My personal style signifier is my classic black uniform of Acne Studios jeans and an Ami Paris hoodie, with a few colourful accidents such as a purple and green Isabel Marant jacket and silver bracelets by Le Gramme. My style is similar to the way I design in that I love to mix and match different technical pieces and accessories; I like to create tension.
The last thing I bought and loved was an ethereal painting by Xie Lei, a contemporary Chinese artist, from Semiose gallery in Paris. It’s very phantasmagorical in its sense of style and colour, and very unique.
The place that means a lot to me is Pantelleria in Sicily, the Black Pearl of the Mediterranean. I’m completely in love with it. It’s about 70km from the Tunisian coast, which you can see from the island, and very wild. The island is volcanic, the water is deep blue and the light is amazing. I’ve spent all my summers there for the past seven years, and now have a house there. I’m half-French and half-Italian, and while I’m not from Pantelleria, I can feel my roots there.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a box of matches from Juliette Armanet’s performance at the Olympia in Paris. She’s a French singer, and her latest album is called Brûler le Feu [Burn the Fire], which explains the matches. I shared a magical moment with a close friend there, so it’s a souvenir that’s very special to me.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Les gens de Bilbao naissent où ils veulent [The people of Bilbao are born where they want] by Maria Larrea, who is a French screenwriter. It’s a semi-autobiographical novel about the discovery of a deep family secret, with an incredible tangle of stories. She writes in a very cinematic way.
My style icon is the late French interior designer Andrée Putman, for whom I worked at the beginning of my career. She designed the Morgan Hotel in New York, where she used her signature black-and-white tiles to decorate the bathrooms. She’s totally beyond the question of style.
The best gift I’ve given recently is a vintage lacquer and gold Cartier lighter, to someone very close to me. I love the spirit of it: a simple object, with many details to admire and an old-school ritual behind it.
And the best gift I’ve received is a road trip to Las Pozas, Edward James’s surrealist garden in Mexico, planned by a friend. James was an English poet and patron of the surrealist movement – he was friends with Dalí, Picasso and Magritte. In the late 1940s he decided to create this garden of dreams, which is full of huge concrete sculptures and extravagant foliage, in the middle of the jungle. It took us 12 hours by car from Mexico City, but we spent about a day there.
The last music I downloaded was “The Beach” by Miss Kittin, which is very 2000s in spirit. I love a French narrative voice over a hard beat – you feel like you’re on the dancefloor! I listen to it while I work.
I don’t collect anything; I don’t like the idea of accumulation or being focused on one item. I love the idea of desiring something, but I find sometimes it’s better if you don’t have it.
I’ve recently discovered the work of Swiss designer Beat Frank, who designed an incredible furniture collection for Le Corbusier’s Convent of La Tourette in 1994. It’s amazing: a table and chairs with super-sleek shapes that explore the specificities of the building. The idea was to get to the essence of the thing. I discovered him at Galerie Romain Morandi in Paris.
In my fridge you’ll always find capers, ricotta salata, tomatoes and bottles of Château La Martinette Reflets d’Argens rosé. You can do anything with that selection in your fridge; it’s the perfect combination of ingredients.
The thing I couldn’t do without is music. I need a six-hour playlist to work: I don’t want to change the music after one track. I love diversity, and get a selection of vinyl sent to me each month. The last ones I received were D’Angelo’s album Black Messiah and “Figurine”, a song by future soul artist Wayne Snow. It’s very important to me; perhaps I’m afraid of the void.
The indulgences I would never forgo are olive oil – from Pantelleria, of course – and caramelised garlic cloves, the basis of cooking. My favourite dish to make is spaghetti all’arrabbiata, but simple things are hard to cook. The secret of a good tomato sauce is the time it takes to cook it; you need time to do something simple.
The last item I added to my wardrobe was a pair of Salomon XT-6 sneakers in fluorescent orange, dark red and black. They’re so comfortable and easy to wear – perfect with a Loro Piana jacket or a black hoodie. £160
An object I would never part with is a stainless-steel and mesh Caran d’Ache pen that I’ve had for 15 years. I need it to work, draw and write. It’s like jewellery for my desk.
My favourite app is Co-Star, an astrology app. In the beginning it was a joke at the studio: now we’re all connected. You can see if you’re compatible or not, or whether it’s a good day or not. It’s a funny way to be together, to connect and to discuss things.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Félix González-Torres, the Cuban-born American conceptual artist. He said a lot with a few things – his curtain of red beads at the Punta della Dogana in Venice, his birds. His work is emotional and strong – perhaps too strong for me – but I’d love to have a collection of it.
The grooming staples I’m never without are my perfumes, which I layer. It changes each day – sometimes I use more of one than the another – but I usually mix Geranium Pour Monsieur by Frédéric Malle with Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum, or Grand Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Beach Walk by Maison Margiela. It’s a way to create my own scents. Frédéric Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur, £165 for 50ml EDP; Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum, £130 for 100ml EDP; Maison Francis Kurkdjian Grand Soir, £175 for 70ml EDP; Maison Margiela Beach Walk, £66 for 30ml EDP, spacenk.com
My favourite room in my house is of course the kitchen, where I spend most of my time, cooking with friends or having an aperitivo. It’s a composite kitchen made from stainless steel, with pink lacquer cupboards and an original fireplace. I also have a hidden minibar, which is super-magical: you open the door of an old wardrobe to find a bar made entirely out of a mirrored pink material. It’s like a Yayoi Kusama installation.
The works of art that changed everything for me were by James Turrell, who I discovered at art school. It was a stunning shock to see the way he uses space and colour. I didn’t know if it was an art installation or architecture.
My favourite building is 7132 Thermal Baths in Switzerland, a hotel and spa designed by Peter Zumthor. It looks like a huge block of Vals Stone, completely disconnected and out of time. You feel the landscape; you feel the lights. Go for a long weekend – you’ll be another person.
The best bit of advice I ever received was “to not dare is to have already lost”, which Andrée Putman said. It’s a way to give you energy to try things.