Where to shop, eat and wander in the City of Lights. Rasmus Bak of classy menswear label Libertine-Libertine lets us in on the French capital’s hidden gems. His guide is part of a series in Incu‘s Mini-Mag Two, which you can pick up instore.
While you guys are based in Denmark, Libertine-Libertine has always had a strong affinity with Paris. Infact, Libertine-Libertine takes it’s name in part from the free spirit of Parisian youth. How has Paris in particular inspired the label and the design?
I’ve always been very fascinated with the freed soul and mind – liberty in general. It was while living in Paris that I truly experienced this freedom for the first time, in fact, the city has a special place in the hearts of all three LL founders. We’ve all spent a lot of time there over the years and the city’s spirit and temper suit us perfectly. The French concept of “savoir faire” is a solid part of our company’s foundation and it is mirrored throughout our collections in terms of the detailing and emphasis on quality.
When in Paris where do you get your morning coffee?
If I have time on my hands, I love wasting some of the early hours at Le Progres on the corner of Rue Bretagne and Rue Vieille du Temple. It’s a traditional place that always has this incredible aroma and is always full of a cool crowd.
What parts of the city would you suggest we visit that may not feature in most guide books?
The area around Canal St Martin is incredible and very tranquil compared to the roar of the rest of the city. It’s brimming with lively cafes, bars and has a very local atmosphere. Aside from that I highly recommend spending a day with no real schedule, simply get lost in areas you find intriguing, it might be St Germain, Le Marais or a long stroll along the Seine. Don’t think too much about where you are just take in the pulse and grandiosity of the city.
Which side of the river do you prefer?
The right bank for sure. It’s more versatile and energetic in contrast to the conservative and traditional Paris on the left bank. All my friends and favourite places are here as well so it’s only on rare occasions I go to “la rive gauche”. There is a very significant change in atmosphere when you set foot on that bank which I find quite fascinating.
Where would you recommend we take in a good exhibition or two?
I really enjoy Palais de Tokyo and its surroundings. They always have interesting exhibitions and initiatives. The place seems very alive and contemporary.
If you were to build a hotel in Paris, where would you build it and what special features would you incorporate?
It’d be boutique, ten rooms in the Pigalle area with a small restaurant and bar connected to it. I love hotels that succeed in incorporating great social features into their business. The goal would be to have an interesting mix of mini-societies and networks visiting the place – not necessarily from the same industry or tribe but people who are united by common interests.
Do you have any particular rituals you follow when travelling?
I always bring curiosity and energy.
Hands-down the best thing about Paris is…
The endless possibilities the city has to offer and of course the food and wine, the hectic clubs and dim bars, the pace and people – it’s a new experience and adventure every time you visit.
Fashion credits: Lover Infinity Short in Ivory, Karen Walker Never Be Dress, Marc by Marc Jacobs Ronsque, Chocolate/Brick Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal To The Metal Natasha Bag, Russett. All clothing available from Incu. To view Libertine-Libertine’s latest collection head here.