Pauline Ducret talks about New York, her love of Monaco, the strong values instilled in her by her mother, Princess Stephanie, and describes her father, Daniel Ducruet, as “the other pillar of her existence”.
You have lived in the United States for almost two years, is New York the city you’ve always dreamed of?
Initially, I left for a six-month internship at Vogue. I had completed my studies at the Marangoni Institute in Paris and worked for six months at Vuitton. I wanted to build my resume and gain more experience, credibility, but my move to New York was only temporary. And then I fell in love with the city and I decided to stay there. I resumed my studies and tried my luck at Parsons School, a renowned fashion and design school, where I was accepted. I hope to launch my own line of clothing one day. Fingers crossed…
Is fashion a form of art to you?
I see it as an art allowing all forms of expression. A designer speaks through it just as a painter tells a story, or conveys themselves, when they choose which colors to puts on a canvas. Fashion is a way of revealing yourself to the world, of showing the world who you are.
“Never without my Perfecto” sums up your style?
My parents never said to me: “You must dress like that,” they always let me do things in accordance with my personality. I’ve always been a little rock ‘n roll, it’s true. There is a photo of my father and mother that I love very much, taken at the time they were together, on which they are both posed with their leather jackets, showing their rock side. It is probably from there that everything took off.
You are also the ambassador of beauty care Lancaster, Asia. Why did you choose to work with this particular house?
The Lancaster brand was born in Monaco. My maternal grandmother, Princess Grace, contributed greatly to the development of its notoriety and image. For me, it all made sense. In addition, I have always been very careful about my skin.
Does your mother, Princess Stephanie, often talk to you about Princess Grace?
Yes, and when she shares memories, it is not as an actress or icon, but as a mother. She speaks of her mother as the person who has instilled essential values in her, respect for others and tolerance in particular – values she has also passed on to us. My grandmother had also taught her how to sew, to cook, to look after a home, and Mom, who is an incredible cook, did the same with me. I think I can say that I am a very good housewife!
Did moving away create more distance between you and your family?
As a child, I already said to Mother,“When I turn 18, I will leave.” As far back as my memories can go, I wanted to see the world, meet people, and live my life. I grew up surrounded by a lot of love, but sometimes I felt like I was in a bubble. I needed to forge my own character, my own opinions, to learn how to fend for myself. In New York, I live Downtown, in the Village, I have a neighborhood newspaper, my own little habits, the places I like, my restaurants, my shops. I continue playing sports, a lot of fitness, also boxing, in a small place next to my home. There are museums everywhere, always new exhibitions, new places to discover. The energy of this city is incredible, it feels free and alive. And, for now, since I’ve resumed my studies and tried my luck at Parsons, I do not imagine living anywhere else.
The fact that you were so close to your parents, your brothers and sister didn’t that make your move more difficult than you imagined?
The first time I left my family was to go to Paris. The move to New York was more complicated, I realized how hard it is to be so far away from the people we love the most in the world. Camille, Louis and I had never been separated, we are very close. But I think I came out pretty well. With Mom, we call each other every day. Camille turned 18 last summer, I want to be there for her, we call and snap chat constantly. I miss not having them close to me a lot, of course, but even if I am not there physically, I make sure to stay present in their lives. There are sacred things, like Christmas and birthdays, during which I try to be there to the fullest. For my 21st birthday, all three surprised me by coming to join me in the United States, and we had a big picnic in the Central Park. It is a wonderful memory.
Your father, Daniel Ducruet, also occupies a prominent place in your life.
Yes, my father and mother have made me the young woman that I am, and it is important for me to talk about him. Mom has greatly influenced my view of beings and things. We are similar. But I also have a super-relationship with Dad, who is the other pillar of my existence. I have two big brothers, Louis and Michael. Since I’m a little daredevil myself, he likes to say (laughing) that he has three boys.
Would you say that one of the great achievements of your mother is to have preserved this clan spirit?
Yes. We are very family oriented, my parents get along very well. On the eve of my departure for New York, we dined together. Our strength is to be united, against everything.
You have some tattoos. What inspired them?
I have six small, pretty pieces, each of which has a significance because I had them done at specific times. I had always told my mother that one day I would have some tattoos too. She accompanied me for the first one. At the time, I was 17 years old, I was doing high level diving, I used to be afraid before a competition and I chose this one, which says: “Remember to always dare.” The flower I wear on my wrist is for my paternal grandmother, Marguerite, who was there for me when my parents divorced and who I love infinitely. This one, on the other arm, is like a thread and a needle, it celebrates my move to New York. I have another one on the sole of this foot, “Made in MC”, which reminds me of where I come from. I like to look at these tattoos, they bring me back to those who are dear to me, happy moments. I know I will never regret them.
You are 22 years old, your generation will have to face greater difficulties than the one that preceded it.
I love listening to my parents tell me about their 20’s, we see very clearly how they felt carefree. The new means of communication have made us informed almost in real time, we cannot ignore what is going on around us. Because it evolves and grows in an uncertain world, my generation benefits more from the present moment. As far as I’m concerned, I’m very like that. I try not to dramatize and instead take a step back, but I also tell myself: “This is your life, do what you deeply want.”
A few days ago, you presided over the jury of the 6th edition of the New Generation, the circus festival dedicated to youth under 20 you created with Princess Stephanie.
This was done quite naturally. The international Circus Festival of Monte-Carlo, which was founded by my grandfather, Prince Rainier III, and now chaired by my mother, is an adventure that we both love to share. We love it so much that we have sought – and found – the means to prolong the atmosphere, the pleasure, with this second festival dedicated to young people. More and more artists are asking us to participate in the New Generation, the response of the public, the media, is very positive. The organizing takes time. With Mom, I travel a lot, we go to Moscow every year, for example. We are constantly looking for new acts, we also get a lot of videos, sent by circus schools or even families who wish to draw our attention to the talent of their brother, sister or cousin. Work begins in February, selection is usually completed in July-August. This year, you will see, the show is going to be really strong.
Hard-work and the need to stay down to earth are the principles that guide you?
Mom always told us, “You were born into a family that is better known than others, but it does not make you better than other people, there is no reason for you to treat people differently, nor for you to be treated differently.
Does your new life in the United States change your bond with the Principality?
Leaving has allowed me to understand that Monaco is and will remain my home. The country where I was born is my nest, my house, my cocoon, the place where I come to recharge my batteries. I get involved in its official life as soon as I have the opportunity, but for now, I wish above all to flourish in my work and my personal life. I’ll just live my life as a young woman first.
Photo source: Point de Vue