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Interview: Superstar Blogger Garance Doré

Interview: Superstar Blogger Garance Doré
She dishes on work, dream spaces and NYC haunts.
Since launching her hugely popular blog in 2006, Garance Doré has attracted legions of fans by photographing stylish people and the vignettes she encounters in her daily life. With 70,000 hits a day on her blog, and 197,000 followers on Instagram, her keen eye nails every shot, whether the focus is a leggy star outside the tents of fashion week, or a basket of tangerines in a favourite bakery. Garance started off as an illustrator, a talent she's put to good use in recent collaboration with Rifle Paper Co. (see the article in the June 2014 Style Files) and Kate Spade. The Corsican-born blogger has since joined forces with another powerhouse, Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist both personally and professionally in their new home base, New York.

House & Home: You made the move from Paris to New York and travel around the globe. What's your favourite room in the world?
Garance Doré: Right now, it's my studio. It's not even finished — my desk is not my desk. When you've been moving around a lot from city to city, you don't really have time to focus; when you get to a new city you just find the first apartment. But in the meantime, we moved the studio to a real studio space. That was my dream that I couldn't even dream! Room for me and my team to do photos and painting and all those kind of things. We found a space between Tribeca and SoHo on the 16th floor and we have a view of the Freedom Tower, and so much light. It's the best place in the world right now.

The other one is Corsica. I'm from Corsica, so I'm really someone from the south and I love the blue sea and Italy. These friends of mine lent me a room in an old rock tower, you see them all around France and Italy on mountains that overlook the sea. I spent my summers there for years, so I had the view of the sea and my village on the side. It's the most beautiful place...

H&H: What's the last thing you bought for your house?
GD:
My house doesn't feel personal right now, because I'm in a moment when I want to change stuff. I like having things around me that are bright and happy, it changes my mood. I like to buy Murano vases. I've always been a lover of Murano but I found these little crystal vases. I don't want to become a crazy collector that has stuff everywhere, but I would like to have 5 to 10 of them. These are the kinds of things that make me happy.

H&H: What's your favourite pattern for fashion or home?
GD:
I love a stripe and stuff that's harder to describe. My mom is a big collector of scarves and I steal them from her because I love the patterns. I don't wear them but I think they are so amazing. And I love the graphic patterns from the '60s and also anything floral — but a Beverly Hills Hotel kind of print: bold or Hawaiian. I am a huge fan of that.

H&H: What inspires you right now?
GD:
Travel. Right now I've been traveling a little less because I have had so much to do and I wanted to experiment with just staying and working on my projects, so now I feel like I'm ready to have a vacation. I've always had something for very bright places. And I like going to old hotels, those inspire me.

H&H: Does your photography influence your illustrations or is it the other way around?
GD: The only thing I can say is that it's a totally different kind of work, meaning that when I'm drawing, I can be doing an interview and an illustration, I don't need my brain to do it, it comes naturally. So I can listen to music, sing, talk to my team. When I'm writing I need to have total silence. And when I'm taking photos I have a lot of people around me. It's the balance that inspires me. Last week I was shooting for five days and after that I was ready to come back and be very quiet, with no sound.

H&H: Do you have a motto?
GD: I have a lot of cheesy mottos, that are so true and so stupid when you say them, like "be yourself" or "be positive." But it's really the way I see things.

Below is a list of some of Garance's favourite NYC hotspots, as told to Lauren Bastide of ELLE France.

McNally Jackson

Before I lived in New York, I used to spend hours here. In this independent bookshop, the idea is to grab a book and have a seat in the café while you flip through it. The personal development section is incredible. (52 Prince St.)

Library at the NoMad Hotel

After Hurricane Sandy, my neighborhood (Greenwich Village) was in total darkness for several days. I took shelter in this chic hotel that just opened so that I could work on my computer. They were so sweet! (1170 Broadway)

The View From The Wythe Hotel

The Wythe Hotel is seriously turning Brooklyn into one of the hippest parts of New York. I go there on my bike with Scott. My advice: go up to the top floor at sunset, sit at the bar, ask for Robert, and order one of his cocktails. Enjoy!
(80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn)

The Art On Howard St.

 

De Vera is like a museum. Every object is a work of art. Don't touch! At Amaridian, you'll find work from designers all over the world. I dream of being able to buy a vase by South American artist Martine Jackson. In the meantime, I'll get myself a rosemary candle by Izola at Michele Varian.

The Saturdays Lifestyle

These little shops for city-dwelling surfers have been popping up all over the place lately. It's a concept: there's a café, a culture section and clothes. The hats are goooood. (31 Crosby St.)

Clic Bookstore and gallery

The owners of this bookstore and art gallery are French women. I love their selection of beautiful books and designer objects. (255 Centre St.)

Photo sources:
1. Portait by by Ezra Petronio, 40 Twenty
2. McNally Jackson via New York Bound Books

3. NoMad Hotel via Lingered Upon

4. The Wythe Hotel via Condé Nast Traveller

5. De Vera via Time Out New York
6. The Saturdays via Hipshops
7. Clic via Jeffrey James Accessories

See a gallery of interiors by another popular blogger, Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge and read more exclusive interviews here.

Photographer: 

Ezra Petronio

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