Every story has a story. And my window displays have one. Funny, comical, just like the rest. When I decided to take charge of my brand and open my own shop in 2013, I didn't have a penny left over to finish my storefront the way I wanted.
I would have loved an Old Las Vegas-style neon sign announcing our presence. But that wasn't possible. So here we are, with no signage whatsoever, and in the end I'm happy with the anonymity. No need to make the street look ugly. And as the weeks went by, after some thought, I decided to take the concept a step further. Instead of just displaying shoes in the window, I want to offer the girls who cross the threshold the chance to do so through another universe. The world of toys, films and fantasy. All I had to do was find the right people to stage my desire to surprise. Thomas and Anne Baudeau are the two artists in charge of this invitation to travel.
Anne, Thomas, how did you start working together?
Anne : We didn't set out to work together. It just happened naturally. In fact, Thomas and I went to the same school. The National School of Industrial Design. Thomas: As soon as I saw Anne, I fell head over heels in love. But I didn't know how to talk to her without her seeing me coming from miles away. I didn't want to mess up. I signed up for the same courses, the same practical work, the same groups, the same projects. But, strangely, she didn't notice me until I crashed my scooter on a patch of black ice right in front of the school gate. Anne : I hadn't noticed Thomas, that's true. We'd been sharing the same class for over a year. When he slipped on the pavement, I thought he was a stuntman, but he certainly wasn't a classmate. Everybody meets by accident.
And did you start designing shop windows when you left school?
Anne : No. I started by making instruments. My father was a conductor. When I was little, I invented a whole bunch of Boris Vian instruments. As my father used to say, the only limit is your imagination. I sold some of my inventions to Rémy Bricka. Enough to live on for a few months.Thomas: I played in a band for a long time. Double bass. I had my little success. But that didn't impress my future father-in-law very much. And I was living at night, it was a good time but incompatible with a life as a couple. So I quickly went back to my first passion, automata. I started to build these crazy things that would reach heights of around ten metres. Living in a tiny studio apartment, I found it hard to work on them.
Is that when you decided to open your wonderful toy shop?
Anne: Pretty much, yes. Although a lot of other things happened in the meantime. We had children. Thomas : We just wanted to share this wonderful thing with people. Paris had been emptied of its precious toy shops. There were only chain shops left, and even then, the art of toys had disappeared. The art of the toy had disappeared in favour of tablets on the one hand, and shops for thirty-somethings on the other, as if there were no children left in the cities. The ugly toy was favoured, the mass-produced, abominable stuff. So Anne and I decided to offer an alternative and make children and parents dream by proposing toys that respect their intelligence. And we wanted to work as a family.
And it was pure chance that led me to you, because I was looking for a new toy for myself, and when I discovered your shop and your world, I immediately thought of transposing some of your marvellous ideas to my home. I was immediately seduced by your world and your desire, above all, not to be like everyone else, not to offer the same things that have been seen and re-seen on every street corner. You are real artists, passionate people with whom I enjoy working and sharing.Filaments - 10 rue Lesdiguières 75004 Paris