Aymeline Valade worked for an advertising agency before she was spotted skateboarding on the streets of Paris. A classically trained dancer, she soon found herself showing up to a Balenciaga casting in a Grateful Dead T-shirt and getting an undercut by Guido Palau. She is determined and witty and likes to get back to Paris as often as possible. With a nickname that’s hers-alone (‘Meumeu’) and a collection of bracelets from her travels, she lives by the notion “the show must go on”. An object of desire for Craig McDean, Mert & Marcus and, of course, Testino, we further indulge it here. But as she reminds us, “obsessions are not healthy”.
Your greatest travel adventure was?
Crossing Kenya and Tanzania via Mount Kilimanjaro.
The most exciting place right now is?
When did you learn to skateboard?
When I first arrived in Nice I had to take the bus a lot. I hated riding the bus and I saw a guy on a skateboard outside of the window. I realised it was the most pragmatic way to go. I bought one and went on the street to start skateboarding. I met guys from the high school next to mine and we skateboarded together. One of them, Thomas, taught me a lot and became like my brother. Skateboarding has really influenced my life.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
I still don’t know what I want to do. My only motivation is to simply make beautiful things or at least to evoke interesting emotions. I really believe in the positive impact emotions can grant when viewing any kind of aesthetic expression. It makes people feel better. Fashion gives opportunities to every woman to find out their style and have better self-respect, which is one of the reasons I like it. As far as what I want to do, I just want to concentrate on now and do what seems right.
Who are you style influences?
Nobody. I am more inspired by terms like street, roots, rock, modern, dark, nature, light, classic, minimal, elegant and sobriety. My style evolves constantly depending on the environment but it always suits my personality and my mood of the moment. It’s like a body language.
What are you obsessed with right now?
Obsessions are not healthy.
Who or what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never thought on those terms; I just wanted to be happy.
If you had your time over, would you do anything differently?
I don’t think so. I believe that things happen the way they have to happen.
What surprises you?
The miracle of life, it’s so incredible we exist.
First impressions are …
Misleading. I never base my opinion on them.
My beauty routine consists of ...
Bioderma Crealine; when it’s dry, oil like Nuxe or Kiehl’s, if it’s fine, basic moisturiser; once in a while [Elizabeth Arden] Eight Hour Cream after a clay mask with some dry oil drops.
Not many people know that I …
On the runway, I’m thinking about ...
My biggest indulgence in life is …
My bracelets. They symbolise the countries I’ve visited and people I’ve met. Every time I look at them it’s like they are with me or I’m there with them.
My wardrobe consists of ...
Jeans, T-shirts, vests in black, white, grey, beige or bleu marine.
I always wanted to ...
Go to India.
I never thought I ...
Could live from my creative side.
My defining personality trait is ...
The best advice I was ever given was ...
You have only one life so it’s all about now and zero stress.
The best story I’ve ever heard ...
It’s one that Lady Gaga told at the CFDA awards. She received a message from Anna Wintour telling her she won the fashion icon award, but she thought it was another Anna so she answered, “Yes, we did it bitch...”.
Right now, I really want to …
Have a big brunch with smoothies, cake, scrambled egg and dry mango.