EmMANuelle Alt - notice how i bolded MAN, bc she definitely looks like one at times. at 6foot something and a strong jaw, its easy to mistake her for a male sometimes. but as new editor in chief of Vogue France, i like her ideas.
"Emmanuelle Alt, the recently appointed editor of Vogue Paris, is sitting at a tiny two-seater table at the Galerie des Gobelins bar at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, sipping a Coca Light avec glace, having laughingly sent the waiter back to the bar tout de suite when he appeared at the table bearing regular Coke. Alt, clad in a Balmain caban jacket, a black Prada cashmere crewneck sweater, and black flared J Brand jeans, is en route to the Elie Saab show, but she has agreed to meet up and talk (just a little, not too much, she doesn’t want to give everything away) about what she plans to do with the—her—magazine. Her first issue is April.
Of course, that’s all anyone has wanted to know, ever since the previous editor, Carine Roitfeld, decided to step down at the end of last year. Over the course of an hour, Alt—smart, frank, funny, and insightful—talks about leading the magazine where she was until only recently fashion director for a decade. (Before that, she was at 20 Ans, French Elle, and Mixte.) It’s a rare opportunity to speak to Alt who, despite being one of the most fiercely blogged about stylists—helped in huge part by her striking looks, six-foot-plus lanky androgyne frame, and a knack for looking like the coolest rocker girl ever—has tended to let her work speak for itself. So, here she is. . .
On How She Sees Vogue Paris—For Now
“I want to keep the quality, the photographers we work with—David [Sims], Mert and Marcus, Mario [Testino], and Bruce Weber. I don’t think there should be radical changes. The magazine should still be chic and sophisticated. It’s a bit like buying an apartment: Before you move in, you have all these plans of what you are going to do, but then you get there, and you realize it is better to spend time living in it, and transforming it over time. I’d like there to be more beauty trends; there was so much of that in Vogue back in the eighties. And how people are living; there are so many interesting, cool people here, and they should be in the magazine. More French girls, more French lifestyle. And I am going to keep shooting for the magazine—hopefully a story every issue. I do project myself in my pictures, even if I would never wear what I shoot. Actually, most of the time I definitely wouldn’t. I always want a relationship with reality: nothing too sexy, or provocative, or fashion victim. Even if I love to dream, I want the magazine to feature a girl who looks like she belongs in real life. We are French—we can show smoking, nudity. We have no boundaries, and it can be good to have them."
On Celebrity Covers
“We don’t have a systematic point of view on it. But here in France we are back in a much more glamorous time. French actresses were respected, but not so evidently in the fashion world. Now we have Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg. I’d be very happy to put an actress on the cover if she is the right girl.”
On the Need for New Designers in Paris
“No one has appeared, and you cross your fingers that someone will come through. It’s good that some people—like Bouchra Jarrar—are using the haute couture to get attention for themselves. You can’t create new talent just like that. America feels like it has become the place for young designers.”
On Her Kind of Model
“Daria is the girl I work with the most. She has a natural, strong beauty. You can put her in a white tee and she will make it look fantastic. I like Kate [Moss] too, because she cares about clothes. Most models don’t care what you put them in, they just play the game.”
On Life Beyond It
“I spend all my weekends with the kids [Antonin, 13, and Françoise, 6]. It’s that culpability of having been working at the magazine all week. Françoise is a good tennis player, so we do that. It goes so fast. A weekend is like ten minutes for me. And we’ll go to dinner with friends. I don’t see doing things any differently now. My job has changed. My life hasn’t.”
On Her Own Style
“I like vintage. Balmain. Givenchy. Chanel. I love jeans. I wear a lot of jeans. I have that French-girl thing of always wanting to wear a cashmere sweater with a pair of jeans. Mine are J Brand, Acne—and I like Topshop. I don’t want them to be “designed.” Jeans should be jeans. I rarely wear skirts. My daughter is just the same. I’ll try to convince her to wear a skirt, or a dress, and she’ll look at me say, ‘Why? You don’t.’ ”