my stylish french girlfriends – sylvie robaglia

by Sharon Santoni

women in leopard skin caot crossing street in paris

It won’t be a surprise to you to read that, when finding new french girlfriends, I am drawn to strong, confident and happy women, who work everyday with passion and excitement.

The girlfriend I am introducing you to today,  is just such a woman, the first thing you notice about Sylvie is her broad smile, her energy and frank direct approach.

sylivie robaglia in her office

Sylvie’s life has taken some unexpected turns, but whatever life threw at her she just turned it around and made it into something positive and  today she is doing what she does best and loving every minute of it.

Sylvie runs her own communication company, and specialises in PR for companies and events that have a link with French art,  tradition and heritage.   She fell into this niche because she has always loved antiques, and one day while visiting an auction house in the south of France, she noticed that the local antique dealers, preparing an upcoming auction,  were glum because business was slow.   “So have you done anything about it?”, she asked them!  “Have you told the press about the treasure you have lined up for your next auction? did you ask the local tv if they’d like to come down and interview you?!” “Do you have any good photos of the contents of your sale?” …. there was a silence, and then the reply came, “but Sylvie we are antique dealers, we don’t know how to do that stuff” …. her career was born.

Within a week she had local tv and newspapers on board, some national coverage too, and the auction was a huge success.   Word of her energy and influence soon got out, and before she knew it she was heralded as the expert in communication for the art world.

Some things are just meant to be.


Today, Sylvie is in the luxurious position of working a stone’s throw from the Champs Elysees, in the heart of Paris.  From her office she has a sublime view over the grey zinc rooftops of the city.   She goes everywhere by foot, and her office is in her apartment – what you’d call a short commute!

Her reputation is such that she gets to choose her clients, and has some very prestigious successes to her name.   When the French cruise boat France was being dismantled in India after nearly 50 years of service, she met a doctor who had spent his entire savings on spare parts from the boat.   She loved his story and the passion with which he spoke about the boat, and why it should be saved, and she helped him put together a very charismatic auction, with the nose of the great  boat driven down the Champs Elysées on the morning of the sale.

nose of ship France ready for auction

She was responsible for the communication around the sale of the contents of the Crillon Hotel before it was closed for refurbishing, and also organised the sale of costumes and scenery from the Folies Bergères, to name but a few.


Every project has a story to tell, and a passion to communicate.   Listening to Sylvie talk about her sales, it is easy to understand how exciting it is to be involved in such high profile work, that involves saving precious memorabilia and artwork from  neglect, and puts her into contact with so many interesting people.

sylive robaglia at a cocktail in paris

When Sylvie is not working she spends time in her beautifully decorated flat.  Here there isn’t a computer in site, but the artwork is omnipresent.  Some pieces are simply coups-de-cœur (art that she falls for while out and about), others are souvenirs of her sales, given to her by grateful clients.

detail from dining room

detail from living room

I loved the day that I spent with Sylvie, chatting, learning about her industry and taking my photos.   Her energy and curiosity is contagious, and I came away from the day inspired to keep my eyes open even wider, and always be open to new encounters and good stories – a good life philosophy I think!

detail from bedroom

If you would like to learn more about Sylvie’s work, her website is here

Art et Communications, Paris




Vanessa March 31, 2016 - 3:06 pm

She has the most infectious and beautiful smile .From her smile you see a wonderful person …someone with great character and depth,it is very rare you read someones story with photos and get to experience such a wonderful energy leaping out from your computer
You just want to know her
Thank you for sharing her story it is wonderful life she has created for herself and those she works with I can imagine have an amazing experience

noreen March 31, 2016 - 3:28 pm


Marcy Hammerstein March 31, 2016 - 3:31 pm

This was so good! Inspiring. Thank you.

Debbie Spence March 31, 2016 - 3:36 pm

What a fun life, and what a fun girlfriend! Her life is a lesson on recognizing the opportunities around us. Thanks for sharing.

Hilary Cooley March 31, 2016 - 3:41 pm

Such a lovely story to begin my day. Congratulations to
Sylvie for all her hard work paying off. Now will you please talk about the coat and purse she’s carrying ? Looking fabulous, Sylvie !

Karen Albert March 31, 2016 - 3:42 pm

Sharon, thank you for introducing us to Sylvie! A fascinating and talented woman!

Featuring Artist Scott McBee

Taste of France March 31, 2016 - 4:24 pm

She just exudes energy and optimism! And it isn’t easy to start a business in France. Good for her. Love her style–both in fashion and decor.

Our French Oasis March 31, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Even more inspiration for the day, thank you. “Keep my eyes open even wider and be open to new encounters” wise words. We have but one life, who knows if it will be long or short, but it is what we decide to make of it, as I always say to my four girls (and one son) “we are super girls” we can be anything we want, work hard and grasp your dream.

Lisa Leslie March 31, 2016 - 4:52 pm

She seems like a very lovely, creative and enterprising woman… and charming, as well. Just one thing surprised me: is that an endangered and outlawed fur that she is wearing? Such as a cheetah? Hopefully, it is something else entirely, masquerading as cheetah fur. If not, such display is inappropriate and offensive; a clear disregard for the war against poachers of endangered wildlife in this precious world.

Charlene farraro March 31, 2016 - 7:48 pm

Is the “fur” the only thing you took from the great story???? Look for the positive!!! Don’t nit pick!!!!

Barbara April 1, 2016 - 12:18 am

Ditto Charlene!

Marty April 2, 2016 - 2:26 am

The slaughter of endangered animals is NOT nitpicking.

Susi T April 4, 2016 - 4:15 am

Forty years ago I owned and loved a beautiful “ocelot” coat which looked like the “real thing”. Has it occurred to you Sylvie’s beautiful “ocelot” coat is perhaps faux fur? French women are just as aware as the rest of the world and very proactive regarding the protection endangered species! Many French designers have created beautiful garments using faux fur and French women wear their faux fur with flair and style! The real leather trim is what takes takes Sylvie’s coat into the “gorgeous” realm for me! Women like Sylvie and Sharon are an inspiration and delight – long may they continue!

Marilyn March 31, 2016 - 5:14 pm

Strong women always intrigue me and I am drawn to them. She is definitely one strong woman. I am impressed at her openness to be willing to jump when the opportunity came along.

sandysh March 31, 2016 - 7:56 pm

love your blog – wonderful article on your friend and her successes – great read and very inspiring and so are the photos.

Lin Powell March 31, 2016 - 11:12 pm

Such a lovely and inspirational story. It is no wonder she is one of your Stylish French Girlfriends.

JayJay March 31, 2016 - 11:16 pm

Great article ~loved it ,a fascinating life and lifestyle in beautiful Paris. Fab apartment
Three cheers for Caroline Ferraro ~ well said
Fab coat -I’m with you on that, Hilary Cooley ~ I loved Sylvie’s style .

JayJay March 31, 2016 - 11:19 pm

Sorry – I meant Charlene Farraro !

Leslie Haws April 1, 2016 - 12:00 am

You gotta know that a girl with a fabulous leopard (?) is going to have a purple chaise lounge!!! Fabulous!

Danielle April 1, 2016 - 12:23 am

Bravo to Charlene and Bravo to you for sharing such a stimulating story.
P. S. I am coming to Normandy this summer. I was there several years ago and your Blog has inspired me to come again. Could you do a short blog on : All the reasons why one must come to Normandy. I am an antique French antique dealer living in Texas!!!

Kathryn April 1, 2016 - 2:30 am

Omigoodness…she is stellar on many levels! Just look at her rocking those leather pants!!!!!

Karen T. April 1, 2016 - 6:17 am

An absolutely wonderful story about a fabulous woman! Like Hilary, I LOVE that coat and purse! (And regarding the coat, for all we know the coat could be vintage or a family heirloom.)

Sharon Santoni April 1, 2016 - 9:38 am

Hi Karen, Glad that everyone is enjoying Sylvie ‘s story. As for the coat, it is fur and yes it is vintage

diane phillips April 1, 2016 - 4:34 pm

I bought your book and have thoroughly enjoyed it as well as shared it with friends. I am also so in love with your blogg. We visit Paris/France for 3 weeks each spring on our way to Puglia and I really enjoy the looking through the antique street markets for “fun finds”. Two years ago there was a street market antique show that was set up behind a church in St. Germain and it was the last week in June. Last year I couldn’t find it. Do you know if it is a yearly event and if it is happening this year. We are planning our trip to Paris now for the last two weeks of June and I would love to find it again. Can you help me with dates, place, or any other information? Thank you so much I would really appreciate your help.

Andrea April 2, 2016 - 6:33 am

Great profile of a fascinating woman. I was struck by the picture that included art (paintings) on the wall– really inspiring art!

drift boss November 27, 2023 - 5:38 am

Inspiring. Thank you.


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