The scene was right out of Funny Face, the 1957 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. Upon entering Red Hook Labs in Brooklyn, photographer Michael Avedon was playing tunes by The Rolling Stones to set the mood. “The music is important for my work process,” he said as he giddily danced to “Honky Tonk Women” and “Ruby Tuesday.” Though he may not have the same swagger as Astaire, he does posses a high degree of self-assurance and passion for the art of photography that is akin to some of the great masters. It should come has no surprise, then, that he is the grandson of the famed photographer Richard Avedon, the man who served as inspiration for Astaire’s character, Dick Avery, in the song-and-dance extravaganza. And if the younger Avedon were channeling Avery, Julia Restoin Roitfeld (the star of the photo shoot) embodied Hepburn’s role perfectly—that of model and muse.
Like Avedon, Roitfeld is part of a fashion dynasty. Her mother is the noted stylist and editor Carine Roitfeld, which perhaps accounts for her discerning taste and ease in front of the camera. “I grew up on photo shoots, seeing all these fashion people,” she said. Every raised brow, every gesture told a story, much in the same way actress does on screen. Indeed, the dynamic between them was cinematic. “French seduction, you exude it so well,” said Avedon as he circled Roitfeld, snapping pictures of her with precision. “Its all about exuding power.” Evidently, power is synonymous with the Roitfeld name.
“For sure, my mom is one of the most important people in the fashion industry,” said Roitfeld. “It’s true that working in the same industry as your mom, especially if she is that established, can be a little bit difficult. But I took this to my advantage, as she opened a lot of doors.”
Due to her pedigree, Roitfeld became the face of many fashion campaigns and was afforded accesses to a virtual Rolodex of designers, photographers and other titans in the industry. But as she perceptively points out, a name can only take you so far. “Of course, you have to work hard to keep those doors opened,” she said. “I never really felt like I was in my mom’s shadow.”
Resilience, an astute eye and, most importantly, passion are key components to achieving success—and longevity—in an industry that is known for being so fickle. “I learned that its all about being passionate and loving what you do,” said Roitfeld. Not only is she the occasional model (and a successful one at that), Roitfeld is a brand consultant and the creative director for her website, Romy and The Bunnies. Named after her daughter, Romy Nicole, the site celebrates what it means to be a stylish, modern mom—a description that typifies Roitfeld.
When she walked on set, Roitfeld undeniably exuded the utmost elegance. But little did we know, motherhood got the best of her. “I arrived on the shoot with my sweater full of stains, my jeans full of stains,” she said with smile. “It’s hard to look as impeccable as I would like to, but at the same time, being a mom is so worth it. It’s worth all the food stains in the world.”
Stains or not, Roitfeld’s definition of elegance has nothing to do with clothes or fashion per se. Rather, it’s about expressing an attitude. “It’s about your confidence and the way you hold yourself,” she declared. “And the way you behave to other people, too.” Coincidentally, it’s a philosophy that Audrey Hepburn shares.
“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul,” Hepburn famously stated. “It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
"There's nothing unrealistic, just a few touches of extreme luxury" - Bruno Frisoni, Creative Director of Roger Vivier
TheLuxer.com, Roger Vivier's official online partner, presents Caprices, a selection of heritage products masterfully designed by Bruno Frisoni, the brand’s Creative Director since 2004. Lightness, irony and quirkiness come to life with an exclusive selection of feathered, raffia and sequined accessories. Julia Restoin Roitfeld, under the direction of famed photographer Michael Avedon, presents these stunning accessories. Vibrant, multi-hued feathers are banded together to create a shoe, straws of raffia embrace marine animals to create a bag, and animated bees gracefully adorn silk to create a clutch.
It’s a vision of luxury, an interpretation of dreams that only Roger Vivier could create.
Whether it is flashy feathers, seductive shells, or buoyant bees, shoes are given a three-dimensional quality, embodying an unmistakable sense of fantasy.
A fascination with the animal kingdom seems to transcend childhood imaginations and seep into the consciousness of maturity. The Pilgrim Clutch and the Miss Viv Bag in raffia are livened by sea creatures, and a bright pink lobster sits on satin.
Geometry class takes center stage, as the chicest offerings are made of bold, complementary shapes.
By Barry Samaha