Laury Thilleman - On top form

  • "Happy & Zen" (meaning "Don't worry! Be happy!") is Laury Thilleman's motto in life. It's also the title of the Sunday morning programme she presents on French digital TV channel Téva. 28-year-old Thilleman fizzes with energy. Since she shot to fame as Miss France, she's notched up a string of professional experiences, many of them linked with her commitment to environmental causes. There's simply no stopping her!

  • photo by Sandra Fourqui / © Blush Editions
    photo by Sandra Fourqui / © Blush Editions
  •  

    Following your best-selling book Au TOP : Tonic Organic Positive, based on your own healthy lifestyle, you've just brought out a sport, diet and positive thinking programme called 30 jours pour être au top ! Is it your secret for keeping fit?

    It's my secret for maintaining my life balance. Exercise, a balanced diet and positive thoughts enable me to achieve an equilibrium, and that helps me keep pushing myself to do better each day in both my work and my personal life. I love sharing and cultivating ways of being on top form day to day.

     

    Another way you're promoting well-being is with Vida, the healthy eating restaurant you've opened with your life partner, chef Juan Arbelaez, in Paris' 10th arrondissement. Was that something that was important to you?

    I never expected to get involved in catering. When my first book was published, a lot of people asked us if there was a restaurant where you could find all the recipes in the book that were developed with Juan. So we started our own healthy eatery. The aim of Vida is to reintroduce people to seasonal products by cooking them in ways that are fun and sexy, and make things easier than they look.

  • You've also launched "Parisienne et alors" an ethical, responsibly sourced clothing brand. Would it be right to say the idea is that you can dress elegantly without harming the planet?

    Absolutely. Today 90% of the garments we make each season come from France and are made of natural materials and fibres. We're aiming to make that 95% by the end of the year. Nowadays it's possible to dress in locally sourced clothing made of fabrics that damage the planet as little as possible, and the public are starting to be receptive to that.

     

    You're committed to protecting the environment and especially the oceans. Are you worried about the state of the planet?

    Yes, I am - but I'm also very hopeful and relatively serene about the future. The generation growing up now are much more mature and responsible than we were, and that's reassuring. It augurs well for the planet.  

  • photo by Sandra Fourqui / © Blush Editions
    photo by Sandra Fourqui / © Blush Editions
  • Nine years after being crowned Miss France, you were one of the judges for Miss France 2019. How do you feel about being a member of the Miss France family?

    I'll always be part of it. We meet up regularly to swap news and draw inspiration from each other. There's something uniquely special about it. Sylvie Tellier has succeeded in cementing the Miss France family, and now it's something very precious. I wouldn't have got half as far as I have done without the boost of being Miss France.

    Last year you had over 500,000 Instagram followers, and now you have 697,000. What effect does that have on you?

    It's hard to grasp. What goes on behind the screen is a bit intangible. I try to meet my followers at events but I don't spend each day wondering if I've picked up any more followers. Still, it's a huge boost and all the people who "like", comment and voice their opinions encourage me to do better every day. It's a lot of pressure! (laughs)

    Do you have any time left over from supporting environmental causes, writing books and being a journalist, businesswoman and influencer for your private life?

    Of course! I'll always have room for family, romantic relationships and later on for having a family myself. They're where I get all my energy from.

    What are your plans for 2020?

    I hope all the different projects we've talked about continue to grow and develop. It's like a picture made up of lots of colours. The bigger the picture gets, the brighter the colours are and the more I love looking at it. I say to myself, We've got a fair bit done in nine years. Let's hope it goes on that way!

     

    Léonore Dubois

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