19.08

Helena Rubinstein and France, a great love story

By the time Helena Rubinstein moved to Paris in 1912, she was already well-traveled, having lived in Melbourne and London for several years. Paris would quickly win over the visionary, who was to declare that "London is an elegant town, but everything comes from Paris." The French capital would capture her heart forever.

Paris the "beauty laboratory"

On her arrival in Paris, Madame Rubinstein believed she had a lot to learn from French women. Even before settling in, she already admired the unparalleled chic of the marquises and duchesses, immaculately dressed in Doucet or Poiret. Once she moved into number 255 on the rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, she expressed her desire to "teach moderation" to Parisian girls. She hated the trend of overly made-up faces, wanting to end the "massacre", and vowing to save beauty in France!

In Paris she was able to set up her own company, but Madame Rubinstein also loved other French regions. Over the years she would buy a house in Grasse and the Moulin de Breuil in Combs-la-Ville. Although she didn't spend much time there, Madame liked knowing that she could go whenever she wanted, and make the most of relaxing sunny days.

France, art and Madame

When she arrived in France in 1912, Helena Rubinstein knew no-one. Her husband, Edward Titus, introduced her to the most influential artists of the capital. Her second passion, art, developed during these years in France. She would spend evenings talking with Dali and Picasso, and developed a keen interest in African art. She enjoyed parties, each more glamorous than the last, organized by Poiret, and never tired of the quality of life that France offered.

In less than two years, up until the start of the First World War, Helena Rubinstein established her empire in France. 100 people worked for the brand, in its factories and boutiques. Forced to leave France in 1914, she remained loyal to Paris, returning after the war. Right up until the end of her life, Madame would come back to France every January and July for the Haute Couture fashion weeks. Her support for her French artist friends never wavered, having spent so many happy moments there.

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