The Aesthete: Julie de Libran talks more personal taste

The artistic director of Sonia Rykiel concludes her list of likes with Anish Kapoor, Seattle’s coffee scene and personalised perfume

Julie de Libran at home in Paris
Julie de Libran at home in Paris | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

My style icon is my mother, Corine; I have many, but she has influenced me the most. I would spend hours in her closet as a child looking at all the fabrics and details. She introduced me to this world and to creativity.

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Seattle, where I stayed with my brother. The city has a real charm and it feels quite Anglo-Saxon, but there’s also this incredible wildness – I was amazed by the beauty, the vast expanses of forests and mountains. 

Julie de Libran’s mother, Corine
Julie de Libran’s mother, Corine | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a bronze and malachite angel. It’s not a souvenir exactly; recently I lost my grandfather, who lived in the south of France, and it was one of his things that I brought back with me.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Anish Kapoor. I do have one piece by him – a sculptural gold ring that I bought from the Louisa Guinness Gallery in London – but my dream would be to have one of his sculptures. I fell in love with a piece at Art Basel in Miami that was like a drop of water in a gold metal; the shape was so bold and simple but it created such emotion. 

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The last meal that truly impressed me was at Starbucks Reserve in Seattle. It’s their first roastery, and all the huge coffee roasters are right in front of you; it smells incredible. They are working with Italian bakers so they have all these fantastic breads like focaccias as well as French pastries for breakfast, and the coffee is fantastic; it’s really well done. 1124 Pike St, Seattle (thestarbucksroastery.com).

The last music I downloaded was Phoenix’s Ti Amo. I love the strength of the four members of Phoenix when they play together, and the energy they bring to the music. 

Bronze and malachite angel that used to belong to de Libran’s grandfather
Bronze and malachite angel that used to belong to de Libran’s grandfather | Image: Edouard Jacquinet

In my fridge you’ll always find soya milk, oat milk and almond milk and I always try to have kale, which is hard to find in Paris; I aim to do a juice in the mornings with kale, apples, kiwi, carrots and blueberries. I’m not super-healthy, but I try.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose SoHo in New York. I do most of my shopping when I travel, and here you can walk to so many different places and access such a mix of independent stores. I love 45RPM, a Japanese store with beautiful fabrics where they mix things like amazing Japanese denim with vintage American cowboy boots. I go to Opening Ceremony’s boutique and see its latest inspiration, and James Perse where you can pick up great T-shirts. And I always find interesting things in De Vera, which has antiques and an amazing collection of new and old jewellery. 45RPM, 169 Mercer Street (45rpm.com). De Vera, 1 Crosby St (+212-625-0838; deveraobjects.com). James Perse, 60 Mercer Street (212 334 3501; jamesperse.com). Opening Ceremony, 35 Howard Street (+1212-219 2688; openingceremony.com). 

Ti Amo by Phoenix
Ti Amo by Phoenix

The beauty staple I’m never without is my perfume, which has iris, vetiver and jasmine in it. One of my closest friends, Daniela Andrier, is a nose, who makes scents for different brands; she created it for me – she knows exactly what I love –and called it Infusion da Belle, which is my middle name

The best books I’ve read in the past year are Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend series – I’m on the third book. It’s a wonderful story about friendship that begins in Naples in the 1940s and goes through so many periods. It’s beautifully written.

Starbucks Roastery
Starbucks Roastery | Image: Joshua Trujillo, Starbucks

An indulgence I would never forgo is dark chocolate – any brand will do, I love all kinds, but if I am pressed I’d choose Debeauve et Gallais. From €6; debauve-et-gallais.fr.

My favourite room in my house is my bedroom in Saint Germain. It’s all in white apart from the walls and the floor. I have lots of art in there, and my desk where I sit to design, and there are double door-windows that look out over Paris.

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If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a photographer. I have a few cameras and I always wish I could have more time to take more pictures or even to do my own shoots. 

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