Julia Restoin Roitfeld: Provocative dressing, baby blogs - and why this model will never change her mind


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The Independent Online

I was shot by Mario Testino when I was 10 As a kid I was always posing for photos; even on holiday my mum [Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris] would take as many photo-posing moments as she could. We were trained in posing – and I hated it. But maybe that's why I can have fun when posing as a model now; I don't over-analyse or try too hard.

I didn't want to be in fashion like my mother Though I realised that whatever it was, it had to be creative. I spent a long time studying design, graphics and business, to discover what I wanted to do: I didn't graduate until I was 26, and then I wanted to do several internships. Now I'm an art director of [promotional] campaigns [for brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Miu Miu].

I blushed when Tom Ford said I was the ultimate beauty When that came out in the media I felt a lot of pressure – there's no way to respond to that!

There should be more women and fewer girls in modelling I don't want to name names but some brands use super-young girls who are much younger than the target market of the brand they are posing for. I feel like there should be more women in their thirties in those campaigns. Of course, it's done to create an illusion, so the customer can identify themselves as young and turn back the clock. I'm not powerful enough to make such a change myself, but I'd hope to one day: I just don't know if it's what people want.

You shouldn't judge people on the way they dress People think that as I dress provocatively and super-sexy, that is who I am. But actually I'm much shyer, and for me, dressing this way is an escape, a fun way to create a story and to play a character for the day. But if you're looking to see who I really am, you need to dig deeper.

My mother is a more daring dresser than me And when she was my age she dared to make her shorts much shorter than mine! She always pushes the limits, though she's always elegant; it's what makes her a style icon. I also think it's a way of expression for her, though, as she is much shyer than me.

Most motherhood websites are just about being a mum I wanted to create a platform that shows this is not true, that you can have a career, be an amazing mum and look glam, which is why I created [baby blog] Romy & the Bunnies [named after her one-year-old daughter, Romy Nicole]. I love Gwyneth Paltrow's site [goop.com], too. I think she's a great role model.

You must never forget who first believed in you For me, professionally, it was the people who wrote the first article about me as a person, in [New York fashion and culture bible] Paper magazine. It was on the 50 most beautiful newcomers to New York [Roitfeld moved there in 2004]. A few months later I was approached to work on my first campaign. I want to thank them, as sometimes people forget who has given them a hand in life.

You can't change my mind If I have an idea that I really want to pursue, I won't let go of it, even if I'm wrong. [Swedish model] Robert [Konjic, with whom she is in a long-term relationship] says it's my worst habit.

The only thing I miss about Paris is Dad's cooking When I go home, I love to sit at the table with a glass of red wine and a good plate of my father's penne arrabbiata.

Julia Restoin Roitfeld, 32, is a model and advertising art director based in New York. Tom Ford, a family friend, made her the face of his fragrance in 2006, and she has since worked with brands including Mango, Zac Posen and Kiki de Montparnasse. For her baby blog: romyandthebunnies.com