Tartine & Chocolat
For almost 40 years, Tartine et Chocolat has provided us with the perfect finishing touches to our children’s bedrooms. Created in 1977 by Catherine Painvin, the brand quickly became a timeless classic, known for its clothing as much as for its soft toys (including the famous Leon the Hedgehog) and perfume. Its visual and emotive identity takes users, from generation to generation, back to their childhood. These are the emotions that Emilie Zannier was anxious to preserve. She greets us in the brand’s emblematic offices, situated in the Saint Germain district of Paris. Open since 1955 and entirely redesigned by the interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon, they provide the perfect setting for a trip down memory lane.
H OW WA S TA R T I N E E T C H O CO L AT B O R N? Catherine Painvin, the founder, had enormous amounts of energ y and willpower. She hadn’t yet turned 30 when she created the brand. She was recently divorced and had to take care of her three children, while managing the company at the same time. Very pioneering for this time! During transmissions of President Kennedy’s funeral, she observed children in their stylish little coats and realised that, at that time in France, there weren’t any refined brands dedicated to children. This was her lightbulb moment. She then spent a summer in the US so that she could get a feel for Anglo-Saxon style. WHERE DOES THE NAME COME FROM?
would all be together, it made sense to use this name for the brand. W H Y D O Y O U T H I N K T H AT T H E B R A N D W A S S U C H A N I M M E D I AT E S U C C E S S ? Catherine was a visionary in her decision to bring together multiple products other than just textiles. This was quite unique for the time. From the beginning, she offered childcare items and met with Givenchy to create the perfume, she created soft toys including Leon the Hedgehog. In fact, I believe she always envisioned a global brand and not just a simple clothing line. Today, the soft toys and the perfume are just as well known as the clothes. W H AT WA S YO U R AIM WHEN YO U
Her children used to call her “tartine” and their stepfather “chocolat” and, as snack time was a magical moment for them where they
BOUGHT THE BR AND IN 20 0 4? Like everyone, I thought that the brand was