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Saint-Tropez et ses muses

07/08/2018 (archive)

Icône féministe

Colette who was one of the most modern authors of the 20th century, left us 60 years ago in 1954, she wrote many masterpieces while in her house bordered by the Tropezien vineyards. She was in love with freedon and independence and it is thanks to her that women were finally allowed the status of author.

© Gilles Puech

She was also a pioneer in defending the no taboo life and was an activist for equality between men and women.


Before becoming a fervent defender of animals, Brigitte Bardot loved ballet dancing and dreamed of becoming an actress. Just one film «Et Dieu créa la femme» was enough to launch her to the status of a national myth. She was at the centre of several scandals and controversy. In real life, BB was as free and provocative as in the roles that she played.

© Léonard de Raemy


l’emblème d’une génération

Edited in 1954, “Bonjour Tristesse” was the first novel written by this insolent, disillusioned young girl who had no problem showing off with what money could buy. Saint-Tropez, la Ponche, jazz clubs, Jaguars or Aston Martins, she was the epitome of the youthful easy and fun way of life.

© DR


Femmes d'influence

Sept Femmes à suivre évoque leurs parcours


Scénariste, productrice
La reine du box office
Whether it’s in their business, in politics, in culture or in sports, women are now powerful in many different walks of life. There are quite a few of them here in the gulf of Saint-Tropez. Seven women to follow, tell us of the paths they have taken.



What they all have in common when facing challenges is an optimistic vision of the future and a remarkable intuition for innovation. A woman of influence is indistinguishable from a woman of power, in reality she is often full of nuances and subtleties. Usually creative, this expert in strategy is a source of inspiration for her family, friends and colleagues. These women manage, with much talent and success, both their private and professional lives.

Danièle is the only child of the actor, scriptwriter and director Gérard Oury, she was born in Monaco. Her grandmother was an artist amongst some of the greatest during the 1920’s. In 1960 she followed her mother to live in New York, she married an American business man and had two children. She frequently travelled back and forth to France and became co-scriptwriter on some of the huge hits starring Louis de Funès. She worked closely with her father and some of the biggest names in the French cinema industry and on some of the greatest award winning films. Later in her career she turned towards film directing, again she was very successful.

Women and cinema ? To succeed in this business, first of all you need to go to the cinema often, but you also need perseverance and discipline. The real obstacle is still the difference in salary between men and women.


perpétue la légende

Her name is synonymous of luxury and Dolce Vita, she has a passion for the sea and fast boats. Carlo Riva’s daughter is a perfectionist like her father before her. He was a visionary engineer who left his imprint on the nautical world. Lia Riva is a dynamic business woman who exclusively manages Riva sales for France and Monaco, a function that takes her all over the world to meet with her clients.

Photo. À Saint-Tropez, Danièle Thompson entourée de Kad Merad, Monica
Bellucci, Éric Elmosnino, Lou de Laâge, Valérie Bonneton pour son
film Des gens qui s’embrassent sorti en 2013

What inspires me ?
I read alot and I love to listen to people, their stories interest me.

News: I’m on two big projects, a TV series on the theme of Brigitte Bardot in the ‘60’s and a follow up of «Rabbi Jacob» that will be «Rabbi Jacqueline»... a complex script because it treats some of today’s delicate subjects.

Saint-Tropez I adore Saint-Tropez, I’ve spent alot of time here, I’m lucky enough to own a pretty house with a garden full of flowers and birds. I like to recharge my batteries at Canoubiers or Les Graniers. Strolling around town is always a pleasure, especially at La Ponche that has remained authentic. We all know that Saint-Tropez has changed, we can’t deny it, but luckily, the real Saint- Tropez still exists.


After graduating from Milan University, this lover of contemporary art became a sort of ambassador for Monaco and is concerned in the National Museum, she is a generous sponsor and actively supports Art Monte- Carlo and the Spring Festival of the Arts, the two major events of the summer season in Monaco. This radiant woman is always full of new ideas and rarely leaves her office before 8pm. Of her three daughters, only Arianna works in the company, Valentina is an architect and Chiara teaches yoga. However busy Lia may be, she always manages to spend some time with her four grandchildren who she cherishes. Lia is close to Caroline and Albert Grimaldi as well as the Kennedy family.

She finances the actions and the combats of her friend Kerry Kennedy, president of the foundation ‘Robert Kennedy for Justice and Human Rights’. “My philosophy is fight to the end, never give up... but I am able to change my mind if proven wrong.”

Shopping favorite : Victoire et BlaBla
Drink and Diner : Sénéquier et La Petite Plage
Flower shop : Le petit marché sur la Place aux Herbes
Hair dresser : Le Boudoir Mon péché : La tarte tropézienne

Riva Family : Lia, sa soeur Pia, les filles de Lia, Ariana et Valentina avec son mari Roberto.
Les petits enfants de Lia : Tomaso, Giovani et Emma.


Ambassadrice Luxe, Événementiel de prestigeAhead of the game, Courchevel, Paris, Milan or Saint-Tropez, this Nicoise of Polish origin, ambassador of LVMH, is renowned for her global vision of fashion, that enables her to stay at the top. She is remarkably efficient in her functions as consultant for 5 top fashion houses of the worldwide luxury group; Dior men and women, Pucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton. Krystina has been with the group since 2003, her strong personality and organizational abilities are her signature when throwing exquisite parties or arranging glamourous dinners. “I am proud of my collaboration with LVMH and I give the best of myself. I’m lucky enough to have Barbara Moons, my very efficient assistant who understands the importance and the complexity of our roles. Even though I travel alot, both professionally and personally, I still love France for its culture, diversities and quality of life”. Krystina Martin-Steen is refined, she loves to entertain friends in her private garden and serve lunches in the sun. Her pride and joy remains her daughter Elsa who welcomes you at the Cabane Bambou. “She loves sports and nature and has inherited my combative spirit and generosity” says her mother with pride. In her busy world, Krystina loves silence and reading a good book in the cosy, refined atmospheres that she creates so well.



Whether she’s at Atelier 55, the absolute must in town or at Jas des Roberts on a Sunday morning, she loves to find unusual rare objects for herself or for her friends. Her advice : Nothing can be successful without passion and energy..

With Serge Brunschwig, PDG de Fendi


L’Art de Vivre provençal
With the agenda of a minister, a “cru classé” wine domaine, a range of natural cosmetics, the launching of the organization of the international Rosé Day and three children, Valérie Rousselle, the owner of Château Roubine who lives at full speed, always manages to be in good humour.

Born in Saint-Tropez, Valérie’s childhood was happy and carefree, after her studies she went off to a hotel school in Lausanne which led her to a career in the Barrière group in Deauville. LOVE STRUCK In 1994, Valérie visited Château Roubine, a vineyard property just a few miles from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. She immediately fell in love with the place and together with some help from her parents, she managed to buy this treasure known to be one of the oldest in France. She was also successful in obtaining her oenology and viticulture certificate at the University of Wine.

High quality wines are obtained from the vines, the “crus classés” of Château Roubine are present on some of the best tables around the world. Château Roubine is today a leader in wine related tourism in Provence. Since opening the Mas des Candeliers, a charming guest house, the team concocts a multitude of activities concerning wine, in which the guests participate.

Sens en Provence is the fruit of 7 years of research together with her friend, a pharmacist doctor Céline Destaing. “Our products are all made with natural ingredients including grapes and vine shoots, extracted from the biodiversity of my vineyard” explains Valérie.

Under Valérie’s leadership, the first edition of the international Rosé Day will be officially launched on June 22nd. The event brings together producers, distributors and those who promote rosé wine in France and around the world. The towns of Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Rio will also be involved with the event.



Captain de Nikki BeachNikki Beach, a luxury, festive concept created by Jack Penrod in 1998 is now an empire, today there are 14 on the 5 continents. It’s not surprising to see that Célia Gumbau-Serra runs the show at Nikki Beach Saint- Tropez, she is a true pro in communications, her first steps in this direction were taken at both the Fashion Week and the Film Festival in Cannes where she was born. Célia studied history of art and has always been a globe trotter. She went to Paris and in the wake of the mythical Guetta couple who reigned over Parisian night clubbing, she filled her address book and excelled in communications. She left for Miami where she met Jack Penrod who was stupefied by her maturity, her ambitions and competences... she was only 22, and he gave her the job of developping the festive Nikki Beach concept around the world. Her second decisive encounter was with Francis Yeoh, the head of the YTL group, one of the most important conglomerates in Malaysia. Célia suggested creating an exceptional spot for a demanding clentele, within 72 hours the purchase of a property on the beach road was concluded. She left for Malaysia and presented her plans for the future MUSE. The building boasts 13 suites and the surrounding gardens are remarkable, they include 160 different types of Mediterranean plants.

This young hyper active mother of two, tells us that her family is her priority and is the joy of her life. Every year, she leaves for a five week holiday with her family, last year it was the islands in Thailand and this year it will probably be Peru and Bolivia, Célia is fascinated by ancient civilizations. For Nikki Beach, she likes the idea of using more natural wood and greenery with an exuberant plantation of palm trees and flowers, creating an oasis just a few yards from the sea. Families will be welcome with a special place for the kids with a laid back, serene atmosphere. But after 5pm, Nikki Beach will come alive with live music and DJ’s to accompany the mythical champagne showers around the pool.

NEWS Célia is working on a new event where food and art will come together... 4 top chefs will be the guest stars in the kitchen while the best DJ’s play. Music, sun and fooding... now that sounds like fun...

Photo - Cathy et David Guetta avec Éric Omorès, co-fondateur de Nikki Beach


Two kids, two beach restaurants and a brasserie, all managed together with her husband who used to be a rally champion, now turned business man. All this requires some strict organization between Ste. Maxime and Ramatuelle. This interior designer has recently opened Maison Bianca, a refined blue and white setting for the gastronomical beach restaurant on Pampelonne.

successful fashion boutiques in Ste. Maxime and Saint- Tropez. A born leader, she enables her personnel to progress, a choice which means that she can count on her motivated, enthusiastic staff to optimize a common project.

She fell head over heels in love with Brice Tirabassi, a young automobile champion which completely changed the course of her life. She had met her aler ego, they both wanted passion, voyages and adrenaline, Brice is the father of her two children.

Alexandra followed her husband on the circuits for 8 years which meant that she discovered some extraordinary places throughout the world.


I’m fascinated by Asia, probably because of my multi-cultural roots and my Vietnamese grandmother. North Thailand inspires me, especially Chiang Mai with its’ positive energy. On the other hand I also love St. Barth, a unique island that has preserve its soul in spite of its fame.
NEWS For his mid life crisis, he’s just turned 41, my husband has decided to go back to racing, he’ll participate in the French Championships and I want to share this new challenge with our two children who are 5 and 7 years old.

My friends are my family... When Maison Bianca opened, it entered the very private club of the best spots on the Riviera, acclaimed by the magazines Figaro Madame, Elle décoration and Marie Claire.



The owner of the Auberge des Maures only needs 4 hours of sleep a night... “That gives me a lot of time to do what needs to be done... I can live 3 lives in one” she admits mischieviously. This hyper active woman begins her day at 5.30am by taking a run to keep herself in shape. Originally from the Alps, Evelyne fell in love with the region in 1999. She is a woman of challenges, this high level sportswoman competes, for her pleasure, in some amazing marathons. “To exist, I need adrenaline” she explains. She was on the departure line of the “Diagonale des Fous”, one of the most difficult races in the world, that takes place on Reunion island. It is a 190km race that must be achieved in less than 36 hours. More than half of the 6,000 participants dropped out, but not her.

In the Moroccan Sahara, she participated in the “Marathon des Sables” in heat wave conditions, 42km per day for 4 days... she could probably run our 20km Saint-Tropez marathon between two appointments! Symbol of the Tropezian heritage and culinary authenticity, the aquisition of the Auberge des Maures, will be one of the most important pages of her life. Every Friday she completely changes the decor of the entire restaurant, she is a born decorator and has 60 different decors that she personnalizes for each occasion: Christmas, Easter, Bravades... “I want to give back to Saint-Tropez, what it has given to me.”

With her alter ego Bernard de Simone, Evelyne Bouchet is the founder and President of the Association Passions et Traditions which counts 380 members. The adage is “Let’s give everyone the right to dream”. The association works closely with the municipality and supports, participates and finances different charitable and social actions: The huge nativity crib (800 statuettes and 18,000 visitors last year), a creative workshop for the children but where the elderly also participate. Every year the Auberge des Maures organises a lunch for a hundred pensioners in Saint-Tropez. After sports and the restaurant, her third life is dedicated to decoration.

Thanks to work and perfectionism, her hobby has become a real job. “I am lucky enough to live my passions” says the international consultant specialized in custom interior decoration for hotel groups, enterprises and restaurants. Advertising needs, Bollywood weddings, millionaire’s whims, even beach bungalows. Tell her what you want and she will do the rest. She still manages to take time to be with her friends and family of 8 brothers and sisters and of course, all of her nieces and nephews.





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