The Heroine’s Journey of Nathalie Benarroch

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love assembling words and images, because I am entranced by both equally: the strong image and the chosen word. I fully enjoy using these words and images in order to create a brand that has a soul you can recognize as if this brand were a person you were very familiar with.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?

Being in the flow of creation and being in love.

What is my greatest fear?

To stop working and creating. But recently, I realized, it is my mission and I will always create something, even if it is only a bouquet.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

My impulsivity.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Anna Wintour. Vogue is Fashion and Fashion is the one of the greatest and yet most attainable art forms. If I love fashion, it is not just about the clothes. I love the stories that each collection tells and that are reflected in the clothes. These fabrics, colors, shapes and prints represent a voyage in a juxtaposition of time and place.

What is my greatest extravagance?

When my daughters were younger, it was dressing them in Bonpoint and then bringing them to Mariage Freres for tea in Paris. I loved seeing these unabashedly elegant children pouting in front of a St.Honoré.

Now it is interior design: crystal, fabrics and wallpaper. My recent “coup de Coeur” was the Strawberry Thief by Morris & Co. This print is inspired by the wonderful view of the window from his country house. One morning he caught a glimpse of small birds eating strawberries and this inspired the print. I imagine him observing the scene and then designing this beautiful print. As was said by Paul Rand, that is what creativity is : collecting things in the pockets of your mind and then expressing them.

On what occasion would I lie?

In order to avoid hurting someone.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Having to compromise. Looking for new contracts.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

When I worked for BCBG MAX AZRIA in Paris. We were based in Paris and traveled as a team to Los Angeles, London, New York and the head office in the South of France. It was so interesting interacting and working with team members from different countries and cultures. We went to all the fashion shows at Bryant Lane Park, on shopping trips and company seminars and were busy with our work/ partying schedule. We had a wonderful time searching for inspiration in stores, restaurants and design. I made a lot of great friends that were my partners in fashion crime. Working for Max Azria was a wonderful experience. He was generous and loved having his team around him. He knew that it is important to get the job done, but everything passes so the most important is to enjoy the moment. We were all very sad to hear he passed away this year.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

To be easy going on myself.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

A coffee table book titled “Looks, that was launched at the Artcurial House for Contemporary Art on avenue Montagne in Paris. I was part of a team of four: photographer, hair, make up and myself as stylist, where we all freely explored our domains through fashion photoshoots. I styled fashions by Azzedine Alaia, Paco Rabanne, Dior Haute Couture and many others, with our goal in mind: to show that a womans face and body, since always, has been a canvas.

Another achievement I enjoyed was launching my lifestyle brand Inukt.com at the store of The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I came back to Montreal, after many years in Paris, and became inspired by Canada. My goal was to show that a Made in Canada line can be as glamorous as a Made in Paris or Made in Italy label. It is a question of branding.

Where would I most like to live?

In many different places throughout the year: New York, Paris, Miami, Los Angeles and Montreal.

What is my most treasured possession?

My computer. It allows me to gather words and images. My books: they are arranged by subject and the novels are in alphabetical order by author’s name. I cannot take the leap to virtual books, because I love being surrounded by them. My clothes and accessories too!

What is my most marked characteristic?

My enthusiasm, my love of creativity and art and my need for neatness, cleanliness and order.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

A magazine, with a long espresso and black chocolate. I also have three or four favorite libraries and museums.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I love going to the Bar George because I feel like I am in a swanky old library or gentlemens club which it was originally. I also love going to the Crew Café to work. Gentile café has the very best pasta in the city, and I enjoy going to l’Express on St. Denis because whenever I wish I can feel like I am back in Paris.

What books influenced my life and how?

I love reading about history to put things in perspective. I also enjoy books on positive thinking. I read a lot but find that often authors could put in an essay what they put in a book. Except for Marshall Macluhan’s “Understanding Media”. That book surprised everyone with 75% new material. One of the editors of this book noted in dismay that “seventy-five per cent of the material is new. A successful book cannot venture to be more than ten per cent new.” It still became a huge success.

I read the “Edible Woman” by Margaret Atwood in my early twenties and I think it alerted me to how a woman could easily have her personality, ambitions, direction and desires be swallowed up.

I just ordered “The Book of Why”, from Bill Gate’s reading list. I read every evening and so for me the next book is always the best book.

Who are my favorite writers?

Philip Roth is the author of many of my favorite books like Human Stain and American Pastoral.

I also love old world books by Robertson Davies, Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, E.M. Forster or David Lodge and of course Jane Austen.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

Rock Music. Soft, country or even hard rock. Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Florence & the Machine, Texas, the Kinks, the Eagles, Cage the Elephant, Greta Van Fleet, the Damn Truth. Another great favorite is Patti Smith. I love French singers too like Serge Gainsbourg, Renaud and Charles Aznavour. I must add to my list Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Don Draper in Mad Men because I love advertising and creating campaigns. Or Richie Finestra in Vinyl because being a record executive or rock star would be my dream number 2.

I feel I should pick a woman but I love that era, except for one huge disadvantage: back then women had no careers so the men had all the fun.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Bill Gates. Warren Buffet. Philip Knight. What they created, how they stayed down to earth and use their success to help others.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

99 francs” written by Frédéric Beigbeder, also a great author, and starring one of my favorite actors, Jean Dujardin. It is the story of the corporate life of a Creative Director. It depicts with lots of humour and finesse the tug of war that often exists between marketing and creative departments.

Recently I loved Washington Post. It shows a woman that is firm yet so elegant and soft-spoken in her leadership role.

What role plays art in my life and work?

Art is my inspiration. I am always visiting museums in my city, my travels and via print and web. Recently I spent 4 days at Art Basel just soaking up art. After spending a very grey and dreary month of November in Montreal it was great to soak up all the vibrant colors of contemporary art against the backdrop of sunny, palm tree filled Miami.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

Leila Saliba, art director. We used to work together at ice.com and diamond.com and we lived together a lot of the scenes, although not as excessively, that you see in 99 francs.

My daughters of course, as they are all in arts : fashion, design, architecture and the 14 year old still tbd.

Whom would I like to work with in 2019/2020?

Companies that are the best in their field, whatever it may be and have a strong sense of aesthetics and the power of technology.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019/2020?

I would like to meet people outside my profession that I can offer a complementary skill set to. I would love to work on the branding of a rock group.

What project, in 2019/2020, am I looking forward to work on?

I am working on creating a line based on the wellness of cbd called Cannedenn.

Where can you see me or my work in 2019/2020?

I always update my portfolio: https://www.behance.net/nathalieben and my book titled “I will survive, signed a divorcee” to be published with iuniverse.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I will never stop creating…something or other!

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Fashion brand heroines like Miuccia Prada, the Marni sisters. Writers like Margaret Atwood and Siri Hustvedt.

How can you contact me?

Through Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathalie-benarroch/

Or via email nb@yourinfluentialagency.com

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