The Way We Play
Cecilia Bönström

Cecilia Bönström


Cecilia Bönström is creative director at Zadig & Voltaire. She lives with her husband and kids Victor, 16, Nils, 14, Emil, 5, and Maron, 16, in Paris. We visited her and Emil at the Zadig & Voltaire office in Paris. Thank you Cecilia for the lovely visit!

Photo: Linda Alfvegren/Agent Bauer

Cecilia Bönström

 

What’s life in Paris like with kids?

– Paris is the only city that I have ever lived in with children so I can only say that Paris is a great city for bringing up ”my” children. It is a big city but it works like a village. There are parks everywhere and the public schools are really good. And there are tennis schools, pools, dancing lessons in every area. And so easy to drive 1-2 Hours out to the country side on the weekends.

What inspires you?

– I love observing people in the street , I always find details and ideas that way, Instagram, reading art books , looking at men’s shows, and listening to Sia.

 

Cecilia Bönström

 

Tell us about your work.

– My title is creative director of Zadig & Voltaire. So my job is to steer the direction of each collection. I direct each stylist, wether its knitwear, t-shirts, bags, dresses or shoes. I decide which shapes, which material, which colour and the details of embellishments, buttons etc.

My favourite part about my job would be each new season, the beginning, when I start to create the collection. To touch and choose all the fabrics and then imagine each shape and piece. It is a lot of excitement.

When are you truly happy?

– Happiness for me is when you’re doing nothing (even if you are alone) and you can feel the happiness of just existing. I love to find moments when there is no stress around me, or when I’m not expected anywhere, so I just can enjoy that precise moment. But if I have to choose one precise thing, it would be when my third son, whose four years old, falls asleep on me, sighing, ‘ohhhh maman que je t’aime’. I can’t think of a more powerful moment.

 

Cecilia Bönström

 

What do you fear?

– For me personally I don’t really fear anything. But I always fear leaving my children alone if anything happens to me.. And I also fear that my boys will not find a passion that will fulfill them in their lives… Because I think a man will only stay happy and sure of himself if he finds a job that he loves.

What would you say if you got to meet your 16-year-old self?

– I would say, never be afraid of being alone.

 

Cecilia Bönström

 

What do you miss the most about Sweden?

– What I miss most about Gothenburg, is my childhood, feeling so protected. I wish all children could live like that. Amazing schools with a great teachers, without too much pressure. A sense of having equal chance for everybody like it’s up to you if you want to work hard or not. I also miss the natural beauty of the sea. Biking from school to meet up with your family at the beach before doing your homework.

Favorite things in life?

– To enjoy a quiet, long moment with each one of my boys. I also love to do sports and listen to music. It takes away all my stress and gives me a good energy and new ideas. I love being in my house at the country side, in Normandy, hanging out with friends, or spending late nights when everybody is a sleep, on MyTheresa or Net-a-porter… surfing and finding great pieces.

What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned from your kids?

– What did I learn from my children? Apart from liking football?!! Just kidding! I would say they have taught me to enjoy the moment more and to stress less

 

Cecilia Bönström

 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a mom?

– The best advice I ever got is to never feel guilty of what you do, but realize that you are actually trying your best.

What’s the hardest part of being a mom?

– The hardest is to accept that we are not all the same. And that even if you are the mother, you do not automatically have the same interests. And at the same time to be patient when bringing up three boys.

What’s your favorite thing to do on a saturday off?

– To have no obligations and stay in bed as long as possible reading magazines.

 

Cecilia Bönström

 

Favorite place?

– Stockholm. Cause it’s in my home country. I love the beauty of this city and the ocean around it. The strength and the simplicity in the people living there. Great shopping and cool restaurants. It’s a great place for me to relax.

Who were you at school?

– In school, I was someone responsible and optimistic. I loved being with my friends but I was also very concentrated on being the best in every subject… Don’t ask me why, but it was a natural thing for me. It was a motor, I just could not imagine not giving everything. So… a very happy person, but very focused…

Where do you see yourself in five years?

– In five years, I hope I would feel that I have accomplished what I started for Zadig & Voltaire. And that I would have become a more ‘spiritual’ person, having more time and patience in what I am doing and being a true partner in my children’s life more than a ‘running off to work’ mother. ☮