You’ll have to excuse the play on words, but we adore French fashion blogger and photographer Garance Doré. And ever since she announced she would be writing a book, we have been waiting earnestly for the publication of Love Style Life.
Good news. The day has finally arrived. Love Style Life is on shelves (and virtual shelves) now.
Ahead, Doré talks about the inspiration behind the book, how she found her voice, what she loves about finding her dream job, and her best advice to any woman looking to follow in her footsteps and forge a path in a creative industry.
The interview is must-read stuff, so keep scrolling to check it out. Then, head straight out to buy your copy of Love Style Life – and maybe an extra copy for your BFF, naturally.
Hi Garance. What inspired you to write Love Style Life?
Garance Doré: Well, it took me a while to form the idea of the book. Since I started the blog, people have always asked me, “When are you doing your book?” and I had been contacted many times by publishers. It was hard to say no, but I did because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to do something just because it was … “good timing.” The thing is … I don’t only write, I also illustrate and take photos. It works well for a blog, but I didn’t know exactly how it would translate into a meaningful book. So, I just waited until I felt, “Okay, I really have something to say, I know my message, and I know my voice,” which is what I’ve done with the blog since the beginning.
You’re an illustrator, a writer and a photographer. How do they come together in your book?
GD: I don’t see myself as “one more than another.” I think that it all depends on the moment. And I think it’s also everything that enables me to tell stories and to invite people into my world. I do think, though, that writing is the thing that makes people feel like they know me the best. I’ve never had training in writing because I’ve always had an easy way with words; it kind of just comes naturally. So, I don’t force it, and I don’t hide behind words. I’m just very myself. That’s probably the thing that stands out. It was very important for me to do a book that was not just style advice, but something that would be deeper and more intimate, and I think that’s what you feel when you read the book.
“I just want people to have a great feeling when they close the book.”
What was the most enjoyable part of working on Love Style Life?
GD: I guess it’s working with a team on a common project, and seeing all the parts come together. The most challenging part is having to work with a team, too! You’re not the only one making the decisions. As a blogger, you’re very free. It’s not like working with an editor who tells you, “No, you can’t do that, you can’t do that.” So, for me, it was the first time that I actually had someone be like, “No, maybe not this,” and I had to deal with it.
This book is a visual memoir. In what ways do you think readers will connect with it?
GD: What I wish is that it sends “good vibes,” you know. Basically, you’re going to put it on your table, and you’re going to think happy thoughts. It’s like when Maya Angelou, I think, said, “People won’t remember what you look like or what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” I just want people to have a great feeling when they close the book and when they look at it.
You are a successful artist and entrepreneur who has grown without compromising your content. What’s the secret?
GD: The number one secret is that I’m not scared of being broke. I don’t want to be, but I started late enough to have gone through the ups and downs, and I’ve realised what’s of value in life. I mean, I don’t have the secret to life, but I know that it’s not all about money. It really isn’t. That’s not what’s going to make you happy. What makes you happy is many, many other things, and money is a part of it, but I think you have to make all your decisions with not just, like, the end goal being money.
Several years ago, you called your blog “your dream job.” Do you still feel the same?
GD: Oh, yeah! And you know what? It’s even better now because I realised that I can also change jobs inside my dream job. Like my job has completely changed. I have a team working with me on the blog, which is a new development, but I also work on products and on many, many other things. I think I’m someone who likes to change. I like cycles, so it’s amazing that I’m able to create a new job within my own job.
Love Style Life ($30) by Garance Doré
In your book, you essentially describe yourself as a small-town girl with big city dreams. What do you think was the first significant step you took toward achieving those dreams?
GD: It’s very true, the only thing is I almost couldn’t even dream of the big city; it was almost too far from my reach. So, it happened in small steps, figuring out one element after another. I first opened my blog, having no idea that one day I would be so in-demand that I would have to move to Paris. The first-ever concrete step was to decide to give a try at not having a “normal job” and starting to train myself as an illustrator. It put me on the way.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
GD: Well, the two that come to mind are from Scott [Schuman], who told me that if you can create emotion, you can create a business. I thought it wasn’t very, you know, French and romantic. I was like, “That’s crazy,” but I think he was right in a way. And the other is a beautiful quote, a beautiful thing that Diane von Furstenberg told me. She said, “Sometimes in life, when you look like you’re on top of everything, you’re feeling miserable inside, and sometimes when everybody thinks that you’re down and that you’re never going to make it, is when you have the best moments of your life, so don’t dwell on these things, try to always look for what’s really inside and not what people think.” I think that’s a good thing to live by because it’s absolutely true.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to discover her personal style?
GD: It’s all in the book! I talk about the four ways there are of discovering yourself. Let me pick it up because I have it here. The first one is to dress according to your lifestyle so that you look good but also at ease. On my days of shooting, for example, I rarely wear high heels. Then it’s about knowing your body because fashion is nothing if we don’t know what looks good on us. Then it’s about what you want to say to the world, about who you are now, and about the woman you want to become. For example, if you’re an intern, you want to look cool, but you don’t want to overshadow everybody that’s on the team. Fashion is really communication.
“If you can create emotion, you can create a business.”
What’s one item every woman should have in their wardrobe?
GD: A good pair of jeans, a perfect tee-shirt, and a lot of self-love.
You live in New York now. What do you miss the most about living in France?
GD: I don’t miss much about living in France. What do I miss? Croissants… being far from my family. I lived in Paris for five years, and I don’t miss Paris. I mean, there is a reason I came to New York, and I love New York. I love Paris as a tourist or as someone who doesn’t live there. It’s amazing, but what I miss about France is that I come from the south and the Mediterranean, and that is something I realised was important to me when I was in New York. And that’s what I miss the most: My culture and my south, the clear water, the sun and the slower pace of life.
What’s next for Garance Doré?
GD: So many things! We keep expanding, and we’re doing more, but we’re trying to stay very slow. You know, for years, people have told me, “Come on! It’s happening now! You have to do all that stuff.” I’ve never been fast enough. But now, I think we’re ready to get into some bigger adventures. But I want to do it slow and easy because if there is one thing I want to tell to myself and to my readers right now [it] is that we can relax. It doesn’t need to be a race, and you can accomplish beautiful things without driving yourself crazy. Life can be simple and beautiful.
Love Style Life ($30) by Garance Doré