Photo credit: Oliver Hartman
Some travel writers concern themselves with the thread counts and spa treatments at luxury hotels. Darrell and Oliver Hartman, the brothers behind the year-old website Jungles in Paris, however, are more interested in the unique stories behind their destinations: the cultures, the geography, the you-won’t-believe-it-‘til-you-see-it treasures of places all over the globe.
From swimming horses of Jamaica to the exquisite craft of egg-painting in Romania, the Hartmans use beautifully shot and edited video, bold photography, and journal-style writing to transport their readers.
We caught up with the stylish duo to find out their favorite destinations—and what they wear along the way.
What inspired you to start Jungles in Paris?
DH: For the past five years or so I’ve written a lot about fashion and style, but I’ve also always been interested in good travel writing, faraway places, different cultures, natural history. I’m also inspired by films, especially documentaries. This blog was a way to combine those interests, and to meet people around the world who are shooting fascinating stuff. I also think the world is changing faster than many of us want it to, and this was a way to celebrate unique things that are in danger of being left behind: endangered species, delicate ecosystems, indigenous cultures, near-forgotten crafts and so on.
OH: I really wanted to create content that was stimulating and edifying to produce and create a platform to share it with other people to encourage curiosity and engagement with the world around them. We try to have each story have value—something that can be taken away, something that informs or inspires, not just disposable content.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled?
DH: Nepal, with Namibia as runner-up.
OH: Nicaragua and Northern Maine—not too far from where we grew up actually.
Where are you headed next and what is your dream destination?
DH: A big Europe trip in June—London, Vienna, Paris and a few other stops TBD. My dream destination is Patagonia.
OH: Riga, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tel Aviv and I’d really like to go to Greenland.
Jungles in Paris isn’t just about a place, but the story behind the place. What story are you dying to tell next?
DH: So many to choose from! Darvaza Gas Crater, in Turkmenistan, AKA the “Door to Hell.” Or any number of craft traditions in China that are dying out.
OH: I’d love to pursue stories that we can approach with even more unique audio and visual storytelling. The migratory songs of humpback whales off the Cook Islands, or the Champeta music movement in Palenque, Colombia.
Who are some of your favorite photographers/filmmakers to work with? Anyone else you’d love to work with?
DH: Among our contributors, it’s hard to choose one. As for future collaborators: to do something with Werner Herzog would be my dream, even if we just got him to be an advisor.
OH: I’ve had great experiences with all of our collaborators so far. I really love Ayla Hibri’s photography (Yemen Moto Taxis + Oil Wrestling) and it’s been fun to collaborate with some of the filmmakers who I typically work with on commercial projects. I loved Rick Rowley’s “Dirty Wars” and I’d like to work with more documentarians.
How would you describe your personal style?
DH: East-Coast-utilitarian, with a hint of Italian or Savile Row when I’m dressed up. I like everything from a safari jacket to a necktie pattern to have a timeless look.
OH: I used to say trashy classy, but now practical is probably the best. I’m usually thinking multi-purpose and packable since I’m traveling so frequently and trying to stay light.
If you were locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
DH: I’d be wearing this super-sharp Mismo bag, Boglioli’s Maine sport-coat (only partially out of home-state pride) and these beauties from Crockett & Jones, because I’ve never gotten around to owning a pair of monk straps.
OH: Basco’s short sleeve shirt with two pockets for lens caps, lens rags, batteries and airflow. The Rag & Bone officer boot protects the ankles from motorcycle exhaust, they lace up for snug fit for long walking and have a nice polish. I’d grab Hanro’s superior brief, which packs smaller and is more comfortable across scenarios than boxer briefs or boxers. Slick biker jeans for zip pocket security, good for grit and able to cover for semi-casual and able to handle some wear and tear and still look good.