Arthur de Villepin’s calling card is studded with logos, but of all the arrows in his quiver (Tartine, Pont Des Arts, YellowKorner), the sharpest simply reads, “Art de Vivre Group”. And indeed, the son of a former French Prime Minister seems to have perfected “the art of living”.
“We have the capacity to enjoy more from life. This group, this idea of business is to [enrich] your everyday life by getting a bit deeper into everything you do,” he says while elucidating his business and life philosophy. “Look at life more than just the product in front of you. Try to understand the soul of the whole experience, which is why I don’t do just one thing, but I’m involved in several projects in Hong Kong.”
In the ever-expanding French community, does his fame enter a few seconds before him? “I didn’t have this feeling at all that I’m looked at only because of who my father is. This is what I liked the most about Hong Kong, no preconceptions.”
Of all the cities he’s rambled across, why this one? “When I first came here [in 2008 for an internship], it felt like I belonged. After a week, I was hooked. Then I came back from university and set up business – well, businesses. I had to come back, this is my town.”