See why Franck Gauthé is The Coolest Man You Know
Founder, buyer, and store architect Franck Gauthé built his brand from the ground up ― and with his driven attitude, it's safe to say he's only getting started.
THE COOLEST MAN YOU KNOW is an independent Parisian menswear and lifestyle boutique that keeps quality and simplicity at the forefront of their identity, and Gauthé's "cool guy" attitude dictated every step of the way, resulting in a store with genuine soul to complement their quality products. Gauthé isn't focused solely on his own brand story, but on the stories his carefully curated design pieces and menswear products tell as well ― because "there is always a good story behind a well made piece."
Gauthé walked us through his career journey from the start and discussed his constantly blossoming interests from interior design to classic jazz. Scroll down to read.
Let’s start from the beginning. How did Franck Gauthé become the coolest guy we know? Tell us a bit about your career journey.
I studied international trading at school, but stopped pretty early because it was definitely not my thing. I took several small jobs with different menswear concept stores and brands like APC and Merci which solidified my ambition to open up my own business.
In 2015, I was finally able to open my first store in Paris. A very low budget and other circumstances forced me to rely on myself to design the space. It came out pretty nice, and I became heavily into interior design.
Fast forward, 5 years later I opened my second location in the heart of Paris. I called it THE COOLEST MAN YOU KNOW, an ode to the simple man who likes well crafted clothes and accessories. This bigger space allowed me to display everything I personally like about interior design, and allowed me the power to constantly evolve.
What have you learned from developing a unique sense of style that you like to express thru your decor & design curation?
Simplicity, it's the best way to express the sensation of coolness, in both menswear and interior design. Furniture and clothing should carry a story. There is always a good story behind a well made piece that comes from a talented designer or the local thrift shop. Same thing when it comes to a well crafted shirt or jacket. Either way simplicity is, in my opinion, the best way to make something cool.
How can smart architecture & interior design choices work toward better sustainability?
Smart architecture could help find a better use of materials in order to consume less and save more ― consume less fossil energy and save more natural resources, consume less by buying better stuff. That’s why sometimes choosing vintage furniture is good for the planet and for the authenticity of a place.
What are the main principles you’ve learned from your career that you found important to apply to The Coolest Man You Know store?
I have learned that a retail space could be the nicest possible, but its the people in it that give it soul. I am fortunate enough to have the perfect staff at THE COOLEST MAN YOU KNOW store, they make it a cool space.
Speaking of, what vintage jazz playlist have you been blasting at home these days? And, what album is a big enough favorite that you’d hang the cover on your wall?
I am a big fan of hip-hop and really discovered an interest in jazz lately. I'm as hooked on the genre as much as I am a fanatic of the vintage jazz covers. They are esthetically unmatched. I am starting to collect few to frame that will end up in both my store and home. I am currently listening to some Grant Green, the Solid album is incredible.
What would you say your favorite spots in Paris to get inspired by architecture or design are?
I think the whole city is inspiring, you can never stop discovering Paris. One of my favorite things to do is to bike around the city in the summertime and make sure to always look up and take in the beauty of all the ancient buildings. I grew up in Barbès, a popular area close to Montmartre, and I remember strolling there with my friends ― it sure is my most inspiring spot in Paris.
And to finish: who would you say are the top 3 upcoming names in interior design right now?
I like so many right now, but if i have to say 3 names I would pick these already established names: Pierre Yovanovitch, Brunno Meireles, and I love the work of Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert, a glass artist.
Stay cool, Franck.
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