Let's introduce, Kiki Hudry, a great artist from Le Grand-Bornand.
The mountain style is influenced by haute-couture, which I’ve always had a weakness for. The mountains are an area of invention and of constant evolution, and that reflects my own sense of style and how I express myself. I admire how local brands re-invent classic looks and use simple and noble materials. Vintage has had a strong return this year, and you can see that heritage in shops everywhere. The cuts and styles marry with new materials to create a mountain style that is more glamorous and chic. There are designers here who have been in the area for hundreds of years. They use the same knowledge and same machines that they always have, and I adore that. You can also see this type of style in our architecture. Everything old is new again. It’s in the taste for old chalets, raw and weathered wood, simplicity and strength. It’s a return to our roots and the roots of this region.
There’s one thing I value above everything else and put into everything I do. That is empathy. When I clean my windows or decorate my hotel, that is for others. It’s for the people that I will welcome. I have a feeling of responsibility towards others, which has guided me to where I am and continues to influence me today. I feel a responsibility to give back to the mountains which have shaped who I am today. I want people to experience the magic and warmth of this place that I’ve always held so close to my heart.
The mountains are my roots. They are a part of my soul. I grew up on a farm here with my grandparents, with a childhood that could have been in a picture book. Today, I feel good and content within myself, as a woman. I feel powerful, content and confident. That’s because this environment has allowed me to grow and develop in an artistic way. People say I’m joyful, entrepreneurial, alive and a bit different. I think I am filled with nice energy. If you feel good within yourself, you also are towards others. I owe the mountains part of my success.
A few years ago, we completely redesigned the hotel. It transformed from a country store to Grand Bornand's first all in one concept hotel, store and spa. It had been my dream for a very long time to open our house up to others and I was so happy to see it come to life. In the 1950s my parents did the same when the ski resort first opened. They started up a small ski shop with luggage, ski hire and souvenirs. I have such strong memories of that shop. I can still remember the sounds, the smells, the customers who came and the stories they told. I think that’s where my need to welcome people, to share our special place with them began. We visit our old house on the weekends, taking time to reflect on the old days and to be back in that moment.
The ‘coucher de soleil’, or sunset, is something that has to be seen to be believed. It’s something that only happens at Grand Bornand and a simple pleasure for skiers who want an extra hour on the slopes. On Saturday evenings, the last descent is an hour later than usual, and you can enjoy the sunset whilst skiing down to the valley seeing the sun go down in the peak of the mountains. It’s simply unforgettable.
I take my inspiration from the chalets, the pine, the mountains. They’re beautiful and authentic and sharpen my creativity. I feel good here. It’s my place. I’m 60 now and I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. People think that someone like me should live somewhere else, that I should pursue my passions elsewhere or live in a big city, but it’s not for me. I wouldn’t have been complete like I am here at Grand-Bornand.
Everything old is new again. It’s a return to our roots and the roots of this region.