LAST WEEK I MET: JULIE ROUBY
Creative agent Julie Rouby lives among natural light and the sound of the soft purring of her cat Raoul in Paris’ le Marais district. Originally from the South of France, she evokes a sunny energy and, as she told us over an afternoon together, continues to put rosemary on everything she cooks.
YOU ARE ORIGINALLY FROM CANNES, HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE TO PARIS?
I studied at a business school on the Cote d’Azur. I loved my life in Cannes but I knew there was so much to discover elsewhere. Alongside my studies, I worked in a nightclub. I could benefit from evenings during the advertising festival in Cannes, collecting some contacts and business cards. One evening I met the JWT team, an advertising agency, and it was there that I began my internship at the end of my studies a few months later. After the internship, one of the clients of the agency hired me to manage the organization of an event in Cannes in a large pop-up club. I found my universe by playing another role, but I knew that my life was going to be in Paris.
YOU WANTED TO GO INTO ADVERTISING AFTER YOUR STUDIES. YOUR CAREER HAS SINCE EVOLVED INTO THE PRODUCTION AND PURCHASE OF ART.
In my environment, it was rather rare to hear the words “creative director”, “TV producer”, or “collector”. My friends were moving towards careers in real estate or tourism, which are the major activities in the South. For my part, I followed the ranking of the Lions advertising prizes. I watched the shows dedicated to news and media brands. At the end of my studies I wanted to join an advertising agency and so I found an internship for a commercial advertising director.
DID YOU FOLLOW THIS ROAD?
Ahhh no! Someone had said a few years ago, during a job interview, “You are made for product development.” One day I had the opportunity to join the group Première Heure and this prediction came true. During the following years I worked as event manager at les Résidents, an enterprise which I admired and where I learned my job. Create, design and bring out the best in content, this was no longer advertisement in the classical sense of the term.
WHAT HAPPENED THEN?
One of the producers I worked with started his own business l’Ecurie in partnership with Intersection magazine, and I joined him. We started out in a garage with a small team. Today l’Ecurie is a beautiful agency. I was deeply involved in the business, almost as if it was my own agency. But, little by little, with the development of the business structure, I wanted to try something else.
DID YOU HAVE A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?
Not exactly. My network offered me many opportunities and they encouraged me to become a freelancer. It was not an easy decision, as I always had a job and expected to continue in that direction. I made it as a freelancer and I think today that it is thanks to the flexibility of this status that I never had any time without projects.
YOUR JOB IS TO BE AWARE OF TRENDS. WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FASHION AND TRENDS?
By virtue of living in Paris, having your network, your job, your friends, seeing people on the street, you are bathing in a constant flow of information and inspiration. I can swing by a variety of shops, some with affordable prices, others more expensive, and be inspired or
simply inhale the look of the day. From this I create my outfits by mixing pieces from thrift shops, major retailers, and, from time to time, I buy myself a beautiful piece, often from Acné. I do not like clothes that can be directly associated with a brand or pieces that only last one season. I recently put a stop to the shopping frenzy because, in the end, I know what I like and will often wear the same type of clothing.
THAT IS TO SAY? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I feel a little masculine-feminine. Since coming to Paris, I have simplified my look. I was always interested in trends and I think I have integrated into my look what I observe in my everyday life. My style has really changed. When I return to the South, there sometimes is a gap between some trends I adopt and current trends in Cannes, up to the point of being asked by my friends, “Julie, are you sure about the socks with your pair of heels?”
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR APARTMENT ?
I often passed by this street corner, observing the neighbor’s terrace, which at the time was blooming, thinking to myself what a nice address. When I saw the ad in the real estate listing, I immediately wanted to visit. It was in a terrible state, the wooden floors were rotten, the walls were fissured, and the paint had cracks everywhere. I saw the potential of the place and the exposure to the southeast! The living room is flooded with light during the day. I already saw myself eating breakfast in the sun! It was going to be renovated, so I seized the opportunity.
THANK YOU JULIE FOR THIS NICE CONVERSATION AND THE CRUISING IN YOUR SL CONVERTIBLE ALONG THE SMALL STREETS OF PARIS.