There are a lot of fashion bloggers who have great clothes, and then there are those with personal style that just sticks. Italian blogger Eleonora Carisi of Jou Jou Villeroy is one of those bloggers who you can’t deny dresses damn well. Her style is constantly evolving and she always takes risks, making her one of Italian’s rising It Girls and one of my favorite Style Icons on Chictopia.
Eleonora studied marketing and communications before reaching Internet fame from her popular MySpace profile and working in PR. Her appreciation for fashion’s young creatives led to her running her own concept store You You Store in Turin and the site This Is Amaze where she collaborates with emerging designers and artists. She began her personal blog Jou Jou Villeroy shortly afterwards. Besides her online work, she models in campaigns for brands such as Zara and ELLE Girl.
Ever since I joined Chictopia, I had been following Eleonora’s ChicBlog. I decided why not reach out to her and get to know this Cindy Crawford-mole-mongering pink-haired It Girl a little better. Here’s my interview with Eleonora below.
Amethyst: We all know that you’re the fashion blogger behind Jou Jou Villeroy and a street style “star” as many would say, as you’ve appeared on many well known street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Stockholm Streetstyle. Is Jou Jou Villeroy a hobby for you or is it your full time job?
Eleonora: Thank you first of all. Jou Jou Villeroy now is a job for me but not full time.
What’s your day job? Is it also fashion related?
Yes my job is fashion related but I’m not fashion addicted or something like that. I’ve had my own store for 6 years (You You Store) and the new upcoming restyle of the site This Is Amaze so I need time to do everything! It’s a hard job! Still, I have time to go out with friends, see a lot of movies and organize my new home.
How would you describe a typical day for you?
Stress with a smile.
Are you friends with Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist? How did you two meet?
Yes, we met for the first time in Florence during the Pitti Fashion Trade Show. I remember I was wearing a yellow skirt and floral wedges. I like his job and how he does everything. Great style, and, you know, for me it’s a pleasure to be shot. Recently I saw one of my photos in New York during his show and in his second book!
How would you describe your personal style?
Dynamic, versatile, colorful. I like to “dare”. Sometimes I’m urban chic, sometimes rock, sometimes flashy, classical business, indie…
You travel quite a bit. How would you compare the Italian culture compared to other European countries you’ve visited?
This is the hard question! Totally different. I’m so sad to say that we are not as open minded as Americans or the British. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain and be yourself in this conservative nation, but you know you need to be who you are and go through it; but I can understand that for other people the difference is really hard to deal with.
What’s your favorite city?
New York! What a vibe!
How do you think fashion and style differs in Italy compared to other countries?
It’s quite different, yes. We are more conservative in a way. But you know we are famous for our classicism and our quality in making designs. We have a special taste!
Is your own personal style influenced by Milan?
I’m living in Turin so it’s quite different because my city is not as glamorous as Milan. No, my style is influenced by my trips, my dreams, people that I meet….
Prada’s recent collection received a lot of negative criticism recently, especially with the socks and sandals. I’m personally a big fan of Prada myself (I always expect a lot from Miuccia!). Did you like Miuccia Prada’s Spring 2013 collection?
Yes I’m a fan too. Hoping to work with Miuccia one day! It’s normal to receive criticism just because she’s daring and people cannot understand how she is fashion forward. We need more socks and sandals!
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Prada, Jonathan Saunders, Acne, and Marni.
Who are your favorite style icons?
The divas from the 50’s like Grace Kelly and Rita Hayworth.
You began your online presence quite a long time ago— since 2004. That’s a pretty early conception for a fashion blog, especially compared to the many blogs that are just popping up today. Do you feel like the landscape of street style and fashion blogging has changed at all since you first started?
I started with Jou Jou Villeroy only two years ago, but I became famous with my MySpace earlier with more than 10,000 followers. Everything grew with my concept store You You Store in Turin in 2006: outfits, passions, photography, street style and all the kind of things that I love. Blogging has changed, and it’s also changing every day— the world wide web is in continuous evolution, and blogging is a part of this gear. Now we can say that, for some, blogging is work and not just a passion.
Right now there is a lot of discussion about fashion bloggers wearing gifted items. Have you ever been gifted an item from a designer, and how do you feel about the issue, if you think there is an issue at all?
Yes of course, I started like that. You receive some gifts because brands want to have a review from you on your blog, but you can really decide what to wear and review. My work is not commercial so for me it’s important to be and feel myself. I don’t have to wear something. I want to do what I want and how I want to do them. But you have to understand that it’s impossible to give back a gift. Sometimes they send you a gift without any advance notice. Everybody loves to receive gifts! I think there is nothing to discuss about this because when you do a great job with a brand it’s normal to receive a special gift as a “thank you”.
What advice would you give to someone trying to break into the fashion industry?
Ask yourself “Are you sure?!” and passion and sweat are key!
Finish this sentence: “Life is…”
By Amethyst Wang