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What Designer Agnès B. Can’t Live Without

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If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked designer Agnès B. — who is celebrating the 40th anniversary of her snap cardigan with the release of Agnès B.: The Snap Cardigan by Assouline — about the films, perfume, and postcards she can’t live without.

I love David Lynch. Blue Velvet is a great film and he is a great artist. In Blue Velvet, I loved Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini; you always remember that film. And I will visit David in Montparnasse sometimes to fit his clothes, and watch him work. He’s always doing drawings and engravings. I’ve been dressing him for 25 years, and am making him new clothes now. Always very simple, what he likes — a white shirt with a black tie and black jacket, beige pants, black pants. He likes regular clothes, and he likes fashion, like me. [Laughs.] If you have such a great physique and such a beautiful face …

I first bought this maybe 30 years ago on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris in an old parfumerie. I smelled it and always loved it because it’s tuberose, which I think is my favorite flower. It’s so beautiful. I’m like Marilyn Monroe — I always sleep naked with a little perfume. She used Chanel No. 5; for me it’s Fracas.

I love the Bloody Mary at Fanelli Café, it’s so good. At home I’ll make them and whiskey sours with bourbon, too. I love to shake the shaker, you know? For a Bloody Mary, you need to have Russian vodka and good tomato juice and lemon. My personal vodka, however, is Żubrówka. It’s a Polish vodka made with bison grass.


William Eggleston is someone I respect very much. I was in New York for his show a couple years ago; it was so beautiful. I know his work quite well, and he’s a pianist, too. He plays the piano very well. I like his colors, the vision of the beauty of the country and the color of the youth, the way he frames reality — it’s so beautiful.

I like Metrograph very much. I know the programming director, Jake Perlin, from when he was at BAM, and he asked me to do a program there in 2007. I chose to show ten extremely good and bizarre American films [including films by John Huston, John Cassavetes, David Lynch, Tod Browning, Quentin Tarantino, and John Waters]. At Metrograph, I’ll see Claire Denis or Godard, people like that, whose films you’re happy to see again. Or Italian films. I work in Paris, but I love to be in New York and often can’t stay very long, and there are places like Metrograph that I love to go each time.

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It’s great to have postcards, and I love cinema. Even if you have no money, you can collect postcards and put something on the wall and there is a presence. I have a big [art] collection, but I know I started with postcards. I’ll put them in a book to mark my page — [maybe one of] Marlon Brando. I love American cinema, especially black-and-white cinema from the ’40s, like Key Largo, which is a bizarre and great film. [Editor’s note: Contact Fotofolio to order postcards, or if you want to start your collection with a variety pack, try these.]

I’ve always used these — the day and night cream. Once a year I get the Caviar cream. It’s very simple and I feel good when I use it. I use it in the morning and evening. Never go to bed without washing your face, girls.

Polux is a great florist. I remember I sent a bouquet to Yoko Ono because she invited me to her place. I don’t remember what flowers were in that bouquet, but I love roses and anemones.

The book is all fashion. It was in 1979 when I made the first snap cardigan. I was always wearing a sweatshirt, and I had long curly hair and thought it was boring to take off a sweatshirt. That’s why I did a cardigan with snaps, like in the 18th century. I love that when it’s closed and you open it quickly it makes a great sound. Children like the sound, too. I decided on the pearl snaps because I thought they were nice and happy. I did that for babies, in black, in ’92, ’93 — no one was dressing babies in black at that time, black for babies was absolutely not anywhere. We’re making new colors always, and I’ve been working with the snaps in different shapes, and in crepe and light jersey. Some people like to wear the cardigan small; I like it just my size, but not small. It’s nice to change the silhouette with a small one or a big one. They’re made in France, in the same factory as the beginning. We are very faithful.

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What Designer Agnès B. Can’t Live Without