MY LUX­URY LIFE

Caro­line de Mai­gret is a model, mu­si­cian, co-au­thor of How to Be Parisian Wher­ever You Are, a reg­u­lar fix­ture on the fash­ion cir­cuit and one of Karl Lager­feld’s muses. Most re­cently, she was se­lected by Lager­feld to be one of the faces of Chanel’s new Gab

The National - News - Luxury - - CONTENTS -

A chat with French model and Chanel brand am­bas­sador Caro­line de Mai­gret

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREA­SURED POS­SES­SION?

My pass­port. I have a very dis­turb­ing re­la­tion­ship with free­dom and with in­de­pen­dence. Go­ing to a wed­ding for a whole week­end can drive me crazy – know­ing peo­ple will be telling me where to have lunch, what I will be do­ing in the a er­noon, and what I will be hav­ing for din­ner. I usu­ally never show up. I need in­de­pen­dence. Work is dif­fer­ent, but in the rest of my life, I have to have in­de­pen­dence. It is quite neu­rotic.

ARE YOU A COL­LEC­TOR? IF SO, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO COL­LECT?

I am not a col­lec­tor at all. I do buy a lot of pho­tog­ra­phy, but I have no in­ter­est what­so­ever in ma­te­rial things. My house could burn down and I re­ally wouldn’t mind. I could just walk away. It would not be a trauma at all, but some­times it is hard for peo­ple around me. It makes it hard on them as I can be a bit self­ish.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CITY?

Paris, be­cause, to me, it is the essence of what I like. The ar­chi­tec­ture, the sto­ries; when you walk around, you are amazed by the beauty. There is so much go­ing on, so you can take your time and re­lax, if you want, but you can also be ac­tive. You can be both. I am from Paris and I lived in New York. Paris is the best bal­ance for me. It gives me time to think. When it’s all go­ing too fast, I get very anx­ious.

WHAT IS THE BEST JOUR­NEY YOU HAVE EVER UN­DER­TAKEN?

Moth­er­hood. I know to oth­ers it is bor­ing and a cliché, but for me, I have this eternal flame in my stom­ach that drives me through the day. This in­cred­i­ble love that makes me able to breathe ev­ery day.

WHAT IS THE GREAT­EST LUX­URY IN LIFE?

Health. Def­i­nitely. It’s the one thing you can­not buy. You can learn how to take care of your­self, and be as good as pos­si­ble, but in the end it is so sim­ple. Health. Your life de­pends on it.

WHAT IS THE MOST IM­POR­TANT LES­SON THAT YOU HAVE LEARNT?

The best les­son I learnt in life is not to be scared of fail­ing. I love do­ing things and I do not mind if it is not suc­cess­ful. That’s where I have the most fun, when I meet peo­ple and we say, let’s try things. Most of the time, I have a huge stom­ach ache as there are so many things I don’t know how to do, but I am just go­ing to do any­way. You plant the seeds, and some­times they work, and some­times they don’t. Like when I did my mu­sic, it didn’t work out in the end, but I had so much fun and learnt so much. It helped make me the woman I am now, so who cares if things don’t work out? I think it is still a suc­cess if you learn things. It’s more fun that way.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?

I have a lot of favourite books, but I re­ally love the story of Martin Eden by Jack Lon­don. It is a story of a sailor who falls in love with a very bour­geois woman. He de­cides to be­come an in­tel­lec­tual, and read books and fill him­self with lit­er­a­ture. He is such a good man, but so raw at the same time, and so not ready to go into those sa­lons. It is very in­ter­est­ing to see how real grace comes from this man, rather than con­formism. It re­ally is a beau­ti­ful book.

WHY DID YOU AGREE TO BE­COME A BRAND AM­BAS­SADOR FOR CHANEL?

I love Chanel be­cause it has the same val­ues that I cher­ish, which is a strong fem­i­nism and a way of liv­ing. Gabrielle Chanel freed women’s bod­ies, and she be­lieved life was to be lived. She be­lieved in free­dom of ges­ture, of men­tal­ity. She was brave and smart, and sur­rounded her­self with artists, from Jean Cocteau to Igor Stravin­sky. It is some­thing I have re­ally learnt from, and I want to live that life as well. I am lucky enough to have had an op­por­tu­nity to come quite close. I par­tic­u­larly love Chanel’s new Gabrielle bag, be­cause it is made from vin­tage leather, which I love. It looks time­less, but like you have worn it for­ever. All the chains make it re­ally rock and roll, which is what I like. It is clas­si­cal yet mod­ern, and full of para­doxes.

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