Marie Douat, cutter and founder of Dou.K. Credit: Dou.K

Marie Douat likes to take her time. This does not prevent this thirty-year-old native of Mont-de-Marsan to have dozens of projects in the round.

Her latest is the Elia shirt, a long veiled piece in tribute to the ocean – which she says is passionate since childhood – unveiled in a very limited edition Saturday, June 22 in the Matriark boutique in Sag Harbor. And as for Marie Douat, everything must make sense, part of the income collected will be donated to the Shelltone Whale Project, dedicated to the preservation of humpback whales in Guadeloupe.

If this shirt, which requested 2:30 embroidery per piece and a hand stitch for each button, is designed in a dozen copies, Marie Douat is used to working on unique shirts and tailor-made with her workshop, Dou .K (to read "Dou-ké"), which she founded in October 2017 in New York. "Dou.K is the haute couture of the shirtsummarizes the entrepreneur. To make a shirt is to write a story, the story of my client, she adds in her calm voice.

For her, the adventure of measurement began in Paris, when she left her old life as an art expert to join one of her clients, Bruno Rubinski, the «Parisian maestro of the shirtshe said affectionately. He taught me everything about the shirt. He taught me to look at the body differently, to measure, to analyze behaviors ".

It is with this mentor, whose very exclusive clients are mainly politicians and high-level businessmen, that Marie Douat launches into the women's shirt.. "I started creating shirts for myself, and then for the women of our customers", she recalls.

In July 2016, she flew to open a subsidiary in New York. But a month later, the young woman painfully learns of the death of Bruno Rubinski. Passionate about the know-how that the latter gave her and disappointed by the lack of ethics in the fashion world, she decided to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure, focusing this time on women – who today represent nearly 60% of its New York clientele.

«For a woman, it's very complicated to find a simple and well-made white shirt, deplores the expert. A shirt for a woman is much more fitted, her body can change depending on the day or according to the period of the month. And then there is this famous button on the chest that is still poorly positioned and too tight, observes the designer. It really had to come from a woman. "

Because when it comes to designing a shirt, every detail counts. For a first play, Marie Douat passes "Between an hour and an hour and a half" with his client to ask him questions about his daily life. "I ask what kind of work the person is doing, if they wear watches, bracelets. If she plays sports, if she wears ties … ".

It then takes almost four weeks to design a piece that can cost from $ 300 to over $ 1,000, depending on the fabric. The Elia shirt will be sold for nearly $ 600. For Marie Douat, it is an investment, not only in the know-how, but also in the durability of the garment: "It's a bit like buying a jewel."


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