“If you obey all the rules
you miss all the fun”.

Once this was said by Katharine Hepburn, the most nonconformist among the celebrities. In the American star’s words you can find Ilan Chétrite’s fashion: they describe but do not delimit it. His bad-boy embodies Sandro Paris’s chic and ironic soul with a certain nonchalance. No doubt, he’s unconventional but romantic as well. He is not afraid of hazarding: neither in life nor in his look. He dares wisely, by calculating proportions and stylistic choices in a natural balance. He molds an original and urban mood, consistently and factually contemporary.

The Brand comes alive in 1984 thanks to the creativity and courage shown by Evelyne and Didier Chétrite, Ilan’s parents. They decide to focus on the woman, and the success is immediate. Evelyne’s extraordinary creative mind generates special, feminine and distinctly French collections. Soon, Sandro grows up to be a label known for its unique hallmarks and versatile dressing and today it has a huge global following with 410 boutiques all around the world.

Meanwhile, the young protagonist of our interview studies and gets a degree in Economics at the Paris Dauphine University. But no account to be managed or company to be saved in his fate. Ilan inherits his parents’ sense of style, it’s in his DNA. In 2008, with the desire to be a part of the family history, he decides to launch the project Homme. Sandro Men’s first shops are set up in the Marais and Saint Germain des Pres areas…

The boy who dreamed of becoming a manager is today an amazingly sensitive creative director.

Fucking Young! – Bienvenue Ilan! When and how was your passion for fashion born?

Ilan Chétrite – I don’t remember a particular time when I started being interested in fashion, it just came naturally even if I actually studied Economics and I was seeing myself more as a trader than a creative director.


FY! – After graduating at the Paris Dauphine University, in 2008 you arrive at Sandro– the brand founded in 1984 by your parents – to create the Homme line. Why this choice?

IC – Indeed, my involvement in Sandro began when the women’s range started to have a great success. I immediately told myself this brand should not only talk to women but to people. Then I have started to imagine in which way our vision could be understood. This gave birth to Sandro Homme in 2008.


FY! – Evelyne, Didier, Ilan.Yours is a big family. How do you interact with one another? As in the best family tradition, is there a hierarchy?

IC – At work, each one work on his field however we naturally have the same influences. We do exchange ideas on trend and modernity for our silhouettes. We nourish ourselves with each other’s ideas particularly with my mother.


FY! – The adjective that best defines each of you and the respective values and weaknesses…

IC – Not an easy one…  I would say our weaknesses might also be our strengths: for instance, always challenging ourselves.


FY! – With more than 400 stores all around the world, in a few decades Sandro succeeded in standing out among the most famous brands and exporting an authentic French style. What do you think your trump card is?

IC – I don’t think there is any secret, we just have a passion for our work. It gives us so much emotions and joy – sometimes too many!

I am also very attentive to the details: for me this is the most important thing in a garment. Indeed, we create our collection with our soul and heart, with meticulous attention and I believe it’s one of the keys elements behind Sandro’s success.


FY! – No doubt Sandro is synonymous with Paris but also with a timeless chic style. Your approach to the man is instead stronger, less conventional, in some measure linked to the London rock scenario. How would you define your style, Sandro Homme’s one?

IC – I would be very bad at describing my own style I just make sure to keep things that suit me without thinking too much of it. Well-cut basics that work for sure mixed with some more audacious pieces. I guess that often happens when you work every day with plenty of creative clothes.

The Sandro man has a distinct approach to elegance. Free, profoundly urban and exuding an air of nonchalance, he knows how to use proportion to striking effect and draws on references, adapting them in his everyday life. And if this man is a nonconformist, he can proudly claim a style that is truly original and contemporary without diktats.


FY! – How can two apparently different and separate souls – the masculine one and the feminine created by your mother – coexist?

IC – I was born in an environment where I have always been surrounded by fashion since my childhood: watching my mother, my aunt – Judith Milgrom – and my grandfather. I believe I have strong memories of style and aesthetics from this period which explains that we naturally have common influences today.

We nourish ourselves with each other’s ideas therefore we often start from the same source of inspiration: from there each line develop its own direction.


FY! – Max Esken  is the star in the SS15 Campaign shooted by Karim Sadli. Once again, the protagonist is a young, exuberant man, a bad-boy of the 50s’. Which is the story you wanted to tell?

IC – There is no specific stories behind our SS15 Campaign. With Karim, season after season, we try to express who is the Sandro man rather than strictly focusing on clothes.

I believe this man has an effortlessly chic attitude, he is not sophisticated and seems to be a bit romantic and melancholic.


FY! – Who is your ideal customer?

IC – I think of the Sandro man as a global man, whether he is in Paris or elsewhere. I feel he doesn’t like diktat, he is free to have his own style and to create it within our collections.


FY! – Music, theatre, literature, daily life… from which do you get inspired to create your collection? Do you think fashion may be considered as a form of art or simply as something to wear?

IC – Inspiration comes naturally when you do not look for it.

It can be through different artistic areas of life such as cinema, exhibitions, photographs, paintings and also though meeting people: from there I catch attitudes, colors and shapes that can be the trigger of a whole new collection.

My philosophy is not to see fashion as a form of art, since clothes have to remain wearable for every day.


FY! – In this historical moment where anything seems to have been already seen and done, is it still possible to be innovative? And what is innovation for you?

I feel “innovation” is to give a new vision to something, capture the trends while being a step before.

Innovation is our biggest challenge every season – keeping the effortlessly chic note of the brand DNA while injecting some daring yet modern style in our collections.

Actually, for SS15 we paid homage to the futurism and technological advances with the launch of the Reebok InstaPump Fury X Sandro.



FY! – Would you like to speak about this capsule available in mid-February in a selection of Sandro stores?

IC – The collection focuses on the iconic model Reebok InstaPump Fury. The design inspiration here is drawn from two pivotal decades – the ‘70s and ’90s – combine with modern technical materials. The men’s side emphasizes the the structured silhouette and the retro futurist spirit of the ’90s, featuring tonal black and white editions.


FY! – Let’s come to the FW15-16 CollectionWould you like to speak about it too?

IC – The collection pays tribute to the period of transition between Post Punk and New Wave.

We brought the young attitude of a punk into the Sandro Homme statement pieces. The result was an emphasize on outerwear with parkas and perfecto jackets with a military, post punk spin that could fit on any street whereas Paris, Tokyo or NYC.


FY! – According to you, which is the most representative item? Why?

IC – All pieces with black and white punk flyers stitched into jackets or sweaters are very important elements of the collection.

Though each piece works with the others, this is how we built our collection. For instance the Post Punk part couldn’t have existed if it wasn’t mixed with suits or boiled wool coat.


FY! – The best stylist ever. The item that passed into the annals of history. The colour of your fashion….

IC – It’s hard for me to pick one name in particular as there are so many talented designers.

I am more focused into specific pieces, for instance a long oversized trench coat, a well fitted double-breasted suit… I believe in timeless pieces.


FY! – As usual, our latest question… For you, what is really FUCKING YOUNG!?

IC – For me FUCKING YOUNG! is a directional magazine with a strong aesthetics. Seriously not trying to be fucking young…