Living La Diva Loca – Part 5 – Little Black Book

ext time you’re in Paris, why don’t you take a page from my little black book and hire your own paparazzi? Trust me, nothing feels better than walking around Paris with your own fashion photographer catching your every cobblestoned step. My personal paparazzi was Mimi Banks, a New Yorker-turned-Parisian fashion photographer, who has done work with L’Oréal, Lancôme, Biotherm and several modeling agencies, including the world-famous Elite Model Agency. With experience such as this, Mimi knows how to make even a mere mortal like me feel like a model and look like a million euros. Better yet, she doesn’t cost a fortune! Mimi comes to private clients, spending an afternoon or evening, capturing a minute, moment or event.

Mimi Banks is a professional, dynamic and fun photographer. As an American, she is a native English speaker, yet she speaks French like a true Parisian and can do the talking for you when you’re out and about on “les rues” should your French be “pas bien”. Visit Mimi Bank’s web page to find out more information. Although, if I recall, her website is a little out of date, so perhaps it’s best to email Mimi today to find out what she can do for you…. .

Of course, if you’re going to have your pictures done, why not have your hair done too?

I’m about to let you in on Paris’ best-kept secret — Private Stylist and Beautician Laurie Hoffmeyer Laid. Like Mimi, Laurie is also an American and she comes to your apartment or hotel room and will do your hair whether it be “”, a quick trim, a full-blown haircut or highlights and coloring. Knowing Laurie’s list of usual clients, she’s likely to be visiting you in your hotel room then whisk off afterwards to an appointment at the Ambassador’s residence.

While I can’t name names (for a lady never tells), I can say that when a certain former first lady is in town she always stays with her friends at the American Ambassador’s residence and, before public appearances, relies upon Laurie’s magic touch to fluff her jet-lagged hair.

Lastly, Laurie happens to be one of my favorite people in Paris. Wisconsin born and bred, Laurie offers a brand of down-home hospitality not often found amongst all the pretty people in Paris. She also happens to have a life story that would be the perfect starting point in a best-selling plot of a John le Carré novel. Back in Green Bay, Laurie met and married an Algerian hotelier and lived in North Africa for several years before taking up residence in Paris a decade ago when her husband took over a Parisian hotel. It was in Algeria when she made her niche, becoming known as “the hairstylist of the Embassies” and since then she has been charming her way into the hearts of hundreds of private clients. Her fee structure is quite comparable to a “coiffeur de quartier” and is “un vrai bon marché” given her expertise, exclusive clientele and the fact that she comes to you in the privacy of your own home or hotel. Plus, as my mom said after Laurie did her hair, “this is the best haircut I’ve ever had.”

I can’t give you Laurie’s phone number or email address, as it’s private, but if you email The Antiques Diva at I’ll be happy to connect you with Paris’ best kept secret – an American coiffeur extraordinaire!

Gros Bisous,

The Antiques Diva™

Check out the Living La Diva Loca Series!
Part 1 –
Haute Couture Ball Gown Shopping
Part 2 – Shoe Shopping
Part 3 – Tuxedo Shirt Shopping
Part 4 – A Night To Remember
Part 5 – Little Black Book

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

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