Health and Safety

Scarf Project

The Scarf Project, an official fundraiser of the Woman’s Board of the Alliance Française de Chicago, was approved by our Board of Directors. Our plan is to offer a limited edition of 150 custom silk scarves of the highest quality as a premium gift as a contribution of $450 (including a $300 tax deductible donation). Our goal is to net a significant $45,000.00 in a non-gala year, approximately 10% of what our biannual gala raises.

The scarf was designed by Parisian Art Director and Illustrator, Benoit Aupoix, in collaboration with Scarf Project Co-Chairs, Lili Gaubin and Pauline Sheehan. The Woman’s Board itself holds exclusive rights to the image in perpetuity although, by French law, the artist holds the copyright. To see his work, visit Instagram (@benoitaupoix) and his website.

The scarf was produced by Brochier Soieries of Lyon, France since 1890, by 4th generation leader, Cedric Brochier. They use hand silk screening and finishing techniques, made of the heaviest silk twill loomed in Lyon, incorporating 10 ink colors, and including hand-rolled edges, in a quality equal to that of the finest scarves from France and inspired by contemporary designs and fresh colorways. To learn more about their work, visit Instagram (@atelierdesoierie) and their website.

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The Design

This project was inspired by an antique engraved woodblock that was used to print the diploma of the Alliance Française in 1900. Its symbolic imagery is meaningful to our members and was therefore adopted in the design of our scarf, as you may see upon examining the scarf itself.

  • The enthroned figure is La République des Lettres, holding aloft the Alliance Française banner.
  • At her feet, an hourglass and a compass rose represent the eternal and universal extent of French cultural influence, as does the globe behind her. These symbols are repeated in the corners of the scarf.
  • Le Coq Gaulois stands at her side as a symbol of France as a nation.
  • Winged Victory, or La Victoire, of the Louvre crowns her with laurels and palm branches, representing Les Palmes Academiques, the Nation’s highest honor for contributions to education and culture; a larger version of their traditional palm leaf and olive branch insignia encircles the seated figure.

The scarf’s color palette is versatile and flattering, and the design appeals to both traditional and contemporary sensibilities found in wearers of all ages.