Shoe designer Laurence Dacade on the free spirit of Venice Beach, mixing her own fragrance and her grandmother’s engagement ring
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My personal style signifier is my shoes. Sometimes they’re highly colourful, but my favourite style to wear is black leather – it’s so clean and minimal and transcends seasons, and the details such as buckles give it an edge. I never wear socks or tights, so that I can feel the leather lining and the shape. When I’m not road-testing my own designs, I’m in Nike sneakers – I love the range of colours, and my VaporMax pair is so comfortable. From £150; nike.com
The last thing I bought and loved was an embroidered Gabrielle bag from Chanel. It’s big enough to carry everything I need, yet it’s a beautiful shape, infinitely variable – I can wear it cross-body, with a double chain or four short chains – and the decoration makes it special enough for evenings. From £3,310; chanel.com
And the thing I’m eyeing next is a Halyard chair by Hans Wegner that I’ve dreamt about for years. I love the contrast of the modern metal structure, the rope seat and the sheepskin cushions, and it would look good on the modern houseboat that my husband Eric designed for us to live on in Paris. £8,089; twentytwentyone.com
My favourite room on my houseboat is my bathroom, which is more of a relaxing living space somewhere between a gallery and a library. I love to perfume it with a blend of different fragrances, then lie in the bath, which is like a cosy, cocooning egg. The water in the bath sways slightly as the houseboat moves on the river.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a black draped “contemporary vintage” jacket by Rick Owens that I found at DMag, a small outlet chain with three stores in Milan. You have to search, but it has a lot of past seasons’ top-designer pieces. Via Manzoni 44, 20121 Milan (dmag.eu)
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Tokyo. I am very keen to discover more of Japan. I love everything there: the contrast of tradition and modernity, the writing, the light and delicious food. It is such a poetic country.
The last music I downloaded was a song composed and sung by my 15-year-old son, Hindy. He plays guitar and piano, sings in French and English, and his romantic style is inspired by the Seine and the gentleness of life on the water. @hindy_music
A recent “find” is the Onsen tea house in San Francisco, which has its own steam bath and spa. You can have tea or a healthy meal with a soak or oriental-style treatment. It suits my obsession with Japanese culture. 466 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (onsensf.com)
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the Quadrilatero d’Oro in Milan for its variety of stylish stores selling the best of everything. Antonia is beautiful – bare-walled yet elegant, with the coolest international clothing and accessories brands. Marchesi Pasticceria does the best coffee and pastries and has kept its sense of tradition despite becoming trendy with the Prada takeover. The market at Excelsior is a foodie’s delight in the basement of a concept store. And Buccellati is my favourite jeweller: I love the wonderful Italian goldwork – it is design and craftwork of the highest order. Antonia, Via Cusani 5 (antonia.it). Buccellati, Via Montenapoleone 23 (buccellati.com). Excelsior, Galleria del Corso 4 (excelsiormilano.com). Marchesi Pasticceria, Via Montenapoleone 9 (pasticceriamarchesi.com)
The best gift I’ve received recently is a tablecloth embroidered by my mother that I use every day. She is very talented and has a great eye for design and colour.
The last meal that truly impressed me was at the EN Japanese brasserie in New York. It’s very stylish; they have a very light and pure style of cooking, and the food is perfectly presented. I love the way they prepare eel, one of my favourite fish. 435 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (enjb.com)
My style icon is no one particular woman. My mother has very good taste and I always ask her for advice, but I am often inspired by the women I meet or just see in the street; everything from their skin colour to their general allure and way of wearing clothes can influence me.
The best souvenirs I’ve brought home recently are some sculptured heads made with animal bones, from Tahiti. They are as wild and romantic as the island itself.
The beauty staple I’m never without is fragrance. I love mixing scents of a certain character: patchouli, amber, black rose, wood and pepper are my favourite notes. At present, I’m using Byredo’s Encens Chembur, La Tulipe and Rose Noir; Comme des Garçons’ Jaisalmer or Kyoto incenses; Tom Ford’s Oud Minérale or Oud Wood; and Odin No 8 (Seylon), 9 (Posala) and 10 (Roam). Byredo Encens Chembur, La Tulipe and Rose Noir, all £95 for 50ml EDP; byredo.co.uk. Comme des Garçons’ Jaisalmer and Kyoto, both £65 for 50ml EDT; libertylondon.com. Odin No 8 (Seylon), 9 (Posala) and 10 (Roam), all $165 for 100ml EDP; odinedt.com. Tom Ford Oud Minérale and Oud Wood, both £158 for 50ml EDP; harveynichols.com
In my fridge you’ll always find the ingredients of a quick and delicious Italian supper: fresh pasta, courgettes, mozzarella and capers from Pantelleria.
The best gift I’ve given recently was 18 small gifts for my nephew’s 18th birthday. Each one represented who he is in some way.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is The Unfinished Palazzo: Life, Love and Art in Venice by Judith Mackrell. It’s about three famously eccentric women from different countries – Italy, the UK and the USA – who successively owned what is now known as the Guggenheim Palace. I love the way it portrays these strong, fascinating women.
An object I would never part with is my grandmother’s diamond engagement ring. I wear it every day.
The person I rely on for personal wellbeing is Aria Crescendo, my yoga teacher. She makes it fun and has a great energy that always inspires me. Price on request; ariusyoga.com
If I didn’t live in Paris, the city I would live in is Los Angeles. Venice Beach has great style and a wonderfully free spirit. Destroyer is the coolest restaurant with super-healthy, tasty food. The Rose Bowl fleamarket has fabulous vintage finds, and is like a huge party. I think the Eames House is the most inspiring example of mid-20th-century design and living space, and the Getty Museum has both a spectacular setting and stunning art. Destroyer, 3578 Hayden Ave, Culver City, 90232 (destroyer.la). Eames House and Foundation, 203 North Chautauqua Boulevard, Pacific Palisades, 90272 (eamesfoundation.org). J Paul Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr, 90049 (getty.edu/museum). Rose Bowl Fleamarket, 1001 Rose Bowl D, Pasadena, 91103 (rgcshows.com/rosebowl.aspx). venicebeach.com
An indulgence I would never forgo is picking up multiple pairs of sunglasses, particularly Ray-Bans. Sunglasses are very personal; they shape the face and show individuality. I love the round, 1970s-style lenses. I travel so much I often pick up a new pair at an airport, or when I visit vintage shops. I recently found some neon-pink ones in Miami that fold in on themselves. I must own over 30 pairs and always have some on me, rain or shine. Ray-Ban sunglasses, from £108; ray-ban.com
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a journalist travelling the world, meeting people and telling their stories.