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Ludivine Manda

Consultant, Sustainable Development. Paris

We like to think that with every nationality comes a select set of unalienable rights—or more specifically, distinctive sartorial traits. Being born in Brazil apparently guarantees you a bouncy head of naturally-highlighted hair and ten foot long, permanently-tanned limbs, while British roots mean you can wear a leather jacket like no one else and somehow pull off second-day hair sans the help of dry shampoo. We dare you to find us a Swede without that immaculate, inimitable shade of Scandinavian blonde (seriously, you can't bottle it) or an Italian who can't wear a spangly Pucci minidress to the supermarket—excuse us, supermercato. And as for the French? Well, we like to think the ability to wear red lipstick even (make that especially) during intense athletic activity or having your first jaunt in high heels (whether diaper-aged or otherwise) be in Saint Laurent pumps ranks right up there with foie gras and frog legs—especially in the case of Ludivine Manda.

Welcoming us into her home in the 16th arrondissement, we were greeted by an array of Instagram-ready pastries (bien sûr), enormous bouquets of fuchsia roses and Drake blasting throughout every room. Okay, so maybe that last one wasn't so quintessentially français, but what can we say—some things just translate internationally, right? Wasting approximately zero time, Manda got down to touring us through her extensive wardrobe—from her collection of brightly-hued Birkin bags to the gold Céline box bag and sculptural Giuseppe Zanotti wedges that perfectly coordinated with the baroque detailing throughout her abode. And yes, because we know you're wondering, we had a difficult time walking out of there empty-handed.

Despite swearing up and down on her affinity for the classics, we have to argue that despite her protestations to the contrary, Manda's closet favors updated, more contemporary takes on our traditional notion of "les essentiels", if anything. Case in point? The abstract, geometric Céline booties and plaid skater shoes or the quilted burgundy Balenciaga leather jacket we found lurking in her wardrobe. Not exactly your standard little black dress and ballet flats, right? It must be a French thing.

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