Tao founded Le Rouge in 2017 with his closest friends. “We wanted to create a place where we would want to go out”, he explained, in 2017. “It was inimaginable a few years back, to bring so many different people together around hip-hop music. Not today.”, he concluded. Back then, local institutions like Le Carmen were still reigning supreme on the nights in Pigalle. Two years — and a handful of fashion weeks — later, Le Rouge is every fashionista’s favorite spot in Paris (including Naomi Campbell).
The Mecca of fashion, arts and high-end cuisine attracts more and more tourists, every year. High profiles often pile up during fashion weeks: the fashion industry parties in the same clubs, eats at the same restaurants — often in the Golden Triangle.
In the midst of all of this glamorous, often sophisticated, sometimes regalian crowds, trends come to life, only to travel around the globe, to perish far from home. Artists, models, and key opinion leaders come there to seek the newest things: the finest, untouched currents that will build the narratives of tomorrow. Le Rouge is one of those fresh takes on Parisian clubbing.
Last time we spoke was in 2017, you had just launched Le Rouge…
Yes, it was in November of 2017, we had been open for hardly two months at the time. Our identity was pretty obvious, already. We were taking a risk, as we didn’t want to compromise who we were, whether it was with the music or the vibe, just to bring in more people. Le Rouge has developed quite a bit since then. We have launched a new party on Thursdays, called “Je t’aime”. It’s still Le Rouge, but we are trying to bring in people that wouldn’t usually visit us — an older, more laid back audience. It’s fun, we have vogue performances, disco music, but still, curated the way we like it. And I have to admit that a good chunk of our audience sees it as our best party!
Is this attracting a new crowd that you also want to cater to?
We used to have a target audience in mind, but we thought taking every cool side from everywhere and put it in our recipe would be better. We just unite around the vibes we love at the moment. It doesn’t matter what part of Paris you’re from, your arrondissement and age are just numbers. It’s just about what kind of music and ambiance you like!
That explains how Le Rouge has become the nucleus of Paris at night for cool kids. Was that the goal all along?
We don’t have any pretension; it’s just how we see things. I used to work in Fashion, I was a dancer too. My partner used to run clubs, so I think it really is just how we are. We don’t claim to make trendy things. If what we do is in fact trendy, then good, but we don’t chase that. We’re trying to remain genuine. It’s really rewarding, as a team, achieving your goals without a single compromission.
“We didn’t want to compromise who we were, whether it was with the music or the vibe, just to bring in more people.“
The club is known for its scruffy, dated interior, that contrasts with the modern clubbing proposition… What’s in the plans for the venue, in the near future?
Since the city hall and authorities have classified our building as a historical monument, we can’t really update the place. We’re trying to make it look as authentic as possible. It’s hard to work on this kind of building anyways! But we have tons of collaborations on the way. Our current one is with Mademoiselle Mouche. We’re bringing our clientele to this bespoke yet groovy space. It’s still full every weekend, so we’re quite happy about it.
“I see Le Rouge almost as a concept-club: we do not just create parties. As long as it makes sense, we’re involved.”
We know you’re partying all summer, what exactly is in the plans for Le Rouge?
On August 2, we are teaming up with Clique TV, for the fourth or fifth time. Mouloud Achour is our friend. Last time we linked up was for the launch of their TV Channel. We love them, they really embody what we do and what we like in a beautiful way. We are staying open the whole month and then, in September comes the fashion week. Fashion week really is our time of the year, that’s where all the hype surrounding what we do at Le Rouge, comes from. Our greatest collaborations and events took place during fashion week. That’s a time of the year when every major player in the fashion industry is in town and looking for fun. It’s always an important time.
You mentioned earlier working in the fashion industry earlier in your life. Is this where the idea of having those parties stemmed from?
Everything was really organic. We just invited our friends. I used to work for Moschino, Paul Smith or Calvin Klein, as a sales manager. I used to be a breakdancer, too. Curiously enough, that is also where most of our collaborations come from. We are also lucky enough to be friends with a visual artist called Create. He does all of our videos and visuals.
Having a venue that’s really popping on the Parisian scene must attract tons of business opportunities. What are some of the collaborations you loved doing?
We worked with different entities, from magazines to perfume brands. I see Le Rouge almost as a concept store: we don’t do just simple parties. As long as it makes sense, we’re involved. We were in charge of the party for the closing of Colette, we celebrated Bleu De Paname’s 10th Anniversary. Dutch brand Filling Pieces also trusts us, we’ve done a lot of stuff with them…
Where do you see Le Rouge, a few years from now?
It’s very simple. The day we’re not having fun, or people don’t come to our parties, we’ll just stop. It will be time for another chapter. I don’t come from this world, but I found the project interesting, it is authentic. I hope it lasts and we want to evolve as much as possible, but again, it has to be organic…