Dec 20, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster #96: Olympia Le-Tan

Olympia is interviewed by her six-year-old niece. Hilarity ensues.

Although designer Olympia Le-Tan loves Alaïa and literature in equal measure, it is her appreciation for the latter that inspires her work. Le-Tan launched her own accessories line in 2009, and has been cleverly transforming her favourite novels into hand-embroidered clutches ever since. For Oyster issue #96, we asked one of Olympia’s muses – her six-year-old niece Dizzy Le-Tan – to interview her, and the result is not so much informative as it is hilarious.

 
Olympia Le-Tan: OK, I’m going to ask you some questions, and after that you can ask me some questions. So, what is your name?
Dizzy Le-Tan: Dizzy.
 
How do you know me?
Well — you’re my aunt!
 
How old are you?
Six-and-a-half years old.
 
And what do you want to be when you are a grown-up?
A doctor.
 
You don’t want to work here?
How?
 
I don’t know, but perhaps you can make the bags with me?
Sometimes.
 
When you have days off?
And also when I don’t know what to do.
 
But you don’t think when you’re a doctor that you’ll be too busy?
Yes, but, for instance, I could work here to earn money to pay for university.
 
You’re going to work here to pay for university?
Yes.
 
Do you have any questions to ask?
Yes.
 
Go ahead.
What made you want to make bags?
 
[Laughs] What made me want to make bags? I don’t know. I had lots of things and I needed to put them somewhere, so I made a bag to put them in.
And...
 
What else?
I’m thinking...
 
What is your favourite bag in the new collection?
The Dizzy.
 
I also like that one a lot. Why do you like it?
Because I like it.
 
You like it because it’s called Dizzy?
Yes. Also, I find it beautiful.
 
Do you have any other questions to ask?
Of course I do! Mmm… How long did it take you, all of these bags?
 
To make all of these?
The entire collection.
 
A very long time. To make one bag, to sew it and embroider it, it takes about two to three days.
Still?
 
Still. And afterwards we give them to a man so that he can finish the bags, and that takes… Well, that depends; it’s faster — however, have you seen how many there are? There are nearly 50 bags, and if you calculate that it takes two or three days to do the embroidery... Well, you can imagine.  </strong>
No, there are more than 50.
 
No, there are about 50.
I’m going to count them.
 
No, you can count them later. Finish our conversation. 
Do you copy all of these books?
 
Not all of them, but certain ones that I choose.
OK, so now we are going to talk about you!
 
OK, I’m listening....
Do you have a boyfriend at the moment?
 
No.
What is your favourite animal?
 
A cat.
And there isn’t a boy that you’re in love with?
 
No, there isn’t a boy that I’m in love with.
Yes there is — the guy with the wine stain!
 
No. 
You weren’t in love with him?
 
No, it was Cleo [Olympia’s sister] that was in love with him!
Oh, I thought it was you. Why did you tell me it was you then?
 
I didn’t tell you that, it was Cleo.
No, it was you! At my pyjama party!
 
OK, we’re not here to talk about that; we’re here to talk about work.
Fine. I’m going to design a bag. I’m going to do an animal.
 
A bag in the shape of an animal?
A cat maybe, because it’s your... No, a cat is a bit strange. OK, so what animal do you want?
 
A pig.
A pig? That’s a bit yucky.
 
Why is it yucky? 
Well, because it’s a pig.
 
But pigs are cute.
No, they’re not.
 
But they are. OK, fine — a rat. 
But why are you saying the yucky animals?
 
[Laughs] A rabbit.
That will do — I like rabbits. I draw good rabbits.
 
Who is your favourite member of the family?
That’s a very mean question!
 
Why is that a mean question?
My favourite? How do I do that?
 
I don’t know — but do you prefer daddy, mummy, Cleo, me, Edouard [Olympia’s half-brother]... 
I like everybody.
 
But who’s your favourite? Put them in order.
Mum and dad, both of them, because otherwise... you know?
 
Because otherwise what? 
Because I like them both — mummy and daddy glued together.
 
OK, you can do that. Next?
Olympia, Cleo, Papi…
 
Oh, you prefer me to Cleo?
No, both are glued!
 
And Edouard?
Both are... Ugh...
 
OK, so if you had a boat and you had four places in your boat, who would you take with you? 
Mummy, daddy, my little brother.
 
And?
That’s four people.
 
No, four people plus you.
Um, Edouard. Because I couldn’t take both of you... But I would want to take you!
 
Interview and Model: Dizzy Le-Tan
Photography: Xavier Cariou http://www.xaviercariou.com/
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