Lifestyle / Partnership

Introducing Lilian: The new leading lady of lifestyle brand Gardinex

By Clare McInerney

She's sophisticated, eccentric, and just a little bit over-the-top. Get to know Lilian (the beguiling character you're about to see a lot more of) as she leads lifestyle brand Gardinex into an exciting new chapter

On the streets of Paris, you see a whirlwind of a woman in her late 20s, dressed in red, passing by the boulangerie where you’re seated. Coiffed hair, a flash of pearls, a puffball of fur by her side. She is magnetic, turning heads as she goes. Who is she?

This is Lilian. A larger-than-life character born from the mind of Anna Paulini, the creative director of Gardinex, to represent the label as it evolves from curtain brand to lifestyle leader. “The character of Lilian felt right from the very beginning,” Paulimi says. “She was designed to embody a sense of fantasy rather than being overly relatable or serious.”

Rather than opting for a standard commercial model or influencer, Paulini and her team wanted to, in her words, “create a character that resonated with cinematic storytelling. This approach allowed us to craft a narrative that felt more authentic and engaging.”

Photo: Gardinex

Photo: Gardinex

Photo: Gardinex

Fittingly, we’re introduced to Lilian in a whimsical short film by Gardinex called Apartment Delivery. We find Lilian, played by actor Ellie Paulini, in her home in the heart of Paris that she shares with her beloved pomeranian Rex. She’s excited, almost a little impatient.

The subsequent scenes of the Wes Anderson-esque film introduce actor Haider El-timimi as Omar, a Parisian delivery man. His first day on the job, Omar is struggles with countless Gardinex bags brimming with luxe textiles, as he arrives at Lilian’s apartment. In a playful ending, Omar makes a clumsy and all-around chaotic entrance, stupefied by the stacks of Gardinex bags already towering inside. All Lilian can do is shrug and smile.

Apartment Delivery was brought to life by Gardinex’s in-house team, seeing Paulini step into the role of producer, working closely with the brand’s art director Anela Saracevic and director Matija Max Videovich. “The decision to produce in-house was driven by the desire to select the right team and maintain a personal touch in our work,” Paulini explains. “With a dedicated team of over 30 passionate individuals, we brought this vision to life. he passion and creativity of everyone involved are evident in the final film. I wanted to do things differently, and that’s precisely what we achieved.”

Photo: Gardinex

Photo: Gardinex

Photo: Gardinex

Apartment Delivery is just the first installation of what Gardinex intends to be a series of films, that will anchor the brand’s exciting evolution and rebrand into a more diverse and comprehensive lifestyle and fashion entity. Previously, Gardinex was perceived as just another curtain company. To change this perception, we needed to move beyond mere words and demonstrate our uniqueness through a complete reimagining of our brand,” Paulini says. “We are not just selling curtains; we are crafting an entire lifestyle and fashion identity that people aspire to be a part of. A key aspect of our rebrand is to position Gardinex as more than just a curtain brand,” she goes on. “We now want to introduce you to new dimensions of experiencing curtains and fabrics. The new Gardinex brings together interior design, lifestyle, and fashion into one cohesive expression.”

Lilian represents the essence of Gardinex – unpredictable and innovative. Just as her character defies conventional expectations, Gardinex is breaking new ground in our industry.

Anna Paulini, creative director at Gardinex

There are big changes ahead for Gardinex, but one consistent element will be the character of Lilian, set to star in all the films to come, almost as a brand figurehead. “Lilian's character is unexpected for a curtain company, which is exactly what I wanted,” says Paulini. “Her unexpectedness and seemingly incongruent presence create a fascinating contrast that makes sense once you see it. Lilian represents the essence of Gardinex – unpredictable and innovative. Just as her character defies conventional expectations, Gardinex is breaking new ground in our industry.”

Behind-the-scenes of the 'Apartment Delivery' film production in Paris. Photo: Gardinex

Paulini can’t yet share the exact details of what Gardinex’s future chapters hold, only divulging that “people should expect the unexpected.” But one thing’s for sure: Lilian has already won over the hearts of the Gardinex team, just as she will for consumers, with Paulini pondering how she would spend a day with the leading lady. “If I were fortunate enough to spend a day with Lilian and Rex, I would start by sitting down for coffee with Lilian to understand her better and learn about her intriguing character,” Paulini says.

“I’d love to explore her eccentric home and uncover why she chose to live there. Most importantly, I’d be fascinated to learn about her obsession with textiles and curtains. I’d ask her to share any secrets or insights about fabrics that I might not know. Does she have any hidden talents or secrets up her sleeve?” We’re staying tuned to Gardinex to find out.