We recently had a moment to catch up with our dear friend, Franck Gunther, owner of Five0Five showroom in Paris and distributor of Fidelity Sportswear in France. Franck has been busy all year setting up his new space in the heart of the Marais. We are thrilled to have a chance to share images of his gorgeous showroom and glimpse into his glamorous life in the Marais.
Can you share with us a little about your background? How did Five0Five come about?
I’ve been involved in this industry since I was 15 years old ;-) I started as a sales person and went on to open my first store in the south of France, a second hand American vintage shop called Route 66. Then I was chased by LEVIS and spent 8 years as their agent and sales manager of premium lines. Naturally, when I opened my own agency, my philosophy was based on authentic products with roots and history but at the same time a vision of modernity .
We heard you just opened a new showroom in the Marais. Can you tell us about it? We’d love to see some images.
Yes it was time to move! Our previous showroom will be dedicated to our press agency, Five0Five Communication. We found a slightly different space with a courtyard and an old atelier. The new space is bigger and more flexible in term of merchandising, but we will keep our same way of working and philosophy. Our focus is on products. No POs. Just excellence in merchandising. The new showroom is still located in le Marais, the place where all buyers are during fashion week. We will be pleased to welcome and share spaces with special guests like Levis XX next season.
I know you were very busy preparing the new space. How much input did you have on the renovations and decor?
I spent a lot of time on our showroom and I’m mad about merchandising. First sights and impressions mean a lot to me. Retailers are surrounded of brands and their time is precious. They need to have a clear perception of the brand they are looking for. That’s why our goal is to present the products in the best way to make their work easier. I don’t want to disturb their attention with POs, branded hangers or any signage. Clean and simple. It’s all that in a beautiful space. I have been working with the same renovations team for years and they understand perfectly our needs as a showroom. We find great solutions all together. Decor, furniture, lighting are ultimately my vision ;-)
What were your best selling Fidelity Sportswear items this year? What was your personal favorite?
We sell the Peacoat very well, as that’s the Fidelity DNA. It’s as a “classic” — the ultimate iconic piece of Fidelity. My favorite from 2014 was the Baseball Jacket. It is a perfect mix between modernity and heritage!
Tell us a little about living in Paris? Did you grow up there? Share some of your favorite things to do in the city.
I was born in the south of France in the small city of Nîmes. I’ve been living in Paris now for 15 years after spending some time in Belgium . Paris is an exciting and challenging city with lots of energy and inspirational for fashion. Working in the heart of the city is a great chance, and we are appreciate it every day.
Who would you consider your style icon and why?
Master of cool was Steve McQueen. If we consider that elegance is an attitude, so is the perfect guy.
Where is your favorite place to eat in the city? And your favorite bakery?
There are lots of really good restaurants in Paris ! I used to have my own lunch spot for years near my office called, Le Petit Marché on Rue de Bearn. They make really good, simple food with a lot of attention to quality and simplicity. Then you also have the best Sardinian restaurant ever called Sardengna a Tavola on rue de Cotte. For a great time, try Guilo Guilo, too! It’s a fantastic Japanese restaurant owned by a Rock and Roll master chief!
There are so many beautiful places to see in Paris. Where would you recommend visiting?
Just up your eyes and see all the beautiful buildings ,-) One of our favorite places is the Jardin des Plantes. It’s close to our house and near the oldest zoo in Europe. It’s perfect for a sunny Sunday with the kids !
Where are your go-to shopping spots in Paris?
I personally live between two interesting shopping areas: le Marais and Bastille. I appreciate Merci, which is a good mix between fashion and design. It’s always in movement. In these areas, you have retailers who are still carrying alternative brands in a city surrounded by retail : Royal Cheese and Shine are good examples. The Bastille shopping area is rising again. On Rue de Charonne, you can find Sessun, Isabel Marant, French Trotters and our own shop Edwin! The best one ,-)