Amid the site’s debut, the stylist and InStyle fashion director talks to THR about her New York Fashion Week favorites, the perfect flask to fit in a clutch bag, and the evolution of her latest venture.
Racing back from a shoot in Los Angeles, Julia Von Boehm only caught a small part of New York Fashion Week. The superstar stylist to Nicole Kidman for over four years (who has doubled as InStyle magazine’s fashion director since last April) tells The Hollywood Reporter, that two of her favorite fall 2019 shows so far were the ‘60s-inspired presentation by up-and-coming New York label Area (co-designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszcyk) and creative director Wes Gordon’s colorful show filled with volumized silhouettes for Carolina Herrera.
It’s exactly this sort of off-the-cuff commentary that inspired Von Boehm’s latest venture—the new lifestyle site Juliavonboehm.com that launched this week to track her deftly curated red carpet and fashion week favorites, style trends, travel recommendations, beauty tips and interviews with the likes of fashion designer Gabriela Hearst and Whitney Bromberg, CEO of luxury online floral business FlowerBX.
“I just sent out a little gift to about 30 people in the business, because I didn’t want to do dinner —no time, whatever—and it’s a tiny flask with engravings of their initials. It’s so flat and perfect that it fits into a clutch and it’s only three ounces, so it can go on the plane. So that little flask is my first referral to see what they’re going to say,” she says, with a laugh. “And we’re definitely going to talk about Botox, so we’ll see where we go from there!” (She found the tiny flask in a little liquor store down the road from her office, natch.)
Hailing from Heidelberg, Germany, Von Boehm studied fashion for two years at La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris before a chance encounter led to her becoming the assistant of powerhouse French fashion editor and tastemaker Carine Roitfeld (then editor of French Vogue). Von Boehm worked as an editor in Paris for 8 years before moving to New York for an 18-year stint as a freelance editor and stylist before accepting the position at InStyle.
She fell into the job of styling Kidman after working with the actress on two consecutive projects (a Jimmy Choo ad and a fashion shoot for Harper’s Bazaar) and has kept the actress as her sole client ever since: “I owe her a lot, in a way, because she taught me how to do the celebrity styling side of things, which I had never done before I met her. So I like to give her exclusivity,” says Von Boehm.
The lifestyle site concept came into being at the prompting of Von Boehm’s long-time assistant, Maria Encalada, listed as a co-founder. “She started as my assistant and grew into a little entrepreneur; she cracked the whip to get me to do this,” says Von Boehm. “I have a certain knowledge about things through life experience and work and motherhood, which I didn’t realize that I have, because it’s kind of natural to me. And maybe more access than other people have. I still feel weird talking about it without having been asked. But Maria said, ‘I think people really want to know about it; you should share it!’ It kind of just multiplies what we would be doing anyway. So we jumped into the cold water.”
Another story idea came to Von Boehm in the car, just before talking to THR, as she was looking through images from New York Fashion Week: “I said, ‘Oh, I really want to do something about how I’m going to Jamaica with my kids and I need to start thinking about what clothes I’m going to buy.’ So I’m pulling that together as a spring break wardrobe.”
As for tips for moms (Von Boehm has two children aged 7 and 9), she confesses: “I’m not the mom that can tell you where to find the best diaper or anything like that, but I can tell you where it’s best to travel with the kids and which hotel helps accommodate the nanny next door. Right now, there’s an article about how great kids [beauty] products are; I actually started stealing their creams!”
Von Boehm describes the content as “extremely honest” and “close to her heart.” Topics come to her instinctively and reflect the taste level that has earned her Kidman as a client—although she is fast to point out that this is completely distinct from her styling “side job.”
She says: “I would never talk about what I’m doing with celebrities because I don’t find that very appealing to them or to myself. I don’t want to make this turn into a gossip situation, you know? I think they deserve discreet behavior from my end.”