The Gilded Ones
WHEN WE MET MICHELLE ST. JULES,
we knew we would spend a spectacular day together. This Brooklyn-based entrepreneur is a quite simply a powerhouse — one with big city savvy and old school cool. Michelle (she likes to be called Michou) is stylish, full of moxie, super smart and just a little bit sassy. It takes guts and confidence to start a business from the ground up at 22 years of age. Michou took that risk and her business is thriving well over a decade later. Did we mention that she has a truly sick shoe collection? If you love Fendi booties, then you will want to read on! Okay — we will stop gushing and let you find out for yourself just how cool Michou is!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
For Starters: I am a Haitian American Brooklynite! My partner and I just bought a house in Ditmas Park, which we are renovating. Before I moved to Ditmas Park, I lived in Clinton Hill, which is another wonderful neighborhood in Brooklyn. I also spend a lot of time in nearby Fort Greene.
The J.O.B.: My company, Style Bound Inc., is both a talent agency and one that offers exclusive concierge services to celebrities and executives. We represent a wide range of talent from chefs to stylists to photographers. And we have provided concierge services to several well known names in the entertainment business — Will Smith, Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Rita Ora, Idris Elba, Justin Bieber and Rihanna — just to name a few.
Advice I ignored: My parents wanted me to explore a traditional career path. You know. . . lawyer, doctor or engineer. Instead I went down the risky road of entrepreneurship at 22 years of age and I’ve never looked back.
In my free time: I am a budding oenophile. Collecting wine is one of my favorite things to do. I am crazy about vintage stores, and lately, I have developed an unhealthy obsession with documentaries. But I make up for all that TV watching with my love for volleyball and fitness in general.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Classic. Monochromatic. Simple.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WARDROBE PIECES RIGHT NOW?
I always gravitate towards black pieces. Black is beautiful in more ways than one (smile). So let’s talk bags. I am currently loving my men’s black Goyard top handle bag. It is just perfection! When it comes to shoes — well, I am going back and forth between a new pair of Fendi black booties with super high heels (I have a few) and black Nike sneakers. Heel height depends very much on my mood. I love coats and jackets. When the weather gets cooler, you will see me decked out in one of my Burberry statement coats paired with super slick black Celine shades. My absolute favorite piece these days is my Marni jumper dress with giant crystal buttons. It is versatile, modern and looks great with anything from a tee to a man’s button down shirt.
WHOSE STYLE DO YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
I’ve always admired Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn for their simple, effortless style and Diana Ross for her elegance and vibrancy. But Coco Chanel is my true love in terms of style. She was a believer in black staple pieces. Coco’s looks were classic, feminine and always sophisticated.
IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR STYLE THAT IS INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE?
Yes! Some people think that it is weird, but I refuse to fix the piercing in my right earlobe. It tore because the cartilage in my right ear is weak. So, for the last 13 years or so, I have been wearing only one earring. It’s become one of the things I am known for style-wise. Wearing one earring is so much a part of my style that I can no longer envision wearing two. The good thing is that wearing one earring compliments my minimalist style and it's a conversation starter! “You may have lost an earring somewhere” is a comment that I hear all of the time. Nope! I only wear one.
YOU HAVE HAD AN INTERESTING CAREER — ONE THAT BLENDS ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC AND FASHION. HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I guess you could say that I’ve always been lucky when it comes to my career. I scored my first job as a paid intern at Roc-a-Fella Records, Jay Z’s record label, when I was a 16 year old high-schooler. A couple of years later, I enrolled at FIT to study Fashion Merchandising Management. While in school, I accepted a job at a licensee group called Fada Industries, Inc., where I became an assistant watch designer for brands such as Kenneth Cole, Carolee, Tommy Bahama and a private label collection designing watches for celebrities. All of this happened before I was 21 years old.
Even though I loved the creativity of being a designer and the adventure of constant travel, I knew that I wanted a career that combined my love for fashion, music and entertainment. So, I took a leap of faith and left school to become a full-time entrepreneur. Together with a good friend, Carline Balan, I launched a lifestyle management firm. Our company provided concierge services to celebrities and top executives. We arranged for everything from booking private jets and yachts to finding the most exclusive personal chefs for clients to event planning. You name it and we made it happen. We also had a Glam Services division, which provided clients with celebrity hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, closet organizers and photographers.
Recently, I struck out on my own and formed my own company, Style Bound Inc. I specialize in Luxury Concierge and Glam Services. Recently, I began to represent my first music and entertainment artist, DJ and producer, Cuppy @cuppymusic, which is super exciting and takes me back to my love of music.
WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING PART OF YOUR CAREER?
I enjoy representing creative people and connecting them with exceptional musicians, actors, athletes and professions in the entertainment industry. It feels good to know that you’ve helped to forge a successful union between an artist and a client. Seeing the results on the red carpet or on a magazine cover is the best and most exciting part of my job.
That’s easy. Talented and creative humans inspire me. I gravitate towards people who are passionate about what they are doing. Their passion becomes mine — so much so that I am inspired every day to make their dreams a reality. I believe that it’s my purpose in life.
Vegan food. I enjoy attending food festivals like the local Brooklyn Smorgasburg. Discovering small food companies and interesting dishes is a great way to spend an afternoon!
In addition to documentaries. . . Watching old episodes of Game of Thrones. I am hooked!
Smelling good. I am currently OBSESSED with fragrances and natural oils! I am on a mission to find out what scents work best with my body chemistry. I am collecting samples and blending oils to concoct the perfect potion for me.
LET’S TALK ABOUT FAVORITES! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE, GENRE OF MUSIC, ART OR ARTIST AND WHY?
One of my all time favorite movies is Coming to America. I can watch it over and over again. I am a huge fan of Eddie Murphy — he is hilarious! And the choreography by Paula Abdul is so well done. I have reenacted it in my house more times than I can count. Coming to America is also a beautiful love story. It is! Go watch it again! You’ll see.
As far as music goes, I have eclectic taste. I am an old soul so I prefer old-school music. I groove to Anita Baker, James Ingram, Michael McDonald, Sade, Sweet Mickey, Cymande, KEM, Bob Marley, Corrine Bailey Rae, Jay Z (of course), Rakim, Fleetwood Mac, Carol King, Marvin Gaye and Duke Ellington. I also love Brazilian lounge music — my favorites include all of the Putumayo collections. Like I said — pretty eclectic. My favorite artists are Jean Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sharald, Joe By Joe and Ron Bass.
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS?
I love South Africa. I’ve been there twice now. I visited Kruger National Park both times. The park is simply breathtaking. I also love Senegal. Later this year, I’ll be traveling to Nigeria. So far, the continent of Africa seems to be my favorite and most memorable travel destination!
WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I want to learn another language. I plan to live in Italy one day — so I will need to speak Italian!
I would like to start a foundation dedicated to women’s empowerment. This is something about which I am passionate.
I want to ride in a submarine. I am pretty much obsessed with all forms of transportation — submarines in particular. I am not sure how I am going to make this happen, but I am working on it. If you know someone with a submarine, let me know!
I would love to find a way to help to fix Haiti’s economic and political crisis. This is a longstanding dream of mine. I hope that I am able to accomplish this in even the smallest way during my lifetime.
WHERE WOULD YOU TELL OUT-OF-TOWNERS TO GO TO GET YOUR BROOKLYN EXPERIENCE?
Restaurants. There are so many wonderful places to eat in Brooklyn these days. The choices are immense. My current favorites are:
- Brunch: Aita Restaurant
- Lunch: Habana Outpost. They are only open in the Spring and Fall but they have great food and delicious Mojitos. Sisters is also on my go-to list
- Dinner: I just love the Michelin Star rated restaurant, The Finch. Other favorites include Peaches, Shrimp and Crab, Buka and Locanda Vini e Olii.
Shopping. I make regular pitstops at Su’Juk for their quirky mix of vintage clothing and accessories, beauty products and unique home goods. You can even get your hair done there! If you are in the mood for a mall, I like the selection at City Point Shopping Center. My favorite place for furniture, home accessories and candles is Yu Interiors.
When I need a little pick me-up. When I am feeling a bit run down, I head over to the one of my favorite spas — Body by Brooklyn. I also love trying out visiting celebrity hairstylists at Ursula Stephen Salon.
For downtime. Brooklyn is a wonderful place to relax, walk around and take in beautiful neighborhoods and parks. I always enjoy a stroll around Fort Greene park when I need to clear my head and get some fresh air.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
Gold goes with everything and looks wonderful on everyone. When you have the right piece, it makes you feel beautiful and smart. And if you make a great investment in gold jewelry, it can be passed down to loved ones for generations.
WHAT AUVERE PIECES CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
I am in love with the matte and satin finished pieces! The color is gorgeous. My favorite earrings are the Luna Aurelia Earrings (but just one of course). And I can't wait to rock out the Vela Lariat Necklace and the Callista Cuff. That cuff makes me feel like Wonder Woman. But then again, Auvere’s rings have got me in a tailspin. I want them all! The Callen rings (both satin finish and polished) worn stacked together are brilliant. When they move around the finger, they make different silhouettes. I love that. And the Slash Ring is a real statement piece.
Come visit me in Brooklyn! How will you find me? Easy. Look for the girl with the single gold earring!
MICHELLE IS WEARING:
- Look 1: Gold Dress: Issa; Heels: Fendi; Flats: Gucci; Sunglasses: Su’Juk Boutique; Jewelry: Auvere (Callen Ring Polished; Capture Ring; Luna II Ring; Slash Ring; Two Moons Cuff; Astra Bangles; Firebolt Earring Tall)
- Look 2: Jacket: Goyard custom designed by @officialfawn; Jewelry: Auvere (Carina Earrings; Open Cage Cuff; Luna II Ring; Capture Ring)
- Look 3: Jumper Dress: Marni; T-shirt: Gap; Booties: Fendi; Jewelry: Auvere (Callista Cuff; Luna Aurelia Earrings; Callen Satin Rings)
- Look 4: Black Top: Roland Mouret; Drawstring pants: Zara; Sneakers: Kurt Geiger; Jewelry: Auvere (Tall Maze Cuff; Short Maze Cuff; Golden Moon Ring; Vortex Ring; Double Cone Earring Tall)
- Look 5: Dress: Margiela; Heels: Fendi; Jewelry: Auvere (Obelisk Convertible Rope Necklace; Vortex Ring; Golden Moon Ring)
- Look 6: Denim Overalls: Gap; T-shirt: Gap; Heels: Fendi; Jewelry: Auvere (Carina Earrings; Open Cage Cuff; Luna II Ring; Luna IV Ring; Capture Ring)
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