A Moment with Pati

Posted on November 16 2016

-
-
Pati, we know you arrived in St Barth in 1983.
What were you looking for when you came to the island, and what made you fall in love and finally stay in Saint Barth? 
 
I was looking for paradise, and as any young person, I was also in search of love, a good life, and a soil where my hopes could grow.
After 3 years of travelling around the world, I was happy to find a “French home away from home”. I met a lot of young people living a life full of freedom in St Barth. Everything was perfect, the sun, the beaches, the sea… a barefoot life…. You could drive a motorbike without a helmet, drive off on the runway under a full moon, swim naked at the beach. On the week-end, we would sail to Tintamarre, a tiny deserted island, catch our fish and make a huge BBQ, play music and dance under the stars. It sounds like a cliché but it was our reality…
                                                                                                             
Everything was possible. You could easily make a living from you skills. St Barth wasn’t the popular destination it is today, and there was room to create and build. Like a blank canvas waiting to be painted. 
-
-
You have created a fashion brand with an iconic logo, ST BARTH FRENCH WEST INDIES, but before being a designer, you are first and foremost an artist.
How did you come about your infamous logo artistically speaking? What inspired you?
 
I was trying to create a signature, something simple and pure which would just embody St Barth at a glance: An island in the middle of the sea enclosed in a square.
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
You are Pati de St Barth, which means you're own personal identity is so closely interwoven with the island. Everyone in St Barth knows who Pati is.
What is a typical day in St Barth off - season for you? 
 
I often wake up early, when the dark sky is turning pink. I eat a bowl of fruit, grains and rice milk. I go for a walk around “la pointe Milou”. After I drop my kids off at school, I go for a swim at Pelican Beach. I then spend some time in my tiny studio and paint. By afternoon, I can be found above the Gustavia store with Marine, as we work on the latest collection, mostly made in Peru, while François my husband is taking care of the business side of things . Loula my daughter finishes school around 4pm. I spend some time with her, playing with JiJi our little dog and our cats. We make cookies, and miniature Fimo food. We then Skype with our son Cristo, now studying in Canada. We feed the wild turtles in the garden, and sometimes an iguana. We put sugar in hanging plates for the hummingbirds and other island birds. The fisherman brings me some fresh “mahi mahi” that he has just caught. We have a family diner by the terrace overlooking the sea, a tropical food menu: plantain, sweet potatoes, mangos, etc…I then usually curl up with a book. I love reading, so I don’t fall asleep before midnight.
-
- 
Is there a specific woman or man that you have in mind when you design your collections?
If you could dress one iconic woman or man in your brand who has yet to discover your clothes, who would they be?
 
It would have to be what I call “easy living people”, those with a simple elegance, a little wildness and a touch of sexiness. I imagine somebody free, with fragile skin heated by the sun, and therefore the fabric has to be very soft and comfortable. I would be honored if someone like Vanessa Paradis, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Pierre Niney or Leonardo Di Caprio would wear pati de st barth.
--
--
-A Painting by Pati


--
-
Which is your favorite color combination for your simple T-shirt with the logo imprinted on it?
Do you have a favorite one for your husband and for your kids? 
 
White on black, and black on white for the whole family. 
-
When you aren't painting or at your boutique, you can usually be found ________________?
 
At home with my kids, at La Plage de Saline, at a class of Feldenkrais, having lunch with good friends, or maybe sailing….
-
-
-
-
Loula, Pati's daughter, in the family home.
 
-
-
-
-
Is there ever a time where you long for the sounds and sights of an urban environment? What is your favorite city?
 
St Barth is so small, you know everybody… you can easily feel trapped and become a little crazy if you don’t leave the island once in a while. I love to go to cities like L.A., Montreal, New York, Paris, to fill my brain and my spirit with culture, energy, and fast life. Not to forget, shopping! On those escapes, I like to sit at a café terrace, look at people rushing around, as though I were sitting at a carousel. I enjoy the feeling of being a stranger… Nobody knows me, and I know nobody. Freedom! But what I enjoy the most is the feeling I have upon my return, when I see this beautiful tiny island floating in that pristine sea from above… I feel my heart swell with happiness and I say to myself: I’m home!
-
-
What special essence of St Barth do you feel the rest of the world could use more of? 
 
With no doubt: Empathy. In St Barth people stand up for one another. Friendships have no boundaries. You can be friends with anybody: a movie star, a fisherman, a plumber, a teacher, a banker… It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, it’s the person you really are that counts. And this is a precious quality for the rest of the world. 
 
-
-
-
-