Ar­naud Zan­nier

Though Ar­naud Zan­nier comes from a fam­ily of fash­ion and wine, his own in­ter­ests lie in some­thing less tan­gi­ble: travel. The 45-year-old hote­lier—whose fa­ther, French busi­ness­man Roger Zan­nier, is known for his ready-to-wear brands and vine­yards—opened his first ho­tel, an ex­clu­sive chalet in the Megève, while he was still in his 30s. He has since cre­ated a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion em­pire for the Zan­nier name, with prop­er­ties in Namibia (where he also es­tab­lished a wildlife an­i­mal hos­pi­tal with pal An­gelina Jolie), Cam­bo­dia, Bel­gium, and soon Viet­nam. Robb Re­port caught up with the al­ways-ex­plor­ing entrepreneur on a lay­over in Bangkok, some­where around mid­night lo­cal time, to talk fast bikes, slow fash­ion, and the free­dom of go­ing ana­log.

How often do you train?

I have a per­sonal coach that comes to my house at least four times a week at six o’clock in the morn­ing and trains me for an hour. I have a home gym. I’m ag­ing slowly but surely, but I love sports and I al­ways want to be able to jump at the chance to go golf­ing or wa­ter­ski­ing at a mo­ment’s no­tice.

What do you do that's still ana­log?

Read the news­pa­per. I’m quite clas­sic in cer­tain as­pects of life. I like touch­ing the pa­per; I like the smell of it. 1 There are some things that the dig­i­tal world can’t re­place. Feel­ings and emo­tions are very im­por­tant, and for me dig­i­tal is killing a lot of that.

What in your wardrobe do you wear most often?

A very good pair of shoes from the brand that I cre­ated 15 years ago called NDC. 2 They­w­erevery­well-madeshoes—prob­a­bly­toow­ell-made.Andthey­w­eren’tabout trends at all. They were more clas­sic in terms of tech­nique and us­ing leather from the best Ital­ian tan­ner­ies, but had a con­tem­po­rary twist in the way they were fin­ished. It’s not my brand any­more—I sold it ear­lier this year—but I still have quite a big stock of my own.

How do you find calm?

I ride my BMW GS bike3 on a daily ba­sis. I find it very calm­ing. And work­ing on mo­tor­cy­cles calms me even more. Ev­ery win­ter, I buy an old vin­tage bike, and I spend the next six months re­build­ing. I’ve been do­ing this for the past five years now, so I have five so far. It’s very med­i­ta­tive to build some­thing.

What song is cur­rently in your head?

Tu­pac’s “Are U Still Down,” 4 which is a bit bizarre and old-school, but I have been lis­ten­ing to that song a lot lately.

What's the most re­cent thing you've added to your col­lec­tion?

It’s a small thing, but I just changed the dial on my Rolex Day­tona. I got my first Day­tona from my mother for my 20th birth­day, and when she passed away last year I de­cided to start wear­ing it again. It’s an iconic watch and I wanted to do some­thing with it af­ter own­ing it for 25 years, so I changed the dial from a white one to a black one. 5

What's the last piece of ad­vice you gave?

To my youngest son: “Stop look­ing at In­sta­gram, Face­book, and Snapchat!”

If you could stick to one age, what would it be, and why?

I like the age that I am at right now. At 45, you reach a cer­tain ma­tu­rity. You have enough ex­pe­ri­ences, and you also have sharp­ened your skills, but you’re still young. So you can do any­thing you want. We’ll see though—maybe 46 is even bet­ter.

When was the last time you com­pletely un­plugged?

Last week­end for three days while mo­tor­bik­ing in Spain. I was in the moun­tains north of Barcelona.

What's your fa­vorite cock­tail, and how do you make it?

Whiskey sour. I like it made very clas­si­cally. A whiskey sour is not a dif­fi­cult cock­tail to make, but hav­ing the right bal­ance is not easy. I pre­fer it made with a beau­ti­ful sin­gle-malt whisky.

What's your dream car?

I’d love to buy a Porsche 911 from my birth year, 1973.6 I’m ac­tu­ally look­ing into it at the mo­ment.

Bowie or Dy­lan?

David Bowie. Be­cause he’s Euro­pean! Jok­ing—his mu­sic is bet­ter.

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