I opened my blog almost ten years ago.
Before long, it became my way of learning about life. I felt like I didn’t know anything about the world back then, or very little. So I started taking photos of strangers in the street, which was my way of researching the world through them, and I shared that with you.
I wrote a lot, I asked you all a lot of questions, I learned a lot. I traveled, I learned how to work, I matured. All of that is largely documented on this blog, which is completely crazy when you think about it. All I have to do is pick a date, and I know exactly where I was and who I was with that day. It’s interesting to have that, but sometimes, when I go back, I realize how little perspective I had at the time. It’s actually pretty touching, and that’s why I’ve always insisted on keeping all of my posts online, from the first to the last.
With the success of the blog, I’ve often been asked to write a book, but after my first failed attempt, I was more careful. I waited to be ready, to really have something to say. Maybe that day would never come? If that were the case, so be it. So I waited for a while and one day, I woke up with this idea. A book that would combine everything that makes up a woman’s life. A sort of manual, full of stories telling everything I’d learned in 40 years.
I wanted a book that would combine text, photos, and illustrations because that’s the way I express myself. That’s my world.
And I wanted to construct it in a way that talks about the outside and then slowly moves inward. The chapters are organized like this: Style, Career, Beauty, Elegance, and, finally, Love. For me, you can’t have one without the other. You can’t be a truly stylish person if you aren’t beautiful on the inside. It’s not a book of advice, exactly, because I don’t claim to know the secret to life, but it’s a book where I share my experiences. Some are fun, others are more profound. I wanted it to have the same spirit as the blog, but with an additional dimension. I reveal a lot more about myself in the book.
Writing a book also gives you time to finally reflect. And that perspective gives you the possibility to go further in what you put into it. Writing a blog as personal as mine means I’m always balancing on a line. What should I share, what should I keep to myself?
My point of view, as an author (yes, I suppose I can really say that now!!!) is that you have to have the courage to talk about everything. In my opinion, that’s the way it is — it’s part of an author’s responsibility. You can’t want to write and then only show your perfect side. But the “real time” aspect of the blog forces me to keep some things to myself because, when things are happening in my life, I don’t always know how they’ll end up. A book provides a whole new freedom, and that’s why it’s such a fascinating exercise.
For example, there’s a chapter in my book entirely dedicated to love where I reveal a lot about my intimate life. It’s something I’ve always wanted to talk about here, because it’s a subject my friends and I love, but it’s so, so complicated!
With a book there’s a real sense of finality. I hadn’t thought about that at all when I pitched the idea to publishing houses almost two years ago (I never would have thought the book would take up so much time and space in my life) but it’s coming out at a really key moment in my life. I’m 40, the world of blogs has completely changed with social media and, right in the middle of all that, I experienced a major life change and moved twice.
What I never would have suspected is how much work goes into writing a book. Any author will tell you, it’s a monumental amount of work, especially when you do everything yourself: the text, the photos, the drawings, the lettering, and also when you decide to work with the art director super closely (the amazing Elina Asanti) because you want the book to be like a new surprise each time you turn the page. Besides all of that, there are the battles between teams about the title and a million different details where everyone has their own opinion (something that almost… never happens with a blog) so, anyway, writing a book is serious business.
I also had to find the time to write it, and I had to rely on my team more, watching my baby (the blog) grow up and become independent. It was hard, for you sometimes just as much as it was for me — like you, I was attached to the simple format the blog had when it began — one voice, one author. But I always knew at some point I was going to have to let it grow. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over forever, and, if you want to keep reinventing yourself, you have to know how to create space, otherwise nothing ever shifts and you run out of ideas.
This book was a great adventure for me, and the title is an excellent reflection of that.
I’ll share a few pages with you soon, but I don’t want to say too much about it now. And don’t take my grandiloquent tone this morning too seriously, it’s just that I’m really touched to be able to present my new baby to you. The truth is, it’s fun, lighthearted, funny, and addressed to each one of you. It’s a book that talks about style, courage, beauty, and about not conforming to what other people think of us, no matter where we come from. It’s a book that talks about us, the silly things we do that we learn from, and the flaws we all have that make us unique.
I wanted this book to be full of love and joy, to give back to you a tiny bit of what you’ve given me these past ten years. It’s a book that doesn’t really fit into a category because categories are too reductive and, if I had to put myself in a category, this blog never would have existed. It’s a book full of people I love and full of positive energy. It’s a book you can read in a lot of different ways. It’s kind of like a best friend. And I get tears in my eyes when I write to you, especially now that I’m starting to receive letters from readers who got the book early for some reason and were touched by it.
So yes, truly, I’m so proud of Love Style Life and I cannot wait to share it with you. It comes out next week all over the world. Crazy!
1/ You can pre-order it in English here, and in French here.
2/ The exact release dates are: in English throughout the world on October 27, in French on December 2, and in 8 other languages for now (other languages are being added every day!) – we created a super beautiful mini-site with all of this information and it will launch the same day the book comes out.
3/ I’m starting my tour in the US and it will continue throughout the world (and also in French cities other than Paris throughout 2016) — I’ll keep you posted in the weeks to come.