Arts & Culture

Zadig & Voltaire's Artful Inspirations

Artistic director Cecilia Bönström shares the artists whose creativity inspires her work at the rock 'n' roll fashion house.
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For artistic director Cecilia Bönström, Zadig & Voltaire's brick-and-mortar shops are just as much about the art that awaits inside as they are about the seasonal designs. Having built the brand's universe off its founder (and her husband) Thierry Gillier's legacy of rock 'n' roll and modern femininity, Bönström maintains the liberated French spirit underlying each design while appealing to a global, carefree woman. The fashion and art worlds constantly inform one another, and working perfectly for the brand, France is the world capital of both. Here, the iconoclastic artistic director weighs in on some of her favorite French creatives who fuel her process.


I’d say he is our best French artist and one of the best in the world. I love the way he makes you think about the issues in our lives without judgment. His work is always between “reality” and “fiction.” His film Streamside Day, which he made during his time at the Dia Foundation, touched me a lot, and obviously his retrospective at Centre Pompidou in 2013 was amazing. 


He inspires me because his vision has no limits. He makes films, drawings, installations, and performances, and mixes music and light. His way of transforming things literally blows my mind. He has had the most amazing expositions at the most prestigious locations like Palais de Tokyo, Fondation Beyeler, Tate Modern, and Palazzo Grassi. 


When I discovered Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, who received the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2002, I was so impressed by her intelligence and the way her works feel like they have another dimension. Whether she writes songs or books, or makes a film or an installation, her expression goes way beyond the written word. 


I have always admired him—when I see him dance, it inspires me so much. I learned that he is now exploring photography and filmmaking, which impressed me even more. When you’re a true artist already excelling in one subject, your vision can successfully transfer to other mediums—and Benjamin has exemplified that.


I have to mention her. She inspires me so much. How can you be so poetic and, at the same time, be so strong and monumental?

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