Meet the Collabs'

Collaborations

Newspaper seller, photographer, baker, mixologist, vintage furniture expert: meet some of the talented people we’re collaborating with.

Each has deep local roots, and each is playing a part in the symphony of creativity that is Le Pigalle, a subjective but authentic vision of a unique neighbourhood.

Muse, the inspired florist

Muse is a floral stylist whose retro vases and evanescent compositions bring a distinctive splash of colour to the apartments of Montmartre, where the artist has set up shop. He will regularly deliver arrangements of local flowers to Le Pigalle, all grown in the Seine-et-Marne region. And when winter draws in, the blooms will come from the Var, in the warmer south.


Enamoured of 20th century style, Muse produces arrangements in mottled vases made between the 1930s and 1980s. "I mainly draw my inspiration for Le Pigalle from the 1940s and 1950s in creating bouquets that blend flowers, vegetables and branches. My goal is to imbue this ever-changing environment with a hint of Pigalle romanticism and a touch of floral flair."

Hussam, Kiosk in the city

Hussam discovered Pigalle quite by chance. “The town hall offered me the newspaper kiosk on place Toudouze, near the hotel, about five years ago, and I liked the neighbourhood so much I got an apartment here,” explains Hussam, who regularly organises parties on the square for his neighbours. 

Visitors to his press stand at the hotel will enjoy an insight into the tastes of his local clientele, all avid and discerning readers. The resulting mix of specialist and general interest magazines is totally in keeping with the 9th arrondissement. And they’re perfect to enjoy as you sip a coffee prepared by Nicolas Clerc for a truly Parisian way to start the day!

Camille, Flavour assembler

At the tender age of 20, Camille Fourmont already has her own very personal vision of food. Eschewing terms like cook or chef, she prefers to think of herself as a “flavour assembler”. Her simple buvette, which doesn’t even have a kitchen worthy of the name, serves up equally simple seasonal dishes that change with the vagaries of nature. 


At the hotel, Camille says, she’ll serve simple, attractive, precision-cooked food. “It will be more about assembly than cooking, like a kitchen where most of the preparation is done beforehand. The jam may have been made last summer, and the evening menu this morning.” 


The menu has been put together with local retailers and growers, a concoction of flavours as richly cosmopolitan as Pigalle itself.

Victor Kiswell, The musicologist

At Le Pigalle, Victor creates soundtracks capturing the spirit of the neighbourhood, where he grew up. This classy but iconoclastic mix, ranging from Fréhel and Satie to Django Reinhardt and 1990s hip hop, is drawn from a combination of podcasts and vinyl.


It will be broadcast throughout the hotel, including the bedrooms and toilets, and will take the temperature up a notch in the evenings. Victor has a passion for the area’s history and sociology, and specializes in hunting down sounds for composers and producers. His soundtracks for Le Pigalle are a treasure trove of surprises, a worthy introduction to the man and his natural habitat.

Alexandre Guillemain, Furniture hunter

Alexandre, a specialist in the design of the latter half of the twentieth century, has a shop in the Marché Paul-Bert in Saint-Ouen and a gallery on the left bank, mainly selling designer furniture. Hardworking, passionate and with an unerring nose for a bargain, he has been tracking down little-known gems and supplying them to interior decorators in France and around the world since 1999. 


His collection for the hotel is a mix of periods and styles, from Nouvelle Athènes – the artsy Paris district with its profusion of classical architecture – to postwar vintage. Alexandre has distilled the quintessence of Pigalle.

Jean André, Gentleman and artist

Scarlet lips, bared breasts, pouting strippers and lollipop Lolitas: for many Parisians, Jean André’s creations are synonymous with Pigalle. His sexy, retro-style posters are everywhere you look. 


Jean is also art director of the Ed Banger record label. His deliciously transgressive illustrations transcend eras and genres, with influences including Matisse, Lui magazine, and the erotic film Emmanuelle. He’s also a compulsive Instagrammer, an exhibitor at the exclusive store Colette, and all-round Montmartre hipster. 


Jean was born in Aveyron and now lives in Montmartre. Whichever hat he’s wearing on any given day, his passion for illustration remains undimmed. And whether he’s working with tattoos, neon, sculpture, watercolour or Indian ink, each is a facet of his singular vision of human experience.

Coffee expert, Le Télescope

Nicolas started out as a press photographer, but developed an obsession with coffee after doing a feature on it for the New York Times. Télescope, his tiny café on Rue de Villedo, sells high-quality coffee from selected beans with often surprising flavours. 

He knows a lot about coffee – he even published an article about it in the sociology journal Les cahiers de l’imaginaire – and he wants to share this expertise with guests of Le Pigalle.

Festen architecture

Paris is a Festen

Embody the spirit of a historical and incredibly lively Parisian neighborhood and design a space capable of telling Pigalle’s story, as a sort of neighborhood collective. That was the double challenge set for Charlotte de Tonnac and Hugo Sauzay, architects from the Festen interior design agency. 

Since graduating from the Ecole Camondo in 2011 - and regardless of the project they’ve been working on - this super creative duo have made it their mission to “transform the classic space through a respect for original structures, purity, and a selection of contemporary furniture.” They benefited the hotel with their expertise, adding typical Parisian touches, such as panelled doors and white walls, moulding, woodwork and parquet flooring. 

Laurent Aurion, Studio de la Reine

A perfectly balanced ear

Too low and it stifles conversation. Too high and it rings in your ears. Too loud and you can’t hear yourself think. Like colors, sound is a question of balance. And Laurent Aurion knows his balance. 

To create the hotel’s sound system, the team from Le Pigalle decided to tap into his expertise as the founder of the Studio de la Reine, a recording studio that has worked with top DJs, jazzmen and musicians over the last ten years. This sound specialist produced the sound system for the bedrooms, lobby and lower-ground floor, where he installed a top-quality system. 

“When they enter the lobby or stay in the hotel, guests are going to feel like audiophiles, but I didn’t want anything too complex, just something balanced that would sound great for Chopin and Dr Dre.” Passionate about music, Laurent Aurion stresses how sound is an integral part of music, which is how he crossed paths with another enthusiast, Victor Kiswell, who has come up with the ideal soundtrack and vinyl selection for this neighborhood hotel...

Scents by Le Labo

Edouard and Fabrice concoct exclusive scents in their laboratory, which are then personalized in their stores worldwide. “Our neighborhood really inspires us. We’re fighting to preserve its identity, by supporting the local garden, for example,” explains Fabrice. “That’s why we appreciate what Le Pigalle is doing. We can really relate to the creative team’s spirit of independence.” 


Shower gel, soap, lotion: Le Labo sets the tone for the amenities in Le Pigalle’s bedrooms. “We love the idea that Le Pigalle has chosen Le Labo. I’m delighted it’s bringing back some of the neighborhood’s old fun, provocation and creativity. Thirty years ago, those were really Parisian ideas. It’s great to see that there’s still a place for all that!” continues Fabrice, unable to stifle a grin.

Martin Bruno, Foodie Photographer

People, cityscapes and incongruous everyday minutiae: nothing escapes Martin Bruno’s eagle eye. He lives in nearby Rue des Martyrs, describes himself as a “wandering photographer”, and particularly enjoys taking food-themed photographs. 


“A lot of my pictures for Le Pigalle will be shot in restaurants, bars and other eating places. I want to do close-up still-lifes, and people cooking and eating.” Martin has his work cut out for him here in this temple of culinary delights.

Thomas Huot-Marchand, Graphic designer

Thomas, the director of the Atelier National de Recherche Typographique, is the man behind the hotel’s distinctive visual identity. He wanted it to be simple and bold, taking its inspiration from the area’s graphic heritage, while also transcending it. 

“The things you see written in the streets in Pigalle say more about the urban vernacular than about the history of Paris,” he says.

Emma Le Doyen, Photographer

Don’t be fooled by her youthfulness: Emma Le Doyen is an old Pigalle hand. Born locally, the granddaughter of a taxi driver, she has been taking pictures in the nearby 18th arrondissement since she was a teenager, documenting an environment with endless visual appeal.


“The photos I display in the hotel will be the result of a series of planned walks around Pigalle, starting with the work being done on the hotel. I want to take a fresh look at the streets where I grew up, using my local knowledge to give a very personal vision of the district, its people and architecture, and the quirky details that constitute its essence.”

Rue Herold, soft by design

Charlotte de la Grandière

Guests don’t just discover Le Pigalle. They live it. Breath it. Touch it. Lightyears from traditional hoteliers, the team at Le Pigalle has created more than a place - they’ve invented a philosophy. Thanks to them, stylist Charlotte de la Grandière, the founder of Rue Herold, a furniture fabric store, has joined the big Le Pigalle family. 

“I approached my work here as if I was in a house that had known every period and every facet of the neighborhood. Red velvet curtains, huge linen cushions, bottle green plaid. I did the opposite of a traditional pressed-and-pleated hotel where comfort comes second to a clean-cut aesthetic. I chose soft, practical cushions that people like to have at home, in washed velvet. It’s a finish that really matches the spirit of the place,” explains the bubbly stylist, who knows everything there is to know about colors and textures.

Artus de Lavilléon, Cartonnist

“Jessica and I moved to Pigalle together a week after we started going out. I’d been living in the same apartment in the Marais for over fifteen years, and I left just like that. My drawings at Le Pigalle will tell the story of our adventures: meeting, finding our apartment, the pimps and whores in Rue André-Antoine, me working at McDonald’s on Place Pigalle in the mornings and Chao Bar in the afternoons. They’ll be about NoPi and SoPi – north and south of Pigalle – my ass and the best and worst of the hood. I’m going to put them all together into a twelve-page fanzine.”

Antoine le Grand, Photographer

I’ve spent a lot of time knocking around Pigalle. To me, it evokes sex, rock, street kids and voyeurism. I’ve spent a lot of nights in hotels, and they’ve always had horrible reproductions on the walls that I want to replace with my own photos. Mine tell stories. My fifty-four pictures for the hotel will be things like backstage shots of drag shows at Chez Michou, and sassy women and lights. I regard Pigalle as the little sister of Las Vegas, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It’s a glittery, 24/7 place.

Les Arpenteurs bookstore

Pierre et Valérie 

Owners of “Les Arpenteurs” (“The Pacers”) bookstore on rue Choron for the last six years, Pierre and Valérie have become cultural pillars of the community. Over the years, they have forged strong links with residents, making them the “last place where you can have a good chat.” At the heart of this thriving cultural ecosystem, you can scour every inch of the book world. No wonder their “suggested reads” are all stamped "Put through its paces and approved!" This is the sort of fun and epic spirit they wanted to bring to their collaboration with Le Pigalle

The bookshops will propose a selection of ten or so books in each room, and, on the ground floor, a much wider selection of photography books, design publications and comic strips, all in tune with the neighborhood, making it the perfect place to read and eat.

Philippe Chancel, Photographer

“I will step out at twilight from the top of the stairs that lay Paris at your feet and amble down to Pigalle, my nocturnal world, where the night turns its face to the artificial light.” 

Le Pigalle asked a small group of talented artists to share their vision of our neighborhood. From virtuous Montmartre to licentious Pigalle, photographer Philippe Chancel leaves the clichés behind in the search for the soul of Paris, whose streets he knows like the back of his hand. 

Through the lens of his Hasselblad, the same make of camera they took to the moon, he reveals a different face of Paris. The same camera that he used to produce his aptly titled series, “Vice & Vertu and Vice & Versa”, for Le Pigalle. 

Goutte d’Or table beer

Thierry Roche

The Goutte d'Or brewery is just a stone's throw from the hotel. For the past three years, it has been making beers in the nearby neighbourhood of Barbès. Now, Camille, the hotel's flavour assembler, has teamed up with Thierry Roche, the man behind the micro-brewery, to create a table beer for Le Pigalle that marries marvellously with its meals. 

"This is a local beer that emanates history. It was made for workers and the people, with a low alcohol content, and was used as a substitute for water," Thierry explains. Yet the brewery's founder has also captured its contemporary character. The result is a gently golden pale ale (3.5%) packed with crisp, organic, lightly fruity flavours and a noticeable sharpness that segues into an interesting, dry, lingering finish. A thirst quenching must after wandering around Paris!

Benoit Linero, Photographer

The real Pigalle

A wall gable, a tattoo parlour, the fringes of the hotel, boutiques... Benoit Linero interpreted his collaboration with Le Pigalle as a photographic ramble around the neighbourhood. He immersed himself in Pigalle, zooming in on every aspect of its unmistakeable architecture, capturing scenes from everyday life which “suggest its edginess through a thousand tiny details”. 

A specialist in decoration, food and portraits, Benoit Linero, with his photographer’s chiaroscuro eye, was given a unique opportunity to record the works that brought Le Pigalle into the world.

Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Photographer

Pigalle by night

“I love night life. When I first started hanging out in Paris, I looked for places where I could feel the energy and intensity. Naturally, I was drawn to Pigalle. I love its parties. There’s nothing like it.” 

For Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Pigalle has always been about the night, a fact reflected in his photography. For Le Pigalle, he wanted “to express a certain idea of nudity; the flesh that’s always rising to the surface in this neighborhood, where sex is business.” 

Pigalle, the night, neon and naked women. “But I forge a close relationship with my models. It’s a way of looking at things that seems to fit hotel bedrooms. There’s the same connection with intimacy that fascinates me.” And which he’s expressed in his collaboration with Le Pigalle.

Thierry Breton, upper crust

A pillar of the community, Thierry Breton arrived in east Pigalle, just behind Saint-Vincent de Paul church, 20 years ago, and now runs three restaurants that have brought the lifeblood back to rue de Belzunce. A lover of fine food, he oversees the preparation of everything on his menu, right down to the bread cooked in the basement of his most recent restaurant, which is delivered daily by bicycle to restaurants and wine cellars as far away as Montmartre. 

This delivery round will include Le Pigalle, where guests and diners can enjoy his linseed breadsticks, farmhouse loaves and Para Bihan, a soft bread made with poppy and sesame seeds. As this extraordinary chef explains with a look of understandable pride: “These are 100% local products made from wheat grown and milled in the Ile-de-France region.”

Sebastien Gaudard, Pigalle’s sweet success

Within just a sprinkling of years, Sebastien Gaudard’s traditional creations have earned him a place at the top of the capital’s pâtissier A-list. “French cuisine’s got a long history of sweets and desserts, and I love dipping into that to create my own recipes,” explains Gaudard, whose store is located on Rue des Martyrs. “I took over a family business because I really like the idea of passing things on to the next generation. I also chose this neighbourhood because there are lots of food professionals here.” 

Gaudard will supply croissants to Le Pigalle, plus desserts of the day and sweet snacks for the mini bar such as chocolate bars and toffee. “I like the idea of going behind closed doors, being the delicacy that makes you feel good, that feeds an urge. I’m like a sugar dealer: I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that sugar gives you a sort of legal high.”

Anna, The pole dance queen

Dancer, traveller, fine arts student. Anna moved from Athens to London at the age of 17, to experience life and see what this world could offer her. Having been a dancer in one of London Soho’s most famous gentlemen’s clubs for years, she is now excited to be part of the Paris nightlife scene. She says she can’t resist the opportunity to collaborate with Le Pigalle in Paris, in that famous neighbourhood where the striptease scene has been gradually disappearing over the last 30 years.

Once a month, she’ll be reviving the art of pole-dancing at the hotel. 

Aëdle, The Sound of Pigalle

Aëdle is a young label that specialises in high-end audio, based in the east of Paris, just a few metro stops from the hotel: "Each manufacturer develops a sound signature all of their own. At aëdle, we have chosen to focus on a balanced approach that creates a warm, immersive, deep, dark sound."

Despite the Danish name, aëdle is a brand that is very much rooted in Paris and the local scene. Hence their enthusiasm in working with a hotel that mirrors that approach. The much-acclaimed VK-1 headphones will cater to Viktor Kiswell's most exacting playlist, featuring three hours of black music, comprising an exclusive collection of rarities and surprises.

Maï Lucas, Community artist

Hipsters, shady bars and the African community. The north of Paris is a kaleidoscopic neighbourhood, in which Maï Lucas has chosen to reflect in all its afro glory. "I have an affinity for black culture; it has a powerfully poetic side to it. I wanted to capture these African princesses from the back, in profile and in detail—I think of them as being a bit like apparitions. I aim to hone in on the same sensibility you might find in the work of a painter or poet."

The artist's photographs also pay a vibrant tribute to everyday beauty—the kind found in the eye of those who know how to unearth such things.

Régis Besse, Picture peddler

The rock-star image is built on behind-the-scenes photos: Mick Jagger in his bath; The Beatles on a ski slope; James Dean with cigarette in mouth… Régis Besse is the founder of Galerie Verdeau in the Saint-Ouen flea market. He also has an uncanny knack for unearthing that one offbeat photo you can't find anywhere else; the one that says far more than the raft of glossy pictures that pepper the pages of conventional publications.

Régis has now teamed up with Le Pigalle on a project designed to capture the energy of the neighbourhood in its heyday. "You get that holiday feel and the classic cars in Peltier's old photos of Montmartre. Then there is that underground aspect you find in press archives and the unique snapshots of a backstage journalist catching the likes of Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Blondie in a hazy, alcohol-fuelled fog," explains Régis, who describes himself—not without a glint in his eye—as a 'picture peddler'.

Mr. Hado, Made-to-measure man

When Olivia, Le Pigalle’s style consultant, designed the team’s uniforms, she decided to customise them with colour patches. And she knew just the man for the job: Mr. Hado, the local tailor. Used to working with couture designers, this former dressmaker was instantly on the same page. In fact, communication is second nature for this pillar of the community: he knows all the storekeepers on the Butte and loves nothing more than strolling down rue des Martyrs to catch up on everyone’s news. 

Antoine Ricardou, be-Poles

The meaning of Pigalle

“The architects create the space and we give it meaning,” says Antoine Ricardou, founder and artistic director of be-poles, who has been closely involved in Le Pigalle right from the start, along with his studio team.

Part-graphic artists, part-architects, be-poles is a creative hub whose work goes far beyond logo design! The studio has worked with the hotel owner to tailor the artistic direction of Le Pigalle and has given it real depth by recounting its history in way that couldn’t be further from the contrived storytelling we’re so familiar with today. “I immediately connected with the project because Pigalle is my neighbourhood. I’ve lived on the Butte Montmartre since I was 14 and my grandfather constructed some of the buildings here, I understand its energy and I wanted that to come through in my designs for the hotel,” explains Antoine.

GOGO

Follow the Gogo City Guide!

Unearth the essence of a city by exploring the hottest spots to eat, drink, shop, sleep and hang out. Gogo City Guides capture the character of Paris and London through an approach similar to that of Le Pigalle—so similar, in fact, that a number of the places featured in their pages are already part of the hotel's "family", such as the pastry chef Sebastien Gaudard. Gogo City Guides founder, Kate van den Boogert, cultivates the same grass-roots approach as the hotel, rooted in authenticity and creativity: "It was this synergy in our view of the city that led us to collaborate on a guide designed specially for Le Pigalle guests. It will provide a mouthpiece for the people of Pigalle to reveal their favourite spots, both secret and obscure. Pigalle is teaming with hidden treasures like the Atypik design firm, the Kitsuné boutique and the house of high heels, Maison Ernest. All of these places reflect the identity and changing face of the neighbourhood."

Paris DJs

The Pigalle vibe

Stars of the Paris night, DJs have transformed the city into one of the party capitals of the world. Paris DJs – a collective of top DJs, including some of Radio Nova’s original programmers - launched its own website 10 years ago. Drawn to Pigalle’s sexy, musical vibe, every Thursday they’ll be spinning rare sounds with a hint of black music, a million miles from the muzak piped into conventional hotels. “We know there’s a close link between the hotel, music and culture generally, that’s why we jumped at the chance to share our best vinyls with Le Pigalle,” explains Loik Dury, one of the collective’s hyperactive members. “Every Thursday, we’re going to be inventing sounds unique to the hotel.”

Michael Mas

French Toast

Mauresque, fond de culotte, kir, ti punch, fine à l’eau… Michael Mas has tapped into Pigalle’s typically cheeky take on life and jigged it up a little to give it a tasty contemporary twist. “I’ve turned these classic French aperitifs into more sophisticated cocktails. Using the sort of trusty favourites found in local bars, I’ve used my expertise as a modern Parisian barman to bring them up to date. I’ve spiced up the lemonade in our shandy with a nifty zest of ginger, for example, and I only work with artisan producers - in fact, our drinks list contains just French ingredients,” explains Michael with a glint in his eye.

Uniforms

Olivia's 'anti-uniform'

How do you go about creating a uniform for a neighbourhood and place that are anything but uniform? Such was the challenge taken up by Olivia, who draws on a number of years' experience as a designer and lives on Rue Lepic. "I've always had a bit of an offbeat approach to fashion," she admits. "On this particular project, I really liked the idea of coming up with something in tune with the multi-cultural, multi-coloured neighbourhood." 

The result is a youthful, comfortable, timeless collection comprising black jeans or pencil skirt for women and black chinos for men, paired with either a shirt or T-shirt for both men and women. "With this uniform, we set out to capture another side of Pigalle, reflecting Barbès and Boulevard Rochechouart, with more of a young, hip-hop, streetwear feel." Olivia also designed small, colourful patches that pepper the team's uniforms from T-shirt sleeves to shoes - bucking conventional hotel trends in style!

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