Claude & Storz are my parents’ last names. I’m the golden & in between them.
I dream of wearing a superhero armor that protects me.
Born in a modest home, I grow up in a rough neighborhood. My playground is a 400 yard long public housing tower block. My home. The best place for playing manhunt with my friends. I learn at a young age how to face my fears. The fear of coming across a junkie in the staircase, the fear of my father. I always carry a fake gun in my pocket when I walk my dog.
School feels like a waste of time. I’m failing and repeating grades.
A grand-aunt dies and my mother inherits what is for us at the time a small fortune. We move to house in a suburban town and my mother buys a horse, the fulfillment of her life. At the end of her workday as a secretary she doesn’t come home anymore. She runs to stay by her living stuffed animal. With my sister, we have the house and the television to ourselves.
A fight between 2 worlds.
In middle school, all I feel is sadness and anger. My school books are filled with tags and drawings. I am caught in a depression. After I fail another schoolyear, my teachers and parents decide to send me to technical school. I feel given up on.
The only one who gets attention in our family is the horse. In my mind horse equals love. I start riding. At the end of each session, an apple awaits the horse. At the end of each session, I eat it. I am jealous of a horse. I want my mother to stop loving her. I train the horse in such a way she builds up muscle and becomes too difficult for my mother to ride. She is scared of her horse. A victory for me but a short one. My mother and I fight, I give up on horseback riding. The horse wins her apple.
I am 16 years old. I want to rewrite my story.
Each Sunday night I daydream in front of a TV show called “Capital”. It’s about success stories of people who never listened when they were told they were nobody. Business geniuses who work hard and fulfill their dreams. This is what I want for myself. Right across the street from my technical school is a high school. It’s filled up with kids coming from a fascinating world. They speak several languages, travel abroad, and their parents drive them to school in the morning. I decide to become the best student in my technical school to show my teachers that I belong in that high school. I succeed and get sent across the street.
Fashion saves me.
A weekend in London, I come across an artist burning, tagging and cutting out through jeans! At first I think he’s crazy, mistreating bran new jeans. I observe him and it starts making sense. His freedom amazes me. His emotions guide him. I understand his vision of beauty. He is transforming a pair of jeans into a work of art. Back home, I settle in my “art studio” -my room in the basement of our house that is only accessible by walking through a storage room- and start working on a raw denim to give myself a unique and strong look. I wear it and all of a sudden people see me differently. And so do I ! At home, my new personality disturbs. I receive a lot of criticism from my father. He tries to break me but the armor I have designed for myself resists even his fists and belts.
Treating others to heal my wounds.
After getting my bachelor’s degree, all I have to make my success story happen are my hands. I put fashion on hold and enroll in osteopathy school. As I do not have the money to pay for my tuition, I offer the headmaster to put me in charge of the communication and development of his clinic in exchange for a free scholarship. He accepts.
Being an osteopath is a therapy. A patient who walks in my practice, must walk out loving me being able to relieve him. I want to be the one who saves, that changes life. I specialize in tendonitis and frozen shoulder. To heal my patients fast I work towards their pain to create movement where their body has frozen. I draw my vital energy from the patient’s pain and mine. The most satisfying is when the pain disappears. I am the starter of these physical and emotional movements. That’s what I treat for! Patients travel from all over the world to come and see me. People cry in my arms, I feel like savior, bringing people to overcome themselves. But in a corner of my heart, fashion awaits.
Polo comes to me.
One evening at an artist’s opening I meet Jerome, a polo player. We immediately become friends. The next day he introduces me to polo. I ride one of his horses and I feel like I’m 7 years old again. The field is my playground, I’m a knight holding a mallet as sword. A 400 yard long chase, speeding on a four-legged racecar, the ground trembling, the players pushing. It’s brutal and exhilarating.
I’m hooked and off to Argentina for a proper training. My first child is conceived there.
Polo inspires me. In between patients I draw armors and have them tailored. Claude & Storz comes alive. One day an agent for artists called Mel walks into my practice. She invites me to discover who I am to understand why I create. I realize that I do everything instinctivly, unable to give any meaning to my choices and desires. With her help, I allow emotions to run through me.
I have the vision of an armor that can change our world.
I create an attire that reflects our personality. Able to defy any situation. By wearing this Claude & Storz second skin, I come over my fears. This armor allows me to reconcile with my past, with my parents. Claude & Storz makes me free and invincible.
Today from my apartment on Paris left bank I see the Seine, the Eiffel Tower and all the monuments of Paris. My playgrounds with my three babies and Zoe my soulmate, the love of my life, are polo fields and the entire world.
For 37 years I have sought my happiness, thanks to Claude & Storz I am living it.