Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Industry Insider Interview with Jerome Chouinard-Rousseau

Touted as the next footwear designer to watch, Quebec-born Jerome already boasts quite an impressive resume. From his first collection, Fred Segal bought nine styles on the spot. Not a bad start; now his label may also be found among the shelves of other retail royalty such as Barney’s, Net-a-Porter and exclusively at Holt Renfrew in Canada. Jerome’s designs have graced the pages of British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and will soon be seen on the runway at London label Peter Pilotto’s Fall show. And to think he's just getting started- whew! Inspiration… Designer and architect Ettore Sottsass. He passed away in December ’07 and I fell in love with his work again and his unexpected use of angles and colours. I also was influenced by the peachy, chartreuse, and lipstick pink colours used in Dreamscapes by London artist Verena Paloma Jabs.

Fashion Tricks… Style needs to be effortless and sum up your style, not be a clone of someone else. Our style is a way of defining who we are. A beautiful shoe can completely change your posture but you must be able to walk in them properly.

Current Obsessions… Elli Medeiros from the not well-known electro-pop French group Elli et Jacno [‘79]. Her style is nonchalant, confident, new wave, distant and aloof. It was quite unique what they created and I was blown away style wise. I get intense crushes that live for about six months.

Ultimate Fashion Entourage… Cyndi Lauper, Elli (Elli et Jacno), the effortlessly beautiful movie director Terry Gilliam (Brazil) and Róisín Murphy. Plenty of friends would definitely be in the fashion circle.

Classic or Trendy… I don’t know if it’s either. I rarely think in terms of trends. I try to have a theme first and don’t think about being on trend. I try to be classy and have elegance.

Street Style or Runway… I have a lot of passion for both, especially London nightlife which promotes individuality that is showcased well. It is a city where you are absolutely free to express yourself. When I’m designing, I’ll remember someone on the dance floor and think they would love a certain design.

Photographer, Danielle Rubi

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Girl from Ipanema