Interview: Paule Ka's New Creative Director Maxime Simoëns Designs With The Arab Woman In Mind

BY Allyson Portee / Jul 10 2019 / 18:22 PM

British barrister Amal Clooney is the quintessential Paule Ka woman, having identified and worn the brand’s power suit

Interview: Paule Ka's New Creative Director Maxime Simoëns Designs With The Arab Woman In Mind
Paule Ka Resort 2020 (left) and Amal Clooney wearing Paule Ka at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Recently appointed as Artistic Director of Paule Ka, Maxime Simoëns is not new to fashion. Following the recent departure of founder Serge Cajfinger, the fashion house is now embarking on a new chapter with Maxime, whose mission is to develop and enrich the brand’s stylistic vocabulary with the help of the workshop and teams.

Maxime is continuing to build on the strength of the Paule Ka woman, who he says is “a strong and independent woman, she is elegant and assumes her femininity, she loves fashion but never falls into the excessiveness of a fashionista. She loves the sleek graphics and architecture of the garment.” 

Paule Ka

In an exclusive interview with the designer, he reveals that the Arab woman and her sense of style was on his mind when creating. “The style of Arab women is above all to highlight their femininity and sensuality without ever falling into vulgarity,” Maxime says. “They have a culture of elegance that is even stronger than in France. The Paule Ka brand is synonymous with chic, I think they necessarily suit this market.”

Amal Clooney in Paule Ka at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women

The French designer was trained under Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior and Balenciaga, and has designed clothes for every woman living every lifestyle. 

“It is a real honour to be able to take over the spirit of this beautiful house,” he tells BAZAAR, “Serge Cajfinger has created a small empire thanks to a strong and clear DNA: to dress a woman from morning to evening, both her work days and these evenings, for great occasions as for everyday life but always with a style borrowed from elegance and chic French style.”

Paul Ka

The brand’s clothes are classics set to become as iconic as the little black dresses. Contrasting pieces complement each other: think masculine and feminine, black and white, loose and structured. “What I love about the brand’s identity is that it supports all the diverse women of today with a wardrobe that reflects their multi-faceted complexity. The garments are ideal for both a working woman and a woman seeking glamour and elegance.”

Paule Ka

Maxime has brought bold, energetic colours - oranges, yellows, and greens - into the collection like. And they don't scrimp on a floral motif either. “There have always been very vibrant colors in Serge's collections,” muses Maxime. “The notion of pop color block is really in the continuity of his style. I wanted to add a romantic and bucolic side that echoes the French style that had an important part in the theme of the collection.”

At 34, he is a graduate of the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and the École des Arts Décoratifs. In 2009, he showed his first creations at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and presented his first collection at Paris Fashion Week in October the same year. In 2015, he decided to devote himself to menswear line M.X Paris, which he showcases every season. He also worked as artistic director for Léonard and Azzaro. Truly a visionary to watch.