Valerie Tribes - Fashion Journalist #1

by Emmanuelle Christ

At the beginning of 2017, Valerie Tribes founded Chiffon the first French fashion podcast – it was a real success from the start. Chiffon is a podcast dealing with fashion, the people who love it, those who set its trends and those crafting it.
Valérie has worked as a journalist for women's magazines for over 20 years and ended up creating her own media and launching her podcast. What is really innovative is that she lends her ears to anonymous women and escapes from the usual closed circle of the fashion world. Thanks to her, everyone one can have a say along with trend setters and fashion professionals.

Before creating Chiffon, you worked for several magazines, could you tell us more about working as a free-lance journalist?

It was like a roller coaster!

I have known the heydays of free-lancing (and even dropped a permanent contract to become a free-lancer... and kicked myself later on!). It's a very hard job, unstable and precarious.
The blogosphere broke the system down.

Now that you've moved away from them, what do you think about printed women's magazines?

Unfortunately, women's magazines miss the point completely.
What's more, I understand the omnipresent presence of advertising because magazines need to survive, but I am disturbed by the confusion between editorial content and advertising.

What about the “La petite gazette de la Mode” adventure then?

A fantastic experience that enabled the creation of Chiffon. That is where I saw and realized that women did not identify with the current press.

Your greatest mistake?

Dropping a permanent contract to become a free-lancer.

As a journalist, what do you think about the job of press officers?

My relations with press officers? That depends on the office…
When I started Chiffon, they were rather disdainful. I believe many offices should get with it!

How do you experience fashion shows and pressdays?

I go to neither of them. I don’t have time for them and it is not relevant for Chiffon.

What are the pros and cons of working as a fashion journalist?

It is a very difficult job, competition is harsh. People aren’t particularly nice to each other and there is a true lack of benevolence.
The advantage is that it is such a beautiful job!

What are the dos and don’ts of a Fashion journalist?

DO: keep a smile on your face, be a good strategist in your relations, keep your eyes wide open…

DON'T: do like me… I am very wild.

What’s on your desk?

10,000 things. Just like in my college years: several pencils, 4 identical pencil holders, my box, drawings, some paper, candles, a datebook… a happy mess.

Chiffon gives all women a chance to speak, as well as fashion professionals. Is that the recipe for Chiffon’s success?

Giving the mic to the average woman in the street while thumbing my nose at the world of fashion and its legendary exclusiveness? That perfectly sums it up.
I don’t mean to turn fashion against me, I am just trying to increase people’s awareness.

How do you imagine Chiffon in a few years’ time?

I live one day at a time. Today Chiffon is doing extremely well. Success is a short-lived experience. I’ll see.

Who do you nominate for Pressdays’ next interview? What would you like us to ask him or her?

Valérie Benaroch from Spirale Office: “How do you see the future of press offices?”

April 2018

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“It's a very precarious job. The blogosphere broke the system down.”