Interview with Sylvie Millstein of HELLESSY
Sylvie Millstein launched Hellessy in 2012 from her Soho studio, where she has since captivated women with her signature designs. Born and raised in Paris, Millstein moved to NYC with her family after wrapping a 10+ year career as a senior merchant, working with institutional houses including Chanel, Givenchy, and Harrods. She moved to Miami during the pandemic, a move reflected in her latest collection, bringing effortless cool to faraway destinations.
Q: Where did the inspiration come from for the HELLESSY Resort 23 collection?
During the pandemic, I moved to Miami after living in New York for 10 years. I think this collection really reflects the past 2 years spent in Florida. It’s more fun and playful and I introduced a color palette very new for HELLESSY, “the tropical cocktail colors” as I like to call them. The lime green, in particular, is so striking and just makes you think of warm, resort destinations. I approached resortwear more traditionally this time and focused a lot more on dresses, those that can be taken from the city to the beach, to be dressed up or down. This collection is definitely inspired by a woman who is ready to travel again.
This collection is inspired by a woman ready to travel again
Hellessy Presents The Resort 23 Collection In New York
Q: How has your move to Miami changed the way you work?
Like everyone else, the way of working has dramatically changed. My team and production are in New York and I still work closely with them across all stages. Surprisingly, I found that seeing products on the models through the screen, I have this 360 vision from afar, that allows me to have a thorough understanding of how something looks on the body. Hard to explain, but very interesting, I know!!
Q: Does New York still inspire you?
Of course! New York is still home for me and I am here every two months. I am constantly inspired by the downtown, effortlessly cool New York City girl, which is what made me start HELLESSY in the first place. I love New York dearly and it was undoubtedly the only city I wanted to present the new Resort collection, to mark the return of HELLESSY to live events.
Q: How do you incorporate trends into your collections?
I like to think of HELLESSY as a trendless brand, yet with a very specific aesthetic. I of course take note of what is being loved and what I see in the streets, but ultimately HELLESSY is a brand to buy now and wear forever. I would not want to sell trend-heavy pieces that are only desirable for a few months. If I were to consider trends, I would mainly focus on incorporating trendy colors rather than styles.
HELLESSY is a brand to buy now and wear forever
Q: How has your multicultural life influenced your career?
I got to live and experience different countries and places, from Paris to Tokyo to New York and all have their own aesthetics and energy that have influenced my creativity. I am French but spent 10 years in Japan, and perhaps as a result I do gravitate towards a clean aesthetic, but with an inherent sense of seduction and nonchalance. At the same time, living in the States, taught me to embrace colors and more daring silhouettes too.
Q: What’s next for HELLESSY?
I’m glad that we are back to live events and that this collection was experienced from up close! I am already working on the new collections and I look forward to the next live event too, hopefully only a few months away.