Nicknamed “Fonelle” from her days at French Elle, Sophie Fontanel is a writer and fashion critic for Parisian publication L’Obs and an influencer who has defied ageist preconceptions of influence with her formidable social media presence and following of 180,000 followers on Instagram and 35,000 on Twitter.
Fontanel, whose maternal grandmother was an Armenian lacemaker and mother a seamstress, studied at the Lycée Molière in Paris. She began her career working in the UN before turning to journalism and writing for publications including Cosmopolitan, Canal+ and eventually Elle, where she held the position of fashion director.
In 1995, Fontanel published her first book Sacré Paul, followed by numerous other titles including La Vocation, Une Apparition and Grandir, for which she won Le Prince Maurice Prize for romantic literature in 2011. However, the author is perhaps best known for her memoir, The Art of Sleeping Alone, which details the 12 years of celibacy she began at the age of 27.
Fontanel currently works as a columnist for Parisian news publication L’Obs and has generated an influencer status on social media, earning her a Vogue profile in 2016.