David Giroire, “éditeur de design” (but not only)

Extensive experience in fashion, a keen eye for the evolution of contemporary taste, the ability to change course: an encounter with a passionate maverick

David Giroire

David Giroire, born in 1980, is a man of many facets. And driven by great energy. With a past in fashion that led him to work on the Dior Homme image with Hedi Slimane as creative director, then in communications with a “boutique agency” with clients (first fashion, then interior design and architecture) united by great aesthetic research, he founded Théorème Editions a few years ago with his friend Jérôme Bazzocchi, a “maison d’éditions” of furniture and objects with a strong personality. We meet him on a sunny afternoon in the gardens of the Palais Royal in Paris, in front of his showroom-gallery.

During Milan Design Week 2019, you launched your first collection of design objects. But before that, you founded a communications agency (which you still have). Can you tell us about your journey?
I’m self-taught in everything I’ve done. When I arrived in Paris at the age of 18, I started working in prestigious restaurants, but it didn’t take me long to realize that it wasn’t a career for me. Then I sold sunglasses in a shop on the Champs-Élysées, jewelry in the Halles, shoes on the rue Etienne Marcel. It was the 2000s, the area was buzzing: Hedi Slimane, who was the creative director of Dior Homme at that time, came to the store with his team. I was offered the position of first salesman at the brand’s boutique on the Avenue Montaigne, then Slimane called me into his team to follow the brand’s image: fashion shows, advertising campaigns, celebrities (I did this for five years). After other experiences, I went out on my own. I was unknown, I decided to offer my network of contacts a coherent proposal, working with small niche brands with a strong image. In this way, my name began to become synonymous in the press with sought-after designs, with unconventional luxury. And it worked. That’s when I decided to focus on the mix of design/architecture/art de vivre: the agency changed, there was a quiet but decisive turn. I told my friend Jérôme, who lived in London and worked in cosmetics, what I was doing, which was to introduce young designers, a nouvelle vague of up-and-comers. And the idea of Théorème Editions was born.

Theoreme Editions, Constantin Benches by Francesco Balzano – Crystal Centerpiece by Garnier et Linker
Theoreme Editions, Fibonacci Table by Adrien Messié – Crystal Centerpieces by Garnier et Linker

All this in how long?
The agency was born in 2011; the change of direction took place in 2018. Théorème was launched the following year. We gave the designers carte blanche and they came up with lots of ideas. We then went on a tour of Europe with Jérôme to find craftsmen who could make them. It was great to turn visions, often purely digital, into real objects. Since I also had a communications agency, it was easy to get the project in front of the right people. However, it took a year for the public to realize that the brand had substance. It was then that concrete interest began to emerge, and architects who were familiar with our production began to find the right projects to involve us in.

Theoreme Editions, Sistema by POOL Studio

What are the criteria you use to identify talent?
At the beginning, out of six designers whose projects we proposed, I followed the communication with five of them: it was a direct relationship. For the second collection, we went outside our circle to look for new talent: unfortunately, it was also Covid time and traveling was very difficult, so the second collection was also 100% French. Now I am seriously thinking about the third collection, which I would like to present next January, with a European casting this time: at the moment we are working with a German and an Italian studio. I think it is important to have parity between men and women and to reflect diversity, issues that are very relevant today. But above all, the project must be coherent: it is not easy to find talented people with a certain aesthetic sensibility who are attentive to sustainability (another key issue). It is complicated to put all the pieces together, but for now we are managing (laughs).

In any case, working in small series is sustainable in itself.
Not only that, but we produce to order. Our production is the opposite of the idea of disposability.

Theoreme Editions, Maze Mirror by Wendy Andreu
Theoreme Editions, Achille Armchair by POOL Studio

What do you find exciting about your work?
It is a three-way equation: the creativity of the designers, Jérôme’s and my view of the pieces we want to explore, and the relationship with the artisans who are not normally used to dealing with projects like ours. I like the idea of pushing them to their limits, their techniques, and I like the fact that the designers follow me and are willing to step out of their comfort zone, for example by confronting them with materials they have never used before.

Success stories?
We have a lot of people who trust us, starting with the LVMH, who asked us to make chairs, and Richemont groups (we made mirrors for them). When we started, the French idea of handmade furniture was bourgeois, highly polished furniture – maybe even to justify its price – which I never wanted to live with. Then I got to know the Belgian and Dutch scenes, where there are so many designers making good quality things; at Milan Design Week 2018, I saw the first presentation of Brut Collective, and I felt a coherence that struck me. There was nothing like it in France: a drier, sharper, colorful, playful proposal. With a slightly sharper aesthetic. And we found our audience.

Theoreme Editions, Pleat Console by Victoria Wilmotte
Theoreme Editions, Udo Udo Coffee Table by Hall Haus

Goals, dreams?
The main goal is to come out with a very, very nice third collection. The first one was very fast, we did it in nine months. The second one was a challenge. But we made it. For this third one, about ten pieces, I would like a confirmation of what we have done so far. Dreams? Hard to say. I have always acted spontaneously, intuitively, seizing opportunities on the fly. Without plans, with a lot of luck. Which is something special.

There is a quote by the scientist Louis Pasteur that I love: “Luck helps the prepared mind.”
On Youtube there is a professor from an important French school who says, “Guys, for the last two, three years we have been talking about management. What I forgot to tell you is that you also need luck: here, in the next five minutes, I’ll tell you what it is. It’s not something that just happens, it’s a skill, it develops.” That’s kind of my video mantra. You always have to have a starting project, but you also have to have the ability to take the opportunity, to know how to change. A lot of times all you have to do is talk to people and the idea comes to you on a silver platter.

Theoreme Editions, Chair by Exercice
Theoreme Editions, Jellyfish Lamps by Emmanuelle Simon

Your next project?
As I keep discovering crafts, I’d like to curate exhibitions about them. In the meantime, I’ve opened up to art: in the office, I’ve shown Andy Warhol films that have never been shown in public, I’ve hosted musical performances; now we have works by Daniel Buren next to our furniture, our second collaboration with the Kamel Mennour gallery. The first was with works by François Morellet, which the gallery lent us. We sold them, so they suggested a second episode with important things. The next guest will be the Mexican sculptor Alejandra Vialada, and then we will pay tribute to the Olympic Games by creating a dialog between sport and design: with an exhibition on the body with images by the photographer Walter Pfeiffer.