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"La Vie en Rouje"

T“here is no strategic formula to dressing. It’s all about wearing what you feel comfortable in,” says Jeanne Damas, when the word style is called into question. The role-juggling entrepreneur, who oscillates between creative direction, brand consultancy and modelling, is also one of Paris’s most influential dressers, boasting – unsurprisingly – more than a million Instagram followers – yet another string to her multi-faceted bow.

When it comes to starting a fashion brand, an acute eye for aesthetic comes first, but an active social media strategy ranks a close second—Jeanne Damas is a master of the two, so the launch of her brand Rouje was expected, if not inevitable. “My vision of fashion puts functionality, femininity and of course, comfort first. I wear clothes that make me feel beautiful and I design classic pieces with that same aim in mind. I want women to feel good and comfortable, the two can and do run in parallel. It’s really important for me to not follow trends because I really like the idea that a wardrobe is something that’s about you, it should represent who you are and how you dress. These pieces aren’t ‘It’ pieces, they are classic, they fuse function with beauty.”

The word ‘function’ isn’t usually one to set pulses racing, but when spoken in a prototype French accent – as they are with Jeanne – we can’t help but feel assured that this combination of function and beauty is one we want in on. It is this, her effortless, Birkin-inspired style made up of silk shirts and vintage denim, that is magnetic to her followers who can prescribe her effortless yet always luxurious aesthetic via Jeanne’s own clothing line Rouje.

For Jeanne, the production of her brand Rouje found conception naturally, beginning with one very simple foundation: friendship. “Nathalie Dumeix has encouraged me in so many ways,” says Damas about her life-long friend and stylist. “Our friendship was the starting point of Rouje. It is a brand that was born and lives through that all-important relationship that is friendship.”

Jeanne crested into fame in the blogging era, an authentic voice and vision for a brand of French femininity that felt, at that point, forgotten. She and best friend Simon Jacquemus were of the Myspace Generation; Jacquemus’ first shoots were hastily rigged up, improvised affairs, shot on holiday with a game Jeanne as model. Jeanne’s vocabulary of wrap dresses and super short skirts have the pull of another era, but she elevates them with modern twists. Inspired by her sister and mother, Rouje’s, and Jeanne’s, success is testament to her vision.

  • Rouje founder Jeanne Damas photographed for Semaine
  • Jeanne Damas in Paris photographed for Semaine

Friendship is at the core of Rouje, not merely through the enduring creative collaboration felt between Jeanne and Nathalie, but through Jeanne’s own network of fashionable friends who are at the forefront of her mind as she is curating collections.

“The thinking behind Rouje is that it will be and is, made up of capsule collections that can translate to my own wardrobe and that of my friends. That’s who I make these clothes for, myself and my friends. I don’t like excessive consumption, Rouje will never be that. We work step-by-step, and slowly with a real focus on product design and selection with the central aim being that we maintain brand value.”

By Elizabeth Coop for Semaine.
"Life is Beautiful"

Jeanne’s ultimate film pick.



Life Is Beautiful
Directed by Roberto Benigni


“I saw this film when I was young and it really shook me. The film shows all the horror and humanity of human beings.”

"The Parisian Way"

How to get the look of the woman who epitomizes French-girl style? Look no further.

Woven Leather Basket Bag
Dragon Diffusion
Café de Flore
T2 Silver Camera
Madeleine Jean
La Palette 4 Rouje
bb mules
Amelie Pichard
Jeanne Moulded Bra
Yasmine Eslami
Denise Hoop Earrings
Louise Damas
Aurelio Sweater
"En France"

Discover Jeanne’s Paris: “I love that Paris is such a small city, you can walk or cycle from one end to the other. I love its human scale, it feels like a small village sometimes and I like that. I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else, LA for example feels too big in comparison. Parisians inspire me, the Parisian way of life inspires me, Paris inspires me!”

Place du Forum
Arles, France
Forum de Arles selected by Jeanne Damas for her Semaine explore
“Every summer since I was young, I meet my group of friends at Les Rencontres d’Arles the week the photo festival opens. Every evening we have a pastis on this square.”

Hotel Providence
90 Rue Rene Boulanger
75010 Paris
Hotel Providence selected by Jeanne Damas for her Semaine explore
This hotel, which was built in 1854, has witnessed the dramatic evolution of this neighborhood which includes the Haut-Marais, Beaubourg and the Saint Martin Canal.

Le Servan
32 Rue Saint-Maur
75011 Paris
Le Servan Paris selected by Jeanne Damas for her Semaine travel recommendations
At the corner of Rue St Maur, what used to be a rather down – at – heel bar has been refurbished by two sisters, Katia and Tatiana Levha. The latter cooks fresh and spontaneous cuisine based on ingredients that, although simple, are always top – notch.

Pavillon Puebla
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Avenue Darcel
75019 Paris
Pavillon Puebla selected by Jeanne Damas travel section for Semaine
In Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, at Avenue Darcel, a large 19th century house covered in ivy which is reached by a flight of stone steps: you are at Pavillon Puebla.At the heart of this green setting, you’ll find a restaurant, two terraces, two bars, wooden structures, Moroccan armchairs, a swing, peace under the shade of chestnut trees, the party on the dance floor when night falls, and squirrels in the early morning.

La Mode Vintage
12 Rue Rochebrune
75011 Paris
La Mode Vintage shop in Paris selected by Jeanne Damas for Semaine
Vintage luxury clothes concept store that brings together collections of top luxury, couture and fashion designers.

Nathalie Dumeix
10 Rue Théophile Roussel
75012 Paris
Nathalie Dumeix shop selected by Jeanne Damas for her Semaine feature
If you love vintage 70s clothing design, but prefer freshly cut fabric with modern durability, then look no further than Nathalie Dumeix, a French designer and close friend of Jeanne with a small boutique in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

Jeanne Damas selects La Nuit des Temps by Rene Barjavel for her Semaine bookshelf
La Nuit des Temps
by Rene Barjavel
In the huge frozen landscape, members of the French Polar Expeditions are doing a subglacial survey.What will the scientists and technicians from all over the world who dig the ice to encounter the mystery discover?



Jeanne Damas selects The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller for her Semaine bookshelf
The Tropic of Cancer
by Henry Miller
Shocking, banned and the subject of obscenity trials, Henry Miller’s first novel Tropic of Cancer is one of the most scandalous and influential books of the twentieth century.



Jeanne Damas selects Jeanne by George Sand for her Semaine bookshelf
by George Sand
Jeanne is the novel of a young shepherdess from La Marche, a native of Toull, an ancient Gallic and then Roman city, who was hired as a servant in the small neighboring town of Boussac.



Jeanne Damas selects South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami for her Semaine bookshelf
South of the Border, West of the Sun
by Haruki Murakami
A moving, thoughtful story of long-lost love and second chances. Casablanca remade Japanese style…It is dream-like writing, laden with scenes which have the radiance of a poem.



Jeanne Damas selects Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada for her Semaine bookshelf
Alone in Berlin
by Hans Fallada
An unbearably tense, deeply moving thriller set in wartime Berlin, which celebrates the quiet heroism of resistance in the face of brutality and shows the merciless human cost of conflict.



Jeanne Damas selects La Cerisaie by Anton Tchekhov for her Semaine bookshelf
La Cerisaie
by Anton Tchekhov
La Cerisaie is the story of an aristocratic family that has become impoverished. It has been three years since the mother, Lioubov, and the daughter, Anya, were on a trip to Europe, to Paris. But the lack of money and the debts force their return.



Jeanne Damas selects Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger for her Semaine bookshelf
Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
Witty, wise and bittersweet, The Catcher in the Rye is the ultimate American coming-of-age novel – a timeless classic.



Jeanne Damas selects Fils du feu for her Semaine bookshelf
Fils du Feu
by Guy Boley
Born under the fires of the forge where their father is harnessed, they were Sons of fire, therefore sons of kings, destined to shine. But one of the two brothers dies early and leaves behind bereaved parents and an orphan brother.



Jeanne Damas selects Roman by Roman Polanski for her Semaine bookshelf
by Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski reveals in detail the mosaic of his life. He talks of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland; Lodz Film School in the 1950s; Paris in his early struggles to become recognized as a director; and London and Hollywood in the 60s when he first won international acclaim.



Jeanne Damas selects L'Invention De Nos Vies by Karine Tuil for her Semaine bookshelf
L’Invention De Nos Vies
by Karine Tuil
Sam Tahar seems to have it all: power and fame at the New York bar, fortune and media stardom, a beautiful marriage. But his success rests on a deception.



Jeanne Damas selects La Promesse de l'Aube by Romain Gary for her Semaine bookshelf
La Promesse de l’Aube
by Romain Gary
The Promise of Dawn traces the extraordinary destiny of Romain Gary, from his difficult childhood in Poland to his exploits as an aviator in Africa during the Second World War. The mad love that binds him to his mother will make him one of the major authors of the 20th century.



Jeanne Damas selects Guide to Childbirth by Ina My Gaskin for her Semaine bookshelf
Guide to Childbirth
by Ina My Gaskin
“This book really opened my perspectives about the strength of women and the magic of my body–it is the bible and spiritual guide about this incredible act of rebirth by giving life.”



"The women in my life"
Get to know Tastemaker Jeanne Damas like you never have before.

What does the word “taste” mean to you?
To each their own.

Do you have a life motto that you live by?

What was the last thing that made you laugh?
My cat sleeping in the bassinet of my future baby.

What are your favourite qualities in a human being?
Openness of spirit, humour, and goodwill.

Who is your hero?
The women in my life.

What is your biggest flaw?

What is your best quality?

What would your last meal on earth be?

If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world, what would you change?
I’d create a more gentle and equal life for humankind.

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