• June 10 2015

A wonderful world

The editor of L`Officiel, Marie - Jose Susskind Jalou, tells us about magazines and travel, aspirations and dreams.

In a few words, tell us the history of “L`Officiel”.

”L`Officiel de la Couture et de la Mode de Paris” magazine was published in 1921, aiming to introduce its readers to the world of fashion. It was this publication that in the 30s enabled the public to become acquainted with haute couture, while in the 70s it brought to the fore designers including Claude Montana, Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier. It was, moreover, the first French magazine issued in China, in the 80s. Nowadays, it has 35 separate editions in 23 different countries. Recognizing that many of these countries are economically developed, our objective is to establish new collaborations at an international level. The moment that economies are developing, the same is happening with the masses of consumers showing an interest in fashion and luxury, and “L`Officiel” is an authorative reference point in relation to the global fashion industry thanks to its “father”, Georges Jalou, who stood out for his high standards and perfectionism. His values continue to remain our trademark.

What constitutes your readership?

Today, fashion is a combination of tradition and innovation. “L`Officiel” attempts to present this vision by way of a series of issues that mirror our times. For us to keep abreast of the ever-changing reality of fashion and luxury, we are ever-renewing our vision and projects, ready to challenge whatever is a platitude and take new risks. With the passing of time, we have also brought out new magazines, with a view to meeting the expectations of the different generations. “Jalouse”, for example, is intended for young women of between 24 and 40 years of age, who are fashion lovers.

You also have other magazines. Do you have any new publications in the pipeline?

“L`Optimum” presents all the latest news in the man`s world, “La Revue des Montres” provides an insight into the numerous aspects of wristwatch design, while “L`Officiel Hommes” is a self-defining benchmark publication in the field of men`s fashion. In addition, there is “L`Officiel 1000 Modθles”, a guide to all fashion collections, “L`Officiel Chirurgie et Mιdecine Esthetique”, an annual synopsis of all news concerning aesthetic surgery, and “L`Officiel Voyage”, a must for all who have a passion for travelling in comfort and style. Finally, our latest publications include “L`Officiel Art”, a magazine which presents the art world through the eyes of the artists themselves, and “L`Officiel Paris Guide”, a unique Paris guide written in Mandarin Chinese. For us international promotion is a new challenge.

Tell us about your job.

It is quite interest, I must admit. It includes a great deal of travel, meetings with the Board of Directors and with designers, fashion weeks, photographic sessions, meals at fine restaurants, meetings… Yet I always find time for my husband, children, grandchildren, and friends, as well as for walking my dogs. For me, the ideal place for a stroll in Paris is the area around the Palais Royal.

What do you like most about what you do?

I like having the right people in my team. And this is achieved after numerous interviews.

Which is your favourite city?

Paris naturally, but also New York. Describe for us your best loved view. I like the view from New York`s skyscrapers, with the infinite blue sky, the freedom and inspiration it gives me. It is out of this world. Furthermore, I like Central Park, where I can both run and enjoy the view… It`s a wonderful feeling.

From where have you just returned?

From the New York Fashion Week.

Describe for us a childhood holiday memory.

We own a house in the South of France, where we went with our parents and it was so beautiful. Wonderful family memories. We would go there by train, something we very much enjoyed as children. We continue doing the same, right up to the present day. Now, we visit the house with my family, and we greatly enjoy it.

Tell us about a perfect secret little place that you know.

I like driving my car, and once, while in the mountains, I passed through a small village whose name slips my mind. However, it was like a fairy-tale: the scenery and people amazed me. The dialect they spoke was unintelligible to me and I couldn`t believe it existed. It seemed I had found myself in an age gone by. Hamlets like this one exist throughout the French Alps that undoubtedly merit being discovered.

Have you ever visited Greece? If yes, what are your impressions of the country?

I visited it quite some time ago, when we began the publication of “L`Officiel” in Greece, and I was very pleased with the hospitality and food. It was a really outstanding experience. I also believe that all “with it” people nowadays prefer Greece or Ibiza as holiday destinations.

Do you believe that there is a new travel philosophy today? And if so, could you give details?

People now are seeking “their paradise”, in order to get away from it all. That`s what I do, too. I`m continually looking for the perfect location to give my  mind a rest. I also like trying to find overall quality from hotel infrastructure or other services, especially when I`m travelling for professional reasons, which is often, as you may have guessed.

When on your travels, what do you like and dislike about a hotel?

I like being looked after, but not to excess. I hate it when people show to your face that they expect a tip. I want to offer it in my own time; I don`t like being pressed. That`s why, on returning to a place, I like to see the same people. It gives me a “homely” feeling I find very civilized.

What is the first thing you pack?

My passport. That`s followed by my shoes. I adore shoes and try to take as many as possible, for all eventualities. However, my high heels and trainers are top of the list.

“You left your heart in…”

Our family home in the South of France. I adore its light, which in this house is simply stunning.

Who is the most interesting person you have met on your travels?

I once became acquainted with a guy in Tunisia who was diving for oysters and he had such a philosophy of life that I found it impossible to believe that he was just a fisherman.

What is a journey of your dreams?

The one on which I`ll soon be going with my grandchildren.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I simply adore the beauty products at the hotels where I stay: from the tiny bars of soap to the body creams and bath foams. I love them and take them away with me every time.