Une villa signée Togu à Miami.

Out to conquer the world


Creative entrepreneurs in Marseille and Provence are finding markets abroad, thanks to their high level of excellence. Here are just four of many.


Mod’s Hair
Frédéric Darmon has 25 years’ experience as a hair designer and when he launched Mod’s Hair in Marseille he hired a team of excellent professionals to help. The brand’s social network pages are followed by many in France and around the globe; its online presence boosts the worldwide visibility of French style and excellence. And that’s what enabled Mod’s Hair Marseille and Mod’s Hair Paris, in partnership for the occasion, to open two salons in Los Angeles in the space of ten months. Mod’s Hair USA, the new franchise, plans to grow throughout the country, opening a dozen salons in the next 18 months. The first is symbolic, because it’s on Beverly Boulevard. That’s perhaps a sly reference to the origins of Mod’s Hair, which started out in studio hairstyling for the film world, photographers, fashion shows and couturiers.


Hero Seven
When Marseille-based Erroll Teboul founded Hero Seven in 2007 it was a way to meld his various passions for the vintage world, motor sports and fashion by creating a collection of menswear in his personal style. From a two-year stint in New York he brought home the craze for overprints and vintage. The result is a range of menswear harking back to the 1960s image of the cool male hero, particularly Steve McQueen, the coolest of them all (Hero Seven has a license to use photos of the star). But Hero Seven is also in tune with today’s cult of the organic and eco-friendly, actively working to save Amazonian forests – each product comes with an environmental reminder in the form of a green thread. Hero Seven is thriving, with four shops in the PACA region, 30 outlets in France and ten in the rest of Europe.


American Vintage
It was after several trips to the USA that Michaël Azoulay realised the infinite possibilities of working with cotton. He launched a line of sportswear-style T-shirts which already displayed the basics of the brand’s identity. The cotton is scraped, rolled, raw-cut and mistreated in every way possible to give it the brand’s characteristic loose drape. The website and the first shop, in Marseille, both started up in 2007. These clothes are easy to wear and timeless, but with just enough of an up-to-date twist to adapt to the wearer’s personality. The collection grows year by year (linen items, cotton leggings, menswear, a retail concept,
accessories for men and women, a women’s sportswear line etc.) and is spreading geographically. With 120 stores around the world and over 1000 sales points, American Vintage is now a must-have for every fashionista’s wardrobe.


Togu’s two-year drive to take its architecture to the global level is bearing fruit. The firm’s first branch outside France opened in Geneva in 2015. Its French touch and its all-encompassing conception of its work (incorporating architecture, design, decoration and furniture) are winning fans in New York and Miami. Founders Stéphane Torres and François Guglielmina are now forming a company in the USA, where they spend a week each month. As well as the prospect of increasing their market share, this conquest of America gives the pair new, creatively stimulating subjects to explore as they confront a new environment and a different clientele. The coherence of their work, following through from the architectural design to landscaping and interior design and fitting, is particularly appreciated in a country where these aspects are usually split up.