We had the good fortune of connecting with Gigi Paris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gigi, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I’ve always been a strong believer that everything should be done in moderation. Yes, we should always push ourselves to our best capabilities, but do we ever allow ourselves to enjoy the process? When it comes to work, fun, food, rest, and most daily decisions, leaning in to what your body craves is natural and ultimately, healthy. I’ve been working as a full time model for half my life now, which has led to lots of travel, independence from a young age, and having to constantly leave my comfort zone. This lifestyle urged me to seek a balance in everything else in order to cope with the constant change. While I was on the road, I dove into yoga every chance that I could since a yoga mat was as portable as my suitcase. This allowed me to stop and acknowledge how I truly felt throughout the day. Yoga practice is a beautiful way to slow down your thoughts and seek gratitude. I fell in love with it so much that I decided to take a month off from work to get my yoga certification in Bali, away from everything and everyone I knew. Pushing my boundaries always felt like I was growing in one way or another. When the pandemic hit, the world stopped all together and forced everyone to slow down. My suitcase remained unpacked, I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to catch a sunrise shot, and I could maybe eat that extra burger without any guilt. Sometimes, stillness can be the hardest when it’s not your choice. All this time at home allowed me to pause and reflect on what really brings me joy. I’ve always been a creative. While on flights, I would embroider t-shirts and gifts for friends to take up the transit time. My grandmother was a seamstress and would always make my entire class’s theater costumes every year. She taught me how to sew and I was always sketching or making anything I could get my hands on. In 2020, I decided to finally design a line of my own. Spending so many years in front of fashion, I so badly yearned to get behind the creative process. Jijou is a fully sustainable and all inclusive clothing brand of hand dyed silks based out of my home in LA. I may have never taken this chance on myself if it weren’t for my time spent to reflect. So, if you ever feel stuck or even out of time, maybe doing a little less might help you to find something more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I really love making one of a kind pieces. When I discovered how to dye silks, my clothing company Jijou finally came together. The button unisex top is my best seller. I find that the clients love having something wearable that also feels like a work of art. The silk acts as my canvas that can be painted into anything you’d like. I tend to find a lot of inspiration through nature and landscapes, so my color palette stems from mountain ranges, to sunsets, to ocean views. It’s been a great way to connect all of my worlds together. The carefree nature of the clothing translates into a timeless piece. I like to think that while wearing Jijou, you are guaranteed a good time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Beachwood Canyon, one of LA’s best kept secrets, but I’ll share it with you 🙂 When I bring people to this neighborhood for the first time, I feel like I’m sharing a little slice of heaven. The views of the mountains are unbeatable and everyone loves to snap a picture in front of the iconic Hollywood sign. The Beachwood Cafe in the middle of town has the best breakfast burritos and on the weekends, the chicest vintage store is open next door. Our neighboring canyon, Laurel has one of my favorite restaurants called Pacé. It’s great for a date night with a yummy Italian bottle of wine. I’m a beach girl at heart, so driving out to Malibu is always worth your while. The Malibu Cafe on the pier is great and make sure to grab a Casamigos margarita at Cafe Habana on PCH. Sunday markets are my favorite for hunting vintage finds. Melrose Flea market is great, along with the silverlake one. I’ve actually yet to go, but apparently the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena are an actual dream. That’s next on my list!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m dedicating this Shoutout to my mom, Claire Paris. She has taught me from a young age what it is to be a fearless, strong, and caring leader. I’ve watched her dedicate her whole life to marine science and I plan on joining her in the near future to create awareness of a true conscious lifestyle on this planet. I adore her work ethic, her grace, her undeniable zest for life, and the way she takes care of everyone around her. Check out her instagram @beatrixparis to see what a bad ass she is. A huge Shoutout to Mama Paris!
Instagram: @Msgigiparis & @Jijouparis
Neave Bozorgi, Anouk Morgan, Ian Passmore