An interview with Lena Simonne

An interview with Lena Simonne

An interview with YouTuber Zoé Tondut Reading An interview with Lena Simonne 4 minutes
We visited Musée Picasso with Lena Simone , “it” girl, model as well as advocate for refuges, women, and children as she discussed her association, @collectif.elka , where she uses creativity to aid refuges, undocumented migrants, and other people in precarious situations find joy, connection, and, potentially, a new creative passion or hobby.
Lena in our Pink Lemonade T-shirt in Paris
(Lena wearing our Pink Lemonade T-shirt )

1. How did you start working with refugees?

It all started in the summer of 2019, I discovered an association called Utopia56 that helps exiled people in France. I started following them on Instagram and one day we put the team over a drink. It was a young team, most of them my age and super determined to accomplish their mission. They inspired me and sparked something inside!

We talked together about various actions I could create via my community and started to discuss how I could get involved. We discussed collecting clothes and hygiene products and made it happen!

Since then, I have always been behind them from near and far because in my eyes it is a good association builds a relationship with these refugees through trust and communication.

2. Can you tell us what your platform does?

It's called @collectif.elka, I created it with my very good friend, Rebecca. It's a platform where we share actions or stories about associations that we are interested. We then create workshops or start collections to help them.

(Lena wearing our Lilo Pink pants and Gina Rose Top )

3. Why did you decide to create creative workshops?

A lot of people can't get involved because it's very complicated and even scary to get into the associative world.

Our workshops allow people who have a talent or a job that they would like to share to do just that with a small group of people (refuges, undocumented migrants, people in precarious situations ....)

The goal is for everyone to leave with a smile on their face, with a socially enriching experience for everyone and maybe even allow some to discover a new passion.

4. What did you discover about yourself by doing this work?

I discovered many emotions, from joy to sadness. I discovered and still discover incredible people in the associative environment. I also get to see this community come and participate which is a wonderful feeling. But, above all I discovered that I have been lucky in this life compared to others which makes me want to give back more.

5. What does creativity mean to you?

I think that creativity has its place everywhere, in all kinds of environments. It helps some people to escape from their very hard daily lives and allows you to get your brain working and avoid brooding.

(Lena wearing our Kai top )

6. What is your favorite form of art or expression?

I love to practice film photography, especially in my daily life with my relatives. I love to make photo albums, full of my memories.

7. What inspires you at the moment?

I'm having a hard time with all the tragic news in this world lately so there's not much that inspires me, so to keep smiling I stay focused on my loved ones and my daily life with them. (If I'm being really honest!)

8. What are you excited about in the near future?

After a long break with all the lockdowns due to covid, I am focusing on modeling again for a while.

But of course I'm excited about the upcoming workshops at @collectif.elka as well!

(Lena wearing our Pink Lemonade T-shirt )

X Mirae

Shop Lena's looks HERE

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