Audrey Hameau

Sales Manager, Le Bon Marché. Paris

By: Emily Ramshaw

Aside from the whole slaving away as an unpaid intern thing, the sometimes stunning amount of time spent “on the job” (those store openings and multi-course dinners totally count as work, guys), and often somewhat measly pay, we have to admit that working in fashion definitely has its perks. Take the job of an editor for example: “samples” you’re allowed to keep and comped press trips to see Karl’s atelier. Or fashion directors, who practically have a guaranteed runway-side seat to every prime show on the calendar. And then there’s those who work in retail, who not only get their employer’s reliably excellent discount, but are also the first to have access to that rare Givenchy as soon as it lands in the stockroom. Case in point: Le Bon Marché’s Audrey Hameau.
But not so fast, because as much as Hameau now works at “the first department store ever created” (as she so emphatically told us when we arrived at her 9th Arrondissement apartment), that wasn’t always the case. In fact, Hameau started her career as a tax lawyer, an occupation that seriously couldn’t be further from her current role as sales manager for Paris’s shopping mecca. From lawyer to a few executive positions at LVMH in New York and then she decided to make the big career switch. As she put it, she “needed a change in life.” No kidding.

Of course working for LVMH (parent company to Louis Vuitton, Céline, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs—the list literally goes on. And on) in any capacity has its obvious privileges, and we were privy to Hameau’s spoils upon wandering into her prodigious wardrobe. Maybe it’s the fact that she hasn’t spent her entire career in fashion, but the woman truly loves clothes, with gushing anecdotes at the ready for everything from her beloved Birkin, Pucci fur, vintage Courrèges and an extensive Louis V. archive (go figure, right?). All of which amounts to the ultimate perk of working in fashion: actually loving your job.