On the occasion of the opening of the new Parisian skate shop Le 39, rue Etienne Marcel not far from my local spot Léon Cladel, I went to meet the people behind this project and get to know a little better their aspirations behind this project.
Can you introduce yourself ?
Romain Marit 32 years old, skateboarder since he was 11 years old, I have been working in the skate industry since 2015. I collaborated for a year with De Paris Year Book, Nike SB in marketing. I had thus been able to participate in the organization of the Garage Paris or even the celebration of the 10 years of the Janoski. At Le 39, I am a store manager. That is to say, to ensure that the store is economically viable, to work in parallel on the image in tandem with Gorka. I also animate part of the social networks and I advise clients.
Jimmy Larkz, 28, I’ve been skating for about 20 years. I’m a salesperson/advisor. In parallel with my work, I produce skate video through the 3CCD project, I skate, I tour among others.
Gorka, Store Manager.
The shop is attached to the Shinzo group, can you explain to me the link between the 39 and Shinzo?
Gorka: Each Shinzo store on rue Etienne Marcel is dedicated to a sport. And we 39 us, we are pursuing this idea. We as skaters wanted to have our own image. We are lucky to have them in support, but we remain independent in terms of the selection of brands, products, team, image that we wish to convey. Somewhere we have free access and we have both financial support. They know they’re getting into skateboarding with trusted, experienced people.
What is your goal with the shop, what aspirations do you nurture through this project?
Jimmy Larkz: we want to do positive things for the community. We have quite a few ideas. We would soon like to create events inside the shop. For example, we have the idea of offering, every Friday, viewing sessions of old skate videos to the youngest in order to nourish their skate culture.
“The other day I had a kid who came into the shop and asked me who Ed Templeton was”
The other day I have a kid who came to the shop and asked me who Ed Templeton was. They’re not going to find culture on their own. Younger people consume Instagram and its constant feeds every day. The transmission of knowledge is what we would like to bring too.
Isn’t it crazy to open a physical shop today when the competition is raging on the internet?
Romain Marit: in specialized shops like ours, I don’t think so, because there is always a need for customer contact. So yes with the new generations it’s easier to buy a board on the Internet. But the picky person who knows for example that he wants so much wheel base, will need to test the board itself, to put his feet on it, he will need to see the shape, to project himself with it. And beyond the material part, there is also the human aspect. Us, for example when we started skating and we went to the shop, it wasn’t just to buy a product. It was also so that there would be an exchange with the local actor, a kind of interaction, of learning that also happens from the oldest to the youngest. So I will say that local shops are essential. In addition, we will soon have a website.
In the neighborhood you are now a handful of shops with Arrow and Beast, Element Paris, Wasted among others. How is cohabitation going?
Romain Marit: In the neighborhood, the shops you mentioned offer quite specific products. We have a rather wide range so somewhere we complement each other. We live very well in community. And on top of that, we help each other. If we do not have a part, we send the customer to the other shops and vice versa. And then as you could see for the Go Skateboarding Day, we created an event together with the neighborhood shops and it was very heavy. There is a lot of solidarity between us.
How is the 39 positioned, what differentiates it from other shops?
Jimmy Larkz: In addition to having sales people who skate very well and give very good advice, we have a showroom which will allow us to organize events in the shop. We would like to use this place to organize AVP -as was the case during the preview of the street part of Seb Mouron during the inauguration.-, encourage skateboarders who make video, photo , art more generally. It’s also our role to highlight the scene other than through skateboarding.
Romain Marit: and then incidentally, the shop is also different in its presentation. The floor is granite like the Republic modules and just in front you have the small step which is skatable. It’s perfect for hitting slappies on. In the presentation, we tried to make it look premium.
Does premium shop rhyme with exorbitant prices?
Jimmy Larkz: Not at all. On the other hand, we are very selective in the choice of brands and products. Above all, we will be premium in terms of service, this granite floor on which you walk for example ahaha. We also try to highlight smaller brands in quotes like Skate Café, Studio de Montreal, etc.
A word about the team?
Gorka: The team is made up mainly of young people. There are quite a few kids coming up and we try to support a few of them. We try to take those who, in addition to having a very good level, are cool and easy to live with like little Felix.
What are your upcoming projects ?
Gorka: for the start of the school year, we are going to set up viewing sessions for old videos. We are still working out some details. Other events are in preparation and we will communicate all this via our instagram account which we invite you to follow @Le39