Tatler Talks With Violette Serrat, Guerlain's New Creative Director
Last month, Violette Serrat—who, professionally, simply goes by Violette—became the creative director for Guerlain, succeeding Olivier Echaudemaison, who held the position for 21 years.
Violette says it’s “insane” to think she will be creating make-up for the Parisian maison that introduced the modern lipstick bullet to the world in 1870. In fact, the announcement of her new role coincided with the launch of Guerlain’s Rouge G Luxurious Velvet Collection, a revamp of one of Violette’s personal “holy grail” lipsticks.
Previously the global beauty director for Estée Lauder, Violette says that in creating make-up for Guerlain, she will “honour the brand’s heritage, looking at the past and being inspired for the future. I want to bring that story to life.”
It’s also a homecoming for the Frenchwoman, who has spent the last few years living in New York. After noticing that many Americans approach beauty like “putting on a mask”, favouring heavy make-up and cosmetic procedures, Violette hopes to inspire an effortlessly chic “French girl” approach, describing this as “lipstick, a good skincare routine, perfume and you’re out the door.
“If you want to feel like a French girl, embrace who you are and don’t hide. We love being unique,” she says. Violette fondly remembers growing up surrounded by women who used Guerlain’s products, and thinking, “One day, I’ll use those products, too.”
Little did she imagine that one day, she’d be shepherding the brand into the hands of a new generation of beauty lovers.
“I think [the definition of] luxury is shifting. It’s not about ‘I’m getting this fancy, expensive product.’ People want exceptional quality,” says Violette, acknowledging consumers’ demand for ethical and sustainable beauty products. “Guerlain must show commitment by becoming environmentally involved and engaging with femininity in a broad and diverse way, so that people feel welcome, seen, included and loved. I couldn’t call myself a make-up artist if I wasn’t including and thinking of everyone.”