global gypsy

Stephanie Von Watzdorf

June 28, 2016

Stephanie shares the inspiration behind Figue, memories from her childhood and the true meaning of global gypsy.

FIGUE MEANS: “Fig” in French. The name pays homage to my childhood — I grew up in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France and spent every summer with my family in Italy, going between L’Isola dei Galli near Positano and Porto Ercole.  Figs remind me of the Mediterranean and all of its summer splendor — the fragrant smell, the lush green trees, the beauty of nature….Utopia.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY: There are too many to count, but one of my favorites was playing dress up. My grandfather Léonide Massine was one of the principal choreographers for the Ballets Russes and we had a huge closet in the attic of our house in Paris with all the costumes from the different ballets, designed by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí…. I could often be found among the fabrics and tutus, spending hours and hours playing dress up — with our dog by my side, of course!

GREATEST INSPIRATION: The richness and dress of so many cultures and countries, from Tibet to Morocco, Bali to Paris, Portugal to Kenya, Italy to Mexico, and beyond….The mix of all these places is really powerful — that is the magic. The Figue collection is about celebrating the beauty of different cultures and the talent of artisans globally — they inspire. That is the Figue love.

MY STYLE: Global, free-spirited, colorful, bohemian…There can not be a precise definition. I would break any rules if I had them.

GOOD LUCK CHARM: Elephants, evil eyes, feathers, hamsas — I love talismans and the positive energy they bring.

FAVORITE GLOBAL TREASURE: Maasai beaded necklaces, found-feather earrings, printed Turkish scarves, Haitian voodoo dolls — collecting global goodies is one of my greatest joys. It’s in my soul.

 

Leon Bakst designs for the Ballets Russes | Costume Design for Bacchante; Musee National d’Art. Image © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. Costume Design for Temple Dancer; McNay Art Institute, San Antonio. Image © McNay Art Museum / Art Resource, NY.

GLOBAL GYPSY MEANS: Someone who embraces their individualism, as well as the diversity of the world around them.

NEXT TRIP: Guatemala and Portugal

DREAM TRIP: Rwanda to see the gorillas and help protect them.

FAVORITE GLOBAL GYPSY: Iris Apfel is one of my all-time icons. I am continuously inspired by her incredible spirit, inimitable style and eclecticism. And Anita Pallenberg, Louise Nevelson, Gabriella Crespi, Diana Vreeland, Frida Kahlo… Any many more.

 

Picasso Pablo (1881-1973, Spain), Léonide Massine, 1919. Art Institute of Chicago, Margaret Day Black Collection, © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 1972.

 

A postcard Picasso wrote to Stephanie’s grandfather, Leonide Massine