Nightlife Renaissance-Man André Saraiva On Art, Fashion, And The Perfect Day In Paris

Nightlife Renaissance-Man André Saraiva On Art, Fashion, And The Perfect Day In Paris

The Parisian magnate holds forth about his life, his art, and the desire to constantly create.

Laura Feinstein
  • 7 july 2011


If NYC is the city that never sleeps, we might be inclined to think that Parisian-based after hours czar André Saraiva’s brain might be more in-tune with a New York state of mind than a French ‘joie d’ vivre.’ Between a thriving career as a graffiti artist, nightlife entrepreneur , and general man about town,  it’s hard to image Saraiva having too much free time on his hands. However, recently the multi-talented jetsetter was also able to add the title of filmmaker to his impressive resume with ‘The Shoe’ — his hotly anticipated collaboration with NOWNESS, Purple Magazine’s Oliver Zahm, and classic French shoe brand J.M Weston. Featuring Leo Fitzpatrick and real-life girlfriend Annabelle Dexter-Jones as the leads, this short film draws upon such wide ranging themes as lust, fashion, French culture, and Savaira’s personal history to tell the story of how one incredibly lucky pair of shoes makes its way through a Parisian afternoon.

After the NYC debut screening of “The Shoe” at The Standard last week, we were able to speak with Saraiva about his creative process, both in making the film and for how he manages to stay ahead as a constant innovator.

In your own words, how did this project come about?

I knew for sure it [ film] was something I wanted to do, even if it was making music videos. I wanted to tell a story, so I thought: ‘Maybe a movie?

What was the inspiration behind the plot line?

My life, my life in paris, a fantasy day, these were all a part of it. Where I would go, what I would do? I wanted to share this world.

I was only able to make the later showing, which I heard was on the racier side. Why did you decide to do two separate versions?

The first I made shorter for the internet, so people could watch the trailer and it could get shown in a variety of places. The director’s cut, the longer version, works more for a Parisian audience.

What made you decide to team up with NOWNESS and what was their involvement?

NOWNESS was an excellent group to work with. They helped me to produce the film, promoted it on the site, and really got things made. It also made sense because I’m friends with them- it was more organic process.

What made you decide to cast Leo Fitzpatrick (“The Wire”, “Kids”) as the lead?

Well, because he’s a good actor (laughs). He liked the story, and I knew I didn’t want a French actor. I wanted an American walking through Paris, and the things he would do or see being me for a day.

American audiences are a little less familiar with JM Weston. I know they are an iconic brand in France, but can you  describe the sort of cultural cache they have there?

It’s very classic thing to wear in France. It’s what the president wore- it’s a symbol of success. When I was a teenager, it was both for the bourgeoisie and the shoes of the bad boys. I remember in the early 90’s it was the the same thing. These shoes carry a lot of meaning with them for the French.

In addition to his wide- ranging influence on French nightlife, Savaira also has a prolific reputation within the street-art world, and recently appeared in the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

How has your past work as a graffiti artist influenced your aesthetic sensibilities ?

It definitely still has an effect on my work. It’s a mentality, a way of thinking. The freedom- you don’t scare easily. You don’t wait for people to give you authorization, you just do it. Doing other work, it’s the same freedom as I had with mr. A  (Saraiva’s graffiti handle). It’s a nonchalant attitude.

Do you still try to stay involved in that world?

I did a big show recently, Art In the Streets, at MOCA in California. I was part of that scene since I was 14- one of the first people doing graffiti in Europe. It meant a lot to me, but I also had to reinvent, to move forward. People grow up, but i’m happy to still be part of it in a way.

Now that you’ve taken on the art, nightlife, and film world- what challenges do you see on the horizon?

I always like to be working on new things, trying them out.  Next I’d like to do a longer movie. Also writing scripts and working on a book with all of my past work has been very important to me.

If you could have viewers walk away with one idea about the film, what would it be?

I want people to walk away with a smile.

While the movie will be released on DVD in August at the French boutique Colette (paired with the film’s soundtrack), check out a teaser for “The Shoe” below:

Thanks André !


Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Syndicated Yesterday

What Could The Highway Of The Future Look Like?

As technology for automated vehicles improves, there’s a sharper focus on building a ‘smarter’ infrastructure where they can thrive

Design Yesterday

Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

These French-made turbines are offering a small, aesthetically pleasing approach to affordable personal energy


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Home Yesterday

Dyson’s Wi-Fi Connected Fan Purifies, Cools & Heats The Air

The new luxury home appliance aims to be an all-in-one device for the connected home

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going


Jeff Tangney

Social Media, Health, Enterprise Communication

Advertising Yesterday

Brewing Company Turns Car Emissions Into Ink

Tiger Beer has created a sustainable process to transform air pollution into supplies for street art

Design Yesterday

Space-Saving Sofa Has Extra Furniture Hidden Inside

Living in an apartment with limited space? This three-in-one bed transforms based on your needs

Culture Yesterday

Browser Extension Blocks Any Pages That Make You Unhappy

The software can detect your facial movements and prevent content that brings up negative emotions


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 25, 2016

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Automotive Yesterday

Reserve Your Parking Spot Before You Even Get Behind The Wheel

A new Ford app allows drivers to select and arrange for a space in a garage to be available at the end of their journey, so they can travel worry-free

Work Yesterday

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Desk Is Becoming An Ecosystem Of Satellite Workstations

Our Future of Work vision is an app that frees employees from the tyranny of a static desk

Food Yesterday

A Tiny Amount Of This Powder Could Block All The Bitterness In Food

A new substance made from mushrooms can bond with taste receptors on your tongue to overcome unpleasant flavors

Asia Yesterday

Whimsical Dental Clinic Design Aims To Calm Patient Fears

Cheerful colors and a nod to the comforts of home are design elements tactfully aimed to help people relax

Mobile Yesterday

Messenger Service Only Delivers You Updates Three Times A Day

Formal is a new app designed to help people ignore the constant stream of texts from their phone and focus on what's in front of them


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Design Yesterday

Movable Vacation House Constructed Using Concrete Boxes

The 4,000 square foot building is made up of modular frames so it can be relocated if needed due to coastline erosion

Design Yesterday

Redesigned Electric Fan Collapses For Easy Storage

Conbox can be kept in pieces and packed away when not in use

Ai Yesterday

LawyerBot Is Now Helping Homeless People Qualify For Government Housing

This robot helps people get out of parking tickets and provides free legal advice to those in need

No search results found.