A designer's OBSESSION

Founder of Les Lyonnes, Anne-Claire Thiriot tells the story of the brand and the inspiration behind her favourite product, the pump’s leather spats.

Where does the idea of creating Les Lyonnes come from?

As an entrepreneur, I met a lot of craftswomen. There was a fighting vibe, a mix between talent and ambition. From there, I started to see craftsmanship from a whole new point of view: an incisive and feminine vision. I love working with girls, it is simpler, more fun and cooler.
I am from Lyon and I wanted a name that looked like me. Les Lyonnes mean the lionesses, but with the city’s spelling.

What inspires you in women?

The girls I like are usually happy but have been downed by life, therefore they create to move forward. All the girls I know are like that, courageous and determined. Les Lyonnes is a tribute and an encouragement to all these women accomplishing in creativity and craftsmanship, but it is also to reinforce all of us together.

“Les Lyonnes is a tribute and an encouragement to all these women accomplishing in creativity and craftsmanship.”

How did the idea of the pumps’ leather spats come to mind?

I was going to a date one evening, and when I came down the tube stairs my foot slipped. The next day, I started to sketch what my leather spats would be: a piece of leather to hold the foot on the pump and stabilize it. Of course, the leather spat can bring a little heat between seasons. It is mostly a fashion accessory that can help comfort and personalize your own style.

What does the pump represent for you?

I am not a sneaker addict. I like elegance and exigency. The pump is a really strong symbol of womanhood and its fight. It is above trends. Being trendy is borderline from tacky! I like the idea of borrowing a piece from the male wardrobe, the leather spats, to reinterpret it and associate it with a feminine piece like the pump. That, to me, is what being a gentlewoman is all about: get inspired from the male wardrobe but contradicting and transforming it.

That,to me, is what being a gentlewoman is all about:

get inspired from the male wardrobe but contradicting and transforming it.”