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The Founders
"In the end, OLOW is the story of two buddies whose bonds never broke, both as friends and as colleagues. It’s the alliance of a fiery guy and a calmer one. It’s the partnership of a lad who masters graphics software and one passionate about words. It’s the common fascination for the aesthetics of photography, illustration, and that wild ambition of bringing a shared vision to life."
Mathieu Sorosina, co-founder

Mathieu grew up in the heart of the spectacular Maladrerie estate in Aubervilliers (a north-eastern suburb of Paris, ed.). Built in the 1970s, the famous building housed many artists’ studios, such as that of French photographer Pierre Terrasson, who later became a family friend. He spent his childhood years, from 3 to 10 years old, in the company of poets, sculptors and painters, immersed in a buzzing, eccentric world. At the age where the mind is moulded, struck by the creative effervescence of an astonishing city, art became an intrinsic part of his life. From 14 to 18 years old, Mathieu took part in the Calvignac workshops, or discovery activities and art-based practices, where he discovered essential tools such as the screwdriver and angle grinder, used to build life-size creations. Along with kids his own age, he built fully-fledged wooden boats and explored his creative process.
"When you are passionate about art and you have the opportunity to collaborate with artists, well that’s just awesome."
Like an immutable core at the centre of his priorities, art and music guided his choices and animated his influences. He therefore attended a French school for press officers with only one objective in mind: “I knew that this school would enable me to work for a record label.” Freshly graduated, Mathieu began working for a great institution, rubbing shoulders with many artists and musicians such as Amy Winehouse, PJ Harvey, Snow Patrol, IAM, Izia or even Grand Corps Malade. At that time, he also discovered street art through Banksy’s work. “And then I became a fan of Metallica. While reading drummer Lars Ulrich’s biography, I learned that he owned a few paintings, notably works by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The discovery of his work was a real slap in the face.”

Street and contemporary art became an integral part of Mathieu’s world, a fascination he transcribes into his vision for OLOW. Illustration, comic books and photography are common passions shared with Valentin, who nurtured the slightly odd dream of drawing fonts as a kid.
"Being immersed in a buzzing, eccentric world."
Valentin Porcher, co-founder

When he was just 6 years old, Valentin enjoyed creating comic books, bringing huge frescoes to life by gluing the pages together. Growing up in a family unit where mutual aid and social issues were of the utmost priority, his life resembled a Jean-Pierre Bacri film; generous, often moving, at times wacky, but always authentic. “When I was 10, we lived in the Tilleuls estate in Le Blanc-Mesnil (a northeastern suburb of Paris, ed.). My father worked for the SNCF (French National Railway Company, ed.) and my mother gave English lessons at the estate’s community centre. As for my grand-mother, she worked for the municipality all her life. Back then, my father brought home some chickens that we homed on the 2nd story balcony. Every morning, the rooster would crow and drive our neighbours and the whole neighbourhood crazy. Some time later, he brought home two goats, that’s when things really got out of hand!”
"When you manage a project with feeling like we do with OLOW, you inevitably throw a lot of your personality into the brand."
Forever described as a dreamer, at once utopian and rebellious, Valentin is fascinated by wide open spaces. Contemplative, he witnessed quite a few landscapes unwind before his eyes aboard his parents’ van, which most probably brought about his obsessive penchant for earth seen from above. His forehead glued to the porthole, he set off around the world in 2017. From the tobacco fields of Cuba to the sumptuous glaciers of Patagonia, from the rice fields of Indonesia to the Tiger
Leaping Gorge in China, Valentin got into the sweet habit of touring the world. Through OLOW, he made the choice of concentrating on that limitless generation he belongs to, now able to make straight lines across the globe. An ode to wandering, Valentin wants to pay homage to that universally contagious thirst for discovery, now stronger than any border.