At 32, Parisienne Gabrielle Caunesil has already made a name for herself — not only as a French model, influencer, and founder of sustainable fashion brand La Semaine Paris, but as someone who doesn’t shy away from discussing life’s unfiltered moments. The entrepreneur and Sunday Riley fan has been open about her fertility struggles, eventual pregnancy, and foray into motherhood amid an endometriosis diagnosis. “We don’t have a cure for [endometriosis],” Caunseil tells the Sunday Edit. “That was the reason that pushed me to open up about a situation that was really painful, while I was living it, to raise awareness and hopefully help other women to feel less alone, and to be able to identify symptoms.”
Keep reading to learn more about the sartorial powerhouse, from her go-to style and beauty staples to her life as a new mom.
You were diagnosed with endometriosis two years ago, and had to go through surgery. How are you doing and feeling now?
“Two years ago while I was checking on some fertility problems I was diagnosed with endometriosis but also a suspect tumor on the ovary; it was five days before my 30th birthday. A few months later and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, I got the tumor — that was thankfully benign — removed. I always suffered each month during my period but over the past year, before I got diagnosed, I experienced pain every single day. I was supposed to have surgery but then I became pregnant a few months after that. It’s been over a year since I gave birth and unfortunately the pain is coming back, so I will have to go through another check-up to see what’s going on with the situation.”
You’ve been so open about the journey. What compelled you to do so?
“I have been open about my fertility problem and endometriosis because when I got diagnosed two years ago, I discovered that this sickness touched so many women yet, there hasn’t been enough information about it. Usually a woman gets diagnosed after seven years — seven years of pain, of sorrow, of sickness, and still today we don’t have a cure for it. That was the reason that pushed me to open up about a situation that was really painful, while I was living it, to raise awareness and hopefully help other women to feel less alone, and to be able to identify symptoms.”
How has motherhood changed you as a person?
“Becoming a mother was a dream. We struggled, and for a long time I thought it would not happen for me. When I found out I was pregnant, I couldn’t believe it. It has been the biggest, brightest joy since then. My whole perspective and priorities shifted. It made me stronger, certainly more organized, and somehow more serene, with a lot less sleep!”
We’d love to learn more about Le Semaine Paris. What inspired you to start your own brand?
“I have been dreaming of launching La Semaine Paris for years. I was waiting for the right moment, and three years ago, I finally decided to follow my dreams. To be able to express my creativity, build our own rules, and grow a community of international women has been our drive since the beginning. Feminism and sustainability are some of our main focuses. For women by women. We built our forest in Kenya with freedom, joined 1% for the Planet, and we are working every single day to improve every step of our business, from the artisans we work with, the materials we choose, and the way we run things in the office.”
What has the pandemic taught you about feeling confident and comfortable with your style choices?
“I feel like postpartum was really the thing that made me love myself. I was destroyed physically; going through an emergency c-section was hard and I couldn’t walk properly for weeks, months. Breastfeeding, all the changes, made me embrace who I am as a person, and loved myself deeper and stronger. The size of the clothes I was wearing didn’t matter — I just loved myself no matter what, for who I am, me to myself, not for what others think of me. That was life changing.”
What’s your favorite style trend at the moment?
“To be really honest I am not into trends. It’s weird because I don’t want to follow or see trends next spring, I want timeless, tailored pieces — something that you, your mother, and future child could wear. I feel like we are overloaded with trends that last only a few weeks at most, that trying to follow them is just a waste of time, resources, and energy. I would rather focus on timeless pieces and good fabrics. It’s the main focus of La Semaine Paris’s spring/summer collection.”
What are your top winter style and beauty staples?
“A few things I’ve kept in my wardrobe through the years include good denim, some tweed sets, tailored jackets, and recycled knitwear and shirts. Easy to wear, never falling out of trend, preferably with an eco approach. We created denims that, thanks to laser technology, are saving liters of water from pollution. I love skincare and beauty. I use eye patches from Comfort Zone, Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum, a touch of Luminous Silk Concealer from Giorgio Armani and I am ready for the day ahead!”
What are some of your self-care practices? How has self-care differed before and after becoming a mom?
“I, of course, have less time for myself since becoming a mother; self-care means spending time with my family — everything that makes my soul happy, like dancing with my son on a Sunday morning, or spending time with my husband while our son is sleeping.”
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