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Inès DE LA FRESSANGE
Model & Fashion Designer | Paris
We catch up with French model and designer Inès de la Fressange who is known around the world for her chic and effortless Parisian style.
RV: Why did you decide to become a model?
IDLF: Being a model is incredibly exciting when and if you are successful. As you can imagine, it's difficult to reject proposals when they are offered to you, but we don't choose to “continue” to be a model, or even begin to be one of them. You have to be chosen. However, when you love fashion and clothing, it is for your entire life! I was lucky to learn my craft with the best teacher and as part of the most beautiful school: Karl Lagerfeld with Chanel. With such an opportunity, it becomes difficult to change direction!
RV: What were some of your most memorable assignments, and who are some of the people that have influenced your career?
IDLF: I'd rather say “fashion culture” than “career”. Working with people such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, photographers like Guy Bourdin, Paolo Roversi and Gilles Bensimon taught me a lot, and they helped me a great deal. Nowadays, I work with Naoki Takizawa to design clothing collections for Uniqlo and it's really rewarding. I also enjoy working with the young and talented Fleur Demery who designs for my own brand.
RV: You wear many hats as a model and fashion muse, a perfume designer, a journalist and an entrepreneur. What are some of your current projects and where does your inspiration come from?
IDLF: I’m very busy with all of my projects: Uniqlo, Roger Vivier, L'Oréal, my guide “La Parisienne”, my own company Inès de la Fressange, and my weekly newsletter, lalettredines.com. But there is a synergy between all of them. Concerning my inspiration, it comes from my endless desire of things!
RV: Can you tell us more about your project, “Home Inès de la Fressange”?
IDLF: I have designed some rugs for the Toulemonde Bochart House, it's exciting to do but hard to display! I’m also delighted to see that the vases I buy from Tinja are a hit in our store. I love to mix all kinds of products in the same place: for example, placing underwear next to bicycles!
RV: Following the publication of your best-selling book, “La Parisienne”, could you share 2 - 3 recommendations as to how women can stay stylish without making their lives too complicated?
IDLF: Well, buy my guide and you will know… of course, I'm just kidding! My first piece of advice is to simplify. Secondly, mix and match luxury items with inexpensive items and keep visiting the youth sections of clothing stores. Thirdly, read magazines ‒ even if some are more interesting than others ‒ since it is an essential way to keep up-to-date.
RV: You are considered internationally to be one of the most emblematic Parisian women in the world. Who would you say is the most emblematic Parisian man, and why?
IDLF: If I tell you who it could be, my husband will strangle me. So, let's say that it's him! Strong but gentle, cultivated and intelligent, busy yet available, generous and positive. His first name contains the same letters as mine but it has an additional letter which is “D”, as in Darling. Well, I can come back home in peace now! (Inès is married to Denis Olivennes, the boss of Europe 1 and of Lagardère Active).
RV: Which girl would you say embodies the younger Parisian generation?
IDLF: I love very much Lou Doillon: she looks chic, with her well-tailored tuxedos, has a rock but gentle attitude, and more than anything she is talented. She embodies modernity by being very French and international at the same time. On top of that, she is nice!
RV: You are also involved in charity projects related to children. Can you tell us more about this?
IDLF: It’s difficult to be unmoved by these causes. I’m an ambassador for Mécenat Chirurgie Cardiaque (mecenat-cardiaque.org) that saves children from all countries suffering from major heart diseases. The volunteers and people working for the organisation are exceptional, including the founder, Professor Francine Leca, who is so charismatic. My role is to promote the organisation and events that are generously hosted by the Grand Hotel next to the Opera. By the way, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about it!
Interview: Enrique Nalda
Photography: Courtesy of Inès de la Fressange
Interview first published in RedVisitor Magazine Issue Three - Purchase Now
M O R E I N T E R V I E W S . . .