Particulièrement FIERS: a fashion show to boost self-confidence
Marie Bressanges is a 2nd year student in the Grande École program at IÉSEG Lille and has already undertaken several projects. Inspired by her challenging teenage years, she is now fighting to help young people overcome the difficulties they can face, thanks to the association “Particulièrement FIERS”. We spoke with Marie.
Can you tell us where this idea came from?
When I was a teenager, I wore a medical corset to fight a double scoliosis. This corset felt like a shell to me, I was very withdrawn and I remained quite isolated. So, I always had this dream inside of me to create clothes for people wearing a corset, to make them feel better, and at the same time to launch a fashion show to showcase these people. In France, no less than 10,000 young people wear a corset for the first time every year, and I myself, at the time, always wore loose clothing to hide it, which did not help me gain self-confidence. So during my first year of study, I developed an entrepreneurial project to create clothes dedicated to young people wearing a corset. When I entered IÉSEG in my third year, I realized that it was not easy for me to combine my entrepreneurial life with my student life. I therefore decided to turn my business project into an association project, which I named “Particulièrement FIERS”. This association aims to help young people who are going through difficult times on a daily basis. Our first event was a fashion show.
Can you tell us more about “Particulièrement FIERS”?
The association is quite new and is composed of 10 volunteers. Our first event was a fashion show, organized on June 8th, 2022, in Angers, which allowed 30 young people to walk on stage, in order to reveal the personalities and talents of each one. ” Particulièrement FIERS ” wants to give hope to young people by showing them that, even if it is complicated, they can be proud of themselves. These young people have had difficult lives. Some suffer from school bullying, school phobia, some are rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation, some suffer from eating disorders. They are young people to whom it feels good to parade. There was no criteria to participate. The parade was unusual because there was also singing, dancing, testimonies and original creations to highlight the personalities of each person.
In addition, every month, we organize meetings for students in Angers, in order to prevent them from isolating themselves in their suffering, both physical and psychological. Sometimes, we have to redirect people to other associations such as the one dedicated to the fight against school bullying.
Which designers did you collaborate with for this fashion show?
Our goal at the association “Particulièrement FIERS” was to highlight the talents of my home town (Angers). So, we collaborated with students and high school students in fashion school. We also worked with designers from Angers such as Gilles Vivier and Beatrice Dupont, creators of custom-made clothes. In addition, we worked with local stores that lent us their creations such as thrift stores, jewelry stores, stores that rent evening gowns…
What do you plan for the future of “Particulièrement FIERS”?
The idea is to do a fashion show every year. Moreover, we are in contact with the pediatric center of the city of Angers, which has learned about our project, and wishes to collaborate with us to organize a fashion show and meeting times with young people of the center in order to show them that there is always hope and that we can overcome the difficult moments.
What about your future, Marie?
In addition to my future job, I would like to continue to support the association “Particulièrement FIERS”, and maybe even resume my entrepreneurial project that I had at the beginning.
What do your studies at IÉSEG bring to you?
The courses themselves are obviously important, but I think that one should not hesitate to get involved in associations as well. It brings a lot in terms of personal development. I also learned a lot from the marketing courses, especially during oral presentations. I have developed my soft skills enormously thanks to the School. IÉSEG Network also helped me a lot to get advice from former students.
Any words for young people going through a difficult experience like yours?
I often talk about my own experience because 5 years ago, I was unable to communicate with my classmates. Today, I am very comfortable speaking in public. I stepped out of my comfort zone by setting goals, first fairly simple and then higher and higher, in order to overcome my fears, and this gave me confidence. I think it’s important to get out of your comfort zone, even if it’s very difficult. The advice I can give is to take the time and give yourself small challenges in everyday life in order to overcome the obstacles, but not put pressure on yourself.