terça-feira, outubro 21, 2008

Entrevista c/ Carl Rohde (no Brasil) - Em Portugal dia 30 Outubro - Museu das Comunicações 18h30

When you’re talking about fashion and trend watching Erika Palomino is the absolute cream of the crop of South-America. She became well-known as a provocative columnist for the biggest, and therefore a bit safe, news paper of Brazil, Folha de Sao Paulo. “I blogged before the blogosphere even existed and was the first to recognize electro as a new musical genre. It was pretty big here but didn’t receive ‘official’ attention”. She helped put the Sao Paulo Fashion week on the world map – she still makes the daily Fashion Week newspaper. Now she is at the head of The House of Erika Palomino in Sao Paulo – a gallery with hip and inspiring conference rooms, art in abundance, exotic greenery and open air. And it’s the home of the most influential fashion magazine of South-America: KEY. The magazine is also exceptionally more authentic than the Brazilian Vogue-clone. “For a long time Brazil looked at the rest of the world and copied what was happening there. The Brazilian version of Vogue continued that tradition. But now we belong to the economically up and coming countries and also to the up and coming cultures of the world. We are proud of our roots and nurture and innovate them. That is what KEY stands for.” The editor in chief of KEY Andre do Vall (28) is a quintessential citizen of the world with one of the sharpest pair of eyes that I know. It is not a coincidence that he is also a Trend Filter for the www.signsofthetime.nl Top 15 of the Coolest Worldwide. Where Erika Palomino is the intriguing celebrity, Andro do Vall is the creative spider in a very big trend & and fashion network. “Www.style.com is the best place for fashion information worldwide. They have all the big shows. For awhile I found WGSN very impressive, with a lot of good info. But you can also drown in it a bit. For Brazil, lest we not forget a country of the future, you have to check out www.chic.com.br and, of course, www.ErikaPalomino.com”.

A double interview.

Does Brazil possess the future?
Yes and that isn’t only because the world is listening and our cultural self confidence is growing, but also because everything that is Brazilian is heavily being promoted by our corporate world government. It’s all going in the same direction. We no longer want to be seen as the land of cotton but as the land of innovative fabrics – and regard that as a metaphor for a lot more. We also want to be more recognizable for being on the multicultural forefront. Worldwide the first association with Brazil is Rio, beaches and carnival. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that; Rio ís part city and part beach. But that’s why Sao Paulo enriches Brazil’s image; the beach is a bit further away here and that’s partly the reason why Sao Paulo is becoming the city where the most (multi)culturally enriching events and experiments are being organized. Beyond the beaches Brazil remains the country of huge contrasts: We have more millionaires than in many European country. And a lot more poverty and the romanticized image of the quaint favellas for those who don’t actually live there have; and a lot of different religions. Altogether a creative and educative melting pot because, unlike growing parts of Europe, we look around at each others’ lives. The havaianas, those Brazilian beach sandals that took over the world, fairly illustrate Brazil’s new strength. Originally they were worn by poor cleaning ladies because the rubber is indestructible. But this commodity was successfully translated into a hip worldwide success. It’s a good metaphor of what we can and want to do.

What do you regard as the main trends of this moment? Worldwide, on your own continent, in fashion or in general?

1. High tech innovations
When looking at the fashion industry you can see that we are getting tired of citing the former decades again. The styles of the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s have all returned, to not even mention the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. At one point or another they all came back. By now all the imaginable shapes and looks that are possible in fashion have irritatingly been shown over and over again. Future fashion innovations will not come from these retro styles and designs. The future is in the discovery of and experimentation with new materials. We literally want to feel new things. Currently there is a revolution taking place in regards to plastics: t-shirts with a thin layer of plastic. It looks like a shiny supermarket plastic bag, but feels like soft silk. There is also a new nylon that changes color when it’s stretched. And organza, a naturally quite sophisticated material, can be made to look and feel like soft paper. All new tangible experiences. This is what the industry desperately needs because the H&M’s and Zara’s of this world immediately turn the shapes and looks of the catwalk into mass produced items. Even before the big fashion labels do so.

2. The 70’s mentality
The 70’s rule the fashion scene, especially in Europe and the Americas. Not necessarily in what we see, although we do see the influence of hippy culture everywhere: wide pant flares, ruffles, natural materials that, this time, have been worked on with high tech innovations, the return of the plaid and brown as a key color). But at the core of all of this is the mentality of the 70’s: escapism, handicraft, the embracement of dream and fantasy worlds and a psychedelic resurgence in fashion and graphic design. This mentality is now widely voiced in society and, to be honest, the resurgence of escapism isn’t that hard to explain: just like in the 70’s (the Vietnam war) the world is once again encountered with a (world)war. Escapism is a reaction to this social reality.

3. We’re all going mobile
Quite soon you will be carrying you home with you in your mobile phone. It already houses your music, your camera and photo album, your emails etc. Your desktop will lose its place as the epicenter of the world. By the way, that desktop will become part of the touch screen world as presented in the film Minority Report. The touch screen is part of the new tangible experience trend, see above, the first trend, that will render mouse related RSI a thing of the past. Your physical house will become less important. We are going to be on the move more often and better equipped than ever before with clothes that automatically charge our mobile phones, report Wifi spots and measure skin surface tension to help better chill out in them. And this also counts for the cars of the future. Right now they already are houses on wheels and new innovations will make it even easier to regard them as such.

4. Binge chilling through everyday activities
In the
www.signsofthetime.nl Top 15 of the Coolest Worldwide Marian Salzman mentions the phenomenon of binge chilling: relaxing because you deserved it and needed it, but to the extreme. Total agreement here! The next issue of KEY will be all about deep relaxation through the embracement of everyday activities. Walking down the street and loitering for the sake of a conversation. Long dinners with your loved ones. Taking delicate and intensely enjoyable care of your appearance. These everyday things, these shared common activities, almost even trivialities, are reevaluated and regain their shine. Ultimately that’s what it’s about. It’s real and true and because of this paradoxically provides a new type glamour, substantial glamour.

5. From real over superreal to hyperreal
This sounds a bit hasty, but we are already seeing this development in the coolest communication designs that we encounter worldwide. We all know what reality is. Subsequently this reality has been photoshopped to create a lot of new images. However, these images, these altered images, have now become mainstream and are mass produced, all too well known and consequently boring. Let’s call it the photoshopped superreal. But now a new layer is added to this photoshopped supperreal to create a new, innovative way to communicate. You can for instance project a slide, probably of an everyday situation or activity (see trend 4), on a canvas and paint the projected image. This is a new way to combine photography and painting. It creates a surprising result: no more flat superreality but a layered hyperreality. The past receives an enriching and renewing coating. There have been so many revolutions in communication media – from the internet to new media design techniques – that it’s pretty interesting when you view old realities through these new communication tools. It’s the future of a new wave of gripping communication. Google for example Franz Gertsch and his exposition Paintings of Modern Life. That’ll make it a bit lucid. Or just pick up the latest issue of KEY of course -J

In a separate section:

Interpretive summary:
1. Within the context of the Experience, we are pulling away from flagship stores and are craving new truly enriching content. A shift is taking place that has taken us away from the Nike flag ships (boring) to the Ipod (really powerful content) and will now lead us to innovative technologies that offer truly new tangible experience. Preferably surprising and intense experiences.
2. Mentality wise a (70’s styled) desire for escapism is developing. Not really strange in a time of war but coupled with the trend of high tech, innovative and truly enriching experiences a thrilling dynamic is created.
3. We can now leave the house better equipped than before. This trend is already affecting the fashion and the automotive industries in a major way.
4. Binge chilling, de-stressing to the extreme, will be a worldwide phenomenon. The little things and everyday moments will be what lighten up our existence from this point on. Let’s cherish them as tranquil nourishing points.
5. Images are transforming from real to (photoshopped) superreal to hyperreal: a more layered, innovative mix of old and new representation techniques. This sets it apart from the rest and illustrates its future potential!

Carl.Rhode@signsofthetime.nl leads Signs of the Time, a worldwide virtual network of market and trend research. He is currently also a proposed lecturer for the yet to be realized Fontys School for Quality Concepts Development.

Column: Mercado Arberto
Supplement: Dinheiro
00 55 11 3225 3752/54


Anonymous Anónimo said...

Antes de tudo, tem aqui um excelente blog sobre marketing, um excelente contributo.

Como especialista / académico em marketing gostaria que pudesse opinar sobre dois temas:
- O rumo do marketing. Vi uma entrevista ao Prof Luiz Moutinho que afirmava que o marketing pode convergir com a sociologia e estudos culturais;
- O ensino do marketing em Portugal.


Alexandre Rodrigues

1:30 da tarde  

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