Lunch with Romaric Dabin
Before closing this autumn-winter season and launching our spring – summer collection, to finish on a high note, with a presentation of THE iconic figure of our film “Saint – Nazaire” I appointed Mr Romaric Dabin. On his lunch break, he made the 500 meter journey separating our offices to pay us a visit. For over an hour, sitting quietly on the comfortable leather sofa, we discussed a lot of topics, the famous video day, his participation in the Planchettes exhibition and his LVL studio. Time passed, and we didn’t even have the time to nibble … Meeting summary…
Hi Romaric, we know you pretty well, but can you introduce yourself to those who don’t?
My name Romaric Dabin. I have been an artistic director, graphic designer and illustrator for almost 14 years. I created the LVL Studio in 2009. This adventure came to an end in 2013 for various reasons. I have continued independently but apart from that I am an artistic director.
What was the LVL Studio initially?
It was a graphic design and communication studio. I was an associate with Doberman. We did a bit of everything. We both had things in common and things that were individual to us. We were a bit like the Feebles today. We worked quite a lot in the cultural area, but we also did some corporate.
Are you nostalgic about this project today?
I won’t think of this as a failure because we really worked on some beautiful projects. For example we worked with Sixpack. At the time it was a brand that was kind of special notably because of the illustrators and graffiti artists they were going for. And one day we showed up at theirs. They passed us work on visuals and it was really rewarding. Until the day when they told us about several media plans, we worked with them on three collections. We had a lot of freedom which allowed us to really be creative! Personally, I felt like I totally found myself there and I had a lot of fun. We did a lot of disc sleeves including Hocus Pocus, Beat Torrent, C2C, which are not too bad as references!
How did your modeling experience go for OLOW?
I was quite surprised but happy. It was something new for me. I like challenges, so I said “let’s do it” And it also allowed me to discover Saint-Nazaire. I knew the town name but nothing more. I discovered this town with you. I’m not going to hide the fact that it was a bit tiring but it was good to do it. It’s always weird to see your own face but I didn’t think the result was too bad. (Laughs) I had some good feedback. (Laughs) The quality of the video and the look book pictures were nice.
You worked with Manu Fauque (photographer) and Leo Schrepel (Director), what do you think of this new generation and how they work?
I find it interesting. They have a way of working that is fast. This is advantageous especially today. They are people who possess a lot of talent. Today there are more and more and it’s great. I was particularly impressed by the photos. The video is great too, but the fact that Manu only took 2-3 shots between the video shots for this satisfying result, is pretty crazy. We are also now in a generation that has increasing easy access to digital and good quality technology. Before, having a great camera, all you had to do was get your money out.
Olow contacted you to participate in the “Planchettes” exhibition. What was your feeling on this?
It was cool to be able to participate. It’s always very gratifying to be asked to participate in an exhibition. Especially since there were a lot of people involved. I was just a little pressed for time to finish my board!
What are your references today, who are the people that you follow and inspire you?
I have many references. Cody Hudson as an example. Although not very original, it’s my thing at the moment. He is a graphic designer but also a contemporary artist. He worked for Stussy. He continues to do ‘wall painting’ even if he is increasingly turning to other things like wood sculpture for example. He has many hats and this is what I like. I also really like La Boca. As we evolve our tastes change and this is a good thing. I find that the people who still think the same way and don’t break away from this to be very boring … (Sighs) There’s also an artist that comes to mind that I like too and that’s Leslie David. She is also pretty. We hear a lot about her at the moment. She lives in Paris and does a bit of everything, including the last disc sleeve for Metronomy. But not only that, she worked for APC, and today works at Kitsuné. She has great references and is a real designer. I love her approach, it’s multidisciplinary. She does drawing, typography, and painting. Minimalist things and things a little more polished. I follow some of her work via Instagram and Facebook. A beautiful journey and a fine talent.
Have you ever worked on any special materials?
Fabien and I did an exhibition in Paris at “L’attrape rêve “. We had the opportunity to do volumes. In the past I’ve even done a bit of graffiti.
What’s the best concert you have been to in Nantes?
Oh wow, I’ve been to so many!! I will say Suicidal Tendencies and The Roots, who I have also seen at the Olympique too. The Roots particularly made their mark on me. I ended up in the dressing room with the drummer. It was pretty cool especially as at the time I was about 18-19 years. And Suicidal Tendencies was in every way very cool. It was at a good time. LCD soundsystem… perfect too! There must be many others but these spring to mind.
Do you know of any good places to eat?
A good place in Nantes would be Dubrown. It’s not very original, but I like it. Otherwise you should go to the Contre-Étiquette to have a drink. Renaud the owner is a friend. He has set up an organic wine cellar. It’s a great place to buy booze and taste wine. He can also arrange for a small private tasting evening of a group of say 6 or 7 with good meat and good cheese.
What is the date of the next exhibition at the LVL studio?
« Croix de bois” with the Feebles, which will open 12 February. It will last until March 13.