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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Caroline Sciamma-Massenet, Founder of SKIIM Paris

Caroline Sciamma-Massenet has imbued her luxury leather brand, SKIIM Paris, with her effortlessly glamorous style.

Upon turning 40, Caroline attended a digital-detox retreat, the renowned Hoffman Process. Without technology for seven days, she was able to press pause and plot her next move, untethered by the daily grind. Having worked in fashion since she was 18, firstly as a model, then at French Vogue as a stylist, working with Carine Roitfeld amongst other inspiring creatives, she was well positioned to create SKIIM Paris.

Caroline says, “I seek to empower women by making them feel good in their skin by wearing some high-quality pieces. SKIIM pieces make them feel chic yet sexy.” From high-waisted leather trousers and skirts as a signature, the brand has included new fabrications for the latest collection, including safari-inspired suede separates that are made for high-summer escapades.

Splitting her time between her homes in both London and Tuscany, amongst many far-flung sojourns, we delve into Caroline Sciamma-Massenet’s travel psyche…


What is the first trip you remember taking?

When I was a child, we went to Corsica with my family. The beauty of that island: the noise of the crickets, the smell of the jasmine trees, and orange blossoms – I absolutely adored it! Every single trip leaves a strong memory.

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

Costa Rica. I felt it was somewhere so different, such an unknown place, with all sort of wild animals and a sense of freedom.

Where or what is your escape?

Tuscany. I have a house there; full of history. It’s my bubble where I go to recharge and design. I sometimes go with my friends and eat great food. It’s a beautiful setting with lots of great activities, such as a jacuzzi, sauna, DJ set for dancing all night under the stars, and an outdoor cinema by the pool. It’s literal heaven. Ibiza is also a sort of escape, as it’s where I grew up, and my parents have lived there for 25 years.

If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…

Vietnam.

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

Calm, nature, great massages, good food, the ocean, and my loved ones.

What is your favourite ever hotel?

I have a few. Andéols in Provence, Aman in Tokyo, and Borgo Santo Pietro in Tuscany.

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

From friends, magazines, Instagram, and movies. It makes me dream whenever I watch a movie in a beautiful country, like Stealing Beauty, which takes place in Tuscany. That movie made me want to buy a property there.

My top bucket list destination is…

I always go to places that inspire me, like Asia. I love the culture, the food, and the spirituality. I’ve been to Tokyo three times, and will go again next year with my children. I also love Africa for the landscape, the colours, and the nature. Other than that, Italy is my number one go-to as everything is gorgeous. Puglia, Tuscany, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast are all amazing.

If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?

I’m a fan of sixties singers and actresses, so I will go for either Lauren Hutton or Jane Birkin. They are smart, charismatic, chic, chilled, and loving. They managed their work and personal lives brilliantly.

What’s on your travel playlist?

I have different playlists depending of the time of the day. I will go for my French favourites for a good mood boost. I love Indie Rock too, and always catch up on my podcasts.

How do you switch off?

It’s really hard for me to switch off. The only real way was to do the Hoffman Process retreat. Alternatively, by travelling somewhere isolated like the countryside. We’re about to get a house by the sea in North England. I think that will be my way to really switch off.

What is your jet-lag recovery tip?

Hydration, meditation, and resting. I sometimes take melatonin if I need to sleep and wake up with a smile.

What is your suitcase stalwart?

Always pack sunglasses, evening bags, and heels. It’s the easiest way to style a simple look and make it chic.

What is your number one packing tip?

Make a list the day before your travels and to only take what you need. Make sure everything is pressed flat so you can fit more in the suitcase. Put in large items first, and then wedge smaller items around the suitcase edges and sides.

Who is your favourite travel companion?

Me! Or my husband.

What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?

I love my furniture found in Florence’s antique shops. Also my furniture collection from the Parisian market, Les Puces de St Ouen Paul Bert. I always get a great selection of vintage pieces. I also have beautiful sculptures from Africa.

Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?

I live in London, so I tend to go to the exhibitions and galleries – art is everything to me. I also have a house in Tuscany. We have Florence 30 minutes away, so I always organise some tourist visits with friends.

First thing that comes to your mind…

Hand-luggage essentials?

Computer and make up.

Packing: roll or fold?

Fold.

Inflight book or inflight film?

Film and then a book before sleeping.

Music or podcasts?

Music.

Time filler on a long-haul flight?

Music or a movie.

Holiday tipple of choice?

Smoothie or a Pina Colada.

Beach or City Break?

Beach.

Ultimate holiday treat?

Massage on the beach.

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