As stepdaughter to Serge Gainsbourg, daughter of Jane Birkin and French film director Jacques Doillon, and half-sister to Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Doillon is French cultural (and tabloid) royalty. Lou, herself, has worked as a model and actress for years; though, it was only recently that she hit the recording studio. While she'd been courted to record an album since her school days ("It was this stupid 'It Girl' effect, or whatever"), she delayed her music career until it felt perfectly right to
make an album.
Now, everything has changed. Last year, Doillon released Places, which became an immediate sensation in her home country. Rather than exploit her pop potential, Doillon became a singer-songwriter in the classic sense. The album, filled with bone-dry Americana (and sung in English), was nothing like what the press had imagined. As it turns out, though, confounding expectations was the right decision. The album turned her into an even larger sensation that culminated in her winning Best Female Performer at last year's Les Victoires de la Musique — equivalent to the French Grammys. Still, Doillon's musical journey isn't over. While she plays to thousands in Europe, Places just came out on American shores on June 18. We talked to her about winning over audiences once again, her compulsive shopping habits, and the wonderfully unlikely piece of clothing given to her by her sister.
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Photographed by Sunny Shokrae