Carine Roitfeld, although busy with her new job at Barneys in New York, has a teeny bit more time on her hands to give interviews at the moment – so she very kindly consented to let the FT whisk her off for a slap up lunch at a posh restaurant in Paris called Caviar Kaspia. The writer found her to be friendly and ‘free from hauteur, offering a warm smile rather than a fashion-style flicker of facial muscles’ and over the course of the interview, ‘Roitfeld talks at Eurostar-speed, and doesn’t check her BlackBerry, take calls or even betray the twitchiness that comes from ignoring them.’
She candidly admits a few rifts at the top of Paris Vogue – firstly that her and her successor to the editrixship, Emmanuelle Alt, are no longer on speaking terms. All she will say is, ‘We aren’t friends any more. I think it’s sad. When you give a lot of confidence in people and you don’t get it back you are a bit disappointed but it’s life. I move on.’ The other being between her and the president of Condé Nast France, Xavier Romatet. ‘No, he didn’t like it,’ says Roitfeld, referring to the issue of the magazine guest edited by Tom Ford and featuring a jewellery photo shoot featuring elderly models passionately kissing and groping each other while dripping in diamonds, and a shoot with children wearing evening wear and make-up. Even by the standards of French Vogue, with its high nipple count, or “nudity, transsexuals, men in suspenders” as Roitfeld puts it.
Huh! Two other factettes that we absolutely lapped up, were that she has now started carrying a handbag, after years of absolutely hating them, (perverse in fashion? mais, bien sur!), because now she is freelance she has to carry her own stuff around with her. (Oh the humanity!) There is one other difference, though: having had a longstanding distaste for handbags she is now forced to use one because she doesn’t have an office. ‘I have discovered how useful it is to carry a book, perfume, agenda,’ Useful? Well yes they are. Our other favourite titbit is that far from being sniffy about having her looks compared to Iggy Pop, she is a fan. “People always say, “You look like Iggy Pop,”’ she says, apparently unconcerned by the comparison to a rather grizzled-looking 64-year-old man. “I don’t know if it’s the eyes or the hair, anyway, he has a great style.’ So much so, that she's including him in her Barneys campaign!