Within the international media circuit, Raphaël Pathé is a well respected figure. The global celebrity and businessman is a descendant of Charles Pathé – founder of the iconic French Pathé Cinema and Music Global brands. Raphaël currently resides in the Caribbean island of St Barths, which allows him to work internationally with hubs in Paris, London, L.A and Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) . His diverse professional career has seen him host Emmy award-winning shows in London through to sell out performances as an international figure and DJ; thanks to his global business interests – ´TRILLIONWAY PRODUCTIONS´ which comprises of ´SoundOfLuxury.TV´, ‘SoundOfLuxury OÙ‘, ´Elquarius´, ´Elkolor‘ his ´Avenue Montaigne Club‘ and ‘Raphael The Worlds Medium‘. His latest chapter within in the Catalan super-city of Barcelona allowed us to sit down with the media mogul to discuss his original life – both inside and outside the public eye.
Raphael, where are you actually based this month?
This month, I am in Barcelona. I am really happy to be here and to speak with you. As you know, I travel a lot, I am a little bit of a ´Gypset´, I don´t know if you are familiar with that word? Some of the time I am in St Barths, but right now, I´m in Barcelona. Maybe next week, I will be back in L.A for some time.
But, you used to live in Paris full time, some years back?
Yes, I used to live in Paris – it´s a city that I really like because of the fashion industry and the way that the people dress. I still have a few clients there, so I visit quite often as I still have friends and connections there from when I used to work in French TV. I am not based there any more full time, but its always great to visit.
To many people, your second name, Pathe, gives an immediate indication to what your family did and what you do.
Let me try to make this short! The Uncle of my Great-Grandmother Marie Louis Pathe, created (I don´t like to say the movie industry), but when he was in his youth, he started to buy phonographs in fairs and trade-shows. He decided to turn this into a career within the record industry, so went on to record, by himself; speeches, records and such. So, at the time – he effectively contributed in starting up the French music business. He always wanted to film and record different footage and sessions that went around. Even to this day, he is the ancestor of the Pathe firm that is still produces international news, right now. Back in the day, he would go places, film and even use his own voice for commentaries. These ´films´ would be projected in the big screen as back then, people would go to the cinemas and move theatres to watch the news. The brand today is still known as Pathe; he was Charles Pathe and I am directly descended from this family. The curious thing is that he comes from a family of butchers – he used to make sausages and pate, so it´s quite a contrast. Outside of that, his passion drove him to create a celebrated global business.
Just like Charles Pathe, I consider myself to be a media savvy person. I always wanted to work in TV, so I started to do this when I lived in Paris. I worked making interviews for companies such as Canal-Web (which was close to the Champs-Elysee) when I started up. I used to interview artists during the day and make music at night, as I am also a trained musician. My international DJ name was Raphael Pathe / SoundOfLuxury. I also worked in the fashion industry as a model for some time with an agency in Milan called IMM. I can´t say that I was a highly successful model, but I loved going to the castings and working with all the designers to help them to create their vision. This was my first appetiser of the fashion world. Also, during my career in music and TV, I met a lot of fashion designers, which this show and your magazine is about; so designers that I met such as Jean Paul Gaultier at castings in Paris who told me to go to London and speak with i-D Magazine. There has always been a lot of different fashion figures who I have been in contact with, during my life. I remember John Galliano when he used to go to Queen Club until 5 am, then straight after – go to his atelier to create all these amazing clothes. At this time in my life, we were all going out, talking and having fun – but making our careers.
In your past, you had a very strong presence in the media and fashion community. Just now, you have quite a few successful international companies. Could you tell us about these and what you are working on just now?
During all of these years, I have been working as an on-camera host on TV and I also started to shoot my own adventures as a DJ, which was called SoundOfLuxury TV. This is different footage of me interviewing people and travelling internationally. Next year, I am going to be doing a lot more of that. This is something that I really want to be doing, especially in Europe. The TV station concept is a part of the SoundOf Luxury. Its is a series of parties that I host in different countries within luxury hotels. I like to bring the ´luxury feel´to my events and parties. I created the concept back in the day when I worked in London as a nightclub promoter and DJ, totally by accident. I have always loved music, so for me to be a DJ was just perfect. I created an exclusive party called Soiree Avenue Montaigne and this later turned into Avenue Montaigne Club and it´s now a part of the SoundOfLuxury. It´s an event where people can enjoy visuals about fashion, icons and movies whilst dancing and drinking Champagne – having fun and feeling like a trendy Parisian. Think a Nouvelle Vague vibe and images such as Catherine Deneuve in Belle De Jour. I am also preparing an upcoming DJ event called Elquarius, so it´s kind of like a re-branding of my whole DJ thing. The idea is a party that involves water, costumes and different energies with crystals and colours involved. I also make visuals and drawings called Elkolor for these events; from which I take inspiration from artists such as Matisse.
With regards to these paintings – what media´s do you use; digital or traditional?
My mother is a painter and she used to take me to art classes in Switzerland quite a lot when I was younger. She was a part of the original round of artists who actually got to exhibit their works within the prestigious Art Basel art fair in Switzerland – so, I had the opportunity to hang out with her and her friends at her gallery space within the fair; whilst discovering all about the current contemporary art trends, which gave me a great insight both back then and now about styles and inspirations. While I was there, she would directly teach me how to draw and use colours – I found the whole experience so inspiring! I got really interested in pop-art with all the vibrant colours and their sequences that I saw on the canvas and the pages, so this is what inspired me a lot. When I lived in Milan and modelling, I met a couple of fashion designers who told me to use Pantone and Winsor & Newton Promarkers to express myself. I started to draw with these and I love the true colours that they produce to give life to my sketches as an abstract representation of the energy that circulates in my mind. I would love to project these images during my Elquarius sets onto rooms and also look into the concept of 3-D building mapping. I find that I get a lot of inspiration drawing in cities such as Paris and Barcelona and I am looking to develop this with my career and travels over the next few years.
You have so many brands and ideas from travelling across the world. These all seem to be unified by this master company called Trillionway which unites all your different talents and interests. Can you explain what this company is and what we should expect to see in the future?
First of all, this company puts all my brands together. It is based in London and I call it Trillionway Productions because the ´trillion´ cut is a specific way in which to cut crystals and gemstones, to make them shine and catch the light. Jewellery is a big love of mine and in my family, he have had several successful jewelers. The word trillion resonates with me because of its link to the number three and the triangle. It is primarily an entertainment consulting agency. Within this, I can put all the brands that I have created over the years and provide strategic consultancy to suit. So, if you want to do an amazing event such as my Soiree Avenue Montagine, I can set it all up in luxury hotels on your behalf. You can hire me to come and actually bring my signature concept, styling and sound at your luxury hotel, villa or yacht. If you also want some amazing visuals projected across walls, then I can provide this as a complimentary service also. If you have the impulsion for a DJ set which is phenomenal, amazing, strange and surprising – then I can provide this through Elquarius. To unite everything together, if you want a live interview ( of a person or an event) with very good footage, then you also can be a part of SoundOfLuxury TV.
When I moved to LA around 7 years ago, there was a ghost in my house. I have always been very attracted to spirituality, so this encounter with the ghost, brought something new in my life. This, plus my synergy with L.A. made me focus a lot of attention to the vibrations around me and to start reading Tarot cards. As a result, all of the celebrities around me in Hollywood wanted me to make readings for them. This is how I developed the other brand Raphael – The World´s Medium. So, all of this is part of Trillionway Productions – paranormal, music, interviews, DJ´ing, colours and I guess, everything!
I am thinking from this that you perhaps manage a ´new-age´ lifestyle agency?
Yes, but I mean it´s not just new age. Perhaps for the ´Gypset´ part, where nowadays a lot of people don´t just see themselves in one place. Maybe they feel a Parisian vibe or essence, so this allows them to bring it all around the world and everywhere with them. This ´voyage´, this other dimension is definitely a part of me.
¨During all of these years, I have been working as an on-camera host on TV and I also started to shoot my own adventures as a DJ, which was called SoundOfLuxury TV. This is different footage of me interviewing people and travelling internationally. Next year, I am going to be doing a lot more of that. This is something that I really want to be doing, especially in Europe.¨ – Raphaël Pathé
Because you travel so substantially around the world, is it fair to say that you have several international bases. How do your activities vary from city to city?
Very interesting. After L.A., I got a little tired of all the craziness and pollution. I did love the city, but I needed to get back down to earth and get back to France. I called a friends in St Barth´s ( the jet-set´s getaway Christmas island) to re-connect with friends; Parisian and French people, in the Caribbean, some 9000 miles away. That´s how I became a resident in St Barths and re-connected with fashion and style in a big way. This island is sensational, its all down to the details such as the way that people dress and it´s also the place where the big brands such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes all make amazing sales and have ´island specific´ collections, dedicated to the island. They say that if you don´t go there, then you will never have the ´It´ bag with the island embellished on it. It´s a very special thing. Apart from the international harbour which is filled with super- yachts, there is also the more relaxed beach side where you can meet everyone from jet-set and vacationing models to everyday families. This is definitely where my heart is, but at the same time, I love Spain and I am so happy to be here, right now.
Several months ago, I was in Madrid and now I am spending some time in Barcelona, which is like heaven on earth. I have great memories before these of Vienna – which is a real contrast as it is very traditional and elegant. L.A. is a little crazy, but I know many people there and I always go back to catch up. Plus, I have to mention Puerto Vallarta in Mexico which is where I spend my winters. It is in many ways like Barcelona, but more exotic and dangerous ( with wild animals). It´s a great way to combine the feeling of Europe with the feeling of America. Jumping across all these places allows me to connect with people, make music and to discover and learn languages. To ´Gypset´ – this is the word. To meet cool people, to travel, to discover and to work. To be me.
You mentioned the last time we spoke that you were in the process of writing a book. I can´t even begin to imagine what would be in this. Would you care to tell us what we could expect to see in this?
The book is basically about my life! It may sound pretentious to write a book about your life, but the reason this happened was because I was in Vancouver for a while and I met a psychic medium there who told me during a session that I was going to write a book. It was going to be very successful and end up being a movie in Hollywood. I thought – why not and three years ago I started to write it. Right now, I am up to 121 pages. It´s about me as a child wanting to travel and be on TV, with the story unfolding through the different countries that I visit and the connections between fashion, television, music and astrology. This is my story and it is quite difficult to put a finger on one focus entirely. People were always asking me this in L.A and right now, it is a story which I can answer across its pages and this will set the scene of my book.
When should be expect to see the final copy of the book?
I have essentially finished the book. All of the chapters are written, I just have to finish up filling and connecting these chapters because everything started when I was a little child of 5 years old and even then, I had a lot of things to say. The first structure is written, so I just have to infill and edit as I go along. Some chapters are more complete and interesting than others, which is a little bit stressful. There are still some people in Paris that I need to recall and remember all the crazy stories. This is that part which is going to be the most challenging to finalise. You can expect to see the first copy available next year, through my company Trillionway Productions. I will make the final edit and launch in London and then the U.S. I really wanted to be in London first with this as it´s a dear city to me; it´s like family and one of the places where I really feel like home. Brexit or not.
Some of our readers put questions for you ( from social media) and this is the most popular. ¨Every other month you travel to a new city or country. How do you pack you ´international life´ into only a few suitcases?¨
It is always difficult to pack the right clothes and beauty products. The people at TSA and bag controllers get worse and worse with every year. I don´t have a jet or helicopter yet, but I like to travel well, so it´s important for me to pack the right things. What I would advise people to do is always to have a few colourful items in their suitcase. Have a pair of good shoes and trainers packed, which are both stylish and comfortable. Simple things such as some statement accessories can really make a look. Also, when packing, try to avoid bulky items! I try to avoid cold destinations so this makes my life much simpler, without chunky jackets and knitwear.
So, you are an advocate of the ´Capsule Wardrobe´ concept of the ´14 items you will only ever need´?
Yes, I think that my suitcase has that, but I also have a storeroom with clothes in every country that I visit. I do have my carry on and my cargo-luggage, but when I am in cities such as Barcelona and Vienna, this concept just saves me so much stress. I never take absolutely everything with me, which is fun because when I do arrive, I know that I have pre-packed luggage waiting for me, in the style of the city. So, with regards to these 14 items – yes and no. If you only limit yourself these items and you are invited to an event, but get a stain on your clothes just before, what do you do? It is better to keep things here and there, like a gypsy – then you know that if you loose your suitcase, damage something or the shops are closed, you have tried and tested options. Keep clothes everywhere, that´s my advice. Shoes, socks, shirts and underwear. Everywhere!
Do you have any preferred ´go-to´ favourite designers which best fit your travels and lifestyle?
I feel that just now, the designers dramatically change every year. There were some designers that I really loved, but they varied far too much from season-to-season for me to consider wearing them from day-to-day. I always invest in the classics, so I love Hermes, both the classic collections and what they are producing right now.
And finally – access to all the worlds celebrities, the jet-set, Dj´ing, models and parties. You must have some quite good celebrity stories that you can share with us?
I don´t know if I have much gossip, but I can share some experiences that I have had with you in the past. I have met Jean Paul Gaultier many times in Paris and even back in London when I was working as a dancer and then after at fashion shows. It doesn´t really matter how famous he is, he always appears open, special and curious with people he meets – both inside and outside of the fashion circuit. Gaultier is not just about the business – he is also a warm and creative person. I have also been in contact with Rik Owens and his wife Michelle, who have in the past lent me clothes for TV appearances that I was hosting. They are really amazing people and it was a pleasure to work with them and hang out with them, both in the showroom and at their home. Voila – my life to date.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald / Raphaël Pathé
Photography: Raphaël Pathé