France’s Unofficial Minister for Fashion Isn’t Afraid of a Redesign – The New York Times

By on January 21, 2020

The pact is not legally binding and was decried by critics as toothless because it lets signatories pick and choose guidelines rather than setting goals, and sidestepped the problem of overconsumption. “Well, it’s the French way of approaching things,” Ms. Poirson said, with the faintest hint of exasperation.

Ms. Poirson has no truck with some luxury brands’ argument that they represent only a tiny fraction of the fashion sector. “That’s like France pointing the finger at China as the bigger polluter,” she said. “I refuse to hear that argument. Everyone should work to maximum capacities to find a solution to climate change.” She was born in 1982 in Washington, D.C. to French parents — her father worked for the World Bank; her mother restored paintings — and the family returned to France before she could walk. She and her two younger brothers grew up in Apt, in the Vaucluse, part of the then-grittier, pre-Peter Mayle Luberon region in Provence.

She knew from childhood that she wanted to work in the public sphere. But, unlike most French politicians, Ms. Poirson is not an énarque, as graduates of the École Nationale d’Administration, the primary vivarium for French political life, are known.

“I wanted to do the exact opposite of E.N.A. It was a project,” she said. “My roots are really strong. I know exactly where I’m from. It gives you a lot of strength to go anywhere else, anywhere in the world. And I went with the intention of coming back, always.”

That path led to the London School of Economics; Laos — where she spent a year working on education, particularly of young girls, among the Hmong ethnic minority; and, by 2008, New Delhi, where she worked in the public and private sectors, for the Indian cabinet minister Satyan Pitroda and the French company Veolia.

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