Matthieu Rohm is the Sales and Operations Manager for MAN/WOMAN which is where we met him when we first started to exhibit with HNDSM. He has been in the role for almost four years now and enjoys the variety of both building relationships and managing the production of the show. It is always great to catch up with Matthieu. When we are in Paris, he always sends us recommendations and keeps an eye out for us at the shows. It has been lovely to learn more about him. Read more below!
We would love to know more about your background, upbringing and the road that brought you to where you are now, personally and professionally.
My interest in fashion dates back to my youth, through skateboard, music and graffiti culture. I start to wear French "hip-hop" brands and skate core labels. A bit later I started collecting sneakers (Nike SB, Vans, and Air Jordan mainly) and discovered an interest for US and Japanese brands as Supreme, Stussy, Fuct, Neighborhood, Fragment, Uniform Experiment, etc. That's my fashion background and foundation.
I have been working with MAN/WOMAN since January 2017. This has been my first experience in the fashion industry. I studied mechanical engineering for 3 years in Lyon and then I started working for an industrial maintenance company amongst a big industrial group. I was an assistant project manager and I specialized in projects about hydro-electric dams and power-plants. Then within the same company, I moved into HR at the HQ in Paris, for 2 years. The goal was to assist in hiring technicians and engineers. In 2016, I made the decision to leave that industry and that kind of huge group to work in fashion. The first idea was to go back to my studies for 1 year at IFM, the school. But in January 2017, I helped the MAN/WOMAN crew as a salesman for the F/CE pop-up store at SMALL. After a month, I joined the team in order to assist and strengthen the sales and production teams. My personal culture in fashion and my background in an industrial company/position lead me to MAN/WOMAN and my actual position.
How do you feel about your name?
This is the name of my paternal grandfather. It sounds German and apparently, it comes from Alsace-Lorraine, a french area close to Germany. I like that it's short (convenient!) and that it is not very common. Plus, I like the association with my first name, it sounds good. But maybe that’s because I’ve been hearing it for 31 years now!
What is something you believe everyone should experience in their life?
A steak tartare with fries and a glass of Beaujolais red wine at L'Epi d'Or in Paris. More seriously, take a several days hike in autonomy. It's a very good way for me to have a balance between our daily activities in the fashion industry - and generally big cities - with nature, far from crowds and fuss. To connect and discover nature, and manage yourself in the middle of nowhere.
And in general also, in work and life, don't be afraid to take new and totally different roads, and to discover new perspectives.
What was your favorite moment today and do you have any favorite grounding rituals?
My morning coffee routine. Almost every morning, before going to the office in the 3rd area of Paris, I grab a coffee at a coffee shop. I have 2 or 3 usual spots, depends on my morning mood and my schedule of the day. It's a very particular moment, starting the day quietly checking the news of the night on Twitter and Instagram, and reading my emails to plan my work day. Then I arrive at the office with clear ideas. I also have this routine in NYC, during the shows. AJ knows my spots.
Work from home essentials? How are you adapting to this new reality?
My job, as Sales and Operation Manager for a fashion trade show, mainly consists of sending emails and having phone calls with my partners: exhibitors, for the sales side and suppliers for the production side. So I can work almost everywhere. I like the idea of having a lot of different offices within the same day; I can work from home, in a coffee shop, in our office in Paris or in my hotel room when I'm traveling. This reality is not very new for me.
I start early when I'm working from home and can easily extend my day. It's more comfortable and smooth, for sure. But it's important to keep your habits and routine: get in a bit of work out, a shower, a coffee and be dressed before starting the day, in my case.
Any advice you can give to young creatives in current times?
Be curious and stay curious. I don’t consider myself a creative person, especially in my current position. But that's my main advice. I think that to be curious and have an open mind about a lot of different things - graphic arts, music, cinema, photography, fashion, nature, sports, and even politics - gives you a larger perspective and it is very important.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite spots in Paris?
It's a great city for food and hospitality in general. I have a long list of venues in Paris I like but I get my coffees at Dreamin Man or I/O for example. Also, if you're looking for me during my lunch break, you can easily find me at Le Carreau. It is probably my favorite spot in Paris. I like to go to Montezuma Café for some good wine with friends and have a chicken sandwich at Bambino, two great hi-fi bars, both in different styles. During the MAN/WOMAN shows, I grab my lunches at le Petit Vendôme, it's a great bistro and they also do sandwiches on demand, right in front of you. For another great sandwich, I like to go to Paperboy or Le Favoris.
For shopping, I can suggest Beige Habilleur, Centre Commercial, Merci, Jinji and the bookshop Yvon Lambert.
And I hope that we will be able to go back to the Hotel Bourbon soon for long and great party nights.