At Paris’ Palais de Tokyo museum, Kérastase, the luxury hair and scalp care brand, hosted its second annual Power Talks on Tuesday. Drawing influencers and media from the U.S., Europe, the Balkans, and Asia, it was an event to help women gain confidence through active mentorship.
Through programming like this, Kérastase has been working to elevate women’s voices by reducing the confidence gap between men and women. According to a Kérastase global survey of more than 2,500 women in the U.S., China, Brazil and France, 74 percent of women think they lack confidence in their career-defining moments. Because of this, there are major gaps in how women view their ability, their work relationships and their future potential compared to men.
As guests arrived, they were guided to a large staircase with a giant inflatable letter K as the backdrop. The room was designed as an activation in itself with information about the brand, plus an art installation, titled She’s Light Years Ahead by artist Sara Shakeel, who is known for her work with crystals. Mannequins were covered from head to toe with tiny silver crystals, and were connected together by more than 3,000 feet of crystal strands. The message from the installation: that women have a universal understanding of their shared experiences.
As the Power Talks got underway Rosa Carriço, the global brand president of Kérastase opened by reminding women that though they have doubts, desires and questions, there is a space for them to be mentored, something that the brand is doing by partnering with the mentoring nonprofit Step Up in 15 countries.
Atlanta-based poet and Kérastase global brand ambassador Ebonee Davis performed two of her poetic works, acknowledging that the work of her ancestors and other artists — from Maya Angelou and James Baldwin to Nipsey Hussle — have propelled her to where she is today. She invited the audience to speak out the names of those who paved the way for success. Gaëlle Drevet, a former ABC broadcast journalist-turned-TV producer — and also the founder of The Frankie Shop, a concept brand with locations in New York and Paris — also spoke. “We can live with regret but not remorse,” said Drevet to the audience when talking about going for one’s dreams. “Go for it. The worst that can happen is that you fail.”
Poet, author and illustrator Rupi Kaur spoke on how she was told by college professors that she wouldn’t make it as a poet. Today she travels the world doing spoken word poetry. After reading several of her poems, she described how a greater force fell over her, which propelled the work she does today. “Elizabeth Gilbert calls it ‘big magic,’ and she talks about this mysticism that women have access to. Fourteen years ago, this mysticism took over my body, and I heard this voice that said, ‘You’re going to go on stage and talk.’ There was something so powerful about hearing my voice through a microphone for the first time, and having it land on ears that were ready to listen,” she said.
Rounding out the Talks were actress Emily Ratajkowski and Amelia Dimoldenberg, creator of the digital interview series Chicken Shop Date, where the two spoke on supporting women, business ventures, confidence and moving past failure.
Ratajkowski — whose podcast High Low with Emrata, which covers topics of sex, politics and feminism, was recently canceled by Sony — spoke on her own struggles with confidence. “There is this voice of doubt that comes in and it can lead me into a place where I’m comparing myself to other women. The way I get out of it is realizing what I’m doing. So much of how we perceive life and how you perceive yourself will be reflected back to you,” she said.
The conversation shifted to Beyoncé’s Renaissance Would Tour, which both Dimoldenberg and EmRata found to be an empowering experience. “The amount of people that were there, celebrating at the church of Beyoncé, I was just so happy to be there with them,” said Ratajkowski. When asked if she has any dating advice for women, Ratajkowski shared that after a fashion show, she was asked the same question, to which she said, “Ladies never pay for the bill.” Her response turned out to be controversial and after going on a date where the guy paid for the meal, he brought up her TikTok on the subject. “Don’t make TikToks about dating advice that may later come up and embarrass you,” she said to the audience, which bellowed with laughter.
The evening ended with a fête at Bonnie Club, a New York retro-style venue with 360-degree views from Paris’ Morland Tower, where guests wore midnight pink. Attendees danced to DJ sets by Tiffany Calver and a performance by Vendredi sur Mer.