It Girl Jeanne Damas
The fashion blogger, model and actress has been tapped with the ultimate French rite of passage: Roger Vivier brand ambassador.
By Jessica Michault
The French have long been fans of It Girls. From Josephine Baker through Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin to Vanessa Paradis and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, It Girls have become part of the fabric of French culture. There is even a second-generation of these je ne sais quoi-imbued women, such as Birkin’s daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and more recently Paradis’ first born, Lily Rose Depp.
In today’s hyper-digital world, social media has become the hot bed location to discover new It Girls, and the French are no exception. Case in point: Paris-based fashion blogger, model and actress Jeanne Damas.
Inès de la Fressange, brand ambassador of Roger Vivier, tapped the chestnut haired, doe-eyed and red-lipped beauty to be the face of the house’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection. And in keeping with her Parisian image, the campaign was shot in the City of Light. Damas even donned a beret and for one shot paired a classically French Mariner stripped sweater with her silver Roger Vivier heels while posing on the bank of the River Seine. It doesn’t get much more French than that.
“Jeanne is a modern and typically Parisian young woman. In jeans she’s sophisticated, and in a dress, she’s cool,” says de la Fressange. “She represents an attitude that’s undeniably what young women of her generation like about her.”
The 23-year-old Damas is a true Parisian. “Living in Paris has unquestionably had an effect on my sense of style,” she says. “But also my mother, who is very beautiful and loves dressing well, but is not a fashion addict. That really had a strong influence on how I dress,” she adds.
How the partnership between Roger Vivier and Damas came about sounds like the perfect “meet cute” movie set-up. At a gala fashion charity event in January, Damas won a Roger Vivier Miss Viv bag; the next day she sent the house a Thank You note. This led to a face-to-face meeting at a press presentation for the house and the rest, as they say, is history.
Surprisingly, Damas, who counts more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and a strong following on her Tumblr blog, doesn’t see herself as a next-gen photographer in the making. “I really only take photos for my own pleasure—my trips, my friends, the moments of life. Years ago I had thought about being a full-time photographer, but it has remained a hobby,” she says.
Instead, Damas’ future is full of promise. “When I signed with the talent agency IMG, that’s when it all became more professional. That’s when I really learned about branding and developing a public image. Not saying yes to everything and really building a career.”
That focus has led to a supporting role in the French film, Le Gène de Doute, directed by Agathe Teyssier and shot this year (at press time there was no release date). Fashion labels invite her to design capsule collections—Damas recently collaborated with catalog firm La Redoute for its Spring/Summer 2015 collection—and in early 2016, Damas will launch her own clothing line. Considering her undeniable innate sense of fashion and the fact she has a cadre of designer friends, including Simon Porte Jacquemus and lingerie designer Yasmine Eslami, her line will undoubtedly do well.
Damas seems to be taking the It Girl stardom in stride. Completely unruffled—except for her perfectly disheveled tresses—she didn’t even let a fire that destroyed her Paris apartment last year throw her off track. “C’est pas grave… those things are part of life,” said Damas in that nonchalant way that only the French can pull off.
Photography by Kate Bellm, courtesy of Roger Vivier.