Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and how you decided to create Parisian Gentleman.
My name is Hugo Jacomet. I’m the Founder and Editor of Parisian Gentleman, which has today become one of the most acclaimed men’s style online journals in the world. My Grandfather Maxime Jacomet, was a bootmaker and cordwainer, and my mother Janick Jacomet, a dress-maker.
I created Parisian Gentleman during a sleepless night in January, 2009. At that time, I was running a film production company and my life, as a Producer/Director, was insanely busy… and boring.
I was already a bespoke customer at Cifonelli, but found it very difficult at that time to find any inspiration or relevant information about bespoke tailoring and bootmaking. It was back in the mid-2000s and there was quite a desert on the subject—with very few, if any, publications on men’s classical style.
This is probably why I decided to create PG in early 2009, with no clue of what was going to happen. The first day, I had 17 readers for my first article. Today, six years later, we are about to break the 10 millions visitors bar since the creation of PG.
But if I still ask myself how all this happened? I’m sure that the main reason for our worldwide success has to do with the need for education.
Gentlemen come to read PG because they want, first of all, to educate themselves about style and personal elegance and about craftsmanship and etiquette. Thus, the movement that emerged around PG and a few other leading blogs goes much further than simply studying how to dress well. It’s more about the quest for personal excellence.
What has it changed for you, in terms of the implication that the evolution of Parisian Gentleman began as sort of diary, and later to become a worldwide phenomenon?
The first three years have been quite difficult to manage because it quickly became a sort of a “double-life” for me, with a lot of activities going on around PG which was still, at the moment, a personal blog : articles and quotes in the national newspapers and magazines, radio-shows, events in Paris, London, Tokyo…
And then, when I realized that the success was real, international and sustainable, and that PG had become a prominent “voice” in the great sartorial debate, I decided to change all of my life, in order to focus exclusively on Parisian Gentleman and the activities around my work on men’s style.
Today, I’m running PG with my wife and my son, and my life is even more busy than before : I’m writing two important books on French and Italian men’s style for the great English publisher Thames and Hudson (to be released in 2014 and 2015), and I’ve just finished shooting a pilot for a TV show on men’s elegance. I give lectures all over the world on the men’s elegance renaissance and direct master classes on bespoke tailoring in addition to a lot of contributions in world-class magazines such as The Rake.