Card Games and Gift Swaps: How the Coperni Crew Spends Christmas

Written by Ysenia Valdez
Photographs by Pablo di Prima
Styled by Helena Tejedor
Originally Published: 

Arnaud Vaillant (top left) and Sébastien Meyer (top, second from right), with Charles Levai (top rig...
Arnaud Vaillant (top left) and Sébastien Meyer (top, second from right), with Charles Levai (top right) and Kevin Tekinel (bottom, holding camera), all wearing their own clothing and accessories. Bottom, from left: Helena Tejedor and Mika Schneider wear Coperni clothing and accessories.

A few years ago, Coperni cofounder Sébastien Meyer came upon the technology that sparked his vision for a spray-on dress. But it wasn’t until this year’s spring/summer 2023 runway show that he and Arnaud Vaillant, his partner in business and in life, decided to bring the idea to fruition. “It was the perfect moment, because the collection was a celebration of women—their bodies, their feelings, how they age, how they behave, how they’re strong, how they’re fragile,” Vaillant says. Yet, even after months of preparation with their friends Kevin Tekinel and Charles Levai, the creative directors of Maybe agency, followed by days of rehearsals leading up to the Paris Fashion Week performance, concerns loomed: Could they actually pull off the stunt, and even if they could, how would everyone respond? “We were like, ‘Maybe people won’t give a shit about this. Maybe people will get bored and go on their emails,’ ” Vaillant says.

Anyone with Internet access knows that wasn’t what happened. As videos of Bella Hadid modeling the futuristic design circulated online, Meyer and Vaillant were engulfed in such a media circus that they’ve barely had time to carry on with their normal lives. “I have an idea about next week; I have an idea for the following week. But then I don’t know,” says Vaillant. Most likely, they will head to their family homes in the South of France this holiday, as they have done since getting married in 2021. Their mothers are best friends, and traditions include an under-20-euro gift swap—they often end up cheating on the price—and lots of card games. “That’s one thing that we love in my family,” Vaillant says. “We usually play cards from midnight to 5 a.m. nonstop.”

The gifts they have in mind this year are all over the map: Vaillant is excited to give his loved ones This Is a Gay Book, by artist and close friend Pepo Moreno. And if a pair of new Apple AirPods Max happens to end up under his Christmas tree, he won’t be upset. Meyer is dreaming of electric bikes (“Everybody has one in Paris”), as well as something a bit more glamorous. “I would love to have a Chanel jacket,” he says. “You know...the little light jacket in tweed.” And for their circle of friends who double as muses, like the stylist Helena Tejedor and the model Mika Schneider, only one thing will do: the Coperni Glass Swipe bag. It had an Internet-shattering moment of its own, figuratively speaking.

Still lifes photographed by Bobby Doherty. Styled Christina Holevas. Prop styling by Noemi Bonazzi at M.A.P.

Men’s grooming by Cyril Laine at ASG Paris; hair by Nicolas Philippon for Bumble and Bumble at Artlist Paris; makeup by Thierry Do Nascimento for Chanel Beauty at Artlist Paris. Model: Mika Schneider at the Society Management. Casting by Michelle Lee at Michelle Lee Casting.

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