How to Live Like French Designer Julie De Libran

Her secret? One word: Risk, or so she says days before the Sonia Rykiel fall 2016 show.

Julie Portrait - David Bailey

On Monday, Julie De Libran debuts her seventh collection for Parisian fashion house Sonia Rykiel, where she’s garnered acclaim for her reimagining of the iconic brand. The 44-year-old De Libran has managed to modernize the Rykiel’s classic silhouettes with brightly colored eclectic prints, while staying true to its traditional French essence. A design veteran of houses such as Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Prada (where she worked for over ten years), De Libran made her permanent footprint stateside when she opened her New York flagship store last week. She has her favorite haunts in the city, but for a killer plate of Japanese noodles she only trusts her spot back in Paris.

Sonia Rykiel designer Julie de Libran in her office.

Define your style:

Classic with a twist, utilitarian shapes revisited. Mostly I love taking risks.

Daily uniform: Jeans, a knit, and a men’s traditional blazer with a fox vest and a great pair of boots.

Last purchase: Sonia Rykiel dark blue corduroy velvet pant suit with an accompanying short jacket. It is my most recent uniform.

Best beauty purchase: EVE Lom face cleanser.

Favorite stores: Dover Street Market in London and New York. In Los Angeles I head to Opening Ceremony. In Paris I love our Sonia Rykiel Saint Germain des Près store!

Favorite Paris eatery: Le 21 has to be the best fish restaurant in Paris. If I want Japanese I head to Yen – it’s the best freshly made Japanese noodles I’ve ever had, and I love how they use wooden spoons. I really can’t recommend it enough! For every day I go to Guen Mai, a great macrobiotic restaurant.

Favorite New York haunt: Ballet beautiful, the cult favorite started by Mary Helen Bowers.

Sonia Rykiel's New York store.

Nighttime look: A sequined shirtdress with boots and a marabou stole.

Always in your bag:

My favorite lip balm is “Baume de Rose” from By Terry.

Style icon: Françoise Hardy when she was singing in the ’70s.

Winter must-have: Uka Japanese Nail oil and gloves at all times. My go-to pair this winter are these beautiful cashmere-lined gloves by Marc Jacobs.

Best fashion advice: “Surprise and take risks.” I’ve learned this from the designers I’ve had the chance to work with such as Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré, and Jean Charles de Castelbajac.

Photos: How to Live Like French Designer Julie De Libran

Julie de Libran portrait by David Bailey.

Julie de Libran, third from left, and models wearing de Libran’s first collection for Sonia Rykiel. De Libran wears her own bracelet. Photograph by Emma Summerton; styled by Julie de Libran.

Sonia Rykiel with a model at her fall 1973 presentation. Photograph by Jean-Luce Hure.

Julie de Libran in her Paris atelier, photographed by her friend Sofia Coppola.

De Libran’s inspiration mood board. Photograph by Sofia Coppola.

De Libran’s fabric swatches. Photograph by Sofia Coppola.

Looks from de Libran’s spring 2015 debut at Sonia Rykiel. Photographs by Giovanni Giannoni/WWD.

A Rykiel look from spring 1975. Photograph by Jean-Luce Hure.

De Libran, moments before her runway show, photographed by Sofia Coppola.