Could you introduce yourself?
I am an author and journalist. I have published albums for children but also practical and cooking books. On the press side, I am the deputy editor in chief of the magazine Regain. I am interested in producers, craftsmen and artists for whom "to make is to think."
I'm from Tours but I live in Paris. I love to search for, collect and cook mushrooms.
Could you introduce us to this piece? Where does it come from? How old is it?
I bought this belt in Kobe, Japan in 2013. At the time, I was working with my girlfriend at the time at a vegetable farm in Ichijima village in Hyogo prefecture. It was an incredible experience, very rewarding but also exhausting. Japan, with its codes, expectations and culture, is a fantastic place that requires a lot of energy on a daily basis, especially when you are a "gaijin" and working on the farm was physically super intense. We had chosen to visit Kobe during a free time because this city, historically known as the cradle of Japan's international trade, had a reputation for being open, creative and cosmopolitan.
How did you find it?
When we worked on the farm, we were fed and housed. We worked hard, I remember we had to get up with the sun, and we lived at our host family's pace. We lived very poorly, without spending any money. When I arrived in Kobe, I really wanted to enjoy myself, to reward myself for my efforts. I remember first looking for the best coffee in town, I think I never had such a good cup in my life. Then we wandered into a vintage clothing store that sold Danton French overalls (I had never heard of them before, it was a big hit to discover this jacket there). The leather shop was right next door, the workshop was open to the outside, nestled in a corner house. The leathers were beautiful, it smelled good. Without thinking too much, I thought it was the kind of piece I could keep for a long time and that would remind me of my Japanese experience.
Do you remember the first time you wore it?
To tell you the truth, I walked out of the store wearing my belt and from that day on, I've worn it every day I've worn pants with belt loops. Every day for the past ten years! I don't even know if I think it's beautiful or not anymore, I love it, I take it everywhere...
What are your memories related to this piece?
This piece is so much a part of my daily life that I don't really have any memories associated with it. Or rather all my memories of the last ten years are associated with it! I do remember using my belt as a leash for my dog one day when I forgot his...
Are there any signs of wear? Have you ever repaired this piece?
My belt is past the patina stage, it's starting to get damaged. I think a loop is missing. I had dug a hole myself with a screwdriver but I don't remember why, because what is certain is that I have never been so skinny!
To tell you the truth, I spent a long time on Google Street View looking for the leatherworker from whom I had bought this belt. I would have liked to tell him that I wear his belt every day at home in France and all the stories I am telling you today. I would also like to buy him a new belt when mine breaks. That day is coming and I'm not ready to change. So if you ever read me in Kobe, if you recognize this store, let me know or if you want to invite me to investigate: let me know!
When do you usually wear it? Do you remember the last time you wore it?
I wear it every day whenever I have pants. I take it with me on all my trips. The last time I wore it was the day I left it with you to take your pictures!