Sensually creative, Frédéric Malle is the master of his trade. Sitting at the helm of Editions de Perfumes Frédéric Malle, his journey to the top of the fragrance industry is steeped in family history and yet he stands alone as a visionary whose creations finds their way into the lives and perfume wardrobes of men and women the world over.
Shopping on Melrose Avenue you can’t help but feel that little bit.. exceptional. It’s never not a sunshiny day, you’ve just picked up a coffee from Alfred’s and in need of something fresh and offbeat your next stop is undoubtedly Tenoversix. At ease amid the stunning surroundings of LA’s hottest neighbourhood is this gallery-style store that plays home to the must-know names in fashion, art, homeware, photography and beauty.
Having just launched her brand, Pestle & Mortar, on QVC, one of America’s largest selling platforms, Sonia Deasy is a lady on a mission. Her recent success in America which was received to a more than eager audience and a complete sell out in just seven minutes, is the next step in bringing about a better way of taking good care o our skin. At the core of Pestle & Mortar is an admirable value set the exemplifies simplicity, quality and a strong understanding of the less-is-more philosophy.
Fewer people could be more in the know and as L.A's most fabulously knowledgable "go to person", Jackie Brander is your girl. Beginning her career under the wing of Fred Segal she quickly moved up the ranks and at just 19 became her own boss at the helm of the infamous L.A boutique her mentor had founded and synonymously named, Fred Segal.
I am super-duper excited to start my brand new interview series here on Haute So Fabulous. I've forever been inspired by the study of prolific people and fascinated by how people make it in life. I find that no matter ones circumstances, career choices, family situation, location, success or anything else we 'judge' each other by, people are people and I love getting an insight into their thoughts and inspirations, what makes them tick and in essence what their take on the world around them is. It takes away the illusion of hierarchy. We can only live our own lives but it's so motivating and encouraging to gain another perspective and as we move forward on this Haute So Fabulous journey together I'm insanely excited to share with you some incredible people and their tales of successes through all the ups and down and the true living of and facing up to their challenges and triumphs!
First up is the incredible Louise Roe whom I had the privilege of interviewing recently. We were at Kildare Village in celebration of their SS17 collections which are so heartbreakingly stunning. You might have seen on my Snapchat and Instagram the lust worthy Versace white tailored suit and the beautiful pieces from Louise Kennedy that I adore, one such jacket is the beautiful cape Louise wears in these images. Things are being pared back this season and I'm so glad emphasis is being put back on investment pieces again. I'll be back in Kildare Village again soon so keep an eye out..
Getting to meet Louise was such a privilege, Louise is a world-famous blogger, author, presenter, woman's rights ambassador and behind all her successes and incredible victories to date, is one of the sweetest and most sincere people I've met to date. In a world where notions fly freely Louise is devoid of any airs or graces, her presence in person is sincerely endearing and she is exactly the cool, intelligent, fun and interesting person I imagined her to be..
I understand you studied English Literature in Durham as an undergrad at university, how did you then come to decide to work in fashion and how did that process occur?
Well I always loved fashion but I loved writing the most. My Dad is a travel journalist and his advise was always to get an academic degree, do history, do geography, do english, something and so as I always loved english it was a no-brainer for me. It wasn't like I suddenly finished college and found a brand new love with fashion, it was always part of the plan. I just wanted to get a degree in English Literature because I always loved english. Then I went to Elle Magazine and started writing in the features department and I got really bedazzled by all these beautiful shoes walking into the office everyday and wondered if I could combine writing with my obsession with fashion. And well, it turns out you can..
Yes it would appear so, and from your work Louise, very well.. Ok so, having worked in both print and online, where do you see the industry heading? In terms of so many brands turning more and more to digital the industry is changing dramatically and at such a fast pace, what are your thoughts?
It's an interesting question because like you, I love to open a magazine, it's such a different experience than clicking on a phone - or even an iPad - it's just a way of taking in information and I think editorial shoots are much more beautiful on paper. There are some magazines I hope will never go away like Vogue, W, I.D. As you know though Instyle print version closed at the end of last year and I was quite shocked actually. I don't think it'll be the last though and it's interesting to see the industry constantly change but I think you've just got to constantly choose to move with it and enjoy it and always be open to new things. It's about not being a stickler and embracing the changes.
Your Dad is a travel journalist, did you get to travel with him as a kid and what are your fondest memories of those time?
Yeah gosh cool question. I was so lucky as a kid and I had no understanding of it at the time. I remember we went to Jamaica during a school half-term and one of my girlfriends at the time was like "I don't believe you, don't be ridiculous you're definitely not going to Jamaica tomorrow.." and I was like yeah I really am. Seriously though I was so blessed and some of my favourites trips which I still love with my family today are when we go skiing together, not just because being in the mountains is so breathtaking but it's such a bonding time with your family. My Dad taught me to ski during those first times, my Mum was there too and those kinds of memories are forever precious.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date, career wise?
Writing a book. It was always an ambition and to hold that very first copy in my hands was a really cool moment. It took a lot of time, energy and work, not to mention late nights. In America when I get interviewed about it, people ask me a lot whether I had a ghost writer and I'm like noooo, God of course not, I wrote every word. I’d never want someone else putting words to my mind.
On the topic of writing a book. It is in fact one of my own greatest dreams and ambitions. Do you have any tips for taking on such large projects?
Yes I have actually. Just start it. It's a very overwhelming thing to take on. You think “oh my GOD I’m about to write my book”.. but you’re not, you’ve got to break it down and make notes, starting with your proposal to your publisher. This has to be quite lengthy to get all the structure done and by the time you actually start it you’ve done all the leg work. And I used to keep this drawer, I still do for my next book in fact, full of ripped out bits from magazines and books full of thoughts, inspirations and all sorts of stuff so I have something too start with. From there you have great ideas to springboard off.
What has been your greatest challenge to date and how have you dealt with it?
Well I find LA is great but living away from my family and friends - of course my husband is with me in LA - is perhaps the biggest thing I face. I am very very close to my family so I feel real torn and so do a lot of my friends who live in LA too. It's such a long distance to get home, it’s an eleven-hour plane ride so that’s a big challenge. I deal with it by trying to get home as often as I can and work trips even like this one I stay with my sister. You’ve just got to make the most of it and put the effort in to keeping touch with people. Modern technology makes that super easy though really.
Is there any one in the industry that in your opinion we should have our eyes on as someone up-and-coming?
Great question. I’d say Jen Atkin for hair. She’s incredible and in fact she’s not even up-and-coming, she’s already doing really well but she’s someone I met even before I moved to LA and she took me under her wing and has not changed a bit, she’s so down-to-earth, so kind and caring. In terms of a style icon, I’d say Ruth Negga. She did so well at awards season this year and she’s just got it. You can tell when someone is being styled or has an eye themselves. She’s definitely got it.
Do you have a mentor and if so what have been the top three pieces of advice they’ve given you in life?
Lots of people have definitely been mentors to me. One person who sticks in my memory and we’re still close, is Tasmina Perry - she’s actually a really famous novelist now but when I first met her she was deputy-editor of Instil Magazine. She gave me my first paid job and she’s just always pushing me and questioning me in all the right ways, getting my creative juices flowing and makes me feel like I can do more. Specific advice? Tasmina encouraged me to write my first book and she wants me to write a novel one day. She’s always encouraged me to network and taught me of the importance in always following up when you meet someone and getting their information. You don’t leave loose ends untied; you never know where those people could lead you to..
With all it’s pros and cons, social media these days can at times be a real pressure, the weight of having to constantly depict the picture-perfect life. Do you feel these pressures and how do you deal with them?
It's definitely a funny one. People always joke, “oh you’re not going to put the moment you’re really hungover or feeling awful up” and that is true but you might put it on InstaStory cause that’s a nice outlet for people to see the real you and when you’re messing around, it enables people to see your fun side too and see that you’re not just sitting pretty all day. But do I want to create beautiful images? well yes absolutely I do and with it I aim to give back in the best way possible with tutorials and tips - there is always a takeaway for people who read my blog, something they can put to action themselves and not just a pretty picture to look at. There is definitely a pressure but I am so lucky that I love what I do and that this is actually my job now.
If you were to go and tell your younger self what not to do, what would that be and on that topic, do you have any advice for young girls coming through their teenager years and into their 20's?
I feel like 80% of my career is giving advice to those young girls. When I hosted Plain Jane I didn’t realise the huge impact of it (actually fingers crossed we’re going to bring it actually which would be amazing). Women are all very different but the message on confidence is the same really and spending a week with each girl was one of the most powerful things I’ve done in terms of helping young women. It’s far deeper than just saying ’oh be more confident and believe in yourself’, everyone gets to that solid point in themselves in their own way.
If I could go back though ummm.. well I mean I’m still a worrier and always worry about everything so I think I’d say to chill out and stop worrying, it’s never going to be as bad as you think at the time. I got bullied in High School pretty badly and only when I did Plain Jane did I realise there is a silver lining to times like that cause I could really help those girls from genuine experience - obviously it wasn’t a nice time for me but if I didn’t go through that I wouldn’t be able to give the advice in the same way.
How do you balance work with personal life? Especially with social media being so demanding and instant..
I definitely don’t have it down fully and because Mackenzie and I work together a lot which is so great but it also means you don’t stop talking about it all or completely switch off so sometimes we just say ‘ok enough is enough’. I take personal time and do things for myself that I find relaxing, like a massage or a facial - things that are good for mind and body; I definitely love working out too, that’s one that is definitely about mind and not just body. A nice glass of wine is also always a good way to forget about work.. (giggles).
In building your own brand do you have a moral code that you you adhere to in terms of brands you will and will not work with?
I love that - moral code. That’s exactly what it is. Yes I do and it’s definitely not just with brands but also the things I say and the way I shoot. Each to their own of course and no judgement but you do get shocked by how sexual young girls are getting on Instagram and other social media platforms.. they’re like 16 and it’s dangerous. I’m very very conscious of the young women that follow me and to be called a role model is the biggest honour and responsibility so I’ll always be myself but I want to feel proud of the message I’m putting out there. It definitely relates to brands too - it has to work with my aesthetics and always has to feel right. Otherwise it’s forced and not authentic.
I am in LA later this month, what are your favourite LA experiences?
Oh exciting. You should definitely go to dinner at a place called Eveleigh - it’s got a great atmosphere, amazing bar, a really interesting menu if you’re a foodie and great views if you’re outside. I’d go get a drink at the Sunset Tower Hotel cause it’s just so legendary and so many Hollywood stars have been there. It's super corny but I’d even go on the Hollywood bus tour, they are so hideous but so amazing and they’re ALL wrong but you see amazing back routes and secret house that look like castles - you’ve got to do that. You should definitely do the hike to the Hollywood sign too, that’s an absolute must! And of course Melrose Place, you’ve got to do Melrose Place - it’s very LA.
..And some quickies if you will..
Your favourite everyday outfit?
At the moment I’m loving high-waisted cropped jeans with a vintage t-shirt and a loafer or a slide.
Do you have a morning routine?
No and I love that, I really don’t have any routine because everyday is so different. I could be on plane or at an early shoot. One thing that happens everyday though no matter where I am is my English Tea, I must have that.
Your go-to nail colour?
‘Big Apple Red’ by OPI - I love a good red.
Your favourite food?
I love Mexican.. with a good margarita.
Thanks so Louise for taking the time to share her thoughts on life with us and to Kildare Village for creating this wonderful opportunity..net
Love R x