This week on Resident, we're beyond excited to be joined by Aïda Sané aka @basicstouch. In this episode, French stylist and content creator Aïda will be discussing her relationship with art school, lockdown on the outskirts of Paris, styling tips and the BLM movement.
This week, we welcome Resident #3, Aïda Sané aka @basicstouch
Imagery and words by Aïda Sané
Tell us about Aïda Sané...
I’m a 30 year old French girl born and raised in Paris who loves listening to Jazz, old school RnB, Lofi hip hop, and Korean indie. I’m a dreamer, very ambitious and creative which was not always seen as good, as my parents wanted you to be more academic (lol). Looking back, I don’t recall a time in my life when I was doing something else other than art. I don't see myself ever doing anything else.
In some shape or form, lockdown affected everyone, How would you describe your experience and have you managed to stay creative?
To be honest - my experience has been very good. I’m very chilled, an everyday girl even though I can be fun (chill doesn’t mean boring) and I make a lot of jokes with my friends and family; I’m also an introvert (I’m an ambivert), so staying at home became my daily routine and I might be one of the few people waking up at 6:30 am almost every day, which was not the case a few years ago. I used to shoot indoors from time to time which has helped me a lot for my lockdown feed transition
Aïda wears Dust nail polish & Gold Metal Ring Set
In terms of inspiration during lockdown, I looked to social media like Instagram and Pinterest. I also love to be inspired by editorial photoshoots because I didn’t want my feed to become all white and I’m very grateful for that because in amongst all this, I’ve finally found my feed aesthetic.
Aïda Sané wears Cecilia necklace
Have you always wanted to be a content creator and where do you draw inspiration from?
Well, I didn't really choose to become a content creator to be honest. I never imagined that this could become a career, I was just a frustrated creative who dropped out of art school twice, including being fired at my first school without explanation and I was the only black girl at that time. Honestly, my creativity was not that good and I didn’t have a lot of money to buy art furniture, so even though I will never recommend that school to someone, I’m thankful for that experience because it shaped me. I also learnt the meaning of elitism and privilege which reasoned so much with the recent events.
Looking back, I started my Instagram account because I wanted to own a creative space. Having always loved fashion and with styling coming natural to me, my friends and family encouraged me to continue working hard. The space initially provided me with the inspiration I needed to continue shooting with my friends for fun, whilst looking for a job to pay for me to attend a design school. But for the inspiration I would say Pinterest - again. Pinterest is my daily inspiration for everything...even my future wedding with my unknown husband is in there...
Do you have your favourite hangouts in Paris?
If I'm hanging out in Paris, it tends to be for lunching at a restaurant, visiting art exhibitions and at the same time, shooting randomly on the streets. Almost every street in Paris is Instagram friendly. If you were to ask me for advice on where to eat and shoot, I’m not that person. My memory is terrible, most of the time I’m just following my friends, or my cousin who knows every corner of Paris. As a homebody, without Google I’m nobody which is a bit sad, but I can live with that. My favourite place to shoot? At home!
Do you shoot your content yourself?
Up until the pandemic, my family (cousins or siblings, even my dad) or close friends would shoot for me, however lockdown changed the way we all work and I began shooting myself, which I love. You can take your time without bothering someone else, now I can shoot for more than four hours.
Tell us about your AWP selects...
I selected the Cecilia necklace to style because I like the minimalist style and geometric shape. I decided to style it with a neutral, monochrome top and high waisted jeans. I didn't feel the need to add more, the necklace made the outfit.
For the rings I had a crush on the gold stone ring set, I’m not a jewellery person to be honest but I’m trying to add more to my current style because it’s a good way to accessorise minimal outfits. For the nail polish I chose the colour Dust which gives me such a sophisticated and vintage aesthetic.
Less is always more, especially for the Cecilia necklace since it’s more visible than the rings. I'd suggest wearing a neutral outfit with a minimal cut, just so we can have more attention on the necklace, even in winter with a turtleneck. It’s super chic for pairing with a cardigan which gives me major Hermione Granger vibes with her time turner necklace.
Podium is all your's...
I wanted to say something inspiring, however the last few weeks have felt so heavy and overwhelming with the BLM movement. I was tired mentally and physically. I’m not an activist and I don’t think I will be, it's just not my lane. As we often say that everyone should be a feminist, everyone should have a part of activism in our day-to-day life. To me, this doesn't necessarily mean manifesting on the street, but certainly manifesting your voices and opinions when you see that something is not right, when you see humans rights not being respected. Call out your friends, your co-workers and your parents when they say something disrespectful. This is so important, if you don’t - they will never stop. They may never understand, but at least they can’t be loud about it. This is the first step. We’re now living in a world where your voice can save a life.
For the first time in my life, I see people listening. Usually, when we (a black person or “minority”) call out racist behaviour, people say, you’re being a drama queen, exaggerating everything, or it just a joke, but when was being disrespectful funny? Some people don’t understand that you can’t laugh at everyone for everything. So even though the circumstances are sad, I’m so grateful and hopeful for the future. Thanks for all the love and support that everyone has received, including myself.
My advice as a human being and content creator would be to never let others define you, you are the only person who is allowed to say what you want or don’t want to be. "Don’t tell people your plans, show them your results" is my favourite quote. Let people think that you’re sleeping, and keep working hard! Failure is your way to success (always) nobody succeeds without experiencing failure and that’s why we call it life. And of course, educate yourself, that’s our duty as a temporary human being on this planet.
Thank you for having me xx
Photography: Aïda Sané
Words: Aïda Sané
Follow @basicstouch here