to make an idea reality.
Holiday Magazine in your words?
I like to find pleasure and a satisfaction in everything I do. My relation with Holiday Magazine is as important for me, as with my relation with my other clients.
The most memorable issue or article so far?
A text by Collette writing about her love for Paris.
What was your adolescence like? Were you rebellious or studious?
I think I had a privileged childhood but also was very far from reality. I grew up in a boarding school in Tourraine, with family and friends. I really discovered the world when I was 16 years old and had moved to Paris.
Your greatest passion?
All my passions depend from only one: my family
Is there a difference in fashion for you between pre-Kardashians and post-Kardashians?
I don’t believe this so much. There have always been perturbation elements that pushed us to change our way of seeing. I don’t think they can distract us that much, but with time we’ll look at this with less severity. It’s like an exercise to make our brains less bourgeois.
Your most memorable moment with working with Marc Ascoli?
It’s a period of my life that I look at with a lot of affection. I made just a few pennies, but I was so fascinated, I would stay up a few nights in a row, mostly during the shows.
Nick Knight realized the advertising campaign for Jil Sand- er in 1991. Do you remember this period?
It was your first year with Marc Ascoli. I entered this industry through a big door. Nick Knight is not only a genius photographer but a person with so much ele- gance… In those days there was still a protocol of respect for a photo shoot. There were things you couldn’t do, especially as an assistant.
You are working on restoring the Parisian neighbourhood of the XVIth district, Village Boileau… How? Why?
We are opening the Holiday Café in April at 192 Avenue de Versailles in the perimeter of the Village Boileau. It’s has always been a wish to rehabilitate and revitalize a forsaken neighbourhood of Paris, in a way that would be respectful of French aesthetics, high quality and not ostentatious, by keeping the craftspersons, the shoemaker, the locksmith, the bookstore… Which no luxury conglomerat.