L'Exception goes to meet its customers. Today, we meet Florian Masse, founder of The Cool Republic and customer at L'Exception.

Hello Florian, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Florian Masse, I'm 41 years old, I have 3 children and I've been a big customer of l'Exception blinds for many years.


You founded The Cool Republic, what brought you into the world of design?

I've always had an appetite for beautiful objects, and then I wanted to create something in that universe, offering for sale a mix of premium and accessible design objects, something I didn't see much of on the market. So to sum up, it was the desire to set up a shop with a number of brands that I liked and that I wanted to bring to life together that pushed me into this world.

This was something that didn't exist on the market at the time, how did you differentiate yourself?

I thought the design was a bit elitist and aimed mainly at a certain segment of the population. It had a slightly old-fashioned image. Even in the choice of brands, we had to differentiate ourselves. There was mostly Italian design and not much Scandinavian, and there were real barriers between these brands. So I thought there was something more coherent to bring to the marriage and the brand portfolio.

Is fashion something important to you?

It's hyper important. And that's precisely why it's interesting to find specifiers like L'Exception, who follow the same logic we wanted to create in the object: to have a broad portfolio of brands in one place. What's essential is that there's curation, with a carefully crafted selection, which is precisely what you go looking for in a multi-brand and that's what I find at L'Exception.

How would you describe your style?

Very casual. I've discovered a new term that suits me: "quiet" which means not very exuberant. I often look for pieces that are timeless precisely because I'm not a frenetic shopper. So I'd say that what's important for me is to have clothes that last over time, both in terms of durability and therefore quality, but also in terms of color. I necessarily choose more neutral colors, because when I buy a piece I want it to last. So they're often white, beige, black, with few prints, very sober in the end.


Which brands did you like first at L'Exception?

I like AMI, APC, L'Exception Paris, Patagonia which is great for getting through the winter or Paraboot for shoes. I also love Homecore, but there's not enough of it on L'Exception for my taste. It may even be my favorite brand, as the quality of the pieces is truly exceptional.

How did you become a customer with us?

I've known L'Exception very well for a long time. Being an entrepreneur I didn't necessarily have budgets that were always very stretchable on fashion so I only bought from time to time. I became a customer mainly thanks to your selection. I don't remember which particular brand brought me to your site, but I found you pretty quickly, and then I continued to follow you. I was also closely following L'Exception for reasons of similarity with The Cool Republic. We're kind of Siamese twins in the way we operate. What was interesting was not only to watch the evolution of the brand portfolio, but also to see what you had done at La Caserne, the construction of the retail space, and to see the development of your own brand.

You've also launched your own brand, can you tell us about it?

Of course, today we have a lot of textiles because it was easy for me to launch home textiles. So we have table linen, household linen and bathroom linen in linen, cotton gauze etc.... We've also created mirrors and lamps. But the latter are more co-branded products. Today, we're planning to create our own lamps and small furniture items.

It's quite a challenge!

Yes, of course, production costs, development costs... You know exactly what the problem is! But beyond all that, I think it makes the job even more interesting. As a distributor, we always feel like impostors. I'm a retailer, and I love it! Our main mission as retailers, whether for L'Exception or The Cool Republic, is to introduce new designers and highlight certain brands.
But what's also great about creating a brand is that you get to develop products. Sometimes you'll be working on creating a timeless, long-lasting, quality basic, and so on. But there are also times when you feel the need to express yourself in a different, more unique way, because you're planning to market a type of product that you haven't seen elsewhere. So it's a pleasant experience to contribute to the creation of something new.


And what do you think of Exception Paris? We know you've purchased several pieces.

Indeed, I bought several pieces like thick t-shirts, knitwear that are top, cashmere and wool mix etc.... I want to try out your coats, which look great, and I saw that you work with French ateliers, so that's my next purchase from L'Exception Paris.