Clémence Polès, Founder of Passerbuys

Clemence by Maimoun.JPG

When I first heard about Passerbuys, a recommendation website specifically for women, my eyes widen and my jaw dropped. After reading the short story about the platform, I reached out to Clémence, and praised her creative work and this wonderful platform. Her reply with interest was SO genuine, just like the women she features. How often is it that you stumble upon a bunch of positive information and support on the internet? Although thecnnekt features All voices, there is still something so special about women supporting women. I am so excited for y’all to be just as immersed in her story as I was, and will continue to be.

As a creative, where do you find your inspiration and what keeps you motivated?

The beauty of NYC is that there are no shortage of places or things to be inspired from. I feel like we are all simultaneously hustling, and that weirdly keeps us going. If it weren’t for that, I don’t think anyone would last. I’m easy with inspiration though, a good movie at Film Society of Lincoln Center, or a stroll at a museum will do it for me. I’ve come to realize that it’s the pauses that I take that motivates me most, especially in our non-stop environment.

Clemence, can you tell us about that pivotal moment when creating Passerbuys?

I was new to town, and seeking recommendations but found myself not relating to the editor based city guides I would come by, or trust the yelp reviews. Who were the people behind those recommendations? What else do they like and do we have things in common?  

I had also become slightly frustrated with how publications would celebrate only one type of woman, one that I didn’t particularly relate to, and so I tried to create a place that aims to highlight all women, be it a programmer or a model- I honestly believe that we can all learn something from one another, that one person isn’t more inspiring or admirable than the next - we’re all on different journeys.

“Curation” is a buzzworthy word, indeed - how do you and Passerbuys remain authentic in this era?

A good set of friends is key, ones that love you for the self that you don’t put online. I’m fortunate to have ones that keep me in check.

As for Passerbuys, I highlight other people’s recommendations, and so they make the website authentic.

We know the audience is for women, but out of curiosity, would you consider expanding recommendations and Passerbuys to non-gender conforming folks?

Absolutely! Email me at :)

What has been rewarding to you in the processing of growing the site? How do you hope Passerbuys evolve into the next few years?

I’ve met an insane amount of inspiring women over the past three years, some that were never even photographed. Highlighting those women, and having them see themselves the way I see them is beyond rewarding. For some reason, we typically see the worst in ourselves, and it can help to have an outsider show you how beautiful you are.

Those reading this, I dare you to stop a stranger and compliment them. A little validation here and there can’t possibly hurt us right?

Passerbuys has also been rewarding by pushing me to pursue things no matter the scope. Last year, I produced a pop-up lounge at Canal Street Market bringing together all the recommendations from the website to life. I got to do a panel with my one of my favorite publications Apartamento Magazine, hosted Mara Hoffman, Stephanie Danler, and so much more. Looking back, I have no idea how we made that happen in less than a month.

Now, we are producing our inaugural film festival with Women & Film - FFFEST (Female Filmmakers Festival), a 3-day screening and talk series, celebrating accomplished female filmmakers and empowering women who want to break into the industry. It will take place at the Downtown Independent on October 12-14, 2018.

We’ll have an incredible lineup of talented filmmakers and will be screening some of my favorite films. I’m particularly excited about showing the very rare MOSSANE by Safi Faye, the first Sub-Saharan African female filmmaker, I don’t think it’s ever been screened in LA, yet it’s such an important film - all of Faye’s films have gone to Cannes, yet not enough people know about her work, but hopefully we can help change that.

The idea is to take the festival all around the world and hopefully inspire more women to make films.

To learn more about Passerbuys’ Women & Film FFFest, you can view that here. To view all the amazing content and women, you can view them here. Make sure you follow on instagram @passerbuys. To personal stalk Clémence, you can find here @clemencepoles

Interviewed by Chary