Ten Minutes with Julia Restoin Roitfeld
The iconic New York-based Parisian art director talks us through the new H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection
What led you to be the ambassador of the new H&M Conscious Exclusive collection?
I was chosen by H&M for this role, and I feel flattered and proud about it. I think it’s a great idea to use fashion as a way to create awareness around the topic of sustainability. We all have to be more careful with the way we inhabit this world, and fashion can be part of the plan.
Can sustainability be fashionable?
Yes, definitely. Sustainability is a creative way to make fashion and also to use fashion. Making new clothes from old ones, and turning recycled glass into embroidery is wonderful, just like mixing and matching old with new.
How would you define your style?
I’m very instinctive and I’d say that my own style is minimal and classic. I’m certainly not as fashionable as my mum: I’m quieter and less ahead. I never go for something over the top; I wear what I like and feel comfortable in.
How would you describe the Conscious Exclusive Collection?
It’s a mix of historic feelings and modern shapes condensed into a wardrobe of separates that every woman can wear in her own way. Old paintings and all-over classical motifs are splashed onto clean-cut pieces, to striking effect. It makes for clothes that are fun to wear and different from everything else you see around.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
There’s a white lace gown, which can also be worn as a wedding dress: it’s totally worthy of the red carpet, in an effortless kind of way. I also like the sleeveless top with the asymmetric marble print, and the blouses, either the poudre pink one or the painter’s smock, because of their versatility and streamlined design. They are easy to wear and easy to interpret.
You live a very hectic lifestyle and you’re also a mum. How do you manage to be always so stylish?
Being stylish is not my priority. I’m simply being myself. I like black in the winter because it’s perfect for the metropolitan environment, but feel more Bohemian in the summer. This is also why I like the collection so much: it matches the style of my summer self.
What can’t you live without, style-wise?
A pair of black stiletto pumps, a perfectly cut pair of jeans and a little black dress definitely go a long way with me.
Do you have any sustainable style tips for us?
Washing is very important: detergents pollute a lot and washing machines consume tons of energy. I try as much as possible to wash my clothes in the sink, by hand, at night, and hang them to dry so that they are ready to be worn the next morning. Another is to donate for recycling what you don’t wear: there’s no reason to keep occupying space in the closet, and donating will activate a virtuous cycle