Earlier this year, French designers Aude Jan and Charles Gout were forced to shut the doors of their Mexico City showroom and convert their Roma Norte apartment into an at-home designer studio. Yet, a transition isn’t out of the norm for the creative (and romantic) couple behind their incredibly cool brand, Audette, which specializes in leather bags and accessories.
“In the five years in Mexico City, we have moved 10 times in line with the evolution of our brand and our discovery of the city,” says Charles. “From sharing small rooms and even living in a squat with artists friends for a few months. Our new apartment is our first ‘home’ in Mexico City, and we’ve been living there for 9 months.”
Handmade in Mexico City, the handbags are bright, colorful, and constructed in such interesting shapes. It’s no surprise that when we got to see inside of Aude and Charles’s home, we were equally enamored.
“We have exactly the same inspiration between the design of our apartment and that of our collection,” says Charles. “The apartment is a reflection of our couple and brand. Aude’s family (father interior architect and mother patternmaker) and upbringing have given her classic design references: Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, or even Luis Barragán are among her first inspirations. The material, the precision of the lines, and the functionality of objects are important principles for her. For my part, my research is more about dreaming, surrealism, and pushes to color the whole apartment.”
Combining their living quarters with work was a fairly natural process since the couple is already used to being together all the time. “However, the apartment provided us with an exceptional working environment,” says Charles. “The soft light changes throughout the day and accompanies our readings, drawings, and all the activities involved in our creative process. We were fortunate to have furnished our apartment just before the crisis began and thus enjoy the different spaces according to the different tasks of the day. Our sofa and the terrace were the places for discussions and phone calls, when our wooden table, designed and handcrafted by the young Eduardo Altamirano, served as a drawing board.”
The combination of Aude and Charles’s French roots and a profound love of Mexico City is apparent in the home’s furnishings. And though the space isn’t too big, it offers an ideal simplicity for the couple. It’s space to grow and space to dream.
Admired by Audette
Favorite part about the neighborhood?
“We live in Roma Norte, a neighborhood with colonial architecture in the center of the Mexican capital,” says Charles. “In spite of the gentrification, it’s still a lively neighborhood with lots of small shops, incredible street food, and a lot of vegetation. What’s nice is this mix, you find Art Deco buildings juxtaposed with horrible buildings from the ’70s, small food stands in front of restaurants whose Mexican chefs are known all over the world. It’s an incredible source of inspiration every day, we don’t stand still and this tension of styles (specific to emerging capitals) makes us always more creative.”
Dream addition to your space?
“We have a beautiful terrace which is for the moment quite simple,” says Charles. “We’d like to set it up as a hanging garden over the city. We are currently designing with an ironmonger a large table that, under our garlands of lights, will be ideal to organize nice evenings with our Mexican friends, French [friends], and all the great people we meet in Mexico City. We want the terrace to be an extension of the apartment, that it belongs to the same universe so that the only difference is the sky instead of the ceiling.”
Last thing you had delivered/bought for your home?
“We travel through the labyrinths of the capital and especially love the garage sales, which are full of treasures,” says Charles. “I recently found a woman’s bust printed with a cloudy sky—looking like it came out of the Venus de Milo and the ’90s—a weird object, but I love it! Aude added a ni una menos scarf that was recovered during the march against femicides in Mexico on March 8.”