LOUISE

 

As either a face of the Paco Rabanne x Peter Saville capsule collection, consultant, coordinator or Chentertainment event organizer, Louise organizes her schedule around her Dynamo cycling, pilates, swiss ball, ballet or vinyasa flow.

 

Vêtements: Nike. All Images by Corinne Stoll.

A relationship to exercise that is therapeutic, providing her with energy, efficiency and confidence...

 

Inside/Out: What is the first sport you played?
Louise: Ballet. My mother had practiced ballet for years and since I was 2 years old had me doing pliés! She worked on my posture. Her biggest fear was that I would grow up with my feet turned in.

I/O: An emblematic sports figure?
L: When I was younger my dream was to ice skate at an Olympic level! During the time of Surya Bonaly, Nancy Karrigan and Lu Chen. Then in 98’ I fell in love with Thierry Henry and began to be in total admiration of Zidane. And had my heart broken in 2006 after Zidane’s head butt.

I/O: Does leaving your comfort zone during your physical trainings award you with the mental strength to deal with day-to-day challenges?
L: Moving my body has become a daily necessity for me. I need those moments of physical effort to recenter and create mental space. When I push myself past my comfort zone I am miserable in the beginning with fear of not succeeding but very often I am pleasantly surprised! Sports provide self-confidence, allow me to overcome insecurities, and push my capabilities farther than I thought possible.

The ability to connect my spirit and body by exercise helps me develop my ideas, to try to connect the mental to the physical.
— Louise Chen

I/O: How do you find your work life balance and personal fulfillment?
L: Exercise gives my day structure. I organize my meetings, hours of brainstorm around my physical activities. I have the most energy during the week and while I exercise it is as if I am investing this energy back towards me. Exercising allows me to reinforce my strength and especially allows for me to focus, be more efficient in my work. And then there is also the social element that I really enjoy. Exercising alone, in my thoughts, all awhile being surrounded. Through cycling for example I have made connections without ever having to have a coffee but rather by being side by side sweating. Those shared moments connect us naturally. I enjoy this. Three years ago, because of working nights and traveling, I found myself out of rhythm and having a harder time recovering. Taking back up exercise, first pilates, put me back in order and gave me self-confidence. The ability to connect my spirit and body by exercise helps me develop my ideas, to try to connect the mental to the physical.

I/O: A mantra?
L:
 It is a bit nerdy but Nothing is lost, nothing is created, all is transforming. It relieves my guilt for when I eat ice cream, skip a class or during work when I have the impression I have failed, I tell myself with a little patience I can transform a failure.

It is important to feel comfortable in one’s skin and clothes. Today we are looking to balance our self-expression through our attire, its comfort and the freedom of movement.
— Louise Chen

I/O: How would you describe the Parisian relationship to exercise or well-being?
L:  That’s hard, everyone has their own relationship with physical exercise but perhaps in Paris we consider exercise as a treat, meaning we seek it for our bodies well being, to reserve a moment for ourselves, rather than to be in competition or driven by performance. For me anyways, exercise is not separated from the rest of my life, I have a holistic vision of well being, it is a question of balance and to listen to your inner voice.  

I/O: Has the attitude towards exercise changed in Paris over the last few years?
L: Yes! Sports and exercise are everywhere! We openly talk about what we are practicing, exchange advice, addresses, we even post ourselves on Instagram. It has become fashionable to take care of one’s body. Whether it is through exercise or by our diet, it is all positive!

I/O: And sportswear’s relationship with fashion?
L: In my perspective the barriers between sportswear, streetwear, men’s fashion, women’s fashion and luxury are increasingly obsolete. In daily life, functional fabric is being mixed with luxury fabric, leggings are worn with loafers, hoodies are being sold for 900 Euros. Sportswear brands are collaborating with designers like Stella McCartney, Sacai, Olivier Rousteing, Ricardo Tisci…I particularly love the collaboration between Nike and Sacai, from which I often where the sweaters pleated in the back. The search for comfort does not just stop at our pajamas and sportswear, but also in what we choose to wear for work or during the evening. It is important to feel comfortable in one’s skin and clothes. Today we are looking to balance our self-expression through our attire, its comfort and the freedom of movement.

 

I/O: Your favorite sports outfit?
L: Black leggings, we haven’t yet done better.

I/O: Your favorite sports or athleisure brands?
L: As a good baby from 1986, I am loyal to Nike. I love the Nike Lab boutique in the Marais and also the one on Mercer Street in NYC. I also like the Repetto boutique next to Opera Garnier. Regardless of having grown up, the world of ballet still makes me dream and I where leotards to mix at events! And my friend Adrienne Ho’s clothing line who creates amazing bras and sells vintage hip hop t-shirts on Sweatthestyle.com

I/O: A tip for well being or a must-have exercise product? 
L: Drink a lot water! A year and a half ago I stopped eating sugar (but I still eat pizza!) Since I have more energy, better looking skin, a better mood, no more stomach pains. Truly a revelation, life without sugar!

 

 

I/O: Dressed in black from head to toe or color?
L: I love color for bras, tennis shoes, socks, bathing suits etc. But for leggings, I prefer black, left over from my dance training, modern jazz at the conservatory, where black was uniform.

I/O: A fitness or well being travel destination you wish to visit?
L: I would love to bring my mom to Ubud in Bali to practice yoga, surf and trek. I found a hotel that looks incredible: Uma Ubud by Como hotels.

I/O: Does music play a roll in your choice of activity?
L: Well it depends, for yoga, pilates I need the teacher’s voice more than the music. For everything cardio, yes I need music. For Dynamo cycling, I am addicted to the classes taught by Clothilde Chaument who puts us in the mood with hip-hop R&B playlists we don’t notice the time go by with her selection. 

I/O: Do you feel that women support themselves more today and excel together?
L: I dream of a new feminism! I think today there are as many feminist as there are women! But it is true that in sports we find a union. Before, during and after Dynamo cycling sessions I witnessed a lot of feminine solidarity: smiles, support and even job prospects. I think when we each unveil our vulnerability on the bike, we are able to communicate without words. Thus it is as if we are a part of a club, it’s a nice feeling.

 I/O: Do sports give you the sense of being a part of a community?
L:  Totally. When I travel I continue to practice. For example I will be in New York for 4 days and I am already registered for a Soul Cycle and Pilates Machines class!   

 


TIPS AND ADDRESSES


1 advice for obtaining the greatest improvement in one’s training: Find your well being formula. Remain realistic and set objectives that are attainable. It is by moving a little every day or incorporating an activity that brings us joy and benefit that we improve. For example I know there is a gym near me, however the chances that I go are low. I prefer to exercise in the morning rather than at night.
1 coach: Clotilde Chaumet from Dynamo Cycling, She also teaches yoga that are amazing after an intense cycle. For Pilates Machine I am a fan of the advanced classes taught by Cyril at Qee Paris and Jean-Laurent’s classes.
1 podcast: Resident Advisor. The one by Red Gret is amazing, full of soul and disco.
1 application: "Moves" to count your daily steps.
1 website: sweatthestyle.com and rfhb.com.au for sugar free recipes
1 restaurant address: L’Orient d’Or – the Chinese restaurant where I eat the most vegetables!
1 beverage: Oolong iced tea (without sugar).
1 series: The documentary series Chef’s Table on Netflix and in particular the episode on the Brazilian chef Alex Atala.
1 person we should interview: Adrianne Ho (@Adrianneho), in Los Angeles.