My personal style icon is the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. No one sums up cool 1960s elegance quite like him.
The grooming staple I’m never without is Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage, which I’ve worn since I was 15. I have a very strong sense of smell and this has a lovely, light lemony scent. £65 for 100ml EDT; dior.com.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Older Than the Stars by Karen C Fox, which I’m reading to my four-year-old son. He’s obsessed with the planets and the stars, and this tells the story of the cosmic connections that tie humans to the beginnings of the universe. £7.95; charlesbridge.com.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the Haut Marais in the third arrondissement. Paris is really all about food and people-watching – and my favourite places combine the two. Café Charlot serves great coffee; Le Traiteur Marocain in the bustling Marché des Enfants Rouges sells irresistible sweets and pastries; and the seafood bar L’Ilot is the perfect place to spy beautiful Parisians scoffing oysters. Gallery S Bensimon is always filled with interesting objects in unexpected materials, and I love the concept store Merci – it’s a great launchpad for young designers. Café Charlot, 38 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 (+331-4454 0330; cafecharlotparis.com). Gallery S Bensimon, 111 Rue de Turenne, 75003 (+331-4274 5077; bensimon.com). Le Traiteur Marocain, 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 (+331-4011 2040). L’Ilot, 4 Rue de la Corderie, 75003 (+336-9512 8661; lilot-restaurant.com). Merci, 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 (+331-4277 0033; merci-merci.com).
The best gift I’ve received recently is a long weekend in Lake Como, which my wife Amalia booked as a surprise for my 40th birthday. It was as beautiful as I’d imagined. Lunch at Al Veluu was a particular highlight; the fruit and vegetables come from its own garden and it has the most magical view. Via Rogaro 11, 22019 Tremezzo (+39034-440 510; alveluu.com).
In my fridge you’ll always find piles of organic vegetables, a bottle of Bosa Prosecco and many tubs of za’atar. We have a family friend in Beirut who makes the perfect blend – sharp with extra sumac – but the Middle Eastern supermarket Green Valley does a good one, too. I like to eat it with olive oil and pitta bread as a late-night snack. £9.75 for 1kg; 36-37 Upper Berkeley Street, London W1 (020-7402 7385; green-valley.co).
My favourite room in my house is actually my garden. We live in London, so it’s a typical urban courtyard, but we’ve turned it into a private oasis filled with olive trees and potted plants. Amalia says I always look calmer when I’ve been in the garden – watering and watching things grow gives me a rare chance to switch off.
The last music I downloaded was the hip-hop track Beu2ful (Instrumental) by Lacks aka Ta’Raach. I was introduced to it by a new designer we’re working with, and it will always remind me of that particular creative process.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a psychoanalyst. I’m intrigued by how people work, emotionally and mentally.