To be (or not to be) a Parisian Gentleman Reader 

Sonya Glyn NICHOLSON

To be (or not to be) a Parisian Gentleman Reader 

Parisian Gentleman is almost seven years old and has become a sort of subculture within itself.

Sometimes it feels like we are swimming upstream, against a tide of pocket square salesmen and oversimplified how-to-tutorials on menswear basics. Indeed, the revolution of style we attempt to preach, promote, push and explain often feels like a wish more than a reality. Look around you—most men in the streets of major cities in Europe and the USA are NOT dressed in double-breasted suits or Pitti-inspired ensembles.

But even if sometimes we feel we are evolving in reverse, we are in fact finding an expanding niche-following growing alongside us.

Case in point: founder Hugo Jacomet has been recently featured on the back cover of one of the most important newspapers in Spain— La Vanguardia in Barcelona. The back page of the paper has become widely known as La Contra (meaning “back page” but also “against” or “contrary”). The back page of La Vanguardia is the first page residents turn to when starting to read the paper. Here, on “La Contra”, readers find articles featuring idea-shakers, dream-makers, whistle-blowers, and visionaries–you know…inspiring types. Needless to say, Hugo found himself very comfortable on “La Contra”.

La Vanguardia - La Contra - Hugo Jacomet

“What inspires?” happened to be a title from my small blog in 2012, which questioned “human inspiration” ranging from love to money (with around 82 comments resulting). People seemed to care about feeling inspired.

Gnarls Barkley sang the lyrics: “My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb—and all I remember thinking was I want to be like them”. These lyrics beg the question: What makes man or woman (or blog or website) extraordinary?

After all, “to have the heart to lose your life out on a limb” requires a good dose of courage and inspiration, and courageous and inspiring people tend to be extraordinary in some way or another.

Not to be ignored is the point that inspiring people tend to be inwardly or outwardly enthusiastic. Henry Ford loved the phenomenon of enthusiasm. He said “Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing of your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will to execute your ideas”.

Although this description sounds more like charisma than enthusiasm to me, Ford’s point is apt when you consider people with highly-focused energy tend to mesmerize the lot of us.

Taking a look at my fellow contributors, it’s hard to deny the genius and light Hugo JACOMET conveys and how Greg JACOMET becomes a poet when he writes about fragrances.

Equally obvious is the hardcore somehow-lovable geekiness of Adriano DIRNELLI, the unrelenting passion for travel/suits of Paul LUX, the unheard of academia-with-a-twist reflections of Dr Benjamin WILD and the full-throttle commitment to all subjects sartorial by erudite Dr John SLAMSON.

Our newest contributors throw into the mix the offbeat addictive humor of Emmanuel LAURENT on shaving and timepieces and the pure love for the subtleties of food and wine by Anthony HUBAULT. Also (unable to miss) is the unyielding artistic drive of photographers Andy JULIA and Lyle ROBLIN, and the unrelenting work of PG Guide designer and webmaster Philippe MICHOU who shows off killer objects of desire in the PG Guide of Quality Seals.

Greg Jacomet

Dirnelli-The-Rake-copiePaul Fournier

Benjamin WIld

Dr John Slamson

Emmanuel Laurent

Anthony Hubault

Sonya Glyn Nicholson

Andy Julia

lyle-roblin1

What we’ve noticed is that PG visitors quickly decide whether to stay or whether to go.

If you like distinctive content with a strong minimalist mood minus ads and promos, you should feel at home. Yet if you enjoy heavy stimulation with shopping ops and dozens of articles hitting different subjects on the front page, this likely isn’t your place.

What makes Parisian Gentleman different?

PG is designed for “readers”, not browsers and surfers

Herein lies an editorial project entering its 8th year—a place where elegance is a culture and where we are unable to sacrifice quality for statistics. Like-minded people come to visit and a chunk of first time visitors decide to stick around—an extremely loyal readership that we cherish and work hard to nourish.

Words try to Match the Level of the Subject

Our writers are selected for their ability to tap into an inscrutable personal inspiration which has the potential to become bigger-than-life if writers hit their expressive-lottery, which doesn’t happen every time, but happens often.

Writers are chosen for their strong identity

Each writer has an almost “caricature personality”. Mediocracy is eschewed and traits ranging from extreme geekiness to being strangely cool is embraced. Style is a big word which we explore continuously. Style is applied to the way we write as well as the way we attempt to dress. Pomposity and self-righteousness backfires, and this is a lesson each writer learns at some point. We try to practice our trade with the correct amount of humility, knowing that finding personal style is a path rather than a destination.

Peace is to be found here — you are alone with a text or an idea

There’s enough chaos in our lives. PG intends to be a refuge which creates the same sort of peace you feel when you are alone with a book. That’s why we steer clear of statistic-hoarding methods and the hard-sell techniques, like distracting banners, extra columns to attract clicks, “read more” requirements (usually in place to double clicking statistics) or selling things (to date we sell nothing on our site).

We’ve been surprised to find many readers tell us Parisian Gentleman is, for the reasons listed above, the only style journal on their bookmark list…what a big compliment. Our readers are usually sophisticated thinkers, and tell us they’ve made buying decisions based on our reviews, which places a responsibility on us to provide content with no nonsense.

Reporters report, bloggers blog, we try to preach

Our focus remains on understanding what makes us more elegant in dress and behavior, on texts which inspire, and on reports which cover current events. One of our favorite tasks is to do archeological “style-digs” to unveil discreet craftsmen often overlooked but whom deserve international attention. But first of all we believe – and preach – a good sartorial education can change anyone’s life.

An advanced Search Bar

Many websites/blogs have multiple headers like “suits, accessories, shoes, hats…”.

We chose to avoid this common approach in order to keep our pages immaculate. However, we have developed a highly refined search bar which is among the best you’ll find out there. Type in your subject of interest and you’ll see a list of instant results beyond what you’d expect.

Swimming against the mainstream

We free ourselves from formulas or techniques advising us on the “ideal length of a text” or how many headings or photographs to include per article. For us a great article is a great article no matter how long or short.

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With more than 2.5 million words and 1,700 pieces published, visit ten seconds or decide to stay with us for a while.

However, if this is the first time you’ve reached Parisian Gentleman, we hope you’ll remain with us and join the revolution.

Happy 2016 !

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Pictures credits :

Greg Jacomet © Andy Julia

Dirnelli © Gentleman Chemistry

Paul-Lux © The Rake

John Slamson © Andy Julia

Emmanuel Laurent © Husbands Paris

Sonya Glyn Nicholson © Lyle Roblin

Andy Julia © Aura Constantin

Pictures of Benjamin Wild, Anthony Hubault and Lyle Roblin to be credited.