Hazine

21.10.2015 - Anna von Stackelberg

Fashion People

CAROLINE DE MAIGRET

CAROLINE “CARO” DE MAIGRET IS WITHOUT DOUBT ONE OF FRANCE’S MOST ALLURING STYLE ICONS. NOT ONLY DOES HER HERITAGE AS THE DESCENDANT OF A POLISH PRINCESS AND A FRENCH COUNT LEND HER A CERTAIN DISTINCTIVENESS, SHE SETS HERSELF APART BY COMBINING STYLE WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SOPHISTICATION AND COOL. AS A MUSE FOR KARL LAGERFELD, OWNER OF HER OWN RECORD LABEL, MOTHER OF ONE AND MOST RECENTLY AUTHOR OF HER FIRST BOOK, CAROLINE IS DEFINITELY QUITE A FIREBALL SHROUDED IN THE UNMISTAKABLE CLOUD OF FRENCH EASE.

NEW YORK ART SCENE

It all started while Caroline was studying for a degree in French literature at the Sorbonne in her hometown of Paris. Spotted by a scout for the modelling agency NEXT she set off to New York City in 1994. Experiencing the benefits of a successful modelling career, Caroline worked with all the big labels and photographers. In her private life she became part of a scene of young New York based artists and musicians. Quickly she became aware of what seemed like a bizarre contradiction: her relatively passive and non-creative work as a model resulted in huge financial gains for her, whilst many of her very talented and hard-working musician friends were barely making a living. She decided at this point to start sponsoring some of the musicians in her social circle, renting a van for a gig here, funding a studio for a recoding session there and the like.

PRODUCING IN PARIS

Realizing that she had an inherent passion for producing, Caroline decided to move back to Paris in 2003 in order to dedicate herself to a life beyond modelling focussed on music. Her return not only landed her in the middle of a burgeoning independent music scene in Paris that was informed by bands such as the Libertines or the arctic Monkeys, she also found herself meeting the love of her life, Yarol Poupaud. Himself a well know French musician Yarol and Caroline quickly teamed up to start their own label called ‘Bonus Track Records’. By 2011 they had gained a reputation as one of France’s best independent labels and had also been nominated for best soundtrack by the French equivalent of the Oscars for the soundtrack they had written together for the film Bus Palladium.

MODEL WITH AN EDGE

With her own creative career firmly and successfully on track, Caroline’s appeal grew stronger than ever. She fondly recalls how one morning after her nomination, she received a call from Karl Lagerfeld, asking her to model for him. This phone call would be the beginning of a continued creative relationship with Chanel in which she would become one of Karl Lagerfeld’s muses. He even designs pieces specifically for her. Caroline believes that this second phase of modelling, which she often describes as more dynamic and interesting than her early days, is in part due to a desire by the public to have female role models that are not only beautiful, but who also have a job, a family and a point of view. 

FRENCH STYLE

Proving her continued quest to expand her experiences and her undeniable ambition (in the best of senses), Caroline this year co-authored a book about the quintessential elements of French style. The book entitled ‘How to be Parisian wherever you are: love, style and bad habits’ highlights beautifully Caroline’s approach to life: “We take a lot of time pretending to achieve something in order to pretend we didn’t take any time doing it: half an hour to do makeup that looks like it takes two minutes…We’re not into showing off. You want to be loved more as an intellectual in a way. It would be hard for a Parisian to have a blowout everyday, that’s losing one hour to do something futile. Maybe she was really watching TV for that hour, but she pretends she was reading.”

It is hard to sum it up any better. Caroline is the perfect example of somebody who works very hard, focuses on her objectives but pulls it off in the most effortless and inspiring of ways.

Short Facts

Trademark

Her perfectly imperfect hair.

Distinctiveness

Caroline has an androgynous look, which she enhances by mixing male and female garments. 

Anecdote

Caroline explains that “it’s not that French women don’t get fat, or don’t do surgery, it’s just we don’t talk about. That’s the secret to the mystery of the Parisian woman.”

Timeline

1975 - Birth In Neuilly

Caroline is born on February 18th 1975 in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine

 

1993 – Sorbonne

Caroline enrolls at the Sorbonne for a degree in French literature

1994 – NEXT Model

Whilst a student at the Sorbonne, Caroline is spotted by an agent of the New York based modeling agency NEXT Model

1994 – NYC

Caroline moves to New York to create a life for herself as a model and free of her aristocratic family constraints

2003 – Return to Paris

Caroline returns to Paris in 2006, meeting the love of her life Yarol Poupaud at a rock concert.

2005 – Son

Caroline and Yarol’s son Anton is born

2006 – Bonus Track Records

With the New York spirit still active Caroline and Yarol launch their own independent record label called Bonus Track Records

2011 – Nomination

Caroline and Yarol’s soundtrack for the film Bus Palladium is nominated as best soundtrack of the year at the French Cesar Academy

2011 – CHANEL

Caroline starts to model again for Chanel, becoming Karl Lagerfeld’s muse

2014 – Lancôme

Caroline becomes the face of Lancôme

2015 – Book

Caroline co-authors the book ‘How to be Parisian wherever you are: love, style and bad habits’

Photo:

© GettyImages

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