When I started up this blog, interviews and opening up others to different people, brands, projects and events was something I really wanted to be able to do, it hasn’t been instantly but I feel that there is enough of a following now to warrant it.
If you haven’t heard of Louvine it’s a pretty cool brand hailing from Hossegor, France. They’re starting to gain some traction over here in the UK and there’s a growing amount of crew seen repping their threads. Myself included…
I caught up with Phil Richardson – Co-founder of Louvine and fired a few questions his way to shed some light on what his brand is and what it’s all about!
So Phil, you’re the founder of Louvine…Tell us a little about the brand. What inspired the brand and what was your background before Louvine…
It started a couple of winters ago on a dark and stormy evening in Seignosse, France. I was having a Jack Daniels with Mike Mailman – a good mate from way back. I told him I’d been casting my mind about creating something called LOUVINE. Mike; originally from Newport Beach in southern California happens to be a very talented, creative guy. A few days later he sketched out the OG logo design and we were away! We started the company SAS LOUVINE COLLECTIVE and opened our shop in Seignosse, France a bit over a year ago.
So the name Louvine. Aside from sounding good, what’s it mean. It’s French isn’t it?
Only in the South West pocket of the Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Ocean are Seabass called Louvine (pronounced Louveen ). It’s a word from the Gascon language, an old dialect. The name has a local identity and rings well in a variety of languages. In other areas of France Bass are called ‘Loup’ or ‘Bar’.
From what I’ve seen on your social media pages (Facebook and Instagram) you seem to have a pretty good lifestyle. Fishing. Living by the sea. Surfing. Good food and beers. – Tell me a typical day with the Louvine Crew. (We will say the fishing is on great weather and surf pumping)
Hossegor/Seignosse is a beautiful part of the world and I’m extremely fortunate to live here. The surrounding environment has inspired our brand
My day always starts with a strong coffee, that’s why I put some camp mugs in our range.
Our shop/office is across the road from the beach so if the surf is good and/or the bite is hot I try to get amongst it, sometimes only briefly if the day has a full program. If I’m too busy there’s always tomorrow.
Sounds like a pretty good day – good mix of Business & Pleasure. How do you see things for the UK market. Been seeing the brand popping up more and more over here!
I’ve just returned from a 2 day road trip to Cornwall. My first stop was Ben Field’s The Art of Fishing in Wadebridge. He will soon be stocking the Louvine range and I couldn’t wish for a better place to start our UK retail adventure. There is nothing more rewarding than getting out on the road and meeting the crew. The ‘Louvine Collective’ are all the people that support our brand. I dropped by FOWEY for round 2 of the Cornish LRF League. We send the guys over some prizes and our program is all about supporting grass-roots events. I’d really been looking forward to meeting everyone as I want Louvine to grow organically by building relationships with people. In the UK a handful of cool guys have supported us from the beginning and without them we never would have got anywhere. I am very grateful.
Sounds good, there’s a growing number of surfers/anglers round Cornwall. I agree, great place to start! Let’s get talking fishing then,If you could only fish for one species for the rest of your life. What would it be?
Dunno….It would have to be a species that takes lures presented in as many forms, styles and situations as possible. I am originally from Western Australia and it’s hard to beat land based Samson fish (Seriola hippos). Tough fighting, tricky scrappers that can dust you into the reef at any moment. Have to bring your A game to bag one.
Since moving to France a good mate Benoit Claverie has introduced me to bigmouth bass fishing. Les Landes, the local county has several bass stocked lakes and if you love lure angling I recommend you have a go someday.
Both species, from different marine environments take surface lures (bass more than Samson), plugs, jigs, soft plastics et al and fight like hell. Probably have to give Sambos the nod as they do massive runs and bass don’t. Can’t beat a big take and a screaming reel!
But you’re not just into fishing. As with me surfing is a big part of your life. How long have you been surfing. Are you a longboarder or Shortboarder?
My first memory in life is at the beach. My brother and I used to carry an old single fin down to the water’s edge, one on each end because it was too heavy. I still surf a 5’10” fish/shortboard but if it’s 1 foot and clean longboards are fun.
What’s your favourite wave or place you’ve traveled?
For a surf and fish holiday CAPE VERDE.
Ok so let’s have some quick fire questions…
Salt or fresh?
Salt because it’s across the road
Boat or shore?
Shore because I don’t have a boat. But after seeing that 13 pounder that Rob Boxall caught on his boat the other day I defo need one.
Hard or soft plastics?
Beers or spirits?
OUCH! Look out!
Wetsuit or boardies?
Boardies 4 sure
Haha, Sweet! Good answers…that is hell of a Bass Rob has… fish of a lifetime. Bet you’re stoked to see a Louvine hat in the shot too.
The best part about that is I have followed Rob on social media for a while and always enjoyed seeing his passion for fishing and life. I finally met him at the European Fishing Trade show in Nantes earlier this year with the Jersey Lure League crew and Mick from Mr Fish and now I count the crew as good mates. As I said earlier meeting people and interacting around the lifestyle we all strive for is what motivates me with the brand. When I see a friend catch a huge fish of a lifetime I am super stoked and feel part of it.
Thanks for your time again Phil. Just to wrap things up… Anything final you’d like to add? What’s next for Louvine, with the summer ahead I take it you’re going to be busy!
Spring has been epic in the shop. Our event THE LOUVINE STREETFOOD FESTIVAL went off with a bang! The upcoming Exposition LA VIE AQUATIQUE fish art show on 18th June will also build momentum rolling into summer.
I am thankful everyday for all the support. The little things add up and slowly the jigsaw puzzle takes shape.
Our clients are immensely important and we try our best to deliver and show respect. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and I apologise. Our mission is to constantly improve the range and find better supply chains. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It is a tough environment for small brands but I see and believe in our future. To use a metaphor - It’s day one of a test match with a damp, green pitch. The ball is seaming around and wickets are falling cheaply. We have survived the opening session and got ourselves a start. But, a lot of concentration and effort is required to build a big score.
Well there we have it…that’s Louvine