Marie Lockhart Got Discovered by Drake & Blew Up Overnight

Marie Lockhart has got it all: looks, style, talent, and this unique cool factor only French women have.

To make her story even more magical, she blew up overnight when Drake discovered her embroidery. Since then, Vogue, Stella McCartney and Christian Dior (to name a few!) followed this self-starter embroiderer.

During our inspirational chat for Galore, Marie talked about her unusual career path, love for making things and the importance of good croissants.

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What’s your background?

I grew up in not-so-nice suburbs right outside of Paris. I studied business and law, but I quickly realized that I couldn’t fit within the corporate environment. Plus, I hated wearing a suit, so I said “goodbye” and booked a ticket to go to Australia for one year. That was the beginning of all my trouble.

How did you get into fashion?

Eventually, I went back to Paris, where I work at Colette, this concept store kind of like Opening Ceremony. It was fun, but I got bored working in retail. I started living off of my backpack, doing odd jobs while traveling, like fruit picking or waiting tables. I ended up coming to New York for vacation, fell in love, met my husband and have been here for five years!

How did you start your journey with embroidery?

I used to collect vintage patches and put them on my bags and clothes. Then, I decided to draw my designs. It doesn’t cost anything: all you need is a needle and a pair of scissors. I figured that the embroidery could be a replacement for someone who doesn’t want to get a tattoo. I started doing patches for my friends and trading them for poems.

How did your career take off?

Well… Drake happened. At the time, I was working at a restaurant. One time after work, a friend and I took a cab back home. In the cab, we heard “How About Now” by Drake. I became obsessed with the album and its cover: an image of praying hands. I did an embroidery of that drawing on the back of my jeans and one night I tagged Drake on Instagram as a joke. I woke up the next day, but my phone was dead. It turned out that at night, Drake tagged me on his Instagram, and so many people started following me that my phone crashed!

Just like that?

Not quite. I messaged Drake, “Hey man, I don’t know what’s going on, but I just wanted to thank you” and then, he responded (!), “It’s all right. I’d love for you to make clothes for me. Here’s my number, text me. Enjoy your day.” Hell yeah, I’m going to enjoy my day! Finally, he came to New York and dropped his clothes off [to be embroidered] at my work. I was sure he would send a stylist, but then I saw four SUVs and five bodyguards… and Drake himself! So we had a few drinks together!

And then?

Department stores, like Selfridges, Browns, and Barney’s Japan contacted me. Then, I got contacted by Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Christian Dior, Sandro, and Superga. I also did pants for Rihanna and a jacket or Beyoncé and got to work for the Bob Marley family in LA. I get to choose who I want to work with, but I also worked very hard.

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What’s your creative process?

In the morning, when I wake up, I perform puja: burn incenses, pray, and meditate. I check my emails and reply to people. I make myself some coffee and get a chocolate croissant. I come back to work on my embroidery. I have freedom in my projects: I do what I want, and I love what I’m doing.

Do you know a good croissant place in New York?

Ceci Cela on Spring and Lafayette. I’m a bread monster. I couldn’t live without bread or cake!

What inspires you?

Beautiful movies and music. Light and color, because they change the way you look at things. When I was traveling in Europe and Morocco, I was doing my embroidery. I’m happy; this is… the life that I dreamed of.

Plans and what are you working on?

Maybe moving out of New York, but not too far. Embroidery is just one thing that I do. I want to make things, like cooking, taking care of my little garden; creating by hand is beautiful!

What’s your advice for other women afraid to pursue their dreams?

Listen to Alan Watts.

Photos by James Parker | Marie Lockhart


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