16th in line to the Monegasque throne, Pauline Ducruet is the young European royal who has been making a splash in the fashion world, but with a wealth of style icons like Grace Kelly and Princess Stephanie of Monaco in her immediate family, it was just a matter of waiting for her to erupt on to the scene.
A competitive diver as a teen, Ducruet left the world of sport after high school, going on to study styling at Instituto Marangoni in Paris. A promising student, she followed her studies with internships at Vogue and Louis Vuitton before founding her own label, Alter, in 2018. ‘I always dreamed about having my own brand,’ Ducruet tells Tatler, ‘It was always fashion since I was a kid. I think I’ve always had this sensitivity to art, creativity, and self expression’.
Ducruet cites her mother Princess Stephanie of Monaco, a pop star in the Eighties with an androgynous look that defined a decade of style, as her personal style icon, ‘She always played a huge role in how I see fashion because I grew up seeing her dress up for galas and admiring photos of her in the Eighties’. She also appreciates the eternal glamour of her grandmother Grace Kelly, although her own designs take their cues from the more contemporary too, ‘My family has a more formal style I’d say but always very chic’ she explains, ‘I think they influenced me in that way and the rawness of Alter comes from a more streetwear inspiration.’
Pauline’s style inspiration Princess Stephanie of Monaco attends the Red Cross Charity Ball, 1987
Francis Apesteguy / Getty Images
Pauline’s style inspiration Princess Stephanie of Monaco, 1986
Georges De Keerle / Getty Images
Alter’s first runway show debuted at Paris Fashion Week last year and saw Monaco’s glitzy royal family sit in the front row, including the ever-chic Charlotte Casiraghi, her cousin. The collection, a mix of upcycled denim and sleek silk pieces, perfectly blends contemporary cuts with a classic sensibility and is fully unisex, ‘I design for people not genders.’ Ducruet explains, ‘I always loved both menswear and womenswear and I wanted to give this freedom to my clients not to have to choose between the two.’ The result is a youthful range of pieces easy to pair with one another and suitable for a host of events, but when asked which pieces are her favourite Ducruet replies ‘I can’t choose just one they are all my babies.’
Pauline Ducruet with her mother Princess Stephanie of Monaco and her half-sister, Camille Gottlieb at the Alter show during Paris Fashion Week
Pierre Suu / Getty Images
Usually based in New York, Ducruet has been staying with her mother and half-sister Camille Gottlieb in Monaco during quarantine, ‘It has been great to get to slow down and take some quality time with them’ she says. She’s also been taking this time to look towards the future, ‘I am currently working on new designs, and trying to think about new ways of presenting the collections. I also want to become more and more sustainable, that is a really important aspect of the brand that I want to develop even more.’
Get all the latest on Ducruet’s designs at alter-designs.com