All You Need To Know About Julie De Libran

Julie De Libran

Some things are just meant to be, it seemed quite natural, fated even, when the quintessentially Parisian designer Julie de Libran accepted the job of artistic director at French label Sonia Rykiel last year. “The brand felt like part of me already”, said Libran 43. “I was always very inspired by Sonia’s work”.


Julie De Libran


With her lavish, tousled blonde hair, Julie is hard to miss—the French-born, California-raised designer captures that effortlessly stylish Parisian je ne sais quoi that the whole world envies. She has emerged as a cult style icon, her every sartorial choice breathlessly dissected on countless blogs. You could airlift her into Los Angeles, Milan, New York, London, or any number of other cultural capitals, and she would look at ease and chic, as if she belonged. She is, in fact, the embodiment of a contemporary ideal—the globe-trotting citizen of the world.

Julie de Libran has over 15 years experience under her belt, with 6 years at Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs. Before then, Julie held senior positions on the Prada and Fendi design teams.


Julie De Libran


On her direction at Sonia Rykiel …

Her first two collections have been met with deafening applause, her casual / practical attitude to the brand, (shaped by her own West Coast childhood), which she then elevates to an unexpected yet undeniably Parisian way.

“What I’ve always loved about Sonia Rykiel is that she was quite playful in her creativity. It was invested in glamour but also very easy, desirable and not too complicated. Women are very active today; we work, we travel, we have families. It is very interesting for me to see that the collection appeals to the woman who was a Sonia Rykiel customer and new girls, too. We are really attracting different ages and that is very reassuring for me,” she smiled.

“If people say, ‘It’s Rykiel,’ I’ll know I’ve done my job well,” de Libran says. “I really respect what she accomplished. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing this.”


Julie De Libran


On her favorite fashion era …

Julie de Libran loves how women were sexy and free with their clothing in the 70s. It’s an era I feel very comfortable with. Women were sexy and free with their clothing, their bodies, their movement and their way of thinking – you really want to be that kind of woman,” Julie explained to Matches Fashion.


Julie De Libran


On her personal style …

I have my basics—jeans and a white T-shirt—and I just dress around that.The new Sonia Rykiel clothes have just arrived in the shops, so now I’m allowed to wear them. I’ve been enjoying wearing socks with sandals—I like the attitude. I often buy blazers and jackets for my husband from places like Comme des Garçons, but I end up wearing them myself. I don’t obsess about ‘rules’, but if I wear a statement piece, I keep the rest simple. Her go-to pieces being James Perse tees, jeans and a knitted dress. “I’ve always worn heels, but I like the attitude of a flat – it’s a bit tougher, very Parisian”.


Julie De Libran


On the difference between Parisian and New York style …

“New Yorkers, in general, are very put-together and their look is thought through. Parisian women dress more according to their mood. Sometimes things are out of place, but it creates a certain charm.” she tell the WSJ.


Julie De Libran


On her addiction to …

Vintage jewelry and art books, “my (vintage)collection isn’t big but I’ve been passionate about it for some time. I have a pair of black Verdura cuffs with multicolored stones. They remind me of Coco Chanel. The last thing I bought was a Cartier Baignoire watch with a satin band from the ’60s.” As for her books, “I have a sister in London we visit quite a bit, and I love shopping at Idea Books there, which has really rare photography and art books. I have maybe 3,000 art books at home.”


Julie De Libran


On her worst habit …

“Falling asleep with my iPhone. I used to not be very into digital—I didn’t even have an iPhone—and now I can’t disconnect. With Instagram you get a bit addicted, trying to find interesting images and putting hearts on different pictures. I follow Idea Books and some funny ones like Michel Gaubert, who does the music at Chanel. He’s on it all day. I grew up in the ’80s, and we played Pac-Man; now Instagram is like my game at night. It winds me down, like watching a soap opera.”


On her “me time”…

“After I walk my son to school, I go back home and do an hour of gym—running in the Jardin du Luxembourg or doing yoga or Pilates. I have an instructor who comes to my house. That’s my time where I can breathe.” Julie also stays relaxed by keeping a journal. “It’s my own therapy and a way to structure myself. I could go back to 1999 and tell you what I was doing.”


On her beauty rituals …

“I’ve been using La Prairie moisturizer for my face—I kind of switch around. I was going to skin-care expert Joëlle Ciocco in Paris, but I haven’t had time lately. My makeup is simple: BB cream from Ren, black eyeliner and mascara from Chanel, and I’m hooked on Baume de La Mer lip moisturizer. My trick is to use Laura Mercier luminizer under my eyes. It makes you look like you just went on vacation.” she promises.

“My ritual is washing my face, taking off my makeup, and a long process of putting on creams that can take 45 minutes. Sometimes I do a mask as well. Right now I’m wearing a hydrating La Prairie mask while I sleep. It’s important to me not to go to bed with makeup—it’s probably the worst thing to do. I do a mask for my hair too. I get very girly at night.”


Julie De Libran


On food …

Julie never used to eat breakfast, “but for enough energy now, to last all day, it’s important. Usually oatmeal in water and ginger tea.”

“I’m really into macrobiotic food, like tofu and whole grain rice with vegetables. I have it delivered from a really old place here in St.-Germain-des-Prés. I’ve been a vegetarian since 1990, so I’m a bit complicated.I have bags of nuts, almonds and cashews. If we have meetings, I bring nuts for everyone. I can have three or four coffees a day, which is not good.

I used to be quite a chocoholic. It’s a fact that sugar attracts sugar. I discovered this amazing chocolate place from the 1800s near the atelier, called Debauve & Gallais. It’s Sonia Rykiel and Miuccia Prada’s favorite.

I often had chocolate instead of lunch. I’ve changed since I was pregnant; you eat healthier when you have a child. I do like to have a glass of red wine or a cocktail with friends, but I like discipline, actually.”


On her favorite Europe haunts …

“I like to shop at Merci for home and design things and at Comme des Garçons.” One of her favorite places in Paris is the Hotel Particular in Montmartre. “It’s in the city but you feel like you’re in the countryside.”

The restaurant she frequents most in Paris is Le Duc. “I often sit at the bar and have a quick bite. The fish carpaccio is extraordinary.”

In London, Dover Street Market is another favorite of Julie’s. “It’s nice to see the work of young designers like Simone Rocha and how they push themselves in different directions.”