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Close Up W/ Paul Samb

Paul Samb

Paul Samb x CLOSED
Paul Samb x CLOSED

There’s absolutely no doubt that Paul is truly a Parisian. Deeply passionate about fashion, he has been firmly anchored in the city’s creative scene for many years. Originally a model, Paul now also acts as a creative director at his own agency. This input flows into his work at Soho House in Paris, where he is the Head of Membership and Communication. Paul’s creative spirit demonstrates the impressive experience he has accrued so far in the industry. We walked with him in Paris and chatted about his work, personal influences, and networking.

Paul Samb x CLOSED
Paul Samb x CLOSED

The
Interview

Your home is the creative world: you work for Soho House in Paris, are a model, and run a creative agency. Do you remember when you first became fascinated with the creative world?

Growing up in the South of France, my mother was indirectly the person who influenced me in terms of style, she was the epitome of effortless chic. I was also influenced by the American and French Rap scene, which shaped the evolution of my own style. My interest in the fashion industry truly started when I arrived in Paris at the age of 21 and was scouted as a model. Having the opportunity to travel and work with talented people, such as Marcelo Burlon and Virgil Abloh, I quickly realised the special energy that the industry holds and the influence it has.

The diverse nature of your positions in the creative industry gives you multiple perspectives. What are the most important insights you have gained in your career so far?

Being real with you, the most important thing I’ve learnt is to always be me, do my own thing, move in my own lane and listen to myself. Trying to be someone else isn’t sustainable and people will always see when you are not being true to yourself. If you want to make it within this industry and be truly a part of it, you need to find what it is that makes you unique and put that out to the world.

Your position as Head of Membership at Soho House in Paris is very much about building a community and connecting people – and a good network is crucial in the creative industry. Do you have any advice on networking?

My main piece of advice is be yourself and don’t be shy! As a creative, you need to be sociable, open-minded and kind to those who you meet. When I stared my career in fashion, diversity was not the focus, but I learnt that this isn’t something that can get in the way. You need to ask questions, push boundaries, push for opportunities and put yourself out there – most of the time it will be met with positivity and doors will open. As long as you’re genuine and kind, approaching someone is never an issue.

What other sources of inspiration do you turn to for your work?

I find inspiration everywhere; in music, art, films and my friends, many of whom also work in the creative sector and are pushing their own fields. Living in Paris, there is such a diverse, young generation within the city who bring a warm and inspiring energy with them. For me, inspiration is something that can be found from everything around me.

Which factors shape your personal fashion sense?

The people in the streets are such an important source of fashion inspiration for me, both young and old. I often see the older generation wearing styles which I want for myself; pieces which we see coming back into popular culture or becoming a trend are often the items which the older generations have owned for decades, and I love to see them in the streets wearing it first.
Ultimately though, it’s my own experiences that shape my style – where I come from, how I grew up, the people I surround myself with and how I spend my time. It’s a mixture of everything I’ve seen and experienced that makes my style my own.

Where do you go to take a break from work and what do you do to recharge?

Whenever I have free time, I spend time with my girlfriend, Hannah. We love to travel, but to be honest, my favourite thing to do is stroll around the streets of Paris; vintage shopping (Ritchie vintage, Saint Ouen flea market), visiting exhibitions and just enjoying the culture the city has to offer. I love exploring the tiny hidden shops to find unique pieces to decorate my new apartment.

What restaurant, museum, shop and vintage shops in Paris do you recommend?

My favourite spots in Paris are: Café Charlot, Résidence Kahn, Hôtel Le Pigalle and Café Pigalle, the Canal St. Martin park and select.aa, a concept store and book shop.

Your home is the creative world: you work for Soho House in Paris, are a model, and run a creative agency. Do you remember when you first became fascinated with the creative world?

Growing up in the South of France, my mother was indirectly the person who influenced me in terms of style, she was the epitome of effortless chic. I was also influenced by the American and French Rap scene, which shaped the evolution of my own style. My interest in the fashion industry truly started when I arrived in Paris at the age of 21 and was scouted as a model. Having the opportunity to travel and work with talented people, such as Marcelo Burlon and Virgil Abloh, I quickly realised the special energy that the industry holds and the influence it has.

The diverse nature of your positions in the creative industry gives you multiple perspectives. What are the most important insights you have gained in your career so far?

Being real with you, the most important thing I’ve learnt is to always be me, do my own thing, move in my own lane and listen to myself. Trying to be someone else isn’t sustainable

and people will always see when you are not being true to yourself. If you want to make it within this industry and be truly a part of it, you need to find what it is that makes you unique and put that out to the world.

Your position as Head of Membership at Soho House in Paris is very much about building a community and connecting people – and a good network is crucial in the creative industry. Do you have any advice on networking?

My main piece of advice is be yourself and don’t be shy! As a creative, you need to be sociable, open-minded and kind to those who you meet. When I stared my career in fashion, diversity was not the focus, but I learnt that this isn’t something that can get in the way. You need to ask questions, push boundaries, push for opportunities and put yourself out there – most of the time it will be met with positivity and doors will open. As long as you’re genuine and kind, approaching someone is never an issue.

What other sources of inspiration do you turn to for your work?

I find inspiration everywhere; in music, art, films and my friends, many of whom also work in the creative sector and are pushing their own fields. Living in Paris, there is such a diverse, young generation within the city who bring a warm and inspiring energy with them. For me, inspiration is something that can be found from everything around me.

Which factors shape your personal fashion sense?

The people in the streets are such an important source of fashion inspiration for me, both young and old. I often see the older generation wearing styles which I want for myself; pieces which we see coming back into popular culture or becoming a trend are often the items which the older generations have owned for decades, and I love to see them in the streets wearing it first.
Ultimately though, it’s my own experiences that shape my style – where I come from, how I grew up, the people I surround myself with and how I spend my time. It’s a mixture of everything I’ve seen and experienced that makes my style my own.

Where do you go to take a break from work and what do you do to recharge?

Whenever I have free time, I spend time with my girlfriend, Hannah. We love to travel, but to be honest, my favourite thing to do is stroll around the streets of Paris; vintage shopping (Ritchie vintage, Saint Ouen flea market), visiting exhibitions and just enjoying the culture the city has to offer. I love exploring the tiny hidden shops to find unique pieces to decorate my new apartment.

What restaurant, museum, shop and vintage shops in Paris do you recommend?

My favourite spots in Paris are: Café Charlot, Résidence Kahn, Hôtel Le Pigalle and Café Pigalle, the Canal St. Martin park and select.aa, a concept store and book shop.

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Paul Samb x CLOSED

Paul Samb

Paul Samb

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