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Cecilia Bönström

A conversation with the Creative Director of Zadig&Voltaire.

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Tell us a little a bit about yourself…
I am Swedish but I have lived in Paris since 1989, after my high school graduation. I was a model for 15 years and had a great career working around the world and meeting new people every week. Modelling is the best school in life because it teaches you to be independent and also, more importantly, to adapt every day to new people and new surroundings.

In 2003 I entered the fashion company Zadig&Voltaire as an assistant and, in 2006, I became their Creative Director. I have grown with them; Zadig now have 350 stores in the world. I am very passionate about my job, so going there every day makes me very happy.

Nickname ?
People don’t use my nickname daily in front of me but it would be ‘the soldier’ because I never stop and I never say no to new challenges and responsibilities.
Where do you call home ?
My home is Paris. I just moved to an apartment close to Place des États-Unis with the best view and bright light, so it is a place that gives me positive energy.
Home is where my children are.
Do you have any special Health + Wellness attributes at home ?
My wellness attribute would be the view on the roofs of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. I like to sit alone on the terrace with lights off and just contemplate. But my new thing of special Health would be the ballet dance barre that I bought on the internet so I can do my stretching every day. It just helps me to breathe better.
Who or what do you turn to when you have had a bad day ?
If I have had a bad day I put on my Marshall’s headphones and listen to a mix off my Shazam playlist. Or the best solution is Facetime my twin sister in New York.
Tell us about your Health + Wellness journey...
My wellness journey has always been part of me. My parents educated me to do a lot of sports, so I have created a good range of sports habits since being 12 years old that I will never get rid of.

I changed by food habits thanks to a visit to the Chenot Center in Merano. It just makes you stop and think a bit about what life has given you and what you take for granted, what’s inside. So, since around 2009 I am a bit more careful about what I eat.

Where is your favourite Health + Wellness destination ?
My absolute favourite place is Hotel Nomad in Tulum. I love the yoga class every morning on the beach with a different teacher each time and the healthy food you get there – it just makes me feel so relaxed and fulfilled.
Cecilia Bonstrom Ikigai Interviews 3

Photo credits: Vogue Paris

“Smile and the world will smile to you.”

What's been your best Health + Wellness experience ?
The best wellness experience, in my opinion, is to jump on a Eurostar from Paris to London to spend the day and to do a facial with the amazing Teresa Tarmey – she does the best treatments. She makes me forget all my stress.
What is your daily Health + Wellness routine ?
My daily routine is to take a lot of supplements, such as Omega 3-6-9, DHEA, vitamin C etc. It is very controlled and balanced since I met Dr Claude Dalle.

Every week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I do a yoga/dance class with Albert and every Saturday a class of Xtendbarre with Brenda Nahon at the dance centre on Rue Lauriston. I can’t live without these classes.

Nutrition – Thanks to my husband, who is excellent in grocery shopping at the market, I eat a huge amount of seasonal fruits and fish.

Spirituality – I actually love going to Swedish church on Sundays. It brings me back to my roots, essentials and true values. It make me think each time.

What are your favourite Health + Wellness essentials ?
Beauty – P50 tonic lotion from Biologique recherche (this has been my facial cream since my modelling years), I love NOTO’s Hydra Highlighter stick for everyday make up, Immunocologie’s Vital Ionic Mist to counter balance time in the office, and my secret, which my friend from Japan brings me, is Jus d’Olea – I drink it every evening.

Athleisure wear – Vyayama for a natural alternative to synthetic sportswear.

What’s your go to health food ?
I love Naturalia at 8 Rue Bayen and buying my granola at MyBioDelicious at 91 Rue de Rivoli, in Paris.
What’s your favourite yoga position ?
Yoga is so hard but so efficient, I have no favourite, I’m just trying my best.
What makes you laugh ?
My sister, we obviously have the same humour. And, a good movie from Woody Allen.
What do you fear ?
I fear the stupidity of people and how we are going backwards. I also fear the lack of education becoming the majority. It worries me for the future of our children.
Cecilia Bonstrom House Ikigai Interviews Garance Doré

Photo by Garance Doré

How do you find serenity ?
I find it through music or a sauna.
What is it about IKIGAI Global that appeals to you ?
When I heard about IKIGAI Global, it appealed to me that someone has reached out around the world to find the best products, places and advice about wellness. Because we are at a point today where we are very spoiled to have been born at the right time and right place but we are stuck in a never-ending cycle of stress and competition. And, we somehow forget to be grateful. And so, we need something that can make us stop and that guides us in the right direction of values but in a light and positive way.
What is the one book that has helped you discover your path and yourself ?
I haven’t found that book yet.
What has been the hardest thing to accept ?
That an ideal doesn’t exist. And, that there will always be injustices.
How, what and why have you changed over the last 10 years ?
I have changed in that I see the world less with only my own eyes as I’ve realised that there are many angles and versions of the same story. Never forget that the person in front of you has another brain and will never conceive exactly the same thing.
What do you do to make the world a more sustainable place ?
We grow our own fruits and vegetables, and I cook delicious meals! I try to inspire other to do the same.
What would you like to share that informs / inspires / empowers you ?
I would like to share a Hiroshi Sugimoto photo of a horizon and a good oldie, We Are The World, the help project song by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, which united artists like Tina Turner, Cindy Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Bob Geldof.
Do you have a good luck charm ?
No, I don’t have a good luck charm.
Who or what inspires you ?
Anything can inspire me, a film, a person, a photo.
What is your mantra ?
The Heart Sūtra, that you need to read and read again.
And finally, what is your ikigai ?
I think it would be “Smile and the world will smile to you”. I really think that you can get further thanks to positive energy.
Cecilia Bonstrom Ikigai Interviews 3 (1)
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