Wanderlusts: The Worldly Adventures of Cédric Charlier

by Paige Reddinger

Parisian designer Cédric Charlier has been as adventurous with his show locations–opting to reveal his Resort 2017 collection on a rooftop in Manhattan, for example—as he has with his own travels. And no wonder, given that his recipe for joie de vivre begins with tranquility in lush, remote landscapes.

What was your favorite summer memory as a child?
My favorite holidays were always during winter. My family would rent a chalet in the French Alps, so I started skiing at an early age. My whole family has always been into sports.

Where did you dream of vacationing?
I always dreamed of vacationing in Mexico, because when I was little, I used to watch this cartoon about an Inca child called Les Mystérieuses Cités d’Or. I finally went on my trip to Mexico about two years ago, and it was truly unbelievable.

Where is your local getaway for shorter trips?
I love escaping to the West Coast of France in Charente. There is a large beach there called the Wild Coast. This beach can only be accessed by foot, and is mostly frequented by surfers who arrive early in the morning. The beach is
tranquil and calm. It is the ideal place to get lost in your thoughts. The landscapes are so picturesque, with the sand dunes and clear ocean.

Has any vacation truly inspired a collection?
Yes, my travels usually inspire my collections in some way or another. I used very specific shades of blue after a summer in Greece and designed oversize “cape-like” coats after traveling to Mexico. My Spring/Summer 2014 collection was inspired by kimonos. This was one of my favorite collections, and it makes me excited to truly spend time in Japan, as I’ve only visited for work-related reasons. I have dreams to immerse myself in the culture of Japan and to spend time on the islands.

What has been your most unforgettable trip?
Los in Greece. It’s a tiny island, so it felt like we were the only people in the world.

Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Patagonia and Australia! I dream to visit the wildlife reserve of Torres del Paine.

What is your preferred method of R&R?
I enjoy a morning swim in the ocean whenever the opportunity lends itself to me.

Have you been to the Hamptons?
Never!

What is the French equivalent of the Hamptons?
Deauville. You can take a train from Paris and be there in no time. It is in Normandy—very authentic, and great for seafood and oysters, of course.

Who do you bring with you when you travel?
My boyfriend and a group of great friends. They are the funniest people, and the smartest, too. They are easy to spend time with and are always in a good mood.

What do you like to cook in the summer?
Pasta with seafood.

Tell us your craziest travel story.
When I was traveling around Mexico with friends, we were driving across the Yucatán and stopped for gas, but my credit cards weren’t working, so the employees from the gas station decided to keep me as a hostage until my friend returned with money! It took them a while to gather the money and come back and all my belongings were in the car, including my phone, papers, and everything else. Waiting there for him to return with gas money seemed like an eternity.

What are some of your favorite discoveries on your travels?
The Cenotes in Mexico, the Scottish landscapes, the beaches of the Caribbean coast, and Costa Rica.

Favorite souvenir?
My favorite souvenirs are not material things, but moments I share with friends. A simple dinner with my best friends is enough to make me happy.

If you could travel the world with someone, who would it be?
My boyfriend, Alfredo Piola. Alfredo is a reportage photographer, and he is a smart traveler who can always be trusted to find the best places. And he’s able to deal with any kind of situation!

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