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Featuring Social Media Consultant, Digital Marketing Strategist, Content Creator and Blogger, Laura Albouy.
"Whenever I go back to Paris, what strikes me is the 'allure' of women: a combination of confidence, elegance and "je m’en foutisme" which in French means 'not caring.'"
Meet Laura Albouy, whose chic style gives the Brochu team a daily dose of Parisian inspiration. A native-Parisian now living in Los Angeles, she tells us of her journey in the fashion industry, including seeing the “boom” of the blogging business, as well as her journey from France to California and her thoughts on the differences between Parisian and Los Angeles style. Read on to get a glimpse of her dynamic personality and take some tips from her cool-girl style.
Initials LA is not just your average blog. Describe to us the ideas behind it and how it came about.
I started blogging when I moved from Paris to California in 2013. In Paris, I was a marketing and communication manager for a luxury beauty brand, and we saw the blog phenomenon emerge. We started working with bloggers in 2011 and were amazed by their success, their audience and how engaged their followers were. It was a little revolution in the world of communication.
When I met my husband in 2013 and decided to move to California to be with him, it took me a few months to get my green card and a work permit. I knew the potential of blogging and decided to give it a try. I started Initials LA to write about French fashion, and I how was combining my personal Parisian aesthetic with the Los Angeles lifestyle. Later on, I specialized in social media services and influencer relationships. Now I still have my blog but I mostly work as a digital marketing strategist and content creator for French fashion brands who are looking for exposure on the US market.
What are some element of Parisian style you incorporate into your daily wardrobe?
Most days, I am wearing a white shirt tucked in high-rise jeans and I throw a trench coat or blazer on top. I don’t think that there are Parisian “staples”, conversely to what people think. We don’t have 5 must- haves (the Breton shirt, the blazer, the little black dress or whatever these articles about French women say) that people could buy and suddenly look French with.
However, I am convinced that the Parisian style is about staying casually chic while being comfortable in your clothes. Whenever I go back to Paris, what strikes me is the “allure” of women: a combination of confidence, elegance and “je m’en foutisme” which means in French “not caring”. I think that this is what makes me look French: my style is never perfect: my hair is rarely done, I wear very little makeup, there will always be a casual twist to my outfits.
In your opinion, what makes a good piece of clothing?
The versatility of the piece and how confident you are when you wear it.
From your blog, it’s easy to tell you can pull off a lot different looks well. Do you have a go-to style or favorite look?
I definitely love to wear neutral tones or monochrome outfits.
At Brochu, we truly value detail and comfortability. What are some things that you value most in your life?
I definitely value comfort, too, [as well as] timelessness and elegance. Every time I try to be too “trendy”, pull out bold outfits that nobody would wear in real life, I don’t feel like myself, which makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s just not me and the image I want to present of myself.
You’re originally from Paris, and now reside in Los Angeles. What are some of the biggest differences between those fashion worlds? Are there any similarities?
The LA scene is changing and over the past years I noticed that the European style has been slowly taking over, especially on the East-side of Los Angeles, where I live.
I used to hate Los Angeles because I was comparing it to Paris all the time, even when it came to fashion. I started loving the city the day I stopped comparing. I used to despise the LA fashion scene because it was so disconnected to everything I knew. I thought that girls were either too sexy at night, or too casual wearing leggings all day long. The Parisian fashion scene might be more “educated” and classy when it comes to fashion, but it is just normal because Paris has been the capital of fashion for decades.
Sure, people dress up more and better in Paris…because they are used to, because they have seasons, because the Parisian lifestyle makes them do it. On the other hand, Los Angeles is a way more relaxed city. First, it’s warm most of the time. You drive a lot during the day. You have time to go to yoga in the morning. Most people I know work from home. Then…why dress up? People value comfort.
When it comes to new looks or content; where are places, or things that you look to for inspiration?
Take a guess...Instagram of course! I do follow other influencers, photographers, brands. For locations or original photography ideas, I also love to read magazines like Cereal or Unconditional Magazine.
What are some of your favorite aspects of the Brochu Walker brand?
I think I made it clear that I value timeless and easy-to-style pieces. When I discovered Brochu Walker and browsed on the site, I immediately knew that I could incorporate the clothes into my daily wardrobe very easily. Plus I am a sucker for cashmere, so there you go...
What advice would you give to young individuals who would like to get a start in the fashion industry?
Oh my...I would say it’s a tough, tough world and not as “sexy” as people think it is. So many people think it’s an industry for dummies while I think that it requires as many skills as any other job. You have to be clever, persistent, and better than the others, and trust me--there is competition. Also, I highly encourage the new generation to raise interest towards slow fashion, small designers, eco-friendly brands, which I am trying to do more and more.
And last...what are some of your favorite traditions during the holidays?
Taking my 4-year-old son to the Christmas train in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, with all the Christmas lights. He has been obsessed with it since he was a baby!
Follow Laura's journey at @lauralbouy.