Self Service is an institution. One of the industry’s ultimate reference points. A leading publication which has features fashion’s most iconic faces and names, identifiable and irresistible as a collector’s piece in its own right. At its helm is Claire Thomson-Jonville, the Editor-in-chief with an innate talent for scouting the new faces of the fashion world. For a time she worked alongside Ezra Petronio, co-founder of the magazine and publisher of the fashion world’s most celebrated Polaroïds. Responsible for casting in his agency Petronio Associates, this Scottish-born creative has channelled her vision into timeless images for over a decade. Now she has firmly established herself in the magazine which he co-founded and which she has always admired: an independent publication with a rich, eclectic legacy and a loyal, international following. Daily life for her means working with the most talented artists of this generation. And she herself is a radiant example of the power of enthusiasm, determination and raw creativity. A labour of love is how she considers her work, within a world of incessant evolution, challenge, reconstruction, encounter and collaboration. If there’s one thing to know about Claire Thomson-Jonville, it’s that lady does not lack determination and inspiration. She recognises exactly what to look for and where to find it. She knows her mind and is drawn to others who do so too. Navigating Parisien life with the ease and style of a true native, she lives with her French husband and two children. Among the couple’s favourite items in their sophisticated, spacious apartment in the 8th arrondissement, are photographs taken by the likes of Angelo Pennetta and David Sims. Driven, optimistic and deeply invested: Claire Thomson-Jonville is The Socialite Family’s inspirational guest.
Claire, tell us your story?
I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Self Service magazine. I have two young children: my daughter is 2 years old and my son is 4 months old. I’m British, my husband is French and we’ve lived in Paris for 10 years.
Tell us about Self Service Magazine. What do you love most about your job?
Self Service is a biannual fashion magazine, a reference for fashion industry. I’m very passionate about what I do and I love the creative collaborations with some of the leading talents of our generation.
How long have you lived in this apartment? Why did you choose it?
I’ve lived here for almost three years. We moved into the 8th arrondissement after living in the 16th. We love this area because it’s so convenient for parks, shops, museums, restaurants… As for the apartment, we love the light, the floorboards, the energy. We have enough space but it’s still cosy.
Would you say your decoration reflects your style?
Yes, my style is about clean lines in a minimalist mood. Pared down with well chosen pieces. Chic but easy.
What’s your favourite colour and material at the moment?
White walls (always). I love mixing wood, metallics, texture – there are no rules. We live surrounded by the things we like.
Which designer – interior or fashion – do you dream of owning?
Probably Charlotte Perriand for my house, and for my wardrobe, I have quite a few items from Balenciaga’s new collection on my Wishlist.
Tell us about your photographs. Do you have a favourite?
Probably the David Sims cover image for Self Service, I recently received it to celebrate the birth of my son. Or the iconic Corinne Day portrait of Kate Moss. The personal photographs of my daughter taken by Angelo Pennetta and Sean Thomas are very precious to me too, and I have some beautiful family portraits taken by Ezra Petronio that mean a lot to me.
Do you have a photographer or an artist who particularly inspires you?
There are so many, I couldn’t pick just one. It wouldn’t be fair!
I’m very passionate about what I do and I love the creative collaborations with some of the leading talents of our generation.
Do you usually work from home?
Not usually, since I have two small children it’s easier to work in the office, however I do sometimes end up working at home when they go to sleep at night.
Which room do you spend most of your time in?
I tend to spend a lot of time hanging out in the kitchen or in my bedroom, but now that I have two small children I’m often running between their rooms picking up toys and changing nappies.
When in search of beautiful things where do you go?
Self Service magazine of course!
Which are your favourite Parisian hang-outs?
I love Wild and the Moon, and strolling through Jardin d’Acclimation and Parc Monceau. Hotel Le Bristol and Hotel La Reserve are two of my favourites, as well as Kinguawa, Le Tigre Yoga Club and Espace Bikram.
What does the future hold?
Issue 47 of Self Service which launches in September for the shows. There are many exciting work projects on the horizon, and I want to continue to enjoy spending quality time with my babies.
Photography: Constance Gennari – Text: Caroline Balvay @thesocialitefamily