Filles a Papa, A Seven Year Itch

17.05.2016 - Dries Tack

They may have launched their label back in 2009, but for Carol and Sarah Piron, the two sisters behind the Filles a Papa (FAP) label, things really got off the ground four years ago. "Before then, it was more of a period of reflection," they pointed out during an inspiring and uninhibited chat, two adjectives that also sum them up nicely.

FAP Collection

May 2016. Sarah and Carol Piron are putting the final touches to the launch of a new version of their website. This isn’t the first overhaul of their digital presence with a refocus to ensure that the images and sound reflect current trends. While these Liege-born sisters may not be the type to mention trendy bands, movies or cities to explain recognisable influence in their collections, Filles a Papa remains a label with its finger firmly on the pulse. Carol Piron: "Season after season, we set out to create an uninhibited collection where each piece has its place. FAP is a label with a truly nineties vibe (Carole and Sarah are respectively 31 and 30 years old - ed.) aimed at multifaceted girls who love to combine opposites and mix styles. Our swimsuits, for example, are designed as clothes in their own right that can even be worn for a night out."

FAP Collection

Jewellery and pre-collection


The "chain" swimsuits from the summer 2016 collection are created around the idea of jewellery. But the next Filles a Papa beachwear collection will further explore this approach to the luxury bathing suit. Carol Piron: "So far we have worked with the Belgian company Agiva to make this part of the collection. For us, it was important to keep this Belgian dimension, even if the price is inevitably higher than in other markets. Next November, we’ll be launching a capsule wardrobe focused on swimsuits that are even more "jewellery" inspired. It can be regarded as a cruise collection or simply as a way to meet the demand of markets that want to renew stock their stores in the run-up to the arrival of the summer collection. Today we are in the development phase in the US. Over there, stores want new products every two or three months. This retailing approach is a new business model that I’m sure will soon be landing in Europe."

FAP Collection

Market shift


Filles a Papa is a cutting-edge brand: incisive and sexy, but never vulgar. A label that is a must in the trendiest multi-brand stores in the world while cultivating a casual kind of attitude. This nonchalance is only a stylistic effect, however, serving a sophisticated coolness, the label’s DNA, as a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes. Carol Piron: "Our current branding has evolved considerably over time. In seven years, the way we create has changed and we have also made great strides forward in terms of quality. Today, there is a market shift and FAP is experiencing strong growth, so it was important to reorganise the business and surround ourselves with the right people. Last September, we decided to reorganise our team and hire a sales manager to firm up our presence in our key markets: the United Kingdom, Italy, the US and Asia."

FAP Collection

Love, always


This restructuring was triggered by a desire to grow, but also to find time for pure creativity. Carol Piron: "We felt the need to shed some tasks to return to the pleasure of creating. We want to continue to come up with rare, exclusive products, produced ethically, in small series. Recently, we travelled to India to meet those in charge of the embroidery workshops that carry out our sequin work." In 2017, Carol and Sarah Piron would like to swap their collection presentation for a fully-fledged catwalk show, a way of further boosting their credibility on the international fashion scene. But, before that, at the next fashion week, they will be unveiling a series of leather pieces. Carol Piron: "Bags and computer bags, especially. We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but we had to find the workshop that would understand and produce our idea. To grow and move forward, sometimes you have to say 'stop', think and enlist help. For example, that is what we have done by choosing, four years ago, to work permanently with Gregory Derkenne, the photographer who has been shooting our campaigns from the launch of the brand. Today, the FAP identity is the fruit of our efforts as a trio." A creative exchange driven by complementary skills and one that most definitely strikes a chord.

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Photos © Filles a Papa

Marie Honnay




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