Former creative director of Le Tigre, now surveying the scene at Le Carmen, Adrien Wend might be France’s younger, hotter Russell Brand. They’ve both got the shaggy hair and twitchy affectation, love of offensive speech and rock n’ roll. But while Brand is known for divorcing Katy Perry and grinning like a maniac, Wend is a nighttime force. He goes hard while maintaining ineffable Paris cool. Since he knows the doors and flirts with girls “for work,” we got his advice on finding love in the best clubs:


First, what do you do in Paris?

I was the creative director of Le Tigre, the club, for three years and a half, which was an amazing time of my life. Really exhausting, because when you’re running a club you have to be there every night you have to be, I don’t know, how do you say, en forme. You have to be ready! Even when you’re mad, even if you’re sad, even if you’re tired, you have to be smiling, you have to host the people. Some nights on a Saturday night I wanted to go to sleep and watch a shitty movie, but anyway, it was one of the best times of my life.

So I took a break, I went to New York for fashion week this February, and now I’m back in Paris. I’m going to work for Le Carmen, and I’m going to DJ Le Montana sometimes.

What were you doing in NY, specifically?

Basically I was in NY to DJ. I’m not an amazing DJ, but I love to play songs, to make people dance, of course. I was there to DJ, and I was there because I like to be in contact with fashion. Clubs, nightlife, some clubs, and Le Carmen is one of the clubs, Le Montana is one of the clubs, who are really connected with nightlife. During Paris fashion week, we have to book events with designers, magazines, and stuff. I have to stay in contact, and New York is one of the four cities really connected with nightlife, so I have to be there.

What is the best pick-up line you’ve heard?

That’s funny because, I don’t know if you’re going to write that down, but my ex-girlfriend did a blog and she asked me the same. And I used to say I called the girl a whore, pute, in French. But I don’t think it’s the best one.

And girls like that?

I don’t think they like that.

I think a French girl might prefer that…I think a French girl has more sense of humor than any other girl on the planet, so this pick-up line can be easier for a French girl, I think. But I don’t think it’s going to work for every girl. It’s impossible to find the best pickup line.

So what’s the worst pickup line?

Yeah. You’re a pute. Same one.

It’s like playing poker, you know? When you say all in, you have nothing, and you just pretend to have four aces. Just try, who cares. At least you’re going to get punched. That’s a great start! I’d rather be hated by a girl than inspire pity.

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What’s the hottest drink a girl can order?

The one that’s going to turn me off is a mojito or a royal mojito, with champagne. Or, I think the virgin mojito is the worst, because there’s no rum in it. That’s going to turn me off, for sure.

Oh, I would say whiskey. I mean it’s a guy drink, but if a girl orders whiskey–not a Jack, but a whiskey, yeah.

Do you think it’s possible to find love in the club?

Yeah. I mean, if she’s a part of the staff, you know. If she’s DJing or if she’s behind the bar, it’s the same for guys, it’s helping she has a certain kind of position.

During the night [in a club], you can be open, more trustful. There is a door guy, there’s more selection.

When you’re working the door, what will make you say, ‘Yeah, come in’?

The shoes.

What should they be like?

Just cool shoes. I don’t care about the brand, I don’t care if they’re actually dirty or not, just how look the shoes. Of course the face, is she cute or not, but that’s obvious.

So like heels? Are heels better?

No no, I don’t care, no, of course. If she has like Converse and a skinny jean I’m going to say yes too, but it’s got to be cool. Heels, also. Just, how looks the shoe? It’s not a matter of a fancy brand.

Face, of course. Is she cute, does she have charisma? Every door will say that. But I would say, shoes.

What do you hate, when a girl’s at the door and she’s trying to get in, what’s the worst thing she could say?

When she’s drunk and she keeps repeating the same thing: ‘Yeah, she’s my best friend, he’s my boyfriend’ and she’s going on and on and on, same line. Everybody says, ‘Why? Why? Why?’

And what’s your response?

In the beginning you try to be sweet, and sometimes you’re getting mad, you’re getting pissed and you say something like, “I don’t know, he’s ugly, he’s dressing like shit, and he has awful shoes.” You can’t say that, but obviously everybody understands it’s about something physical because when you’re at the door, you don’t check the bank account, you don’t check ID, you don’t check if he has cancer, or AIDS, if he’s like in good health. If he’s drunk you can see that, but if he’s like just normal and not already drunk, not on drugs, of course you’re making a judgment on his look, on his face.

So everybody thinks that it’s something personal, not physical, and at some point they’re a little bit right. But there’s something more that you inspire to the door guy to everybody something else, just like a look. And it depends between door guys and between everybody; it’s really hard to explain what’s wrong with the people. Of course people will say, ‘Yeah, he thinks that I’m ugly or that I don’t know what to wear.’ It’s not the only thing that we judge. There is another half that we can’t explain.

So the most annoying is when they’re asking, ‘Why?’ Because there is no answer.

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What about when you’re DJing?

Obviously when they’re asking for a shitty song. I remember in a club, Le Truskel, one of my friends who was helping me to create Le Tigre, he wrote a paper about the cost if you’re asking for a song. if you’re asking for a song, you have to pay 10 bucks. If the song that you ask is played, you have to pay 20 bucks. It was a funny menu, you know? If you’re asking for something cheesy or bad, it’s like more and more and more. There was a special line about Rihanna or Black Eyed Peas, where you have to pay ten thousand bucks. It was actually really funny. It’s the most annoying thing when you’re DJing, of course. ‘Oh yeah, it’s my birthday! Can you play that song?’ I’m not a fucking jukebox.

What is the best way to dance, if you’re approaching a girl?

Just not dancing. Just showing up.

Just like hanging out on the side?

No, just when you approach. First, you don’t know her, it’s not your friend, obviously. I don’t think my technique is the best one. But it kind of sounds cheesy or lame to arrive and be like [bobs head emphatically], when you don’t know a girl. Yeah I would say no, just don’t dance. Like maybe a little bit moving, but no dancing. Don’t try hard.

And if a girl’s approaching you, what do you want her to be doing?

Just being feminine. Don’t do the same dance a guy would do, but the same [idea], not trying too hard. Not being too slutty, not being too snob.

So, subtle. 

Yeah, sensual. If she’s showing too much, trying too hard, trying to impress, I would be turned off.

So do you notice differences between dancing styles in Paris and New York?

It’s pretty much the same, I think. We’re talking about the cool clubs, because I’m not going into like bottle service clubs in New York and Paris, I never go there. I don’t know how it works, it’s like different population, different music. I’m not going to talk about something I don’t know. I’m talking about the cool clubs in New York and Paris.

I think globalization is now in nightlife business. The music, the people, how we look, what we listen to is pretty much the same. So at some point you feel connected, still. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s a lot like Paris!’ Basically I know what I’m doing because I saw that guy–he has a different name, but I saw that guy. I know that girl.

Okay, so obviously you flirt at work. That was one of my questions, is if you flirt at work.

I mean, it’s part of the job. It’s why dating a guy who works in nightlife would be awful for a girl. You have to flirt, because of course it’s a business. It’s simple: if you have girls in your club, you have to at some point be nice to them because if they’re going to come and come and come with all the girls and all the people, it makes your club better. If you’re just mean and tell them to fuck off, they’re not going to come back again. And if one of them thinks you’re cute, same thing, you don’t have to push her away. Yeah, of course, flirt.

Article: Ella Riley-Adams

See also: Love Advice from bartenders: Joshua Fontaine (Glass & Candelaria)