Former Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld: 'Flirting is very important in France'

Story highlights

  • Carine Roitfeld is the former editor of Vogue Paris
  • She shares the secrets of what sets French women apart
  • This is segment is taken from the CNN Style show

This segment is taken from the CNN Style show.

Paris (CNN)When you think of the classic French woman, chances are you will conjure a cigarette-smoking Parisian in a tailored outfit and smudged black kohl, equal parts irreverent and pretentious, sexy and distinguished.

It's an image Carine Roitfeld has spent decades cultivating, first as a stylist and, from 2001 to 2011, as editor of French Vogue.
    "French ladies are quite classic," Roitfeld told CNN Style presenter Derek Blasberg in Paris. "Classic, with an edge."

    A risqué aesthetic

    Since the 90's, Roitfeld has championed a risqué, rock 'n' roll aesthetic not only in the pages of Vogue, but also in campaigns for the likes of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.
    Now, at 61, Roitfeld is as influential as ever. Her magazine, CR Fashion Book, founded in 2012, showcases work by the biggest names in fashion, and continues to define what it means to be a French girl.
    "To be a French girl is not just a way of dressing," says Roitfeld. "It's a way of talking, it's a way of sitting, it's a way of flirting all the time with the people. Flirting is very important in France."
    Delve into the world of French style this month's episode of the the CNN Style show, out now.