RENAUD BLANCHET, A MAN IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN IN THE FOOTWEAR GALAXY
Very discreet, not because of misplaced pride, but rather because he's very busy, always halfway between burn-out and pure contemplation, the grey matter of Team Patricia Blanchet is a man who deserves to be overrated. Meet Renaud Blanchet, the safe haven of a family that never ceases to amaze.
Renaud Blanchet hello, what immediately impresses when you are scrutinised is your muscular build. It's out of the ordinary, almost American, even Austrian. Where do you get your distinctive body from, and how did you sculpt it?
I had insomnia when I was younger. So between two books, I'd get out of bed and instead of watching TV, I'd do push-ups.
Already so young?
(He laughs) Well, yes, but it was more like tractions, to be honest. It passed the time. And then, as the days went by, my muscles started to bulge. But that's ancient history. Since then I've slumped a bit, if I do say so myself.
What does the brand owe you?
When I get up in the morning, I ask myself what I owe the brand and not the other way round.
Is working with your family complicated?
Let's just say that it requires a certain composure and a mentality of steel. There are advantages, of course, such as having colleagues who are a bit unusual. But in the end, it's not bad because you don't have to put up with annoying colleagues. Nor during lunches or farewell parties. With us, nobody leaves, everyone arrives. Working as a family means being able to enjoy a sense of cohesion. It's like working with sports team-mates, where you can pass the ball back and forth with your eyes closed. Everything flows more smoothly and exchanges are simpler.
How much do you contribute to the development of the collection and the artistic direction of the brand?
It's difficult to quantify. It's not proportional and that's good. I played the violin a lot when I was a kid. I saw Isaac Stern on television and was captivated by his mastery of the bow. So when I was 3 I asked my parents to buy me a violin. They kindly did so and also wanted to give me lessons, which I always objected to. I wanted to be self-taught. So they soon sent me out to play the violin away from home. As far away as possible. The more I did, the further away I got so as not to bother them with my shrill playing. And little by little, I learnt to get away from home and have adventures when I was very young. Some pretty crazy stuff that fed my imagination and that I now inject into Patricia Blanchet. I think it's a good fit.