The influence of Parisian women on fashion is so ubiquitous that, in truth, it’s become somewhat cliché—the Internet has long been overrun with advice columns on “how to wear your [insert any accessory here] like a French woman.” And yet, no matter how hackneyed the trend has become, there’s still something about French women and their style that takes a hold of us and simply won’t let go: their effortlessness, their unshakable confidence, their grace. Their je ne sais quoi.
Perhaps no contemporary style star embodies this feeling more than Jeanne Damas. Born, raised, and currently living in Paris, Damas is Parisian through and through. From the sophisticated yet unconcerned way she styles herself to her knowing sips of espresso, Jeanne is a walking manifestation of the City of Light.
“In Paris, I can find so much inspiration sitting for a few hours at a café and looking specifically up at the terraces off people’s apartments. It comes close to a fashion show,” she tells us. We met her at Hotel Costes, an iconic haunt frequented by Yves Saint Laurent and many other fashion influencers past, located on the Rue Saint-Honoré in the city’s 1st arrondissement. The hotel's energy is dark and moody, a contrast to the carefree and playful energy Jeanne brought to the shoot.
There and at the nearby Place Vendôme, we shot her wearing our newest Spring 2018 styles paired back to classic vintage pieces—of which Jeanne has a formidable collection.
“I’m also very much inspired by my travels, especially by the way people dress and go about their lifestyles in different parts of the world,” Jeanne continues. “I really like to watch people in the streets, in the airports, cafés, markets, anywhere…”
And although she will likely forever call Paris her home, Jeanne is an experienced globetrotter; her career has taken her many times to New York and Los Angeles, among numerous other world capitals. She’s been in the fashion arena for some time now—collaborating with powerhouse brands, launching her own brand called Rouje, and (most recently) pursuing her passion for photography.
“My best friend of 20 years is the daughter of photographer Harry Gruyaert. Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we would visit the Arles Photography Festival and countless art exhibits in Paris,” Jeanne explains of her passion. “It really helped develop my eye for photography. When practicing my own photography, I love to highlight the beauty of women and use portraits to capture the incredible personalities of my friends.”
Stateside, Instagram is a dominant force in both fashion and photography—but the same can’t necessarily be said about its influence in France. Historically, the French have looked down upon movements with such mass appeal as almost blasé—as such, Jeanne has had to work that much harder to build her extensive and loyal base of fans. Her hard work has paid off; with nearly a million Instagram followers, she is now one of the most-followed people in all of France.
“Instagram has completely transformed the fashion and media industries,” Jeanne says. “In the past, we were limited to what the mass media published, and now we all have control of what is consumed. There’s power in the consumer, as she can now decide what content to follow, and new media can be created through individuals.”
Perusing Jeanne’s feed is not unlike stepping out onto a stylish Paris terrace—it’s full of that vivacious, romantic ambience that is quintessentially Parisian. The way Jeanne approaches her personal style is much the same.
“I like to dress in a way that shows a confident and pretty side—and being comfortable is most important,” she explains. “It’s likely why I am always wearing jeans. I like J Brand jeans because there is a little stretch, which makes them super comfortable. And they are easy to style.”
Jeanne’s partnership with J Brand arose organically from these tastes. The ease with which Jeanne moves in her clothing epitomizes the very reason we design our denim the way we do—imbued with stretch, softness, and style.
“I like how J Brand balances a casual and serious lifestyle. The clothing can be dressed up or down, and that fits well with my own life,” she says. “The ecru or white jeans (Joan in Macadamia and Joan in Optic White) are perfect for summer! I love California, and have taken some beautiful road trips down the West coast. Since J Brand is based in California, it brings back a lot of emotions from those trips. It’s about positive energy, being liberated, enjoying the company of friends, and enjoying life.”
SHOP HER LOOKS:
JOAN HIGH-RISE WIDE-LEG CROP
IN OPTIC WHITE
FAYE CROPPED JACKET
IN BRIGHT CORAL
JOAN HIGH-RISE WIDE-LEG CROP