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My Le Gramme

Thomas Erber

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Thomas Erber

Thomas erber / founder of thomas erber's cabinet of curiosities

How do people introduce you when talking about you and your job?

People often know me as the journalist I was for about fifteen years: involved in setting up magazines like Jalouse, Optimum and Vogue Homme, creating L’Officiel Voyage, editing the Le Monde lifestyle supplements or co-directing television programmes such as Pink on France 2. My focus has always been on exploring various art and design related areas that fascinate me, like music, design, fashion, travel, literature, film and photography.

Others might think first of Thomas Erber’s Cabinet of Curiosities which I launched at Colette in 2001. This immediately turned into an annual event which I took round the world. It takes place in an amazing location where for a month I bring together between fifty and a hundred designers and brands that take part in the adventure, each designing a unique or limited edition piece that shows off their particular area of expertise. I also publish a book for the occasion, I organise a grand opening, and a lot of other things to do with contemporary design in all its forms.

Every year, it’s an opportunity to bring together designers and brands, offering them a new opportunity to be seen internationally. The 6th anniversary edition (2010-2015) took place in Paris, spread between the Colette store, Le Molière art gallery and the Hotel Les Bains. The project is constantly evolving and now coming to what I call the “second half”, the next stage being a permanent exhibition in a Paris luxury hotel; then it will go on tour again round the world, until the opening in 2020 of a “cabinet of giant curiosities” which will showcase the hundred finest designers of the decade, first in Paris then in what we know to be the capitals of the future. The whole thing will hopefully end up in a museum or foundation bearing witness to the cultural changes of our times.
Finally, some people might describe me as a consultant where I excel in the luxury goods, fashion and design field, or perhaps as the co-founder of the clothing label GEYM, of the gallery, studio and artists’ residence “Atelier Relief” and of kolkhoze.fr, the online sales platform for 21st-century designer collector’s items.

What is the most touching thing anyone has said about you in your profession?

That I have an inquiring mind, but also that I am loyal. Loyalty is a disappearing virtue. I would really like to be called a visionary, because ultimately museums must convey a new cultural dimension of our times as opposed to the traditional fine art oriented view. Furniture, fashion, photography, jewellery and so on have become major art forms, as much as a Rodin sculpture or a Cy Twombly neon. You have to consider things at the dawn of the age we’re living in. 

What is the most important aspect of your work day-to-day?

Wonder, beauty. Wonder first of all because it keeps you aware. Beauty that arouses emotion without thinking, even if it makes you think afterwards. It can be mind-blowing but also calmer, slower – which can sometimes be better. And of course there is rigorousness, that sense of discipline that allows you to do something that in the end makes sense.

Le Gramme is a men’s lifestyle brand which sells men’s basic essentials. Which iconic work-related object represents you?

A grand-complication wristwatch… Fine watchmaking is an art form combined with supreme craftsmanship involving incredible know-how and an accumulation of extremely fine, precise and unique elements. It is the very essence of what I like to promote. That’s why I always try to include a fine watchmaking manufacture in each of Thomas Erber’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

Which is your favourite LE GRAMME piece?

My wife’s bracelet, which I borrow... often…  Also the one that Adrien and Erwan gave me, Le 21g, which has a delightful inscription, which I’ll keep to myself… I also really like the Le 9g Le Gramme ring which Adrien offered me. Its simplicity is disarming, furthermore it isn't quite easy to find a ring for a man...

How do you wear LE GRAMME?

Like an extension of myself. I wear one or the other, sometimes both. I like to be able to combine these objects and devise a clever way of personalising them, of making them my own if you like. I also like the almost iconic nature of these bracelets; they remind me of pieces from the Ibiza/70s era that are back in vogue. 

If Le Gramme were a designer… who would it be?

Well, it would be a mixture of Rothko and Mondrian. That sounds a bit pretentious. But then I am pretentious, so I accept that…

Which gift would you give to a loved-one?

Love, always.

What is your absolute favorite thing? How much does it weighT?

I have several. First there is a Boucheron ring which is not all that different from Le Gramme bracelets; then a Montblanc pen which is a reissue of the 1906 travel fountain pen; and finally the custom made bracelet I already mentioned which I borrow from my wife and on which I asked Adrien and Erwan to put two precious stones, one at either end so that only my wife could see them, it weights 37 grams.

What carries the most weight in your life?

My children, my wife, my friends.

Where is your favorite place?

All sorts of places. At home. Or with the PAPA’s, my Deia friends.

21g slick polished sterling silver bracelet