Julia Restoin-Roitfeld: ‘My Mum Told Me Always to Wear Heels’

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld's daughter Julia Restoin-Roitfeld is everywhere these days. In ads for Mango, in a spread for British Harper's Bazaar, getting her photo taken at countless swanky parties. Somewhere in there she fits in the day job she professes to have of freelance art director. And somehow she's become what Marc Jacobs was to fashion media in 2008 — no publication is complete without a profile of her, even if she doesn't say anything she hasn't said before a hundred million times. But the recent profile in the Times of London is more about her mom than her. And it turns out growing up with Carine at the head of the table is just as much pressure as you'd expect.

Heels are mandatory in the house of Carine.

"My mum told me always to wear heels. If I’m not wearing heels, she says, ‘What? You’re in flats?’ So whenever I see her, I make sure I have heels with me.”


Carine used her kids as props.

“We didn’t have a full-time babysitter,” Julia recalls, “so on the weekends [my mum] would take me to the shows — which I hated — and she would use us in the shoots she was styling for French Elle or Vogue Bambini. But I wasn’t into it at all and I used to fall asleep on set all the time."


Julia didn't choose fashion, fashion chose her.

“I don’t want to sound spoilt, and it was an exciting time, but I don’t think it was the fashion that made it like that. It was more the travelling with my parents that I enjoyed; they were open-minded and fun. But they were very pushy — my mum would force me to do internships at different magazines in the holidays. I was 15 and I didn’t want to work, although now I am grateful for it — she transmitted her work ethic to us.”


Maybe Carine took her on photo shoots so she'd absorb a sense of style.

“I went through different periods when I was younger. The worst was when I went a bit grungy, with red and purple hair and Doc Martens, but I wasn’t very interested in fashion until I moved to the States six years ago.”


When your mother edits Vogue [Times UK]