Why designer Julia Restoin Roitfeld’s style hasn’t changed much since her childhood – Sydney Morning Herald


Each week, we quiz a prominent person about their style and the inspiration behind it. Ahead, Georgie Gordon chats to model and designer Julia Restoin Roitfeld.

The “Caren” Mary Janes by French brand Carel are a firm staple in Julia Restoin Roitfeld’s wardrobe.

The “Caren” Mary Janes by French brand Carel are a firm staple in Julia Restoin Roitfeld’s wardrobe.Credit:Courtesy of Aje

How would you describe your style?
Timeless and minimal. It hasn’t changed much since I was a teenager, sometimes I feel I still wear my school uniform to which I add an edge: a classic wool coat with leather pants, or a skirt and patent leather Mary Janes. Classic with a touch of rock.

What’s the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
A Helmut Lang blazer from the ’90s. I got it on one of my first trips to London with my mum [former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld]; the Eurostar train didn’t even exist yet. I still wear it. It’s oversized and boyish, perfect with a little black dress or jeans.

And the most recent additions?
A Saint Laurent “Saharienne” belted jacket, baggy vintage Levi’s to fit my new baby bump [Julia is expecting her second child] and Koi Mary Jane platforms. How very Harajuku punk girl of me!

What would you wear …
… on a first date? My first date with my boyfriend was on a hot day in NYC. I wore a white denim miniskirt, white T-shirt, gold sandals with a low heel, gold hoops and almost no make-up – there’s nothing less attractive than foundation stains.
… on a plane? Black leggings with my favourite Marc Jacobs grunge-era sweatshirt, biker boots – they’re a pain to remove at security but I can walk miles in them – and a nice coat to dress it up; sometimes I’ll even wear a patent leather coat.
… on the red carpet? I am usually quite conventional: long or knee-length black dress and black stilettos.


What’s your favourite fashion era?
The ’90s: it’s timeless, minimal and wearable. Most of my style icons are from the ’90s: Kate Moss in those CK ads, Shirley Manson in her Garbage videos. It’s cool, it’s rock and it’s not pretentious.

Who are your favourite designers? The original Helmut Lang. Alaïa, especially now with the baby bump: the stretch is perfect, it’s comfortable and sexy. I also love discovering brands such as Aje that have transitional pieces I can wear from morning to night.

What’s your fragrance of choice?
I wore CK Be by Calvin Klein for years, and then Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. Now it’s Aurélien by Carine Roitfeld.