Laurianne Melierre is a multitasking journalist, columnist, entrepreneur, host, fashion lover, foodie and more – you name it, and she’s probably tried it.
After six years of working with various media outlets, the Parisian decided she wanted go her own way and, in 2017, became a freelancer.
In the three years since then, she's established herself as a regular on a TV show on Canal+ and been part of a leading foodie podcast. She writes articles for the press, hosts events and moderates talk shows. She has her own copywriting agency, Plume, and has worked with Estée Lauder, Nike, American Vintage, Lacoste, Levi’s and Sonos, as well as names like Serena Williams and David Beckham – to name but a few.
Fresh from linking up with Roger Federer to unveil the first tennis-inspired sneaker developed with the Swiss Maestro, the ROGER Centre Court, we sat down with the influential journalist to find out what makes her tick.
Hi Laurianne, can you tell us a little about your background?
I don’t really have the classic journalism background. Originally, I wanted to be a biologist – and my parents were very proud of this. But I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to work in the media instead – my parents weren’t impressed.
So I went to media school and studied communications for four years. During this time, I did a lot of internships in art galleries and magazines, including one with Glamour magazine. I ended up staying there for about three and a half years. In my last year of school, I split my time between studying and working there. I was literally living out of a suitcase, but I loved it.
My internships gave me a passion for my job and a taste of how much effort was required to succeed. Every opportunity I got, I took. I never went on holiday; I just wanted to work and to work well.
Journalist, columnist, entrepreneur, foodie — why do you choose to work in so many different areas?
My biggest passion has always been writing. But when I got the chance to try working in radio, I really enjoyed the experience. Then I met people who worked in TV, gave that a try and, again, I loved it. It happened quite naturally, and things just added up. I’m driven by curiosity and a thirst to learn. If I encounter something I don't know, I usually want to try it.
In France, people sometimes stigmatize those who, like me, wear several professional hats. We prefer to put people in boxes. But I see things differently. I believe my different areas of expertise, and my multiculturalism, are assets that allow me to see the world and society through unusual, more nuanced prisms. Today, I see myself as a media entrepreneur rather than a journalist, because my field of action is broader.
The French media are mostly white, bourgeois and socially homogeneous. At first, I tried to blend in. But when I developed more confidence in my work, skills and myself, I realized that my differences were treasures to cherish, not to hide.
What if somebody said you could only do one thing?
I would say why? Some people perceive television, the press, a podcast or a discussion as different platforms and professions, but I find them quite similar. My job is to analyze society through trends, to observe emerging movements and explain how they might say something about our times. I adapt my message for the different media I work with but, for me, it's always the same job.
What is a typical day for you like?
Like many freelancers, I don’t really have a typical day. I like to go to the gym in the morning, then I might have a meeting with a client, journalist or agency. After that, I’ll go to the office to answer emails, read articles – just the usual office stuff. Then I’ll go to Canal+ and do my show before heading back to the office and then home. One thing that is consistent is that I always travel by bike.
How do you relax outside of work?
Honestly, it can be difficult for me to find time to relax. I love working. For a long time, working hard was my way of escaping things. But I’m learning to make time to relax and to be alone without feeling guilty.
We are all more than what we accomplish but, sometimes, I feel like my generation doesn’t have a way of expressing itself other than through what we do.
I’ve been trying to find the right balance between my personal life and work. It’s important for my mental health. So now I really make an effort to find time to relax with my friends, to paint my nails or have a massage. Sometimes I'll just lie on my sofa, and do some writing or reading. I just want to feel centered and happy – to stop thinking for a second.
You mentioned you like to go to the gym, have you always enjoyed working out?
Not at all. But I love it now. In French schools, physical education is often all about performance. So for a long time, this is what sport meant to me. It put me off, as I'd rather focus on health, well-being and the relationship we have with our bodies.
Honestly, I was never a big fan of sport until I met my coach Steve Delaval, who is the co-founder of Le Labo. He challenges me in ways that I enjoy. Every session is different, I never know what I’m going to do and now I’m totally addicted. I can’t do anything without working out at least two or three times a week.
Sport has really changed my perception of my body. I feel like I own my body now, I feel good about it and in it. That’s a great feeling.
What’s your life philosophy?
I try to stay humble and just enjoy life, wherever it leads. I feel grateful to be where I am, to have a voice when others don't. I've worked hard to get to this point, but there is always a bit of good fortune involved. I was lucky to have parents who were open and curious, to be born in a country that gave me opportunities to grow. I also don't take any negative comments I receive personally. I measure my own success, and I'm satisfied when I have given my best.
I dream of a more empathetic, less individualistic world. You never know what others are going through. My job is to get in touch with people, to make them smile, think, maybe even teach them something.
Do you support any causes that are close to your heart?
Yes, I support many causes but I don’t see myself as an activist. For me, activism is more than posting a black square on social media. It’s good that people do this, it’s a great way to show support but I think real activists do more.
That said, as the daughter of an immigrant, I’m very anti-racism. My mother was born in the deep forests of Cameroon and my father in a small Moroccan village. But I grew up in France, in a country where people are no longer afraid to be outspoken, to be feminists or to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
There are many things that I believe in but don’t talk about because I need time to process my thoughts. This can be difficult as we live in a world where everything has to be quick and we need to be first. Often, we don’t take the time to be sure about what we are saying.
What inspires you?
I work in the media where many people who are seen as influential fear speaking out in case they lose some of their audience. So I really like people who stand up for what they believe in.
Activists like Assa Traoré and Rokhaya Diallo, as well as politicians like Christiane Taubira, are very inspiring to me. But also people like actress Adèle Haenel and chef Sophia Roe. They all fight for their chosen causes, be it feminism, anti-racism, same-sex marriage or anti-police brutality, and for what they feel is right.
Michelle Obama, Serena Williams (I was lucky enough to interview her in 2019) and Rihanna too. I’m inspired by what I would call “free” women. They don’t judge anyone, instead they elevate people. To me, that's a real role model.
They are all independent, self-sufficient and have become more than their jobs. They are deep and they advocate for what they believe in – no matter what people might think.
How was it getting to work with Roger Federer?
Exciting, stressful, crazy. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my career, but I learned a lot too. It was filmed live so it was full of unexpected events and I had so many people to interact with.
Needless to say, Roger is an exceptionally kind human being and one of the greatest athletes ever. So it was wonderful and terrifying at the same time – a little like jumping off a cliff. I am just so grateful that I was able to have this experience.
Roger is so kind. He said hi to everybody. Had lunch with us. He even asked if there was a seat for him at our table. We made space.
You’re wearing the Cloudnova these days, how do you find it?
Yes, I got them before THE ROGER actually. They were my first pair of On shoes. I'd seen them in stores and I knew the brand’s reputation for technology and comfort. So I tried the Cloudnova and I can confirm that they're really comfy.
The sole isn't flat, so you always feel like you're moving. I genuinely wore them the whole summer. I went to Greece with only a pair of sandals and the Cloudnova. I wear them to the office, to meetings – they're just so light and comfortable. And they fit perfectly with my way of looking at life: with dynamism, versatility and agility.