Greece evokes the memory of unforgettable adventures and an extraordinary feeling of freedom ! These are certainly the best words to describe what the country arouses in everyone. Sandy Chagnaud, creator of Happy Haus, a committed and passionate woman, tells us about the country.
You say you have a special attachment to Greece and yet you immediately admit that you know very little about it. Would you say that the country is so endearing that you quickly feel feelings of affection ?
Sandy. It is indeed a strange feeling that I have for Greece. A mixture of attachment, curiosity, evidence too. The desire to discover it and the impression of already knowing it. Greece is also our history, these monuments that surround us and these beautiful landscapes that capture our imagination. This is certainly what first created this special attachment in me. When I arrive in Athens, in the taxi that takes me from the airport to the city, I feel the same emotions as when I arrive in Paris, I feel like I am at home !
And then, there is also this feeling of well-being, tranquility, softness. What could be sweeter than meeting up with friends under a canisse filtering the sun, feet in the sand and eyes lost in the Mediterranean sea ? How not to immediately fall in love with this country ? And then this light…
Greece reminds you of your first vacation as a young independent woman on the island of Santorini. Can you tell us more ?
I was 24 when I first went on vacation to Greece. It was in 2004. My boyfriend at the time and I had chosen to go on an adventure. We landed in Athens, put on our sneakers and ran around the city. A magical jog in the heart of the old town through the alleys, the Acropolis, the Parthenon… It was a unique and unforgettable visit. That same evening, we boarded a ferry that took us to Santorini, the island of my dreams. We were like two teenagers free of everything. This is what Greece reminds me of : freedom ! Santorini, a unique island, the immensity of the sea, the sky and these sunsets totally overwhelmed us.
Do you have a locally purchased souvenir that still accompanies you ?
An old straw hat adorned with a light blue net but I did not buy it in Greece paradoxically but in a thrift store in New York ! A memory of Greece that comes to me from elsewhere…
Now your brand. Before describing your style and promoting it, it is above all about environment that you speak, as in this personal photo that you share with us. Is the planet a daily concern ?
This photo was taken on the island of Leros during a vacation we spent with our daughter Danah. We were going to the beach and we came face to face with this pretty sign that summed up so well what I have always believed : there is no “planet B”. HAPPY HAUS was born from this conviction that we must all do something, at our level, to change our behavior. As a stylist, I have witnessed so much excess, so much nonsense imposed by the multiplication of collections and the blind overproduction it imposes.
Very early on, I wanted to create my own brand in order to produce differently, by offering clothes that we could wear all the time and especially for a long time. I am convinced that the key is there. You have to love your clothes so you don’t want to constantly replace them.
To do this, of course, I took the time – long before the green took over fashion for better and for worse – to seek out partners who could offer me ecological fabrics certified by Greenpeace and by Gots or recycled, buttons made of wood and limit the use of materials that are not biodegradable as much as possible.
Style rather than fashion, your silhouettes represent so much what others envy us : this cool attitude, a bit nonchalant, a little androgynous, with an almost arrogant simplicity but so feminine, sexy. How do you describe your brand ?
I would say that she looks like me, that she is designed for a free, cool, nonchalant woman without forgetting feminine and who wants to seduce. A committed woman who prefers style to fashion.
Which piece do you particularly like ?
Our first denim jumpsuit, the first piece we created six years ago and which continues to be one of our bestsellers to this day. She represents in my eyes perfectly what the style of HAPPY HAUS is, timeless and deceptively simple, feminine, cool and unique. I like in the jumpsuit the idea that it dresses us completely, easily and comfortably. I also like its ample look, a comfort found in other HAPPY HAUS models such as the “oversize” pants or our new “trompe l’oeil” jumpsuit.
Where are you going this summer? ;)
Nothing is decided yet but talking to you today about Greece makes me want to come back there.