Having been born in Versailles, I was immersed in a formal Old World sensibility from the start.  But my year in California as a high school exchange student changed everything.  I was exposed to everything I knew in my heart I’d been missing—the sun, the air and the freedom felt like second nature to me.  And since then I’ve been bringing those two worlds together in my life and in my work.  

My work comes from the head and the heart—but not from a computer.  I believe a brew of instinct, literature, the humanities and human nature creates the most powerful images and messages.  I think L’ Air du Temps and sociology do more to influence fashion than a runway ever could.  I believe painful honesty does more for creativity than politesse.

I think my beauty and fashion work has an out-of-the-mainstream signature because I’ve been mentored and inspired by a series of strong women throughout my career, from Isabella Rossellini to Jennifer Lopez to women who wield power in executive suites.  It’s given me a totally different perspective on fame, womanhood and leadership.  And I use it all to pour the passion into every brand I work on.  Past, present and future.

Photograph (top): Matthew Brookes

Photographs (collage): (top left) Mark Segal; (all others) Matthew Brookes