Gaux Girl - Indré Rockefeller2019-01-06
Indré Rockefeller’s CV reads like a list of tony entries: A former professional ballerina, she held roles at Vogue, Delpozo, and Moda Operandi before launching Paravel, a line devoted to the chic sophisticates who count globetrotting as a hobby. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that sterling resume came without buckets of hard work, though.
While she’s an undeniable street-style favorite, her professional roles haven’t shied away from the nuts-and-bolts side of things. As the creative director of trunkshows at Moda, she was tasked with overseeing the synchronicity between runway shows and the site’s see-now-buy-now format. Later as the U.S. president of Delpozo, her role focused on growing the brand’s business stateside.
Her latest venture has her piloting her own ship, an apt metaphor due to Paravel’s focus on bringing the elegance back to packing. We caught up with Indré to discuss what she’s learned along the way and how being a (well-packed) girl on the gaux is so important.
When did you realize there was a space in the market for a brand like Paravel?
Before launching Paravel, I was always on the road for work, both in my roles at Moda Operandi and at Delpozo. I began searching for luggage that was beautiful AND functional and perhaps most importantly, versatile enough that I could carry it from the airport to a lunch meeting without it announcing on my behalf “I JUST CAME FROM THE AIRPORT.” I began asking friends what they love traveling with that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The answer I was consistently getting was “please let me know when you find this luggage you’re describing.” With that, I decided to stop looking and start making. My Co-Founder and I set out to create luggage that isn’t an afterthought, but rather serves as an extension of our everyday lives, that stands up to everyday pressures while meeting the highest standards for quality and design.
You’ve had a couple of experiences launching new businesses - What advice would you give to someone with an idea they want to bring to life?
Don’t be afraid to fail because you will and because the most important breakthroughs come after moments of failure.
Air travel has moved a mile away from the glamour of the original jetset era - How do you think people can inject some of that elegance back into the act of traveling?
Avoid checking bags and challenge yourself to remain curious.
Ballet was a hugely important part of your life - what are some of the lifelong lessons you learned at the barre?
A career in ballet taught me that rewards are never instantaneous and there is no such thing as “perfect” - it’s always a work in progress.
You’ve gone to business school at Stanford and worked for Anna Wintour - What were lessons you learned from each?
Stanford Business School is a very entrepreneurial community, especially given it’s located in the heart of Silicon Valley. I went in thinking I was here to master classes like Finance, Accounting, and Statistics, but in fact, the greatest lessons I took away were how to work outside my comfort zone, banish my fear of failure, and think big.
In going to working at Vogue under Anna Wintour, I was expecting to learn about design and fashion, and while I certainly did, my biggest lessons were around the importance of storytelling, the value of a strong brand, and the power of unwavering focus.
What are your top 3 travel tips?
- Avoid checking bags at all costs
- Throw in an extra bag for the return trip home to bring back any new goodies or simply because by packing law it’s harder to zip a bag closed the second time around. I always toss in a lightweight Paravel Fold-Up Duffel that folds down into a neat little pouch.
- Organize and make space in your luggage with packing cubes. I don’t go anywhere without my Paravel packing cube trio.
What are some of the favorite spots you’ve traveled to? Where do you still want to go?
The most amazing places I’ve visited are Antarctica; Petra, Jordan; and Cape Town, South Africa. Top of my bucket list is Jaipur, India.
What is your typical work day uniform?
Khaite jeans, an equipment button-down shirt, and a blazer.
What does being a girl on the gaux mean to you?
It means being curious, adventurous, and bold.
Photos by Kirsten Francis for Margaux