10 Minutes With… Zoë de Givenchy
My favourite city in the world is Paris. It’s always so exciting to visit, no matter how often I am here, there’s a magic to this city that doesn’t exist anywhere else – I find the grand symmetry and beauty of its architecture and avenues strangely soothing.
The one country everyone should visit is Australia. It’s where I grew up and returning regularly with my family to experience the wild nature and sweeping landscapes is something we all look forward to. It’s also where you’ll find some of the best food in the world, as well as the most positive, and beautiful, people.
My favourite hotel in the world is The Berkeley in London. It’s my home away from home and always will be. I do miss the old 1920s lobby, but the new rooms and the relentless attention to detail is what makes it such a welcoming refuge after a long flight.
The best spa in the world is at Le Bristol in Paris. Well, it’s certainly my favourite! When I’m there, I always get one of the La Prairie facials and Tata Harper body treatments. I also count the days until I can see David Mallett at his Paris salon. He’s one of the best in the business, and a true gentleman.
The one beauty product no-one should be without is the Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation. It’s flawless radiant skin in a bottle and lasts so well throughout the day. Every make-up artist I've worked with loves it, too. I’d be a different woman without it!
My favourite restaurant for a special occasion is Wilton’s in London for the nostalgia – sometimes going old school is the best way. I often dream about the twice-baked soufflé and the immaculate service. It's London at its finest.
My drink of choice is typically Ruinart champagne served very cold in a traditional coupe glass – and at home, if possible, with a cheese gougere and a cocktail napkin. There’s something so indulgent about perfect simplicity.
The best coffee is served at Coatume in Paris. The coffee is such good quality and is served nice and strong, plus there’s every kind of milk going in case you have specific requirements or like having options in the morning. It’s the local fashion crowd’s one-stop shop during Paris Fashion Week – you’ll spot everyone there.
The book that changed my life was Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince – or The Little Prince in English. It was written in the 1940s by a French aristocrat and the story follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and it addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love and loss. I’m currently re-reading it with my son, but its quest for the meaning of life – as well as its ruminations on growing up and the peculiarities of human nature – always resonate with me.
The TV programme that got me through lockdown was Call My Agent. This Netflix series follows a group of celebrity talent agents at a company in Paris. It’s hilarious, brilliantly written and so French.
The most fashion-conscious city is Paris. But it’s more about style than fashion. Parisian women don’t like fads or subscribe too heavily to trends. They have a real discipline in how they dress, shop and in how they live. Less is always more.
My favourite designer is Khaite. The brands dresses and boots have become staples in my everyday wardrobe and the founder, Cate Holstein, is one of the best female designers out there currently designing for modern women. Her clothes are so wearable.
The coolest under-the-radar brand is Sweethearts of the Rodeo. The founders are both ex-British Vogue – Charlotte Pilcher and Vanessa Gillingham – and their aesthetic is very cool, very 'London girl', which reminds me of my 20s! I just bought the Portobello style in gold.
My favourite way to shop is when I’m travelling. This summer I bought table and bed linens and Venetian slippers from Chiarastella Cattana in Venice, earrings from Chantecler in Capri and my engraved stationery from Agry in Paris.
The best vintage store in the world is Galerie Vauclair in Paris – especially if you’re in the market for beautiful vintage French rattan and ceramics. This summer on a trip to the Puces [French markets] I also bought some 1920s conch shell pink and brown wicker furniture for our house in the Bahamas.
My favourite homewares brand is Z.d.G. of course. I created the brand to embody the spirit of family and to share the work of some of Europe’s finest specialist artisans. All our master artisans share the same values – heritage, family and the preservation of ancient decorative arts – and they all make beautiful objects with unique skill and real authenticity.
The best interiors store is L’atelier 55 – there’s one in Paris and in St Tropez. In Paris, we recently bought some incredible mid-century chairs, Frank Lloyd Wright lamps and Roger Capron ceramics from Vallauris.
The best gift I’ve ever given someone else were some potted paper bluebells by the artist Livia Cetti, as a thank you to a friend. It wasn’t a grand gift, but a gesture of gratitude, and bluebells seemed a perfect choice. In this form, they were even more special.
The best gift I’ve ever received is my engagement ring. It was designed by my brother-in-law, James de Givenchy of Taffin. It’s a pale brown Golconda diamond, which is mounted off centre. Like all his designs, it is extraordinary and completely unique.
In 2022 I’m most looking forward to our Z.d.G capsule collaboration with The Webster in Miami and Palm Beach. The resort collections are full of vibrant Italian coral and turquoise – with lots of pieces inspired by the Amalfi coast. It’s totally escapist and highly evocative… the perfect tonic to the last couple of years.
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