Why did you leave your job at Hermès?
It was not my nature merely to implement and execute. By then, I was already drawing a lot, I played a lot of music, I practised and taught aikido which led me to travel to Japan aged 20. In a way, I had three passions and career paths opening up in front of me.
How did you decide to set up your own studio?
It took a lot of time, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew precisely what I did not want. I did not want to be a subcontractor, or to do banal things, nor did I want to do what everyone else does.
What was a defining moment in your career?
When I was eight years old, with one of my brothers in Rome who took me to a dark church near the Colosseum, I realised I was at the foot of Michelangelo's monumental statue of Moses. It changed my life, I thought, “If a man can do something like that, what will I be able to do with my life?”
Do you have any special memories?
I saw interview with a famous Japanese actress. She was asked if she had any regrets, she replied: “Yes, 25 years ago I was in Paris at a leather worker’s boutique and regret not having purchased a piece.” A few years later, I presented her with the bag she always wanted.