Founded by renowned menswear designer Masamitsu Hata and entrepreneur Pierre Riviere, Timothée Paris was launched in 2017. The brand combines Japanese design with French creativity, and has become recognised for minimalistic designs that fuse luxury materials with comfort – ideal for active lifestyles in the City.

The brand is set to open its new flagship store this May in a suitably glamorous location: close to the River Seine in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris in part of the grand La Felicité development, created by the renowned British architect, Sir David Alan Chipperfield.

Masamitsu’s journey to this point is a fascinating one. He was brought up close to Hiroshima, Japan. But he felt that he didn’t fit in – and wanted to explore Europe and the US.

“For me, the culture where I was from in Japan was very much about ‘following’ a system of expectation, and that just isn’t me,” he says. “One of my distinct memories was that, for some strange reason, we had an Hermès store where I lived, which was pretty remote. I would stop and stare through the window in amazement at the products.”

Moving to LA to study and then to Ravensbourne University in London, Masamitsu was highly recommended in the Student Show of the Year Award at Graduate Fashion Week, where he met with its first winner Christopher Bailey and editor Glenda Bailey as part of the panel interviews.

Finding his feet in design after joining John Galliano as an intern making small samples, he then went on to join Berluti and Alessandro Sartori as a junior designer where he worked for more than five years. “It was a great time and learning curve,” adds Masamitsu. “I then approached Alessandro to see if I would be able to design a shoe range. He wasn’t going to go for it until I showed him the designs I’d be working on and that was it, I was then the shoe designer for Berluti.”

The culture where I was from in Japan was very much about ‘following’ a system of expectation, and that just isn’t me

Having met in 2002 when both were living and working in London, Masamitsu and Pierre were immediately drawn to each other, and remained friends until the opportunity to launch Timothée came along.

“It was obviously very strange for me as I’d never been part of the fashion world,” says Pierre, who had previously run his own restaurant and works successfully in the corporate real estate world. “My perception was one of glamorous parties, shows and café culture, which is of course very different to the reality of the industry.”

The first iterations for the Timothée brand were classic shoes such as loafers, Chelsea boots and formal work shoes. The move over to sneakers then became the driving force of the business. Retailing between £250-£350, each range is made at one of the most prestigious factories in Portugal.

With and evolving range of sneakers and shoes for both men and women, Timothée cleverly works simpler, cleaner designs such as the white leather Atlantique, with the more cushioned, built-up Cabourg sneaker and the ‘dunk-esque’ PYLA with new more detailed options coming later this year alongside Masamitsu's favourite loafer.

Timothée is also presented in a host of colourways and fabrics to offer a healthy set of easy-to-wear options for its wearers at a premium, but achievable price point.

Timothée Paris sneakers
Timothée Paris sneakers

“It’s also all about comfort,” adds Masamitsu. “We need our shoes to be reliable in terms of both comfort and style for our wearers and think we have a distinctly French city-life take on what that should look like. Our shoes are to be worn, walked and explored in – and are adaptable to an individual’s style in the city."

Stocked in stores such as Barneys New York in Japan, Timothée is now launching its own 40sqm store in Paris – inside a new complex, which is home to the So Hotel Paris as well as restaurant and bar Bonnie.

“For us, the space is unique for Timothée,” says Pierre. “It not only takes in a design that reminds Masamitsu of the traditional Engawa space at his grandmother's home in Japan, which includes the small garden space right outside, but it is within an area populated by international visitors to the city who we feel are very much the right audience for us.”

More information about the Timothée Paris collection and brand can be seen at