A unique boutique in Paris, our very own atelier on the beautiful red island of Madagascar, an e-shop dressing children all around the world from Europe to the United States, Asia, Australia and as far as Qatar : Charlotte sy Dimby is proud of its international identity!
Allow us to take you on a journey across the continents to better present our universe and its diversity of treasures.
STARTING POINT : The red island of Madagascar
Imagine, between deep emerald blue waters, an island as large as France and Benelux put together. At the tip of the West of Africa and turned towards the Indian Ocean, lies Madagascar, birth country of our designer and founder, Monique Ramahay. It’s in Antananarivo, the capital, that all our collections come alive.
Mountains, rainforests, deserts and a central volcanic plateau, the island has many different faces. Its fauna and flora are among the richest in the world. Madagascar is famous for its endemic species : its huge baobab trees, its lemurs, its vanilla and its black orchids to name just a few of its treasures. Its inhabitants are also known for their dexterity. With wood, straw and semi precious stones, they work wonders. Craftsmanship is king!
Yet its greatest pride lies in the talent of its embroiderers. They possess precious smocks and embroidery know-hows which were first imported by French and English missionaries in the 19th century. Women have been passing on the secrets taught by these religious congregations, generation after generation. Smocking thus became part and parcel of the Madagascan art.
If Monique spent much of her life in France, she remains very close to her roots. Supporting her country, highlighting the talent of its inhabitants and ensuring an ethical production was at the core of her brand’s foundation. It’s not only about keeping the heritage alive but also about the human hearts and souls behind it "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye" as she likes to say, quoting the Little Prince of Saint Exupéry.
That’s how our atelier came to be. Working hand in hand, just like a big family, we cherish our oyster and consider smocks as our pearls. Remaining fully independent, we fully master the production process from A to Z. Only once the very last stitch has been made and each piece lovingly inspected, do our collections cross the ocean to reach our Parisian boutique.
THE TRINKET BOX : L’Île aux Fées, our Parisian boutique
Dedicated to the craft of smocks for more than three decades, we were pioneers in marrying nouveau French style with the traditional art of Madagascar. Raised between her island and Paris, it came as an evidence to Monique to unite the best of the two cultures!
After having worked for several major French children’s brands such as Bonpoint, Cyrillus and even Baby Dior, she was finally able to make her dream come true and open her very own boutique. She decided on the Left Bank, in the 6th arrondissement, where she has the fondest youth memories.
100% Parisian, it also made deep sense for her working partner, to be able to share and celebrate her love of France through L’Île aux Fées. If her real name is Sybille, she is nicknamed Charlotte by all due to her passion for the brand.
Both imbued with French “art de vivre” since childhood, it seemed only natural that each and every Charlotte sy Dimby piece should hold a touch Parisian chic charm and that our only shop should be in France.
Today we are very proud to be the ultimate reference for handmade smocked dresses in Paris. Handmade smocks are gradually disappearing in France and Europe in general but we are committed to keeping them alive! May they continue to bring joy to many more generations of children!
DESTINATION : All around the world…
However the journey is not over! To make the dreams of children all around the globe come true, we ship internationally through our e-shop straight from our Parisian boutique. We even had the honor of dressing Princess Charlotte of Cambridge!
To make each child feel unique, our collections are very limited with most often one piece per size only. By acquiring a Charlotte sy Dimby design, you are taking part in the celebration of childhood magic and traditional craftsmanship! Wherever you may be, please feel welcome to our universe!