In riding outfit, a model from the end of the 18th centuryand century, with matching hat, Gabrielle Arnault-Lazard does not go unnoticed in the small room of the Café Muscade. Since the young woman launched her activity of unusual guided tours a year ago, Paris Gossip, she has made this tea room overlooking the gardens of the Palais Royal her “HQ”. “Under our feet, in the cellar, we were plotting against Louis XVI,” she says, with a mischievous eye.
Secrets of alcoves
This kind of anecdotes, she distills them during the thematic tours that she organizes in period costume through Paris. Money, sex, power, religion… for an hour and a half, she introduces clusters of tourists to “the crispiest aspects of the history of the Capital”. And it works ! The online reservation schedule is always full. To have time to write a book inspired by her croquignolesque stories, she has just hired an actress who provides visits during the week.
The self-proclaimed “marquise of gossip” officiates, meanwhile, on weekends, where she has fun linking historic sites to ingenious scams or alcove secrets. So many stories that she draws from the archives of the National Library of France. Because, she insists, all the anecdotes are true, like the historical context recalled at each visit.
Paris, theater and history, his three passions, combine through his new job. Because before captivating tourists in Marie-Antoinette costumes, the energetic Gabrielle had an office life. Freshly graduated from HEC, she joined the commercial real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco in 2015 as part of a “Graduate program”.
Here she is assigned to the digital marketing of the group before becoming, after two and a half years, the chief of staff of the CEO at the time, Christophe Cuvillier. This intense “right-hand man” job tests his ability to manage hot issues head-on under pressure. Very useful when, like today, she has to do an interview, accompany a Japanese television crew on a set and make progress on the design of a new circuit devoted to the absurdities of science in the 18th century!
At Unibail, since married to the Australian Westfield, she stayed for five years. But the coronavirus will change everything. Her business trips to the United States being canceled, she is stuck at the headquarters. Like many young graduates tempted to deviate from the paths set out to give more meaning to their professional life, Gabrielle Arnault-Lazard realizes that it is time “to move on”.
Practicing improvisational theater at the time, she wanted to test a project on the border between performance and the learning of history. “I am the typical example of a Covid reconversion, she jokes, in an ultra-fast flow of words. At worst, if I messed up, I would have learned a lot of things and my diploma remained a good parachute. »
It must be said that this daughter of entrepreneurs, unrelated to Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, was very early instilled with a taste for adventure. Until age 11, she lived on a sailboat with her brother and parents to sail around the world. Landing in “Terra Incognita” does not frighten him any more than the physical challenges. The former president of the HEC rowing club is solid in the face of the storms of entrepreneurship. “Even in a hyper-stressful context, she knows how to stay the course with great calm and simplicity. It’s a rock”, judge Daria de Lastours who is racing with her friend on the Normandy coast.
Admittedly, the Parisian, young married to a descendant of the banker Max Lazard, does not spare her efforts “by working from 9 am to midnight”. But she assures that she “never had so much fun in her life”. Returning to the comfort of the workforce, once the last wave of Covid has passed is not in his plans. We kinda suspected that.