Ines de la Fressange | What if happiness was other people?

In Happiness is other people — Collective development guide, Ines de la Fressange talks about the importance of friendship. The fashion designer and author finds that she thrives in contact with others and that friendship makes us happier. Interview with the one who embodies the Parisian, a woman who has style and natural elegance.

Posted at 12:00 p.m.

Olivia Levy

Olivia Levy
The Press

Warm and relaxed, Ines de la Fressange answers the phone: “Ah hello, I thought it was a delivery man, because I’m in the middle of a move… Wait, I’ll tell my two friends who came to help me put up my bed base “, she says.

We get right to the heart of the matter. Friends are for helping out, right? ” Yes ! My friends are adorable, I have a handyman buddy who came to remove a door, another arrived with cakes and a Lebanese coffee. You know, white coffee is orange blossom water in hot water, it’s very good, and much healthier than coffee! she exclaims.

“Too often we don’t dare bother our friends. Well no, you have to dare to ask them for help, and the same for them, ”continues the former star model of Chanel.


Ines de la Fressange, in the center, with Olga Sekulic on the left and Sophie Gachet on the right, friends and co-authors of the book Happiness is other people — Collective development guidepublished by Flammarion editions

You can have problems with work, children, life. We all have moments of depression, it’s normal. There’s nothing better than being with our friends, we listen to some music and it gets better. It seems obvious, but there are people who don’t know that.

Ines de la Fressange, co-author of the book Happiness is other people — Collective development guide

Her book is a collective development guide where you can find, in a light style, advice on how to brighten up your daily life and stay positive. “We talk a lot about personal development, we say and repeat that you have to take care of yourself. We are in an era where it’s me, me and me. Yes, okay, but it’s good to focus on others. »

precious friendships

For Ines de la Fressange, friends are the family we choose. They are there to share our joys, our sorrows, to rejoice in our happiness. With them, you feel comfortable. We are not afraid that they will no longer love us, we are not trying to show off to them, quite the contrary. “Saturday evening with friends, we made spaghetti at my house, we ate sitting on the ground, because I don’t have a table or chairs yet, it was very happy, this picnic! »

Friends don’t come to see your decorations or check if you’re a cordon bleu, they come for you. So we let go, and we have fun.

Ines de la Fressange

Yet the friendship has taken a beating during the pandemic. We wanted to avoid certain annoying subjects, such as the vaccine or compliance with health measures. “It’s like talking about politics, it’s very delicate. I think it’s more important to keep the friendship than to want to argue and be right. We must avoid moralizing, she emphasizes. Friends have qualities and faults, they are not perfect, neither are we. There are friends I don’t see for six months or a year, and presto, it starts again as soon as we see each other. We must not blame friends, if we want to call them, we do it spontaneously. »

She believes that our friends are often more numerous than we think. “If you make a list of people you like, you’ll see there are quite a few. It can be buddies and friends! Why be so demanding with people? You can make new friends at any time in life. We live very old, and having younger friends is good for keeping up to date with what’s going on!

“The day before yesterday, I have a Swiss girlfriend whom I knew when I was 11, I’m 64, who was passing through Paris. She contacted me through Instagram, and we met for a drink. We have a lot in common, we had a great time! Is she a friend when I haven’t seen her in 50 years? I just have to decide! It’s a found friend! »

woman of the world

Ines de la Fressange published in 2010 the book The Parisian, which became a real success with 1 million copies sold worldwide. “La Parisienne is a state of mind, there are Parisiennes everywhere, in Montreal too! It’s getting by with the means you have without buying brands, it’s having fun with fashion without following trends and being comfortable in your sneakers. »


Ines de la Fressange at the event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Pierre Cardin house, in Paris in September 2021

She also has her own brand of clothing and accessories and has been collaborating with Uniqlo for nine years. A union that surprises her. “It’s crazy, it’s the longest collaboration. Looks like a wedding! Seventeen collections. It flatters me a lot to see that in Montreal, Tokyo, Miami, Rome, Madrid, the clothes are popular. I’m glad it’s so universal without being boring! We women have a connection, a complicity, we have things in common. It’s our strength, and it helps me a lot in my work as a designer, and I don’t think women are so different from me, whatever their age. »

Happiness is other people — Collective development guide

Happiness is other people — Collective development guide

Flammarion Editions

160 pages

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