Zoom: Vincent Grégoire, Nelly Rodi

A: How do you see trend books in the future compared to the online websites?
VG: The paper version will stay! Nelly Rodi is indeed one of the first to have done this and it is not one against the other, both go together. They are super complementary! We are moving into a period where it will be about multi, multi lives, multi jobs, multi channels, it is the same thing: multi platforms. All on paper or all on digital devices, it is a no. I haven’t seen so many trends at this time around paper, calligraphy, libraries. The CDs, the vinyl discs, they work on fire, only if the tools are ‘wahoo’ [crazy, out of the norms]. We take our own photos, they are real masterpieces. The books are really beautiful, you can find samples in there, exclusivities, we do a lot of things by ourselves. It is obvious that if we do sh*t, we won’t go very far… But in the mean time, the ones who are only on the internet, whether in retail or in communication, they also die. So yes, the trend book is meant to be existant as long as it is an inspiration book, an emotional book, an art book, not too intimidating because you have to leaf through and use it, not be afraid to somehow damage it a little. It is really one with the other. There is a certain temporality in the inspirations, indeed some clients go back to the old books, those of two years ago even. It is a meeting between the speed and the slow. It must be a work of quality though.

A: Is this a gap due to the generations? will newcomer in the company still go through the pages?
VG: What is incredible with your generation is that starting from a moment, too much digital use, too much screen, there is sometimes a crush, he discovers the vinyl, he discovers paper, and he gets on fire because he gets passionate about it. There are other things, alternative options you [Y Gen] will discover beside digital that you are going to like also. We are very surprised and as you grow up, with a form of maturity, there is a quest of anecdotes, excellence, of ‘oh look this beautiful paper’, and it is the same thing in fashion. We buy something at H&M, it is fashion, it is bad quality, and one day you discover a six thread-cashmere. Always together, not one against the other. It is a whole educative process, you are getting experience and maturity. Remember, a quest of quality.

A: A lack of values in the latest generations?
VG: No, through our books, you are tasting things. Things you can smell, touch. Pop-up pages, it opens by itself, small disc with brass fastener in order to do neologism and stupid titles, mixing words in a fun way. You can’t have this on the digital. But on its side, digital can provide olfactory experiences, sensorial experiences. They evolve too. Nevertheless there is a sensation and an emotion with reality that is not comparable. Other experiences can be led with the digital. Augmented reality for instance. Things we can not do on paper. An Oculus Rift, to put an app in an AR device, to watch a runway show or to see a garment that can turn around, things that are only possible on digital. Sensors can translate some feelings but some things are impossible. We end up concluding they go together. You wear ballerinas during the week, and heels for the weekend, clothes for the day and others for the night, we live in ‘multi’. We are not stuck in a standard.

A: Talking about digital, there are now videos on Youtube filmed by a 360 camera
VG: Yes! I saw this in Japan. For now, it is really about entertainment. But we will see where it will lead, how it is going to be used. If I buy a vase on an e-commerce website, I want to be able to see it rotating, the top, the down, the movement. So it will surely open other possibilities but it is not going to stop me by purchasing online. The boutiques are dead… yes they are dead as soon as you get bored! If crazy things happen to be organized and make clients excited about it, we won’t be limited to screens. So basically you have to face the fact that the client is comfortably home right behind his screen. The shops should get back to nomad, meet the clients, talk to them, reinvent a new way to re-enchant the business, the creation or the communication because it is not completely lost.

A: Living an experience!
VG: Of course, it is one of these words we use the most nowadays. Our name is TrendLab, we are in a laboratory, we want to experiment. We don’t know about tomorrow. We start to have some ideas, but people are inventing Google, maybe done in the good way or the bad one, we don’t know. We need to stay lucid and vigilant. Tomorrow we can simply imagine it and tame it. Stop being scared of the manipulation of the living. These new ways of consuming, communicating, retailing are passionating.

A: What kind of impact does a blockbuster’s release have?
VG: A big movie is inevitable in terms of trends, a big cartoon movie as well. Same for Lady Gaga, we are following her in order to find out what she is doing because when she will release her new album, are her jazz or crooner origins coming back after being in a b*tchy neo-pop world? Miley Cyrus, I love her, same for Madonna quite a while ago now. Blockbusters yes, but there is a point where there are just too many super heroes. People may want to see super fragiles, people who are more vulnerable, with less power. The question is what’s next? It won’t be the same if it’s a robot, a cow, or a banana, a group of friends, a princess, etc. It does have an impact because all the magazines will talk about it. Nobody could miss Star Wars for example. Avatar 2 is coming out soon, too much time spent in the water to be ignored. A robot is not really desirable. Does a woman want to look like a robot? – When there was the superhero exhibition at the MET, all the releases of superheroes, Beyonce discovering Mugler, etc. then all the magazines think about the needs expressed by the individuals to become very strong because everything surrounding them is hard. They don’t have power anymore so they fantasize on people who have these superpowers. They look like they are super normal but people want to be super-not-normal. Finally it is not that complicated working in trends when it comes to find materials impulsed by innovation and digital, things that give you superpowers.

A: The film directors become trend setters…?
VG: Yes?… Some of them come to see us. We work on new TV series together, how to make an already existing series evolve, on which territory to work for a series project etc. We work with TV chiefs, producers. The art of living in general even if we come from fashion. Trends can be used in any fields by understanding the consumer. What does he want to watch on TV? Will he continue to watch TV? very short episodes or long series..? Games of Thrones..? quite unexpected. We found it a little sex and gory. Apparently people want this. Sex, blood, to play down. There is blood everywhere but people don’t see death anymore. Parents and grandparents don’t die at home anymore. The confrontation to death is not direct anymore. Film directors are taking all this off but we want to see reality, what’s behind the scenes. We need some no-fake, some sincerity, just like Beyonce throwing out a non-photoshopped photo of herself. And the new generation knows how to find the truth. If we want to believe it, we believe it, if not, we don’t.

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