Interview with Bénédicte Burguet-Journé
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am senior editor for Vanity Fair France magazine and author of a book: What is it about Paris & Fashion. I deal with fashion, jewelry and beauty. I have been doing this job for more than 10 years and I am still as passionate as ever. My desire to write and talk about the talents that surround me and that I meet was born when I was young. I grew up in Paris and the aesthetics of this city, its taste for the Arts, its history and the creativity that bubbles up have had an impact on the way I see the world. I am very sensitive to the beauty of things, of a garment or a painting. Doing this job is a dream for a woman as curious as me.
What initially inspired you to pursue a career in Journalism?
Initially my taste for fashion and my desire to write. Journalism was the combination of these two passions. I was also lucky enough to graduate young and to be able to "test" this world to see if I could find work, like it, be competent.
How would you describe your creative process?
Everything inspires me. My creative process consists of observation. From these observations, I draw ideas, angles, subjects. The world of luxury is a wonderful mirror of our time. Observing the different artistic currents, the street, the social demands, everything gives a great light on our time and is therefore a source of inspiration.
How much does your city and surroundings affect your creative output?
Paris is an artistically rich city. Every street is a work of art in itself. It has a very special history related to fashion and the arts that continues to attract many talented people. It's lucky to be in such a creative environment every day. Going to a museum, an exhibition or visiting a new store, seeing a color, a shape or smelling an atmosphere has the power to feed my mind.
What do you struggle with the most in terms of working and living in a city like Paris?
Traffic! It's been hellish for the past few years. Being a journalist means meeting people. And wasting hours in traffic is a real handicap. Especially when, like me, you have between 3 and 6 meetings a day.
The responsibility of the council in every city is to provide a solid foundation of design, art and cultural facilities, is that still evident in Paris?
Paris lives a lot on its assets. The main cultural places are very old. What is very dynamic in the city, however, is the programming. We have very high level exhibitions, concerts and fairs.
Do you think it is also the responsibility of the artist/creative to improve the quality of people's lives in their city?
Probably when you're in design or involved in decision making at a municipal level. As a journalist for a monthly magazine, I write on a national scale, not a local one.
Can you tell us about any current or future projects that you are particularly excited about?
I am thinking about developing video formats. I also have two upcoming collaborations, one of which is with a ceramic artist: Pia Chevalier. It's another means of expression than the writing process. I realize that today I also like to create: to shape objects, jewelry, accessories. I would love to explore this path this year by multiplying the collaborations.
If you could add or change something about Paris, what would that be?
Definitely the safety and cleanliness of the city.
If you could choose any artist/creative to collaborate with, who would that be and why?
Pierre Yovanovitch pure french chic.
What do you do to switch off?
I sleep and work out. More precisely, I do indoor cycling at Dynamo. This very cardio discipline is the only one that turns my brain off.
What Does Home Mean to You?
Our Parisian apartment that I love, with my husband and my daughter. The three of us cooking, laughing, playing, reading.
Describe the perfect day for you in Paris.
If it's a work day, it would be a day with a 7:30am gym class followed by lots of very inspiring and rewarding meetings. A home cooked dinner with my husband and daughter and 45 minutes of reading before bed. A weekend day: introducing my daughter to a new activity and seeing her look on in wonder. Then a dinner with my husband or a big table with friends in a restaurant I love.
Sometimes people relate a specific smell to the city they live in or the place they grew up, does Paris evoke a personal smell to you?
The smell of Paris in the rain. It is a scent that marked me in my childhood because the city changes its smell after a storm.
If you weren’t living in Paris and could choose any city to live in where would that be, and why?
That's a tough question because I've never lived anywhere else. I might like New York.
paris by Bénédicte Burguet-Journé
A selection of places in Paris - recommended by Journalist Bénédicte Burguet-Journé. See Bénédicte's citylikeyou profile page here