French ‘First Lady’ Brigitte Macron is Elle’s New Cover Star

Amid signs of “Brigitte mania” sweeping across France, the Aug. 18 edition of French Elle includes the first interview with the country’s fledgling ‘first lady,’ Brigitte Macron.

The cover of the issue, out on newsstands today, depicts Macron at the Élysée Palace in a casual-chic ensemble pairing a shapely cream jacket by Dior with a white T-shirt and slim jeans by Saint Laurent.

Pictures accompanying the 10-page feature show her walking in a courtyard hand in hand with her husband, President Emmanuel Macron, in the same look, only swapping in a tailored red jacket by Azzedine Alaïa with mesh accents. She is also seen sitting at her desk in a red short-sleeved biker-inspired dress by Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton.

Brigitte Macron's French ELLE magazine cover.
Brigitte Macron’s <em>French Elle</em> magazine cover.

In the article, Macron shares her admiration for Ghesquière and Karl Lagerfeld, whom she considers friends. She also lists among her other favorite designers Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, Alexandre Vauthier and Alaïa but concedes she finds the latter’s skirts too short. “I wear above-the-knee, not minis! Although I loved to wear minis when I was younger, we would hide them in our bags when we went out … and we’d slip bloomers on underneath to dance to rock ‘n’ roll,” Macron says. “We went from very short to very long — that was until my grandmother spotted me in one and exclaimed, “My goodness, you look like a frumpy old granny.’ Never again!”

When asked if  she ever gets fed up with people talking about her clothes, the former French teacher and self-proclaimed feminist replies: “Why not, if it does some good for the French fashion industry? I’m really into fashion, and there’s this fascination the world over around this idea of the French woman.

“I have always put a lot of effort into the way I present myself, just ask my children or students!” she adds. “I would never leave the house before choosing an outfit and doing my hair — the results may vary, but I cannot do otherwise.”

Macron also addressed the polemic around the French government’s proposition of creating an official first lady role for her, which has since been halted after an online petition drew over 250,000 signatures. She dismisses the term as a “periphrase” based on a French translation of the American term “first lady,” which she doesn’t identify with. “Whenever I hear it, I always feel inclined to look behind my shoulder and say, ‘Sorry, who are you addressing?’ For me, I’m neither the first or last lady! I am simply Brigitte Macron.”

Asked how she had been affected by the snipes about the 24-year age gap with her husband, she replied: “I took it badly but said to myself, ‘OK, it’s tough, but you’ll do better to keep your mouth shut,’ and it eventually went away.”

It doesn’t seem to have done any damage to the 64-year-old’s icon status, in any case, with Brigitte T-shirts by Weekday, the Scandinavian brand owned by the H&M group, flying off the shelves. Sales of the limited-edition garment, which hit stores in June and were meant to be on sale for one week, have been extended to the end of August.

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