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PARIS — Anne Hidalgo was elected the first female mayor of Paris on Sunday. The Socialist beat right-wing candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, better known as NKM. Here, a primer on Hidalgo:
AGE: 54; three children
This story first appeared in the April 1, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
BACK STORY: A native of Spain who gained French citizenship at age 14, Hidalgo was deputy to outgoing mayor Bertrand Delanoë and is a popular figure among Parisian “bobos,” the catchphrase for the bohemian bourgeoisie. Hidalgo’s election promise includes eco-driven projects like a free moped service called Scooterlib’, modeled after the city’s free bicycle-sharing scheme, Vélib’, and its electric car-rental service, Autolib’ — two of her pet projects. Her program also includes adding 5,000 new places in day-care centers and transforming Avenue Foch leading up to the famous Arc de Triomphe, a one-time walkway for the wealthy, into a massive pedestrian public park.
FASHION CREDENTIALS: She sported a Lanvin black dress at the César Awards, French cinema’s big night, last month. At the cocktail party hosted by the Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode closing couture week last summer, she was in a Christophe Josse dress.
She occasionally combines subliminal messages with her designer labels. Earlier this spring, the Carven shirt with a Paris map print that she wore on French TV channel Canal Plus created an instant online buzz. For WWD in August, she posed wearing an Eiffel Tower dress designed by two young Parisian designers — Sandra Maestrini and Amaia Arana, who founded the label Zazazou.
Yet, her everyday style — consisting mainly of French contemporary brands Apostrophe, agnès b. and Sonia Rykiel — is in line with the Socialist government, keen to telegraph “normality” and discretion. She matches dark Apostrophe tailored suits with shirts in bright colors and a royal blue scarf.
CAMPAIGN PROMISES FOR FASHION: A plan to make Paris Fashion Week a public event involving all public places — schools, museums, theaters; providing support to local craftsmanship and to young designers, including through “FabLabs,” places dedicated to innovations or incubators for creative industries.
ANNUAL REVENUE OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY IN PARIS: 15 billion euros, or $20.70 billion at current exchange rates, including 85 percent to the export market, according to Paris City Hall.
CONNECTIONS IN THE INDUSTRY: Pierre Bergé, a Socialist; Agnès Troublé, the designer known as agnès b.
THEY ARE SAYING
Agnès Troublé: “Anne Hidalgo is a very calm, determined and charming woman.…Her style is quite classic, reflecting her Spanish origins; she likes black with bright colors such as red, pink and blue. I’m flattered that she is a fan of my clothes, and thrilled to have the opportunity of dressing her.”
Pierre Bergé: “I trust her completely to head the city, including to boost the creation and fashion industry. I have known her for years; I feel very close to her.”
Dominique Hazan, general manager of Georges Rech and Apostrophe: “She is a client; she shops for herself. We are very happy that she wears our clothes. She is a discrete and efficient woman.”