Welcome to our new column, The Essentials. Every week we will profile an awesome woman with an incredible job in a different industry. We want to know how she got this job and why, but also how the heck she manages to do it and, you know, live her life! What are the essentials she needs to get through the day?
“French women are extraordinary. l’m thinking of writing a little book about them and their native habitat. All their customs and ceremonials. l mean, their scarves alone… an entire chapter. Knotted in front, one end down, the other end thrown over the shoulder. Or looped around double and the ends tucked in. Or around the shoulder, over their coat like a shawl. Or tied in the back. l mean, châle, foulard, ècharpe. Just think of all the words they have for scarf. And in a language which is very sparse in vocabulary.” —Olivia Pace in ‘Le Divorce’
If you’re anything like me, you’re a little intimidated by French women. I mean, how can you not be? They’re beautiful, effortlessly fashionable, and let’s not forget, they speak French! This is the country that gave us Coco, Brigitte, and Marion!
But after talking with Domino Lattès, an awesome woman who is one of these intimidating French creatures, I felt a little better. Not that she didn’t have all those quintessential French characteristics (even for our Skype chat she wore a dramatic shade of red lipstick and super trendy dark-rimmed glasses), but she said French women are intimidated sometimes and can even be envious of American women (well, perhaps the more put-together ones).
What? C’est moi? Well, it’s always nice to hear the perspective from where we think the grass is greener. Meet Domino Lattès, a writer focusing mainly on fashion. She has contributed to Air France Madame, L’Officiel, L’Officiel Voyage, Milk, and Elle about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle, as well her own blog, What Domino Wants.
Describe your job to us.
How did you come to be where you are in your career now?
I studied history at university and then completely changed my path. I then went to St. Martin’s and to Studio Berçot, a fashion school in Paris. After working for several companies I decided to go freelance, as there were so many different things I was passionate about. So right now, I am multitasking and loving it.
How many hours a week do you work? How is your exhaustion level?
It’s hard to say. I have issues turning my brain off. I’m generally more excited than exhausted. Exhaustion comes with boredom.
Do you feel like you have work-life balance, or are you stuck on a seesaw?
Frankly, I find it difficult to complain. We are lucky enough to work for something we love and choose.
How do you unwind after work?
I spend time with my daughter. Nothing beats that.
Have you had a “failure” in your career? If so, how did you recover?
Yes, of course I have. I think recovery came with finding my responsibilities and making peace with them.
Are you unplugged on the weekends, or totally tuned in?
Whose career do you want?
Lauren Hutton’s. Except I’m far from being a model. So there goes the fantasy!
What pieces of technology do you always carry? iPhone, tablet, laptop?
iPhone. But I never use it to record; I write in a notebook.
What shoes do you wear for meetings or presentations?
Chloé high heel boots. Comfy as a marshmallow.
What shoes do you actually wear to get to the meeting?
What do you usually eat for lunch?
Vegetable plates, salads, or Japanese.
What’s in your junk food drawer?
Nutella. I know…
What is your alcoholic drink of choice?
A lemon, Perrier, vodka, and rosemary cocktail. It reminds me of Corsica in the summer.
Go-to store, brand, or designer for work clothes?
I don’t make a difference between work and other clothes. So I would say a mix between Charvet [bespoke shirtmakers in Paris], Acne, Céline, J.Crew, and quite a lot of vintage.
What items do you always keep in your desk or bag?
A pen, my keys, gum, red lipstick, headphones, and a lucky charm made by my daughter.
Exercise of choice?
What is your favorite blog you are reading right now, and what book are you reading right now?
Another Magazine, Self Service, T Magazine. I have just finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and was heading towards Amitav Ghosh. Any advice?
Look for Domino’s upcoming column on How French Women Do It, next week on Levo!
Ask Maggie Ciafardini, Managing Director for the Americas at PZCussons Beauty, what her essentials are!