While the former Director of PR and Communications of Louis Vuitton is no stranger to the hectic schedule that such a role demands, raising three adorable children and managing your own boutique luxury PR startup is no small feat. Savoir Flair follows Ruth Bradley on a whirlwind business trip to Paris Fashion Week, which whizzes by in a frenzy of showroom viewings, shopping, television filmings, a book signing, a store opening party, and so much more.
For an in-depth sneak peek at a day in the impressive life of Ruth Bradley, click through the gallery.
During Fashion Week I either stay in an Airbnb apartment or with friends, as hotel living can get quite lonely and depressing. I’ve stayed in some of the most amazing apartments in Paris this way, and would highly recommend it to anyone. This is the gorgeous view from my friend’s apartment, a few doors up from the bustling Boulevard Saint Germain. It’s heavily raining, so I decide to grab an umbrella and hit the streets before I fall asleep on the sofa!
Walking in Paris is one of my favorite pastimes, and luckily the rain has cleared a bit. I tend to make the most of every single moment spent in Paris, so I walk across the Pont Neuf from my friend’s apartment in Saint Germain, where I’m staying, taking photos along the way. Once the Baraboux Fall/Winter 2015 showroom opens tomorrow, I won’t come up for air for a few days, so this is my one chance to grab some “me” time. You’ve got to love the street art in Paris, and I spot this awesome cat graffiti as I walk towards the Seine.
I head over to Le Palais Royal. It’s so beautiful and has the added benefit of both ACNE and Marc Jacobs stores! I pick up a T-shirt for Rafi, my three-year-old, from Marc Jacobs and then treat myself to some rather fabulous shoes from ACNE made out of yellow painted bamboo.
My husband sends me a picture of our son Rafi at Lime Tree Café that morning, playing with building blocks. I do miss the kids when I travel, but we stay in touch with pictures, videos, and Skype. Social media makes it so much easier these days, and both my older children follow my life on Instagram while I am away. They are proud of what I do and love it when I travel – firstly because their dad is a pushover compared to me, and secondly because I come back with presents!
No trip to Paris, or shopping excursion for that matter, would be complete without a quick stop by Colette on St. Honoré. As luck would have it, Jeremy Scott is signing his new book, a collaboration with Adidas, so I say hello and grab a pic. The queue is literally out of the door with his fans wanting to meet him. But I’m on a limited timetable! One of the only things that I dislike about Paris is that the shops close so early.
One of my favorite illustrators and artists, Donald Robertson, has a fab exhibition called Fashion is Nuts upstairs in Colette, so I stick around for a bit to enjoy it. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more!
Since I am on Rue St. Honoré, I pop in to see my friend and client, British designer Alice Temperley MBE, at her Temperley London showroom above Goyard. I haven’t seen her since December when we launched her spring collection in Dubai and had a crazy five days, so we catch up and she gives me a special tour of the new collection for Fall/Winter 2015. The Temperley London collection is all that I expected and more.
As the sun begins to set, I walk back to Saint Germain via the Jardin des Tuileries and witness a stunning sunset over the Tour Eiffel.
I drop off my shopping at the apartment and spend 30 minutes on Skype with the kids, who are eating their dinner in front of the TV (while mom is away…). Rafi, as you can see, is far more interested in Spongebob than mommy, but Bebe is excited to hear about what I’ve done that day, and to find out if I’ve bought her anything yet.
I rise early, because of the time difference, and the first thing I do after my shower is Skype my husband. It’s the weekend in Dubai, so he’s about to take the kids out for breakfast and then hit the beach with them. I am a tad jealous as I look out of the window in Paris and see how cold and wet it is!
After a cold, yet sunny, morning walk, I reach the Baraboux showroom in Hotel Castille on Rue Cambon. The Baraboux showroom looks absolutely stunning! Founder and creative director HRH Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud was inspired by her trip to Marrakech last year. I spend an hour with Alexandra Abbley, the Sales Director, going over the shapes, models, and materials used and familiarizing myself with the new designs. We’ve got a packed day of appointments planned.
Fashion director, super stylist, and long-time collaborator of Baraboux Caroline Issa stops by to see the pieces with her ‘Baraboux No.6’ from the current summer collection, as well as a rather fabulous pair of shoes! She absolutely loved the green peacock print on the ‘Azadeh’ and the ‘Sara’ bags!
I am so happy to see Lebanese super stylist Amine Jreissati. We live only a few hours from each other by plane with Amine in Beirut, but these days we see more of each other in Paris!
It’s time for lunch and I run out to grab a bite with my close friend and ex-colleague from Louis Vuitton, Julien Soyez. He takes me to Petit Vendôme, arguably the best bistro in all of Paris. This place is no frills, brilliant French food and I have the foie de veau, which is basically pan-fried liver served with frites.
Julien and I have a lot to gossip about over lunch! I grill him about his next move career wise in the fashion PR world, but his lips remain well and truly sealed. I manage to mentally narrow it down to either Givenchy or Marc Jacobs.
Back to the showroom I trot, ridiculously full, via Moynat on Rue Saint Honoré, where a talented artisan is painstakingly hand-painting a beautiful flamingo motif with a personalized letter “B”. Bebe would love this!
We’ve got two TV stations filming the collection this afternoon and first to come in and set up is Diala Makki and her lovely producer Nada Sahab from Dubai TV. Diala takes an immediate shine to the ‘Azadeh’ in metallic red. We film the segment with me giving the descriptions and Diala will do the voiceover when she’s back in Dubai.
Simon sends me some hilarious pictures of Rafi running around the garden. They’ve also built a teepee in his bedroom. I can’t wait to crawl inside it with him in a few days.
The Italian team of designers and craftsmen arrive from Florence, and Princess Reema leads a design meeting for the next collection. The swatches of materials they have brought with them are completely edible and I love the inspiration behind the collection. It’s all a big secret for now!
My gorgeous friends from Dubai arrive to see the collection: Mahmoud Sidani, otherwise known as Mr. Moudz, model and presenter Jessica Kahawaty, and the lovely Founding Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Savoir Flair, Haleh Nia.
It’s so wonderful to get the support from the region, and I never take that for granted in my profession, especially during a very busy Fashion Week.
After a ridiculously busy and exhausting first day at the Baraboux presentation, I slip on my trainers and run out of the door over to Rue Montorgeuil, to the flagship NUXE Spa. Bon Marché is open for late-night shopping, so I have at least an hour to get pampered! The NUXE spa is like an oasis in the desert. After a relaxing and rejuvenating facial that leaves me floating on fluffy clouds, I head over to Bon Marché as fast as my little legs will carry me.
As luck would have it, I walk straight into the launch of the new shoe department, and I’m handed a glass of champagne! Result: I spend an hour salivating over the new section for shoes on the top floor and see so many people I know, including Chiara Ferragni (The Blonde Salad) who is launching her new shoe collection there.
My daily retail therapy now out of the way, I’m ready to party. I hotfoot it back to the apartment, where my friend Susan is picking me up for the Manish Aurora store-opening party just off the Rue Saint Honoré. A quick shoe change and I’m ready to face the fashion world again.
Susan introduces me to Manish and I congratulate him on such a beautiful store and new collection, all of which is on display at the launch party. At this point, I can’t believe that either of us is still standing after such a crazy day!
As I walk back to Saint Germain, in the crisp Paris air, I come across a fabulous shop filled with stuffed animals. This is what I love the most about Paris; you just never know what’s around the next corner. I finally fall into bed, almost 18 hours after having woken up. Good night, Paris! Lets do it all again tomorrow.