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With her Californian blonde locks and a sunny outlook, Heimstone designer Alix Petit perfectly embodies her love of travel and bohemian life. But while Petit loves hunting for inspiration in far-flung corners of the globe, there’s nothing she likes more than coming home to the city where she was born. We learn more about what makes Paris her spiritual compass.
As a Parisienne born and bred, do you have any typically Parisian habits?
Ever since I started living in New York, I’ve started to enjoy leading a very clichéd Parisian lifestyle when I’m back in Paris: walking to my office, stopping off to have a coffee at a café on the way and later getting together with friends with a good bottle of wine and a cured meat board. It’s everything I miss when I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.
Do you have any Paris happy places?
I must say that I always love the idea of a never-ending stroll around Saint-Germain.
Which colors evoke Paris in your mind?
When I think of Paris, I immediately envisage ombré cream, beige and gray with little hints of gold: I think it’s a chic combination and very representative of the light in the capital on summer evenings and at nightfall.
If you had to illustrate Paris with a collection, what would it look like?
It would be with a very simple, monochromatic collection (cream, light gray and gold) with simple, yet structured androgynous silhouettes. And, not forgetting a few very feminine details that add a little Parisian “je ne sais quoi”!
Name three unexpected Parisian backdrops that sum up the city?
The golden dome of the Invalides, the sculptures on Alexandre III bridge. It’s crazy to think of all that gold, and it inspires me. And then there are all the tumbledown narrow streets in the Marais, some of the buildings look like they could fall down.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood stroll?
I love going to the Champs de Mars gardens.
Champ-de-Mars, 2 Allée Adrienne Lecouvreur, 75007 Paris.
Where do you go for inspiration?
The Quai Branly Museum, it brings a hint of exoticism to Paris and is a constant source of inspiration to me in my collections. Then, I go for a walk along the Seine. It’s as if Paris in all its perfection comes to me here.
Le Musée du Quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris. Tel: +33 1 56 61 70 00.
What typically French gifts do you like to give foreigners?
Some cured sausage, some rillettes (a pâté-like meat), a little Comté cheese and you have a great French gift.
Would you ever live in another city other than your home city of Paris or New York?
I love coming back to Paris as a tourist and I love living in New York, a city that’s captured my heart. But, I could live nomadically in a few other cities like Los Angeles, Miami or even in Colorado or Montana. Because my husband is of Turkish origin and grew up in Australia, I’d also be happy to go to Istanbul and Sydney. I suppose I could go wherever the wind takes me.
What’s making you happy right now?
My daughter Ellis Bloom, my husband Onur, my family, my work, travel, sports, sleeping, bread and butter, dreaming, New York and my everyday life.
Do you have a feel-good motto?
When you want it, you can do it!
Do you have a mental good luck charm you turn to each day?
I wake up in the morning telling myself how lucky I am to be where I am and happy that my family’s in good health.
Name three energy-boosting songs
Heartbeats by The Knives, Mister Jones by Counting Crows and Stay by Rihanna.
What gets you out of bed on difficult mornings?
The sooner I get out of bed, the sooner I can get back to bed.
How do you like to relax and let go?
Running. Sport is definitely the best way to escape.
How do you beat the blues?
By simply talking before the blues even hit. Communication heals a lot of frustrations.
What’s your favorite French dish?
Coq au vin.
Do you have any favorite energy-boosting recipes?
Milk chocolate with hazelnuts in large quantities.
How would do you describe the typical Parisian?
Elegant yet carefree. A little tomboyish, yet always classically dressed without committing any style missteps.
What makes you feel Parisian?
Everything I do. When I’m in New York people can tell I’m Parisian from a distance.
Name a Parisian beauty trick that’s simply perfect in its own right
Splashing the face with cold water in the morning before putting on a little moisturising cream.
Do you have any homemade beauty recipes or go-to ingredients?
Simple: A little lemon juice in water first thing in the morning, it perks you up wonderfully.
Do you have any beauty secrets you share with your daughter?
I always tell her to hydrate her skin, especially when she’s still young and fresh.
Have you made any beauty discoveries that have changed your life?
Applying a little sweet almond oil before my body cream, it makes skin even smoother, softer and well hydrated – a real treat.
If you could only take one beauty product out with you on a night out what would it be?
My lip balm, I can’t live without it.
When did you last get the giggles?
With my cousin Java Jacobs who told me she was going to smother my daughter with kisses when she sees her.
Who do you dream of spending a night in Paris with? Michael Jackson. It would be hard though.
Alix’s Paris address book
Where do you go for:
Pretty gifts? Heimstone, quite innocently of course…
Heimstone Paris, 23 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris.
For a massage or to relax? The Ban Thai Spa, for its relaxing atmosphere in the heart of Montorgueil
Ban Thai Spa, 5 Rue Mandar, 75002 Paris. Tel: + 33 1 40 28 00 80.
For tea, coffee or a cocktail? The lovely market on Rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement.
For lunch with friends? Maison Plisson, a kind of food department store with local products. It has a beautifully airy and light restaurant that cooks the fresh produce on site.
La Maison Plisson, 93 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75011 Paris. Tel: + 33 01 71 18 19 09.
For housewares? The Conran shop and Zara Home
Conran Shop, 117 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris.
Zara Home, 38 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris.
Photos : Hannah & Joël