Petit Pont is the brainchild of two Parisian lovers, Jessica Pichet and Jean-Joseph Junior Vital. What began as an idea to construct a range of lifestyle basics three years ago has morphed into the first collection of luxury underwear and jerseys.
Manufacturing entirely in France, the duo made a conscious decision to produce slow fashion, taking care in the small details and ensuring quality materials and craftsmanship.
office put on our best French underwear and sat down with the couple behind Petit Pont to delve into their unique business strategy, the troubles of working as a couple and learn about the first time Jessica saw Jean-Joseph’s underwear.
Who came up with the idea to found Petit Pont?
JJ After my school finished, I had to choose what I wanted to do with my life. That was the point in my life that I began my emancipation. I wanted to impose my own views and my own style onto something.
J For him, Petit Pont is like the construction of a building.
JJ The first step of style is clothing and the infrastructure of the clothes is the underwear.
J Petit Pont is not just a brand for underwear; it’s just the first step. The next collection will be a range of basics.
How do you incorporate sustainable choices in the manufacturing?
JJ Every product we made, we tested. That’s why we started three years ago; we had to have time to test every prototype.
J Two years ago, Jean-Joseph was in Egypt to buy the best cotton for Petit Pont. We take the fabric from there and produce in France with six women. Each product is made here, which is for me the most important thing. It’s authentic.
What inspired the name?
J Petit Pont is French for ‘little bridge.’ It’s actually a term in football for when the ball goes between the legs of a player.
JJ Petit Pont is a little bridge. We’ve made a bridge between all of our friends’ disciplines. We make underwear, but it is also a collaboration with video, photography, graphic design, musicians etc.
How old are the people on the team?
JJ Everyone is under 30 years old. I think this is the age where all our friends want to produce something, because after this age you have children and work constraints.
Is the collection unisex?
J Yes, we would like to show the relationship between a man and a woman. When we started the collection he would try something and then I would try it.
Will you continue to produce unisex clothing?
JJ No, it’s a menswear brand, but I wanted to invite women to be equal in the first collection.
Why is this important for you?
JJ Jessica always steals my underwear and wears them.
J We were thinking it would be the same with most couples. I think women often push men to buy good underwear because the men don’t care about the quality.
JJ That’s why in the look book we have both sexes. We wanted to show the cozy intimacy inside an apartment between a couple.
Is Paris a good city to start a brand?
JJ Somehow it is good because we have support here from friends and family. But it’s difficult if you don’t know the influential people in fashion.
J If you don’t know anyone, people don’t care. When you say, "I know this guy," people become interested.
But you shot with Stas Kalashnikov and Eric Sakai for your lookbook, so it seems you have already tapped into a group of the young influential people in Paris.
J That’s because we go step-by-step. I worked a lot to contact people and explain our concept. When I contact people, it usually works because they can see how excited we are and they believe in the product. It is like our first baby.
Is it difficult working as a couple?
J The most difficult thing at the moment is that we talk all the time about the brand. When we call we only talk about the brand.
JJ It’s always like ‘I love you but don’t forget to do this!’
What was the first pair of underwear you can remember owning?
JJ You know power rangers?
J Actually, the first time I slept at his home he said that he had prepared the best sheets for the bed and I walked in and it was power rangers! So romantic…
JJ It was a test, which I guess worked because you stayed with me.
What motivates you?
JJ I don’t want to work for another brand, I want to be able to impose my style and my vision.
J I’m really determined to work by myself, to show what I can do and to construct my own life. I know so many people who work so well and I want to be able to connect them, and have them work on our brand.
JJ I want to create something stable to be able to have a basis that I can build on top of and create my life with her.