14 Mar 2018

Her Point Of View: Sèverine Harzo

Her Point Of View: Sèverine Harzo on vickiarcher.com


Let me introduce Sèverine.

We met a short time ago in London at a fragrance launch.


It was one of those promotional events that aren’t really my comfort zone but for some reason I attended. As soon as I arrived, I wanted to leave. You know the feeling?


Until I met Sèverine. I was convinced she felt the same as I and would have rather been snugly tucked up at home. Home turned out to be Paris and she had come to cover the event for Marie Claire.


Brazenly I introduced myself and was immediately charmed by her warmth and personality. She stood out in a room of fashionistas and professional partygoers. Her relaxed elegance and calm persona were a complete breath of fresh air. As Marie Claire’s International Chief Content Officer in Paris, she is responsible for editorial content and the development of international editions, both print and online.


I was certain you would want to meet her too,


Sèverine Harzo Paris France 2018

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a quite a discreet person and this is something I particularly cherish in a more and noisier world. I’m curious about everything and I like to observe people, things and places, so it’s better not to be seen/heard too much. One of my favourite books is “In Praise of Shadows” from Jun’ichiro Tanizaki. I guess it says a lot about me.


I like small committees moments, such as dinners with family or very close friends, to really have time to talk and listen to each other.



Tell us about your day-to-day life?

I have two grown-up kids now and since they were born, I like to wake up early in the morning and enjoy the peace and quiet before the “real” day starts. I’ve got into the habit of meditating 10mn every morning + 20mn Qi Gong before the family breakfast. This is the only meal we are sure to share altogether.


I live and work in the Paris suburbs (Home East, Work West) and have to rush across the city center every day. Long journeys turned into delightful moments: it means hours of metro reading and I always manage to cross the Jardin des Tuileries and the river Seine to enjoy a little bite of Paris in the morning light. Then I get into the office and nothing can be 100% scheduled…



Her Point Of View: Sèverine Harzo on vickiarcher.com



Are you the woman you imagined you would become?

I’ve never asked myself that question but I don’t think I imagined anything. At the time. I just knew what I wanted to do.


I have been raised in a feminist environment, very politically active and as a teenager, I loved magazines and fashion. I wanted to travel the world. Working as a journalist for Marie Claire definitely makes sense. As an only child, I wanted to be the mother of at least 2 children, a boy and a girl, with the man I love. I’m pretty blessed.



What are the valuable life lessons you have all figured out?

Nothing last forever. Good or bad.


The impermanence of things is definitely what life taught me. I try to enjoy fully every single moment, just like the ones listed in the French anthropologist, ethnologist and feminist, Françoise Héritier’s book, The Sweetness of Life.



What do you like most about yourself?

My very French critical thinking. I’m questioning everything and automatically try to see things as they are, not as I would like them to be.


Doubt is my best friend.



What do you like the least?

My very French critical thinking. I’d like to think more pink sometimes…



What do you like most about getting older?

My hair getting white and the wrinkles around my eyes.



What do you like the least?

That my parents are still older than me…



What’s your favourite way to dress? Do you have a signature style?

Pure, simple, basic.


Most of the time, my fashion survival kit is a navy blue cashmere sweater with black cotton pants and white sneakers.


But there can be variations such as,

A Celine navy blue coat
A white T-Shirt from Majestic Filature
Adidas Nude Stan Smith sneakers

A Laffargue “Maya” handbag from St Jean de Luz or a Black box Plume from HERMES.
A very simple ring with a pearl by Sophie Bille Brahe @White Bird



I very recently fell in love with Gustavo Lins’ clothing. Gustavo used to present his collections during the Paris fashion week but he recently decided to present it in a different way. He welcomes you in his tiny boutique-atelier, 219 rue St Martin in Paris, and when you’re there, you better understand why: you start looking at what he designs and you just want to touch and try on everything. Gustavo loves clothes more than fashion. His clothing is a unique genuine experience. Every little detail is perfectly thought. He is really worth a visit.


I fell for a navy blue sweatshirt lined with a man shirt white striped cotton poplin. So so chic! Very couture. Not to talk about a long cashmere pea coat, light and warm… The materials are beautiful, the cuts are simply perfect, the prices are fair considering the quality.


There is no click and buy link available here, you have to go to him, meet him, touch and try on his clothing. It’s a sensory experience, very exclusive. Something our digital world is lacking.



Her Point Of View: Sèverine Harzo on vickiarcher.com



Do you have a beauty secret to share?

Oil for everything!

Olive, Colza, Nut … to eat.

Hazelnut, Jojoba and almond for the skin.

And black sunglasses when I look too tired.



What are your 3 “top” can’t live without skin care products?

JONZAC Eau Micellaire Apaisante

AVENE Hydrance Intense Sérum Réhydratant

JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS Rose & Apricot Hair Milk



What are your 3 “top” can’t live without make-up products?

Foundation: DIOR PRESTIGE Le Cushion Teint de rose

Lipstick: ILIA  Bang Bang lipstick (transparent red)

Mascara: Dr.Hauschka Precision black



What’s on the bucket list?

To write a collection of short stories

Open a bookstore

Learn how to sing

Be committed to the SEVE Fondation (Savoir Etre et Vivre Ensemble) and conduct philosophy workshops for children to help them become confident and active citizens, respectful of life.

Take my Basque French family to meet our Basque cousins in Argentina

A one week retreat in a Tibetan Monastery




If you could change one thing in the past, what would you do differently?

Study longer.


At the time, after 4 years studying law at the university, I wanted to work, to be independent… I should have taken my time and enjoyed more this « in between »moment.



What age do you feel right now?

My age. Happy early 50’s.



Who would play you in a movie?

Juliette Binoche.

 


Follow Sèverine on Instagram, HERE

 

 

 

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13 Comments

Mimi Gregor

How nice to see “Her Point of View” again! Also nice to see how much I have in common with her; I think I’m the only other woman to reply “nothing” to the “all or nothing” question, and for the same reason. This sounds like a woman who truly has style, even though she works in “fashion“.

As an aside, you talk about your daughters, but I don’t think we’ve ever “met” them. Ever think about having them do one of these?

Reply
Lidy@FrenchGardenHouse

Thank you for introducing us to Sèverine, she sounds like just the kind of woman who as a friend, you can count on for challenging your beliefs, for sharing fun with, having deep conversations with. And…I love that she “saved” you during the event, I avoid events like this as much as possible, too, but when I do go, finding someone like Sèverine to connect with is such a huge blessing! In her world of fashion, she sounds amazingly confident and grounded, as mentioned above. It’s always so fantastic to make a new friend. Have fun tonight! Xo Lidy

Reply
Rachel Kaplan

I loved reading this post including about the organization SEVE. I would love to interview her and you (separately for a book I am writing titled “The New French Chic” which covers lifestyle trends and fashion for men and women, as well as children. I have been living in France for 24 years, and have never come across a person like Séverine. She has an honesty and empathy that is very rare. At the same time, she has an intelligent approach to style and I look forward to discovering the store that she mentioned near the Canal St. Martin. My book is going to focus on products made and designed in France. I just started subscribing to your newsletter and find it most thoughtful and enjoyable to read and think about. Kudos! Rachel Kaplan

Reply
Our French Oasis

She sounds like a wonderful person, full of a spirit of adventure, I love that she has a horse and rides of course, but also love the sound of her casual fashion sense which I am sure is very elegant at the same time. Really enjoyed reading this

Reply
dianne

Loved this! I agree she is very straight forward but has a few doubts like everyone. Wish I could book a flight and check out the atelier. Also looking at the Seine in the morning would be nice despite the grime of the Metro. Missing Paris..

Reply
anitapelayorivera

Dearest Vicki, how proud I am to be one of the women you have selected for this collection of womens’ thoughts, inspirations. I have so much in common with Sèverine and yet so much to learn. The minimalism of surroundings, the French critical thinking (though I am of Mexican heritage!), the love of gray hairs framing my face. Beauty truly is composed of attitude, no matter what the circumstances. And in praise of oils for the inside and outside of our being!

Reply
Missi

‘Her Point of View’ is a favorite of mine and Severine sounds like a very interesting person. I always feel a connection to other people who love to read. I hope she opens her bookstore one day. :)

I’m glad you made a new friend Vicki!

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