Mat de Misaine’s head of export Simone Meyer chats to Karen Radley for our latest “My Neighbourhood ” Interviews


What is your fashion background:

I have 18 years of experience as head of international sales.

I started with Catherine André, a high end knit wear label and since 2015, I am developing the international business for Mat de Misaine.

I love my job, however initially I have no Fashion backround…! After my studies of political science in Germany, I met my partner and followed him to France – typical story…!

I had to start something new, reinvent myself and got a chance in a Fashion company.


Tell me about Mat de Misaine:

Mat de Misaine is a marine-style clothing inspired by the Atlantic Ocean.

Founded in 1989, in Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie in Vendée, a famous fishing port and seaside destination on the French Atlantic coast, Mat de Misaine continues to offer clothing collections that navigate between sea and fashion.


Favourite neighbourhood in St Gilles Croix de Vie:

Take a look at the port for sailing, either for boats passing through or as a home port. It is also a significant fishing port specialized in sardines and shrimp. Take a stroll along the docks, get some fresh air on the beach, or go and explore the historic areas of the town.


Favourite place for brunch:

The “Theo Spot” I definitely fell in love with this bar with seaside architecture from the beginning of the 19th century, located at the foot of Grande-Plage, offering a view overlooking the ocean. Very coveted location! From the first rays of the sun, you will have to jostle for elbow room on the pretty terrace with furniture made of wooden pallets, because the crowds flock to this trendy place. Inside, exposed stone walls, wooden framework, and reclaimed furniture, create a warm look especially when together with friends meeting over a cocktail or on the occasion to listen to one of the concerts.


Best coffee in St Gilles Croix de Vie:



Favourite gallery or museum: 

St Gilles Croix de Vie has been classified as a seaside resort since 1982. I reserve galleries and museums when travelling. Here in St Gilles you have to visit The Grand Phare (great lighthouse) which was built in 1875 and is 17 meters high. The light is aligned with that of the Adon lighthouse and it is still used by sailors today, to guide them as they sail into the harbor.


Tell us a secret: 

I like keeping secrets! You tell me a secret, you can be sure that I will not reveal it.


Favourite place to shop: 

Violette et Moi. Independent retail shop in St Gilles with a great selection of French creative brands.


Favourite place to find inspiration: 

The “plage de boisvinet” is a very “chic” beach. You can watch the boats coming in and out of the harbour between the jetties. From this beach, you can then walk along the Corniche Vendéenne (Vendée headland), a classified site since 1926. There is a superb coastal path along the jagged cliffs.


Best St Gilles Croix de Vie destination for a date:

“Le Pilours “

Located on a scenic point of land just above the sea (the Corniche),the Pilours combines a refined interior extensive outdoor terrace. An exquisite spot overlooking the roaring sea.

Outstanding view, great food and wine- perfect for a date.


Favourite Park: 

I have to mention of course the famous theme park “Pyu du Fou” telling the story of our Vendée region. The latest creation of the Vendée theme park, “Le Mime et l'Étoile”, was rewarded with one of the most prestigious prizes in the profession this Saturday March 16th, in Los Angeles.


Favourite food market: 

If you want to discover the local specialties of the Pays de Saint Gilles Croix de Vie and consume products from local producers, throughout the year, every Wednesday and Friday you have a fantastic market around the church area of St Gilles.


Your sanctuary in your neighbourhood: 

Oh, no hesitation: the island of Noirmoutier.

With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Bourgneuf Bay on the other, a forest of large maritime pines and a strip of dunes run along fine and famous sandy beaches.

At the famous beach “bois de la chaise” you find small, sheltered coves open to the Bay of Bourgneuf. Bordered by majestic villas and thanks to its famous bathing cabins, it’s the most characteristic place of the Island of Noirmoutier-en-l’Île. The painter Auguste Renoir was won over by this inspired, inspiring place.


What inspires you:

I find a lot of inspiration when I am travelling during the order season. I never had a season without meeting inspiring people somewhere at an airport, on a show, in a restaurant.

Travelling alone is a great opportunity to meet new people with different point of views and from different backgrounds and all kind of passions. Great opportunity as well to visit exhibitions and galleries.

Music is also very inspiring for me.


This season I’m loving:

My favourite outfit of the season:

Tone in tone linen top and trouser in natural colours. Perfect for a walk on the beaches of St Gilles, having a glass of wine on a sunny terrace after work or for travelling.