Sabina Socol had a list of demands. It was late 2021, and she was expecting her first child. She loved her top-floor apartment in Folie-Méricourt but needed more space—three bedrooms to be precise (one for her, one for the baby, and of course, one for her extensive wardrobe collection). She wanted to stay on the top floor but with the convenience of an elevator (a difficult ask in Paris), and the bedrooms had to be quiet, facing away from the busy street.
Somehow she found it. By that November she was moved in. Two years later I stopped by for a visit. Her son, who is now walking, bubbly, and curious, is very interested in my camera gear. As I set my tripod up he runs away, returning a moment later with a book about boats he insists I read to him. I do my best (the book was in French).
If your goal is to create a home that is both welcoming and casual, a well-rested, bright-eyed, giggling toddler will do the trick. Your décor can help, too. Sabina’s home, along with her fashion style, is what I would clumsily refer to as “effortlessly cool,” a look with a point of view but without pretension, a style that she and many other Parisian women have mastered.
As we talk she’s in a black swim top that reads both formal and casual at the same time. Her living room, with a grand stone fireplace surrounded by bookcases, is toned down by her son’s playpen, which is proudly arranged in the center of the living room and stuffed full of toys.
Before Sabina’s career as a fashion influencer, model, and business owner she briefly studied law in Strasbourg. Realizing that wasn’t for her, she moved to Paris to earn a master’s in journalism. “I did several magazine internships and that led to a full-time position at L’Officiel as a research director,” she says as we chat at her dining room table.
Sabina always had an interest in writing and photography; she started a blog in her teens. “It was more of a lifestyle thing, but it picked up really well. I was sharing my photography, music, books, stuff like that. I think girls were interested in my fashion sense. I was always a bit of a geek.”
After getting some real-world media experience Sabina decided to set out on her own. “I thought, ‘Why not just try to work for myself and make more money?’ I would have more freedom and make a better living. That was in 2017. I still make a lot of work and images for brands. It’s something I really enjoy, not just as a model and influencer.”
She began making content for the fashion industry and attracting a large audience in the US. She speaks and writes in English on Instagram and TikTok, but she also appeals to an American reader in general. “It’s a market I understand and love.”
Sabina defines her style as “urban, feminine, vintage, and sexy” that’s developed over the years in part by her love of research. “I’m a mega fashion collector,” she says as she pulls back a floor to ceiling curtain that enshrouds just one of her impressive closets. “I’ve always been interested in the fashion industry and collecting vintage pieces, even when I was a teenager with no money. Same with analog cameras. That’s a big part of my style. I really like to mix things, to have a personal touch.”
Her interest in both assembling and defining her own looks eventually led to creating her own fashion label, Pujka Paris. “It allows me to be creative with the fashion and with the images.”
Starting the label, which uses a mix of her skillsets in fashion, branding, media, and entrepreneurship, has not been without its challenges. “We have budget limitations, and investing your own money is scary. But it has given me more strengths, more intellectual power and confidence. It’s given me perspective on failures, too. They are just learning curves.”