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Claire de Rouen x Ssōne

Ssōne is thrilled to announce our ongoing collaboration with Claire de Rouen, launching an exclusive project with 'Claire de Rouen Seconds'.

Ssōne and Claire De Rouen have given a new life to carefully curated second hand books, chosen by Lucy Kumara Moore and re-covered using scraps sourced from our previous collections as part of Ssōne's zero waste initiative.

The exclusive and limited one off, hand crafted selection will be available to purchase from November 19th online, and available for click and collection from our Chiltern Street store.

We caught up with Lucy at her home in Sussex this summer to discuss motherhood, Claire de Rouen, and of course books.


What was your journey to becoming the Director of Claire de Rouen


I met Claire de Rouen herself at her shop when it was in Soho, around 2009-10. As everyone who knew her will attest, even in her 80s she was very glamorous. She was also enchanting, quite imposing and very knowledgable about photography and fashion. I instantly fell in love with Claire and her shop. Before she passed away, she told her family she would like me to take over the bookshop. She completely changed my life and even though she is no longer with us, she stills brings enchantment to me, daily! I am very grateful. Also, certain people helped me buy the business - they know who they are! - I am eternally grateful to them too.

Do you have any rituals you do before you start your day?

I have a few things that I try to do every day, sometimes I manage them in the morning but sometimes they happen later on, as a I have a nine month old son, Cyrus, who is my priority throughout the day. I try to meditate for ten minutes and read some text by Rumi, the Sufi poet, Wallace Stevens, an American poet, or Krishnamurthi, the Indian speaker and writer - all of these remind me of what’s important to me. In the morning the first thing I do, usually, is drink at least 3 cups of tea in bed while feeding Cyrus.

When you work, what can you see from your window?

It depends where I am, but at the moment, I can see Glass Street in Bethnal Green which is normal enough not to distract me! 

You have included some beautiful books in the selection for us, many commenting on the cycle of life. You recently gave birth to your son.  How did you find this changed your perspective?


It has changed things so much. I began an Instagram account called @thespellofmotherhood to function as a diary so I could reflect on and process all the changes. It’s like entering a deeper level of existence.

It’s made me think about my body, the environment, my parents, about birth and death, the gap between reality and ideals, principles and compromise, ambition, dreams and how life is really just about relating to people as best as you can, each and every day. It’s also very difficult being a parent and I have new respect for everyone who is one. 


For our collaboration you chose to curate a selection of used books, with the addition of our Re-Ssōne covers these publications will have their lifecycle extended. How important is the environment in what you do?

Extremely important. In my personal life I buy second hand wherever I can and re-use many things, particularly to make toys for my son - so much can be re-used and this is much better than recycling or even buying sustainably.

I grew up with the children’s TV programme Blue Peter which was all about using what was to hand to entertain yourself - and it had a lasting impact!

Offering used books at Claire de Rouen is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I was waiting for the right avenue to make it special, and this collaboration with Ssōne is perfect. I love that we are using fabric off cuts to make book covers. 


Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?

People who are sincere, committed to what they do, and who bring care and soulfulness to their actions inspire me the most. My brothers Rob and Patrick, my boyfriend Tic, all my friends. Also I find that I learn a lot from the older women in my life. 


Shop the Ssōne x Claire de Rouen Seconds collection here.


Photography by Sam Scales