With her Brigitte Bardot bangs and minimal-chic wardrobe, this French journalist’s style has branded her an it-girl par excellence. Hannah-Rose Yee meets our new Parisienne obsession
Here’s a secret: Sabina Socol wasn’t actually born in France. She was born in Romania before moving as a child to the country she now calls home, where the cultural habits are her own and where all her friends live. “I’m pretty much the only ‘real’ French person in my family,” Socol says, laughing.
Which is just as well, because Socol, who has just turned 30, has in almost no time at all become the internet’s favourite French girl du jour (alongside Badlands Journal favourite and Rouje designer Jeanne Damas and the OG, Lou Doillon, of course). After initially gaining a following as the social media editor for L’Officiel magazine, Socol’s Instagram grew exponentially and today, she works as a freelance journalist in Paris.
If you spotted her at her favourite haunts, perhaps having breakfast at Le Square Gardette in the 11th arrondissement or a glass of wine with friends at Aux Deux Amis, she would probably be clad in her uniform of a simple top, heels and high-waisted jeans by Staud. In fact, high-waisted jeans are the only denim style that Socol wears, because she feels they’re the most flattering for her body shape. “That’s just my everyday look that I feel most comfortable wearing,” she says.
Like many women in Paris, Socol is an expert vintage shopper. Of all the clothes hanging in her wardrobe, she says her most beloved items are vintage finds, like her pink, tweed Chanel jacket or her Dior saddle bag. “I love collecting and wearing them, and I really think they contribute to my personal style,” which she describes as “simple, feminine and playful.” Her red knitted dress by Kate Sylvester (seen on the previous page) isn’t vintage, however, though it has a “cute vintage vibe,” Socol adds, and that’s why she loves it. “It’s also kind of sexy because it’s a little see-through, but not too much. I like having fun with clothes and accessories.”
That balance – sexy but not too much, vintage jumbled in with exacting high street finds, and touches from up-and-coming labels like Staud and By Far – is a particularly alchemic formula that French women excel at mastering, and one that’s been discussed in great, torturous lengths in the media. While Socol agrees it’s “not really new”, she’s quick to stress that she understands the French-girl fascination. “I think it’s because French women can pull off an easy, not-too-‘try-hard’ look,” she reflects.
If you want to try this look at home, you might want to pare back your beauty routine, Socol suggests. Although she invests in bi-monthly trips to a hair stylist, uses Bumble and Bumble products at home and adds a slick of Glossier Generation G, in Jam, to her lips, she keeps her make-up relatively minimal. “French women are good at making it seem like they woke up like this,” she muses. The “natural, flowy hair” and “glowing skin” are all part of the French woman’s aesthetic, she says. Failing that, you could do as Socol does and copy her sartorial colour palette from her Badlands Journal photo shoot – red, white and blue. So Frenchy, so chic!
For more style inspiration, follow @sabinasocol on Instagram.
Photography Asia Typek
Words Hannah-Rose Yee
From Issue 03 of Badlands Journal