My Vacation Style: Maison Kitsuné Cofounder Gildas Loaëc Surfs in Biarritz, French Basque Country

"I have friends that are proper surfers, but I need to take lessons this summer."

Image courtesy of Gildas Loaëc.

Gildas Loaëc founded fashion and record label Maison Kitsuné with Masaya Kuroki over 10 years ago. Since then, we've checked in with the tastemakers on numerous occasions about everything from their top 10 style tips to the Paris café they opened earlier this year. Here, Loaëc shares his favorite place to visit when he needs to get away from it all.

The Getaway: "For five or six years, I've been going to Biarritz [pictured below], on the Mediterranean side of the Atlantic Ocean. It's less crowded than the Cote d'Azure, cooler than Corsica or Nice, and more relaxed than St. Tropez. It's only a one-hour plane ride from Paris, so it's popular for French directors, actors, DJs, musicians—even Karl Lagerfeld has a house there! It's like a little Paris."

Vacation Ethos: "Parisians have to vacation in August because the city gets so empty. Business slows down, so we mostly leave the city to the tourists. Since we got Maison Kitsuné going, I've been working nonstop, but I love that. On vacation I won't work a proper day—just two or three hours."

Where to Stay: "I've got two kids—one is 3, and the other is 4—so we rent a house near the ocean with lots of trees and a garden. I love to feel like I'm in the countryside as well. But there's also a beautiful hotel in Biarritz, the Hotel du Palais, which used to be a palace. You can really see the Basque influences. The rooms are fantastic, with incredible sea views, and the Michelin-starred hotel restaurant is great."

What to Do: "The kids love to go to the beach, and I love the surf culture in Biarritz. I'm not a surfer yet, but I like to say that I will be one day! I still remember the first wave I took in the Plage des Basque. I have friends that are proper surfers, but I need to take lessons this summer. It's a very sporty city, with people biking everywhere—you don't even need a car to get around."

Insider Tip: "Rent a car and drive to the Pyrenees nearby to trek around outside. Biarrtiz is also known for its music. The Big Festival and the Rip Curl Music Festival are really fun. And on the 5th of August there are enormous fireworks, which are a big hit with my kids."

Pro Packing Tip: "I stick to basics. In the summer, it's just jeans and some white sneakers or loafers. I always pack some white T-shirts and a cashmere cardigan for the evenings when it gets colder. I take very simple things, but I'm a specialist in packing! The best thing I have is my Porter Yoshida Kaban suitcase, which I take everywhere."

Shop Like a Local: "There's an incredible place called Galeries Lafayettes. Jean-Vier is also great for locally made home goods. And you probably know Ladurée, but Biarritz is actually known for macarons, and the chocolate shop Miremont is the place to go for sweets. You can even have a little teatime also in the afternoon. It's very chic."


Image courtesy of Gildas Loaëc.

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