Model, amateur photographer and designer Jeanne Damas gained her following during the first wave of fashion bloggers, although funnily enough, she never had a website! Writing on Skyblog, France’s version of My Space, and a now defunct Tumblr account, her fame has spun organically from her enviably chic persona.
As if to explain her own ‘je ne sais quois’ she notes: "French girls are cool, I think; not 'cool' as in hype, but in a chill way. They are effortless and natural — it’s our culture. What unites all French girls is the natural beauty, lifestyle, culture and history of our country. Maybe it’s in our genes? Come live in Paris and you will become a real French person very quickly. I think you can only find a real Parisian girl in Paris."
Her Instagram feed, followed by close to a million, is peppered with images of Damas reclining on a balcony, snapshots of fashion shows (where she is in the front row, of course!), and the glamorous events she attends with famous friends like Emily Ratajkowski. And just as you’re about to dismiss her as a mere page three presence, she reveals other layers. Pedaling through the south of France, road trips in Tunisia and Morocco and beach vacations, all executed with that elusive French insouciance.
It is her attitude that makes straight-out-of-bed hair, red hot lips and a disregard for fashion conventions a coveted possession. We think her appeal to women of all ages stems from an aspiration to channel her energy - the wine-drinking, croissant bingeing lifestyle that somehow leads to a gorgeous body and perfect sun-kissed skin. How does she do it?
Perhaps it is this kind of investigation that continues to make Damas a popular presence, on or offline. It is a fascination that boosted the Kardashians to the world stage, but with Damas rather than novelty, it’s that she recalls classic beauty: a meeting of Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon. Her version of French girl chic is at once aspirational and achievable. Her online clothing line, Rouje, which regularly sells out almost immediately, a testament to our desire to ‘be’ Damas.
Although we haven’t decided whether we want to ‘be’ her or watch from the sidelines, Damas’s feed certainly keeps us coming back for more!