Interview: Freddie Harrel
Interview: Freddie Harrel
Meet Freddie Harrel
Have you heard the news? We’ve officially opened the doors of L’Appartement London! To celebrate the occasion, we sat down with our favorite Parisian-born Brit to discuss life in London vs. Paris, how to go after your career goals, and where to find the best French food across the pond...
So you were born in Paris… can you tell us how that’s influenced your style and way of life?
"Paris gave me that love for perfectly cut jeans, the perfect shade of blue. Same goes with blazers, and suits, the effortless elegance."
How do you relate to, and identify with Parisian style? Can you talk about ways in which it may be limiting or inclusive?
"The French love conformity, the Brits love a statement. This whole effortlessly cool is often debilitating, what’s wrong with being extra and letting your creativity run free?"
How has living in London changed it?
"I’ve always been bold inside, and God I’m so loud, my smile is 1m wide. London made me embrace all of that, being bold and loud isn’t tacky here. Clashing colours, patterns, wearing green and purple hair, it’s all encouraged because well, it’s you."
Can you tell us a little about your journey from having a career in banking and switching over to a career in fashion?
"Remember when I mentioned that the French conformity? My career in banking was me falling for conformity. I was really good at school, I went for the elitist path of business schools, the smartest among us were encouraged to go the banking route, I wanted in, I wanted people to think I was smart. But London introduced me to myself, to my creativity and all my inner riches.
What gave you the courage to start over with your career?
"My sanity. When I hate something, it eats me up inside. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. When your career is causing you these symptoms, you know you need to get out. Either this, or slowly dying inside."
What’s one piece of advice you’d give anyone wanting to also change their course in life, whether they’re just starting out or far along in their job?
"It’s never too late, and it’s never too early. Listen to your guts, some people will tell you give it a bit of time, give it a year. I’ve never had a job for over a year, because I know that once my mind is made, it’s made. Chase happiness and well-being, the rest will follow if you listen to your feelings."
What does the word “beautiful” mean to you?
"Full of beauty. And beauty is a smile, it’s compassion, it’s kindness, being a good listener, it’s empathy, and love."
How do you make yourself feel beautiful everyday?
"I smile all the bloody time! It’s easy, it’s free, it makes me happy, it makes others happy, and it suits my face, hahah."
What’s one place in London that reminds you of Paris?
"Some streets of East London, Richmond too, and of course Kensington."
Best spot in London for French food or pastries?
"La Poule au Pot in Sloane Square."
How would you describe the connection between London and Paris?
"Paris isn’t afraid to talk, and speak its mind. London wears its mind, but doesn’t speak it as much."
Merci Beaucoup, Freddie! xx
Want to know more about Freddie's life in London? Follow her on instagram here.
And if you like what she's wearing, discover our fall collection here.
We asked Freddie to put together a few of her favorite songs that remind her of Paris and London! Check out her Spotify playlist below...