Decoding the Style of France’s Much Talked-About New First Lady

Brigitte Trogneux.
Brigitte Trogneux.

As of Sunday, when Emmanuel Macron is to be officially sworn in as France’s new president, the country will also have a new first lady — Brigitte Trogneux.

While we should perhaps be examining her prospective advisory role in the French government, we can’t help but notice her wearing a Louis Vuitton coat and a pair of Gianvito Rossi Perspex pumps. And despite Dior creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s decree that “we should all be feminists,” Paris seems utterly obsessed with Trogneux’s style.

Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. REX

At 64, she is some 24 years Macron’s senior. She was his drama teacher at school, and they fell in love when he was a not-so-callow teenager; he was in the same class as one of her own children. 

Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Trogneux. REX
She’s not one to play it safe, in any sense, and she also has a distinct point of view when it comes to her fashion choices. She favors oversize jackets with sharp shoulders (see that gray blazer from Louis Vuitton spring ’17 for further details). She gives good skinny jean, and she rocks a mean biker boot. She takes the classic French off-duty uniform and applies her own spin.

Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. REX
She also recycles. We’ve seen that black Vuitton coat with the embellished collar (from fall ’16) on a few occasions now. What’s more, it feels like a genuine shopping of the closet, as opposed to the sort of PR stunt rocked on the other side of the Channel.

And it’s because of all this that no one is hating on her too much (for now, at least) for having a “special relationship” with LVMH, evinced by front-row seats at Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior fashion shows, plus designer loans she can command for her public appearances. 

Yes, as the French would say, the lady is “branchée” (well-connected). She comes from a wealthy family of chocolate producers (yes, really) and is tight with Vuitton’s Delphine Arnault and her tech billionaire partner, Xavier Niel.

Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. Brigitte Trogneux and Emmanuel Macron. REX
The French fashion industry is worth some $170 billion in annual sales, according to a 2016 French Fashion Institute study. So taken in context, the first lady’s penchant for the sector’s more luxurious goods might not be so fatuous after all. That said, her inauguration ensemble will doubtless undergo some serious scrutiny.

Brigitte Trogneux. Brigitte Trogneux. REX