Mediterranean warmth, Parisian vibrancy.
Settled in Paris.
In a building in Le Marais, a door opens onto a light flooded living room. A little ball of fur named Raoul purrs softly on a tobacco-coloured Togo sofa, and the multitalented Julie Rouby welcomes us into her home. Originally from Cannes, Julie has been living in Paris for eight years – but her Mediterranean roots still shine through.
Along with her studies, the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity inspired Julie to work in advertising. After finishing business school she landed an internship at an advertising agency in Paris, but it wasn’t long before her career swerved towards production and art sales. The consistent element in her story is Paris and her neighbourhood, Le Marais, and she still admires the incredible beauty of her adopted city while cruising the streets and surroundings, be it on her bicycle or in her beloved 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL convertible.
In what ways do your southern origins manifest themselves in day-to-day life?
I feel very Mediterranean in my way of being. I love cooking. I add olive oil and rosemary to every dish! My specialty is pissaladière, an onion tart my friends are crazy about.
And I’ve maintained the sunny energy of the south. There’s also my white Mercedes-Benz convertible that I brought with me from Cannes. I enjoy the clichés of being the Cannes-girl in my Parisian circle of friends.
Determined all along.
How did you get started in advertising?
Growing up, I didn’t often hear the words creative director, TV producer, or collector. My friends were moving towards careers in real estate or tourism. Meanwhile, I was eagerly following the Cannes Lions advertising prizes. I watched shows and read magazines dedicated to brands and media.
And I went to events during the advertising festival in Cannes, meeting people and collecting business cards. One evening I met the JWT team, an advertising agency, and I started an internship there after finishing my studies a few months later. After the internship, one of the agency’s clients hired me to manage the organization of an event in Cannes in a large pop-up club, but I knew that my life was going to be in Paris.
A lot of experience.
So you left advertising completely?
Ah, no! A few years ago during a job interview, someone said, “You are made for product development.” I had the opportunity to join the Premiere Heure group and this prediction came true. During the following years I worked as an event producer at Les Résidents, a company I admired. I learned a lot there: to create, design, and let content shine – this was no longer advertising in the classic sense. Then, one of the producers I worked with started his own business, L’écurie, in partnership with Intersection magazine, and I joined him. We started out in a garage with a small team. Today L’écurie is a beautiful agency.
I was deeply involved in the business, almost as if it were my own agency. But after a while I wanted to try something new.
Recipe for happiness.
How would you define your role as an agent?
I represent different kinds of artists of the Mr. L’Agent agency. I connect our artists to brand territories. In everything I do, I try to create connections inspired by what surrounds me, be it magazines, advertising, or films. I keep informed on competitions and project offers, looking for project opportunities for our artists. Being exposed to creativity on a daily basis nourishes me and makes me happy.
What aspects of the work do you most enjoy?
I like to come up with and develop projects, build connections, build teams. Today, as an agent, I really value the artistic dimension of the projects I’m working on.
Your job also entails being aware of trends. What is your relationship to fashion?
My personal style is a little feminine meets masculine. I’ve simplified my look since coming to Paris.
When I return to the south there is sometimes a gap between the trends I’ve adopted and current trends in Cannes, to the point that my friends ask me, 'Julie, are you sure about the socks with heels?'
Fascination since childhood.
Tell me about your car – where did you find a white 1982 Mercedes-Benz convertible?
This Mercedes-Benz 280 SL belonged to my parents. For various reasons, they needed to sell it even though it broke their hearts. I didn’t hesitate: I bought it to keep it in the family. What’s crazy is that my parents had already sold it once and then bought it back again! 1982 is also the year of my birth. I have always had a special relationship with cars and the pleasure of driving. My father taught me how to shift gears while sitting on his knees at the age of four and I could finally reach the pedals at seven.
We have a country house near Nice and would take long drives through the fields. Having a white Mercedes-Benz convertible in Paris could be seen as showing off, but for me it’s an investment with sentimental value. As I said, I love driving. I love to feel the leather seats and robustness of the materials. You can feel the weight of the car, it reminds me of how I felt while sailing in the Bay of Cannes, near the Lérins Islands. It is much more than a way of transportation, and the car resembles me in many ways.
Do you use your car every day? How do you get around in the city?
I cycle a lot during the week and take the car out on the weekend or at night because I love Paris by night.
This car is a fantasy: it is a pleasure to know it is in the garage, waiting for the weekend and summer holidays.
Thank you, Julie, for chatting with us and taking us for a spin through the streets of Paris.