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Paris, December 21st 2012

    I am from a generation that has not been faced with war, cold, or hunger. My parents rebuilt Europe and the world after the nazi's fall. They opposed to the communists, who first looked appealing, but turned out to frighten them. They fought  against colonialism and apartheids. They sawthe birth and the independance of African, Asian, and South American States. They supported Gandhi, Mao, Castro, and Patrice Lumumba's struggles. They applauded Jackie and JFK in Paris. They saw Israel reborn. They blamed themselves for not having done something against the genocides in Biafra, Cambodge, Serbia, Rwanda.They also fought for the right to happinness, which is held so dear to little girls' hearts and to the American cinema, to be recognized for everyone. They demonstrated so that women can vote, get  an equal pay with men, and be able to have a checkbook. They gained the right to abortion and the abolition of the death penalty. They tore themselves, and cried a lot, for divorce and free love to be recognized.   

    While I went to the Studio 54 in New York, le Palace, les Bains and le Baron in Paris, the Mint in Hong-Kong. I enjoyed Megève in Easter, and Ibiza in summer. On New Year's Eve, and for the rest of the year, I would stay in bed until noon. In the middle of the 80's, I worked in advertisement, because it was trendy. I voted for Mitterrand because it was time for a bit of change.

    Since nothing serious, or harmful, happened to me, I never protected myself from AIDS HIV. I got married, and then divorced. Like all my friends, I bought my first Mercedes before I was 40, and a Rolex at 49, just like everyone else. At the Flore Café, I met the most smart girls, and at Castel's, the funniest and rudest guys. I will marry again soon, I will have a child, maybe two, and will go on living my happy-go-lucky life. I am from that transitional generation that never fought for anything, that was never asked to get involved.

    My parents carried out all the struggles before me, I just had to live. In order not to traumatize us and allow us to regress to a scandalous age, these Superheroes offered us psychanalysts, so that we can put the blame on them for everything.  I know that I will only leave a polluted world, over-exploited natural ressources, basically a devastated planet. We are witnessing the end of a world, and the beginning of a new one. A deeply changing world with an uncertain future is on its way. And I don't care;-) I am not the one to blame, that's how those of my generation raised us, without any sense of responsibility whatsoever. Not even regarding our future. 

    When suddenly, Bam! Here they are. Soft and Bearded. They don't stare down.

    They are just as impudent ad those who don't have the time, they're young. They share this astounding with those who know nothing. They want it all, right now, starting by our death, we the useless, the incompetent ! :-)))))

    I watch them with amazement, without any desire to be in their shoes. Those who are under 25, from the Baby generation, will have to face the climate imbalance, natural disasters and the ones caused by pollution. They will have to face the revolutions and wars, which are off to be many.

    They will have to undergo repetitive financial crises, in the form of I, II, V, W, confront to the overwhelming Asia which will take their jobs, with products which will soon be " Thought in Asia ", and all raw materials. Water will lack. They will have to face migrants, hundreds of millions of migrants, starving at their borders.

    To fit in the society the descendants of Salammbô(1), the young suburban people, who waited too long. They will have to struggle against new dictatorships ending by " ism ". Struggle against new mass destruction weapons. In order to keep their jobs, they will have the duty to stay young and efficient during all their professional life. They will use all the options offered to them by plastic surgery and technology. In order to beat their anxiety,

they will abuse new synthetic drugs. Boys will have to find how to carve a place within a new world where women will take the power. And they will be the ones who will put them to work.

    Together, they will have to reinvent a new family and love order. And, they will also have to pay for my retirement;-) But nothing will stop them.

     This century is a 12-year-old tempestuous teenager. And it's gonna rock  :+}

(1) Salammbô from Gustave Flaubert


    Fashion is an indicative of the world and the changes it undergoes. It often predates and goes along with society's evolutions. The 1789 Revolution sans-culottes, the gold rush jeans, the May 68 bras thrown out the window, the Islamist Revolution tchadors and burqas, the fashion industry sensors dress and undress History.

    50’s In an era when ready-to-wear didn't exist yet, tailors were considered as mere providers. It is only at the beginning of the previous century, in France, when the first models were then called sosies, that the first fashion houses run by fashion designers, men mostly, and Coco Chanel, appear. Christian Dior made the title of star fashion designer emerge, he achieved the status of a visionary artist. He personnifies the beginning of his century, and lays the foundations of a fashion industry.

    At his beginnings, he owned an art gallery that represented the young plasticians artists of his era – Giacometti, Picasso, Dali, this late borner creates at 41 his own fashion house et will be the inventor of the luxury industry business model. Shy and bossy, he

will from his very beginnings join Marcel Boussac, a manufacturer  who needed to promote his textiles plants. He immediately lauches, without performing any market study, his perfume Miss Dior,  which is until now a global success. On the screen, he surrounds himself with actresses, including Marlene Dietrich who imposes him in all her movies. They will be the ambassadors of the Dior  House and its new look in Hollywood. At the beginning of the women cause, he benefits off the stage from a network of influent women who are glad to to fight for women's rights at the sides of the one who, from 1947 to 1957, changed the face of fashion.

    The scandals that Christian Dior's collections trigger increase his celebrity. He will be faced with the right-thinking bourgeoisie schocked by the radiant and geometric abundance of the woman shaped by Dior : it will violently oppose the Avenue Montaigne fashion designer, sometimes even physically. Taking over the work of Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, and Paul Poiret, Christian Dior contributed changing the face of the world by dressing the post-war woman, growingly free. At the same time, the elitist and outdated Haute Couture is confronted to the democratic ready-to-wear born in the America. Rock music, stemming from Afro-American music, will appear in these years, along with Disneyland and McDonald's, and the rise of consumer society. Under all its form, Rock will go along with fashion of the upcoming decades.

    60’s At the beginning of the 60's, consumer society hatches, and so do ready-to-wear, fashion forecasting agencies as well as the profession of stylist. On an anonymous basis, this line worker creates designs for a new industry which has to respond to a strong demand supported by women's magazines. In this abundance era, there was room for everyone ; brands were not needed yet. A multitude of fashion houses appeared, small and big ones, with an identity as blurry as the sexuality of Sarah Moon for Cacharel's blossoming young women. The owners of these brands preferred not to display their names on the signs : they thought doing so was more " modern "than showing their names as the fashion designers used to do, and some of them with foreign-sounding names didn't find it relevant to mention their surnames. Among them was Zyga Pianko, founder of the Pierre d'Alby ready-to-wear brand.

    He hires many stylists from the 60's and 70's, such as Daniel Hechter and Sonia Rykiel, but also Agnès b. or Emmanuelle Khanh. It was then the golden age of ready-to-wear in Europe, the great time of the Sentier neighbourhood in Paris where the forced-march production takes precedence over creation and brand strategy.

It is also the starting of the hippie fashion period. Under its folkloric aspects ; quartz, soft drugs, communities life and slogans born from this " counterculture "such as small is beautiful, it contributes to the popularization of the quantum physics headways.

At the same time, in the wake of Christian Dior, his young assistants create their own ready-to-wear houses that they will name after them. They are called Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges. Though they keep on carrying out their Couture activity, they will also refer to themselves as stylists, which sounds more modern, give its nobility letters to the ready-to-wear fashion and take it to the streets. Couture soon becomes outdated.


    70’s As the heiresses of May 68, the 70's marked the peak of 30 years of post-war abundance. Even if there's still a long way to go, women have irreversibly gained a foothold in the civil society. The air of freedom and prosperity that was blowing at that time materialized in the boldness of the collections and the omnipresent colors. Styles rub without mixing : punk, hippie, disco, preppy...

Along with the Must by Cartier  experiment, with the precursor Alain-Dominique Perrin, this period heralds the time of  Bling and accessible Luxury.

Fashion houses progressively close their doors and are soon replaced by ready-to-wear shops whose stylists, owners of their eponymous brand, will soon achieve the status of Creators.

    80’s Since the 70's, France has seen the financialization of its economy stimulating consumption at the expense of its economic activity and debt. What is now known by all results in plants closures, jobs exports to Asia, cascading financial crises repeating at a fast pace. The 80's  witness a multitude of styles, the most varied ones, along with the crises in V, W, / and /// it is facing. At the beginning of the 80's, the world is living in a bubble, a financial one. It relies on money, partying, a certain idleness supported by the French employment agency that has just born, a democratization of the drugs consumption which until now was only for the elite, the onset of the first AIDS cases and a fair amount of cynism. Its aficionados are called hipsters,  the ill-informed call them  pipsters. They meet in the trendy places to be : the Studio 54 in New York, the Palace, the Sept and the Bains Douches in Paris.

    The liberal America and the New York Stock exchange have the wind in their sails. And so have lofts, industrial furniture and lamellar blinds.

    In this speculative period money talks and plunges the world of creation in a state of frenzy, fashion lives a paroxysmal era personified by a new stylists caste with overflowing inspiration and oversized ego, in need of recognition. They aspire to be the ready-to-wear fashion designers and proclaimed themselves as creators. These catwalks gods reinvent fashion shows in order to make shows in which they stage themselves, they add the music and lightings of night clubs, where they are welcomed as V.I.Ps. Their models are the new superstars. 

    Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Azzedine Alaïa, Kenzo Takada, Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier are, each one in its own way, its most talented performers. Brilliant strokes and provocation are both part of their mode of expression. Jean-Paul Gaultier mischievously sends turkeys to the editorial offices of the most renowned fashion magazines. They turn their fashion shows into eagerly anticipated events which become, thanks to the development of civil aviation, major migrations periods. The new jet set sits in the front row : the rock stars whose girlfriends are striding along the catwalk, politicians ahead of their time, fashion editors who make and break reputations while working on theirs, unstoppable – and influent for some of them - press relations officers, European buyers who galvanize this little industry more focused on itself than on financial success, Japanese and Korean

conglomerates who are their main source of income.

    And all those who jostle to be let in. The movie Wall Street (1987) from Oliver Stone is an accurate reflection of that period. In France, Bernard Tapie, the very bling and extremely mediatized businessman who dreamt of being an artist symbolizes this decade. It's the era of buyouts of almost bankrupt companies for a symbolic dollar, followed by their split sales. Which results in a substantial capital gain for the investors, and unemployment for the employees. It is the end of the French industrial sector.

    In 1987, at the end of this crazy about money period, a bored game comes up that transcends this state close to neurosis " the Airplane game"where six individuals at the bases of a virtual pyramid pay so that the one at the top wins the bonanza and leaves its place to them. The banknotes envelopes passed across Paris through fast delivery men. The last ones will find themselves the first to be laid out.

Though it had been foreshadowed long before it took place, the 19th of October 1987 crisis, or Black Monday crisis hits with full force the world and especially Japan which overnight stops subsidizing  the young Creators.

This prefigures the 2009 financial crisis. In this time marked by a fear of the future the hipsters turn their backs to the abuses and cynism of the decade in order to rediscover the true values, held so dear to the Herta sausages and the Bordeaux Chesnel rillettes.

    This change in trend is prefigured by the movie Bagdad Café (from the German director Perci Adlon in November 1987) that heralds the end of the hispsters and a return to the family and labor values.

    Out with the tycoon model coming from big industrial and financial anglo-saxon capitals. It has been replaced by the exemplary and authentic lifestyle of the first pionneers to reach the great hostile plains of the Far West. A small world made of efforts and union around the simple joys contained in the family cart. Returning to the American roots soon becomes the shared ideal of a successful life, in Paris, Nantes, or Marseille. The past, homes turn into fallback bases. A strong Far West revival, a comeback of the ancient New Frontier emerge.  This period sees an inflow in our shops of Native Americans blanket, tex-mex furniture from our brave pionneers. We swoon over Mormons, Amish and Quakers hand embroidered linens. We adorn ourselves with modest blouses. We now only swear by the iconic furniture of our ancestors, made of weathered wood or naturally seasoned leather – rocking chairs, Chesterfield couches, our grandmothers mirrors, big comfy pillows, cumbersome footstools, the good old smell of polish comes into our scared homes.

    Brunch invites itself at home, it allows friends to meet on Sunday around a late meal that offers the added advantage to combine breakfast, lunch and the kids afternoon snack. At a time marked by the struggle for life motto, sport comes roaring back with Veronique and Davina, kings of cocooning welcome their tribe in duffel sportswear that can be used for everything, comfortable and thus unelegant. At the climax of the cocooning trend, they move around with a not less unelegant black nylon backpack, so convenient when you need to cart around your whole house ;-). In the best case scenario, it is a backpack from Hervé  le Chapelier.

    As thick as a brick, boring to death, here comes cocooning. It's the great leap backward, the turning inwards. Against the violence of the economic crisis, which even communism not resist, the old values are called in reinforcements as a benchmark. Nothing is too old to reassure for one's future. The past reassures, it has become a benchmark. The word " since "gradually spreads as the certificate of origin  of a brand, a reassuring label. An anxiolytic that sustainably asleeps the creativity of fashion.

    The Since, Roots, True Values and Cocooning wave that swept from Northern America is so powerful that the immense majority of the French brands, new and old ones, opportunely mount the Tex-Mex comeback horse. Although the brand was just 9, Chevignon, a dazzlingly successful French brand targetting a young and urban audience, cannot resist the calling of Mexican decor,  or the temptation to write " Since 1979 "on its front

windows. Today, these are the same brands that use the term " Luxury ", rendering it meaningless.

    In this new economic context of cut-throat competition the Creators are replaced by more structured stylists which at the same time will gain an Artistic legitimacy. The Artistic Director, also called D.A., is born.

    It is not a coincidence that the title of artistic director comes from the world of advertising that conducted campaigns which had marked the end of the 70's and the beginning of the 80's dedicated to the passionate consumption of the goods and the beings. The previous decade also has been the one for substantial increase in the hours spent in front of the small screen because of new TV channels, democratization of the first video recorder which made us set a foot in the video on demand era, at the same time when the the first video games where released. Faced with a captured audience, communication and the media will soon play a more important role in brands identity and in the collections making process.

    One recalls the analysis of  the incredibly smart Patrick Le Lay : “basically, TF1's job is to help Coca-Cola sell their product”. The world had to move on towards the future, the new frontier was space. The conquest of new liberties as well as technology were the guarantors of a world free from war, disease, or famine. In a world resolutely oriented towards the future, the past was a handicap for brands. At the end of the 80's, with the crisis

declaring itself, the past has become a fashion trend that will permanently settle in our wardrobes and become a selling pitch.

    At the beginning of the 80's, the Italian brand Tod's, with its recent past (1978), builds itself in a sustainable way, on the myths and founding values of the U.S. East Coast. But it is by claiming its history that relies on Italian culture, and a unique craftmanship that Diego Della Valle, an undertaking founder and artistic director as unconspicuous as omnipresent, that the house  could to last and build an empire that relies on the quality of its products and creation. Just like its model, Hermès. Tod's will soon become one of the major global fashion groups, based on quality and not Luxury, as it claims it is.

    In Paris, under the charismatic leadership of Jean Louis Dumas Hermès, the family house that has never abandoned its hand-sewn traditions, the quality of its accessories and collections, and the exquisitely French way of welcoming its clients, and visitors, soon reconnects with record profits. The penniless youth under 30, by appropriating their grandparents vintage clothes and bags, paved their parents' way to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré institution.

    It is during this chaotic period, from 1984 to 89 after the construction industry professions and the real estate promotion that Bernard Arnault will rely on banks in order to buy out the Boussac group, the Dior house and le Bon Marché.

Then the financier rapidly takes control of the LVMH group which is seeking investors. At the same time, Bernard Arnault launches a takeover bid on the word Luxury which he soon appropriates in order to turn the fashion world into an extremely competitive industry. In addition to champagnes, the group now  owns the Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Céline, Berluti, Kenzo, Loewe, Marc Jacobs, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, DKNY... houses, distribution brands such as Sephora, La Samaritaine. As head of his houses, which autonomy he will preserve, Bernard Arnault  places carefully selected and valued artistic directors, who are often in a distressing situation. LVMH develops by buying out competing or emerging brands. Bernard Arnault spots, then manage them just as Monsieur Boussac did with his racing stables. This visionary industrial, daunting businessman, is probably the best artistic director of his Group.

    As soon as 1990 he will use art as the backbone of the group's public relation after buying the auctioneer Tajan, and the auction house Philips. The Louis Vuitton foundation, designed by Franck Gehry, will soon emerge in the bois de Boulogne. What a long road traveled since Monsieur Chistian Dior's tiny gallery in the rue La Béotie ;-)

    In 1986, the American fashion designer Ralph Lauren takes advantage of favorable cultural and economic conditions in the USA in a very risky and costly challenge, that has been postponed a hundred times by all American big brands : to settle in Paris.

Acting as an artistic director and a businessman at the same time, Mr Lauren personifies all the founding myths and virtues of a victorious and hard-working America, thanks to his numerous collections and his family. He makes France dream. Ralph Lauren makes a grand and successful entrance, place de la Madeleine, in a building in which the rents were, at that time, the highest ones in France.

    The public, young and old people, now look at the cupboards of their elders, parents and grandparents, and invent the vintage style. They will soon plebiscite the revival of old brands. By distancing themselves from a renewal in fashion creation, these worried young people dress themselves as dead people...

     Pleased by this new craze of renewed customers, Luxury houses will make the most of this opportunity in order to learn two news words they used to find coarse not so long ago : marketing and advertisement.

    90’s On the brink of collapse since the 1987's Black Monday, the world is scared, fashion splutters, repeting the past decades. Fascinated by minimalism and American and Italian marketing, the small world of fashion and its festivities fled from Paris  that

sank into depression to migrate to New York and Milan.

A Star is a complete marchandise : there's not a single centimeter of her body, a fiber of her soul, a memory of her life that can't be thrown to the market ”, Edgar Morin in. Les Stars, (Seuil publ.)

    In this context of absence of creation predating the restart of a global economy driven by the stock exchange and the real estate industry that will lead to the subprimes crisis in 2008-09, in 1990 in Milan, at Gucci which was then almost forced to close, a young Texan, last occupant of a deserted house creation, will refresh the horsebit brand's mocassins, by returning back to the trademark and cocooning basics, inspired by Tod's recent success and by the new rôle of accessories in the fashion economy. Thanks to Tom Ford, the unhibited American who hangs out with New York rappers as easily as with members of the Milanese society, fashion goes from show-off in the 70's to bling-bling. Just like he does with his collections, Tom Ford stages himself in a very talented way. His true genius lies in his extraordinary vitality. Along with his friend with Carine Roitfeld and the photographer Mario Testino, they are the inventors of the Porno Chic trend and the promoters of a new women's sexuality inspired by the gays, characterized by multiplicity and the absence of any kind of affect. Swinger clubs soon become hype places where it is good form to have a drink. This is where you meet the Parisian high society of fashion and politics.

    Right after the movie actors and models, the artistic director achieves the status of star artistic director. He exposes his life and becomes a whole part of the brand.

    From 91 to 99, François Pinault the woodsman, another professional of the building industry shows interest in finance and companies buyouts, before investing in the retail industry by buying out the Conforama retail chain to Bernard Arnault in 91. After that, he will make the acquisition of La Redoute and Le Printemps in 1992. Acting as head of the PPR Group, controlled by his holding Artémis, he will also purchase the Fnac in 1994 and Gucci, and enter in a competition on the luxury field with Bernard Arnault. He progressively gets rid of his trading activity in order to create the other French luxury group including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta... In 2007, François-Henri Pinault, his son and designated successor, purchases the sportswear brand lifestyle Puma. PPR relies on a specialized distribution network, as well as on the Internet where it had cleverly been investing since 1995. Just like his competitor, he is the owner of several important news magazines.

    Though François Pinault, an enthusiastic art collector since the 80's, is the owner of the auction house Christie's and of the Grassi Palace in Venice where he exhibits some of his contemporary works collections, there's no artistic vision of the Group's public relations strategy.

    The strength of the PPR's group lies in the Pinault's family Breton roots, in its land values that the Group suceeded putting forward by producing the environmental movie HOME from Yann Arthus Bertrand. Because Luxury is also about handing over.

    France's roaring comeback at the center of the Fashion game at the end of the 90's is the result of a successusful combination of talent and will of a handful of men and women that knew how to take advantage of the History and France and Paris more particularly, in all creative and political domains. It's the brainchild of daring captains of industry (Bernard Arnault, Jean-Louis Dumas Hermès, François Pinault) who knew how to combine the creativity of fashion and its professions with the mastering of financial instruments and capitalism. This comeback has been made possible thanks to creators that came from around the world to enrich our heritage, fascinated by France and its history. Thanks also  to the tenacity of some craftsmen like the embroiderer François Lesage who managed to keep their production workshops in France and perpetuate unique professions. Thanks again and again to the founders of the shops L’Eclaireur, Maria Luisa, joined in 1997 by Colette, as indispensable bridges that where able to convey to the French and international audience their taste for fashion and creation. All of this took place under the patient coordination since 1990 by the French Federation of Couture at the initiative of Didier Grumbach, a reserved, determined man, a lover of creation and a fierce defender of his independence.  He is from an ancient French family of textile industrials  who has worked with

the greatest fashion names. Whether in the family businesses, or for his various firms in France and abroad, at Thierry Mugler or at the French Fashion Institute, his action, far from being driven by nostalgy, has always been guided by the promotion of French contemporary creation and its future.

    In 1992, Monsieur Grumbach brings the Haute Couture back to life, the last jewel of French fashion, who had been agonizing since the end of the 60's. He sets up a guest member designation that will allow Thierry Mugler to organize a fashion show during the Haute Couture and revive the very elitist yet desperately empty agenda of  the Federation of Couture, that was as desert as the Avenue Montaigne at that period. Didier Grumbach will patiently and gently pull this fragile thread in order to bring France back to the center of interest of all stakeholders of this very particular industry. The press as well as the international buyers, tired by marketing and American and Italian minimalism, come back to Paris who soon regains its position of world capital of women's fashion. Haute Couture, with its January and July parisian fashion shows will be showcasing the global reach of French fashion and Luxury Groups, LVMH and PPR.

    The “appearances” industry, fashion, design and cosmetics,

represent a substantial part in the French economy, and because of its artistic and cultural characteristics it brings an extraordinary contribution to the reputation of France abroad. The representatives of these Luxury Groups are ranked first and sixth among the biggest French fortunes, Madame Bettancourt is ranked fourth. The Hermès family comes third and the Wertheimer, owners of Chanel, eighth. Thierry Gielder, founder of the Zadig & Voltaire brand has just got in in the circle of the 100 biggest French fortunes.    It is surprising that the French Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs never appointed as Goodwill Ambassadors those who embody best the French contemporary spirit and their industries' rôle in the French economy :  Azzedine Alaïa, Inès de la Fressange and Philippe Starck.

    Just like the others sectors of the economy, fashion has turned into a capitalistic and financial industry. The French and Italian Luxury Groups are therefore in battle order to seize a now globalized fashion market.

    2000 / 2010 Those are the bling years. Since the economy is running at full speed again, the fashion brand D.A.s become absolute stars and recruit their movies alter egos  for the press relations strategy of their brand, and of theirs. The fashion industry turns out to be the main actor of the Cannes Festival.

    Haute Couture houses move from the whispers of quiet lounges, to scandal that has become highly fashionable and also

the name of a perfume from the most secret of them. Then it's gonna be the big screen stars' turn to become artistic directors, Adjani for Lancel, Kate Moss for Longchamp, Amy Winehouse for Fred Perry, David Beckham for H&M. Victoria Beckham launches her own brand, and so does Kanye West who chooses Paris for his fashion shows, just like Zahia, a “Nana” from the 21st century backed by Karl.

    The installation of Louis Vuitton in front of the Fouquet's in former bank premises, on the left sidewalk of the most famous avenue dedicated to women and luxury the Champs-Elysées which was deserted since the end of the 80's, allowed the place to regain its place of “most beautiful avenue of the world”, at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the monogrammed brand. The right sidewalk remaining the territory of fast fashion, fast foods, and of the suburban train exit.

    All the players of fashion and of trendy industries turn into D.A.s, and for the best of them stars : Anna Wintour, the US Vogue's boss, Carine Roitfeld, Vogue France's chief editor that she set back on the track turns herself into a physical medium for the products. As well as Alain Ducasse, inventor of the Haute Cuisine who runs an empire of 20 restaurants, he is the professional and economic landmark for the new chefs generation. The Louvre museum is not outdone by this trend, and opens a branch in Abu Dhabi. Carlos Ghosn at Renault, becomes the living god of executives perfumed by Hugo Boss. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is the symbol of young

people who want to become millionaires before they hit 30, without having to work, just by raising money from investment funds, thanks to a business plan. We are thrown in the pre-Black Monday 80's, at the era of the “Airplane Game”. Nicolas Sarkozy is the omnipresident, an extraordinary showman, who, just like Tom Ford cannot deny his taste for trophies an  bling style. In order to stay young and productive for as long as possible, they eat organic food, are very careful about their physical appearance, and live in Alexandre Allard's palace and move around in private jets and limos.

At that time, quantum mathematics, which emerged at the beginning of the former century become the dominant thinking on which lay the speech and policy of brands.

This is when emerging brands make their appearance. With two collections a year, they share the same business model than Luxury houses : deliveries produced in countries where labor and textile are cheaper, but without renouncing to quality when possible, distribution through a network of shops owned by them where they make two-figure profits in order to invest in their press relations, expand their collections and multiply the number of their outlets. They are forerun by  Zadig & Voltaire, which will quickly be followed by Sandro, Maje, The Kooples, Vanessa Bruno, Isabelle Marant and Jérôme Dreyfuss. Thanks to their style and their press relations strategy, they successfully managed to create a strong emotional relationship with their clients.

They also claim they are from the affordable Luxury family.

    In the USA, emerging contemporary brands, such as Alexander Wang, Haider Ackermann,  Marc Jacob, or Phillip Lim carry out deliveries to their shops once a month, in addition to the fashion show collections.

    Let's also mention the two major players of fast fashion, Zara and H&M, wwhich owe their success to a smart mix of mass-market techniques backed by sharp logistics and a press relations strategy inspired by the Luxury sector. Their styling offices are located all around the world in order to have a better anticipation the markets demands.

    They partially restock the deliveries to their shops once or twice a week and use the same features than luxury houses : lengthy collections which are most the time widely inspired by the ones that has just been seen on the catwalks, capsule collections by celebrities or famous D.A.s (Sonia Rykiel, Karl Lagerfeld) and global advertisement campaigns featuring top models and famous people. They share an important number of clients with Luxury Groups and emerging brands. These competiting propositions has brought the major houses to invest in creation and release 6 to 8 collections a year : the fashion show collection, a pre-collection or cruise collection delivered at the beginning of the serason prior to the big collection, plus one or two intermediary collections delivered in the 3 or 4 following months, just before the sales period. In addition to the Couture collection,

for those who present one.

    Not mentioning their Men's collections when they have. Along with as accessories and Kids collections which are becoming more and more important in the long-term brands strategy. In order to satisfy and surprise its clientele, Chanel presents 12 collections a year.

   All these houses now aim at the new generation that know their names and communication modes since its very childhood. It is via their lookalikes, celebrities' daughters and sons and it girls that luxury brands have been acting like on social networks  that the big Luxury groups have target a new generation who is under 25: the Baby.

    They get to the labour market and will soon take power as their purchasing power increases. They have great influence on their parents. They are tomorrow's clients of the fashion industry that well knows it won't be easy to capture them once and for all. Brands are gods who stand on fragile feet.

    The Baby has learnt how to read and write on computers, he gets information on the Internet where Facebook and social

networks buzz, which is the rumour of older times. He will live in a new world where the Internet, Asia, and the conquest of civil liberties led by women will play a decisive rôle. A Baby is not scared about the future for the future belongs to him, and he will no longer accept the codes that luxury brands have been proposing since he was born. A new speech, new brands, are appearing. These newly born brands, corresponding to the Babybrand model, are produced locally for an eco-responsible local market. Promoted via the Internet, they are also distributed all around the world by air couriers, such as DHL.

    26th of June 2008 / There are some events that mark the era better than a book or a movie do. The Demolition Party, or uninauguration party of the Royal Monceau Hotel, is one of them.

    This party to remember was the biggest highlight of a strategy set by Alexandre Allard that aimed at fitting into the cozy world of the luxury hotel business. This great entrepreneur, who sees things with a child's eyes gathered all the characteristics of the bling era for the only purpose of valuing his real estate project : the luxury decor of a dusty five-star Parisian hotel, a star architect, the art and music world, members of Le Baron high society, and a few celebs. Everything you need to create a buzz that is intended for the silent world of finance.

    After first making his fortune at thirty by selling out his behavioural databases company, Alexandre first cut his teeth in the real estate at the sides of his friend, Thierry Gillier. He notices that, unlike other worldcapitals, Paris has aging five-star hotels but none is worthy of receiving his alter egos, new billionaires in their forties who land their jet at Le Bourget. And that sucks. A lot.

    In 2007, he buys out the Royal Monceau, which then looked more like a quiet guesthouse than a five-star hotel. His goal was to turn it into a residential palace with suites as big as a tennis court, a monumental spa, a bar worthy of a transatlantic liner and a luxury shop where the wives of the new milionaires in jeans and sneakers can patiently wait. They are essential to the balance of all the new business Formula 1 which are extremely solicited

and  capable of leaving the road anytime.

    In order to achieve its project, Alexandre Allard called on the architect, designer and socialite decorator Philippe Stark who also knew how to preserve his inner child and who, by the end of the 80's, had imposed the new hotel field rules by inventing the Royalton and the Paramount in New York first, and the Mondrian in Los Angeles.

    Alexandre won't wait for the opening of the new Palace before communicating on his new toy. In a unique media stunt, he announced the end of an era and the birth of a new economic world order. He puts up for giant auctions the old furniture of the hotel organized by the spirited Maître Cornette de Saint-Cyr, and houses for one month twenty contemporary artists including Arne Quinze who will design the L'Eclaireur shop, rue de Sévigné in Paris, André the artiste founder of the Baron and Jean Feldman, an adman and friend of Jacques Séguéla. Far from acting out of capriciousness, Alexandre Allard is showing his power at the very beginning of a two-tier century which is driven by the Great God finance money. That's how his epic conquest of the luxury hotel business starts out.

    Announced by a few videos on Dailymotion and Youtube, the information has also been reproduced by the international press. The Demolition Party took place on the 26th of January 2008 and it was sumptuous, incredible, orgiastic.

    All the Parisian high society was here. The fauna that met there was so incredible that even Jude Law, Sébastien Tellier, and Guillaume Canet went unnoticed among a thousand guests of all genders watered by inexhaustible champagne fountains.

    The guests, worshipping the golden calf, hammered the vestiges of the ancient world. All the works there were destroyed, as well as what remained of the furniture, mirrors, bathrooms, room walls. Everything has been destroyed at a big barbaric party.

    The 2009 financial crisis will sober up everyone, and on the 18th of October 2010, Alexandre Allard will discreetly open the Palace's door, in the way required by the new decade.

    At the Elysée, the French presidential palace, the president Sarkozy no longer offers to the French people working more to earn more and exchanges his Ray-Ban sunglasses with less media exposure. Alexandre Allard is also Balmain's trustee.

    A Baby, who is under twenty five, has a perfect understanding of the  globalization of the world and its economy, of the new family, sexual, and love order, of the cultures and peoples blending, as well as of the environmental and organic emergency.  He plays with new technologies, and benefits from the improved access to knowledge via the Internet. A Baby's ability to access, process, and store data and all kind of information is immense, unimaginable. Almost all the human knowledge is one click away from any teenager's room. For the first time in the history of mankind, a Baby learns how to read and write out of school and family, with the Microsoft's software Word that influenced his peer's way of learning and processing information. A Baby communicates in writing through new media: social networking website, text messages, chats.

    He invented a new language where familiar forms of adress are the rule, they also invented new words, new characters. He downloads, illegally and for free most of the time, movies, music, images. He doesn't share the same sense of ownership with the previous generation. The latter thought that copying is theft, whereas for the new generation, copying is pasting :-). A Baby's room is a real showroom dedicated to new technologies: MP3 readers, computers, touchpads, multifunctions printers, DVD readers, digital cameras, webcams, playstations, wired TV...

    The use of landline phones is progressively disappearing from homes, in favor of mobile phones, which will also be used as a mean of remote payment and identification.

The Baby is part of the very first generation that was born with a virtual thread attached to them. His access to the new world represents a irreducible annual budget of 60 euros that did not exist just ten years ago.

A Baby's favorite websites are all around “You / Me” : YouTube, YouPorn, Facebook, Meetic, etc. You will always find Me, Me, Me, in these domain names. A Baby celebrates, and stages himself on these websites, and often appears alone on photos and videos that were captured with his arm outstretched, on his mobile phone or digital camera. The apparent narcissism of the Baby, his fascination for celebrities and their social success partially explain the frenzy about these websites. Brands that want to attract them adopt the same formats for their websites than those you find on the social networking websites: an abundance of regularly updated visual content and short videos (1 to 3 minutes) AND humour :-).

Today would rather see a celeb occupying  the “unknown soldier grave", a famous Parisian monument.

    Son of a VIP/ The gap between two generations has never looked so wide. The split has never been so visible, and yet ascent and passing on the next generations have never been so crucial. Whether in the world of cinema, music, litterature, fashion, politics, industry?? A Baby is rich and above all, he is rich famous from father to son. The new generation of  daughters and sons celebrities, famous or not, that got rid of way too branded and of the bling-bling speech of their parents, benefit from their names and their networks. They know about the dangers of overmediatization and move around with covered faces.

/ Slash Génération. Slash (n .m) : comes from the verb to slash. A punctuation sign meaning and/or. Used to refer to a multiplicity of meanings and references. More broadly, a slash refers to a multi-faceted action.

It is the lifestyle of the new generation that is not able to/doesn't want to follow only one path, live only one life. The economists brand the crises as /, //, V, W. The life lived by the young generation a child of the financial crisis, embodies these, its breakings-off, its multiplicities.

    Being a slasher is a lifestyle, a means of economic survival, an artistic expression. A multi-faceted life / exercising various professions over the course of one life, of one day, converting to two or three religions, joining rival political camps, knowing many loves.

    Among fashionistas, the blogger Garance Doré and her companion Scott Schuman better known as The Sartorialist, now based in New York, have been for the past four years the most important couple of the blogosphere. Bloggers' opinions sometimes have more influence than those of many experienced journalists belonging to landmark newspapers and who wouldn't be present on the Internet on a personal basis. Buyers of big American shops and journalists rush in order to confirm their selections  from big houses such as the discovering of a Babybrand. They paved the way to French bloggers, such as Kenza Sadoun-El-Glaoui, the most talented one of her generation, who by a singe tweet can make the sales of a fashion accessory, a bike, or a new mobile phone take off, and fill or empty hype restaurants.

    Luxury as a model / fashion and its mecanisms play a decisive role in the Babies education, and their integration in the society. Super-informed, super-connected, the under 15 have their own star blogger (Tavi Gevinson, 15 years), star fashionista, Suri Cruise, 8, ranked 21st most stylish women in the world by Glamour UK. Teenagers are about becoming the new fashion gurus. They match their H&M/Zara outfit with loads of thrift and customization. Including of their BlackBerry. They end up sharing their cupboard with their moms who approve their outfits. The 12/18 years are the new trendsetters. The influence they have on their parents keeps increasing. During electoral periods, polling institutes don't forget about them and ask them about their voting intentions. They are revolutionizing the rules and imposing their own vision of the world to their parents. They are worried, and fantasy fans, “zombie apocalypse” is the third most searched word on Google. A sign of the times, with the emergence of Asia, the Baby generation loves K-pop, the South Korean singer “Psy” is buzzing on the Internet with more than two hundred million views on Youtube.

    If you want to know what will the mother look like, just take a look at her daughter.

    For ever young /  Following MP3 and smartphones, our grandparents camera has come roaring back, full of state of the art technology and necessarily carried over the shoulder.

Directly connected to the Internet, it embodies the new youth who is connected to networking websites. It's the final touch of fashionista's outfit who are looking for eternal youth. All these prostheses, rapidly overtaken by more efficient technologies, become as obsolete as quickly as a it bag or a pair of shoes do. Ownership and mastering of these new technological desire devices have become an external sign of youth and competitivity.


Parents could by worried, but they're rather amused. :-)

    Both on the ground and in the air, the distribution world is divided into multi and mono-brand shops, in real life and on the Internet. The multi-brands distribution model was the most popular one until the end of the 70's, when the brand strategy and visual identity were not yet a requirement, when merchandisers still were stall keepers and when advertisement was still called “réclame”, the deliciously outdated French word for publicity. When shops were not Concept Stores yet.

   The first shops of this kind emerged in 1957, settled by Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, founder of the Publicis Group, on the Champs Elysées and in Saint-Germain, based on a model imported from the U.S.A which will retain its name: drugstore. At that time, they were shops where you could find everything to dress, eat, or entertain yourself, take care of your health, or destroy it in the trendiest way. Including the purring of Jacques Dutronc's kitties.

    It will take until the 80's to see the concept stores settle permanently in the distribution sector and set a precedent around the world. Theirs founders are endearing and strong personalities whose personal histories merge with the one of their shops. 

    L’Eclaireur. Just as the Parsons School and the Royal Academy of Antwerp exist, there also is a fashion school in Morocco which adress is unknown but to an unknown adress, but which witnessed the birth of great names of this industry :

    Joseph (Ettedgui), who will open in London the first renowned fashion concept store, Ralph Toledano who will preside the Karl Lagerfeld house before getting back on the track the Guy Laroche and Chloé houses, as well as the Jean-Paul Gaultier house, his namesake Sydney Toledano, maker of the Dior house success, Babeth Dijan founder of the Jill and Numéro magazine, Robert Bensoussan, who after cutting his teeth at LVMH made the success of the shoemaker Jimmy Choo and Armand Hadida, who thirty years ago founded L'Eclaireur, the first Parisian concept store dedicated to fashion and design. With his reserved and demanding temper, just like all people in love are, this determined man will run alone and for five years a gas station in the suburbs of Paris, opened 24/7. This was the price to pay for the hardworker to realize his dream and open in 1981 a 30 square meters shop in the basement of a shopping mall located on the Champs-Elysées. The shop was dedicated to promoting the collections of Marithé & François Girbaud, the couple of creators who revolutionnized jeans in the 80's: they owe him a lot for the success of their brand.  L'Eclaireur will then introduce its public to the Belgian and Japanese schools of thought, and to the today and tomorrow's Italian brands and creators. This outstanding buyer selects collections, often as soon as they are created, and accompanies them for several years by assigning to them a growing space in its shops, which are frequented by confirmed fashionistas and by other professional buyers from all around the world, who come to Paris during fashion weeks. 

    This extensive work with selected brands brings them more


visibility and a credibility that is absolutely necessary for their development. Armand and Martine Hadida are now heads of a small Parisian empire composed of seven shops and luxury propositions, with an impressive staging, each one having his own print. Armand is also the owner and artistic director of the professional tradeshow, Tranoï. Martine and Armand Hadida are one of the most influent couples on planet fashion.

    Maria Luisa Poumaillou, a radiating, socialite, bustling Venezuelian woman opens her first store Maria Luisa on the rue Cambon in 1988, just like Coco Chanel did in her time. She will also introduce the fashionistas to the discrete charm of the lovely rue du Mont-Thabor, parallel to its razzle-dazzle neighbour, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This great traveler was the first one to dedicate herself to new Belgian and English stylists. She opened the first Parisian shop of her friend Mahnolo Blahnik, the socialite shoemaker who privileges a handmade and sexy know-how: he's the model of Christian Louboutin and Pierre. In 2010, his analysis about the distribution of fashion led Maria Luisa to close her stores and work with the big names of distribution: les 3 Suisses who she will be digging out new talents for, and Le Printemps, from the PPR Group where she is appointed fashion editor and with who she has been sharing with her notoriety and her experience as a buyer on a dedicated space. Maria Luisa is also owner and artistic director of her eponymous brand.

    Colette is the most secretive member of this trio which is indispensable to Parisian fashion. Mentioning her name, or her 

daughter's, Sarah, is enough to understand that it's all about the temple of fashion. As soon as its opening, the Colette store has caused quite a sensation and has been giving to Paris the jubilatory unique energy that the capital had lost for ten years, since October 1987 and the Black Monday crash. Famous for its water bar, the 700 square meters three-stories Concept Store, inaugurated in March 1997 at the 213 rue Saint-Honoré has layed the foundations for the merchandising of all minimalist stores, whether mono or multi-brands which will later emerge.

If L'Eclaireur is comparable to a book, Colette is more similar to a magazine and renews its front-windows every week. The staging of Sarah's choice, whether about ultrasharp fashion, high technology, design, books, cosmetics, CDs and DVDs, creates a real editorial line backed up by the store's online shop which instantly sets the tone for the buyings of concept stores all around the world.

Extremely reserved, the mother and daughter generate the longing for products by managing the scarcity of the products they offer: when the shop runs out of a product, it's over. The Colette shopping bag, white-colored with its blue double dot, is

welcomed with the same enthusiasm as the orange Hermès box or Tiffany's blue cyan are, even before being unwrapped :

    the graffer André Saraiva, cofounder of Le Baron with Lionel Bensemoun, driving forces of the Paris, Calvi, New York, Miami or Tokyo hypest nights, Olivier Zahm, also called OZ by ladies and his friends, a symbol of the trendy 2.0 era, founder and artistic director of the magazine Purple and of his blog Purple Diary, an absolute must for sleepless fashion nights and Jennifer Eymere, high priestess of the Jalouse magazine.

    Joyce in Hong-Kong, Maxfield and H. Lorenzo in Los Angeles, Corso Como and Biffi in Milan, Barneys in New York, 3rd culture in Tokyo, Joseph, Brown's and Harrod's in London... every world capital must have its concept store and its museum. Not owned by any Luxury Group, these men and women, independent by essence are at the same time the eyes, the nose, the ear and the mouth of fashion to which they give meaning. These temples of fashion are an absolute need for the PR strategy of brands, whether newly emerged or not.

    The must for a brand, whether it is small or big is to succeed in a collaboration, most of the time through a limited edition, that would be distributed in one of these concept stores.  It would allow the brand to gain an important echo in the international press and appear in the cloakroom of clients who are inevitably prescribers of these stores. For if the buzz is in the press and on the net, it is first and foremost sold at L'Eclaireur, Maria Luisa

and Colette.

    The Bourgeoise is Decadent / Boheme / Small / Tall: fashion embodies the last trends. Its clients are now Bourgeoises heiresses of the bling era and of Tom Ford's porno-chic. “Decadent” at Dior, Gucci, Prada. “Boheme” at Zadig & Voltaire, Isabelle Marant, Sandro.

 “Décadente” chez Dior, Gucci, Prada. “Bohème” chez Zadig & Voltaire, Isabelle  Marant, Sandro. With their  “I Know Better Than Everyone Else” attitude, they are preppy and peremptory at Pierre Hardy, Kitsuné, Fred Perry. In every case, in these troubled times, wardrobes go back to minimalist basic, with a hint of sexy attitude.

In 40 years of stagnation punctuated by repeted economic crises, fashion has moved from Luxury to Affordable Luxury, from Cartier's Musts to Must Haves ;-)

    By exporting our jobs to Asia since the beginning of the 60's, Western industrials have been practicing “fair trade” before it was cool.  They enabled these workers to feed their children and send them to school. They contributed to fight communism in China, and helped thus democracy, which is also true in India and Pakistan.

    The instruments that were initiated in “former poor countries” to allow them to delevop have now become the tools of “new poors” of the West: microcredit which supports companies and individuals, retirement through capitalization, renewable energies, shared rentals; mobile phones which is becoming a bank and a means of payment, low cost, the selling of second hand clothes via the Internet. The quality (cf. Q p. 28) of the goods and services consumed in a country reveals the inequalities of a democratic society.

    At the end of the 80's, Tod's was the first accessories brand to achieve the same status than centenary couture houses. In 1994, the bag became the new fashion victim's must have, thanks to the Milanese furrier, Fendi.

    Until then, iconic great houses like Hermès or Gucci owed their success mainly to their prestige, their function and the age of the brand, to their flawless production, and to the celebrity who had given his or her name to it.

    The Baguette bag from Fendi is the result of the encounter between a young stylist who happens to be the daughter of a celeb and the need of her time to identify with a market leading brand and an affordable product.

    In the mid-nineties, in the middle of the minimalist period and before the restarting of the global economy and of fashion, the young woman Sylvia Fendi is appointed head of design accessories of the family business, Fendi, the inconoclast furrier. Following her instinct against the trend of chubby bags trend of that time, she designed a small soft bag, without frame carried under the arm just like the French baguette bread  that gave its name to the bag.

    Unlike the existing bags, anonymous ones or named after their famous godmothers, she invented an accessory which owes its success to its unusual format and also to its most luxuous and playful declinaisons, often sold in limited editions. The baguette bag created a fad that rockstars, who have to maintain their position of avant-gardists in all fields, will make their own. Madonna and Lady Gaga on top. It generated a substantial turnover for the brand and a a visibiliy that it didn't formerly enjoy in the best concept stores of the world.

    This is how the first it bag was born, and all the fashion houses will later try to have their own by inspiring themselves from best known models, because it takes a lot of time and money to create a success.

    In 2.0, the “Classic” bag from Balenciaga is the other it bag that will confirm the trend. Its success is owed to Nicolas Ghesquière who has awakened one of the most prestigious French couture houses.He designed a convenient yet functional modern format which later inspired thousands of fine leather dealers and fashion houses, for a brand which had never designed any bag. The “Classic” bag owes its success to its trapezoidal shape, its zips, its accessories in the shape of silver thimblers which are Balenciaga's signature, as well as to the seasoned leathers used for the handmade manufacturing. But its iconic status is primarily related to the notoriety of the Couture house and to the talented Nicolas who benefits from the support of the press, a few celebrities and of its unconditional customers.

The bag alone accounts for about 50% of the house's retail business. If the  “Classic” was marketed by a less renowned brand, it would have sold at a few hundreds of  bags and would have lasted for not more than two seasons.

    The success of Vanessa Bruno's sequin tote bag  was determined by its recognizable style, its size and to the notoriety of the brand and of its founder.

    Celebrities who need visibility change their it bag every day in order to be present in the people's section of fashion magazine and sneak their way to the public and movie director's attention.

    There's only a small step between an it bag and hit bag that women that women cross at a brisk pace behind their monogrammed ram on some world capital's crowded sidewalks. Always remember that a function may hide another ;-)

    The following must have is carried on the only body part that hadn't been trended yet: the neck. It is a very long and covering cashmere and silk scarf from Faliero Sarti, which success has (just like for Tod's) been the subject of a doctoral thesis at Harvard. It sets the final touch, until the knee, to the rockers and and bourgeois-bohèmes' loose look.

In a glamourous world that has continuously been swinging betweem emancipation and control, excess weight is a sign of poverty. The kilogram ad the ton are the measuring units for poverty and disillusionment, while the gram has become the one for luxury and dream: gold, cashmere, caviar, chocolate, air, soul(2).

(2)“21 grams” a movie from d’Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu

    Never apologize. As a consequence of the growing supremacy of the politically correctness and of the emergence of a new sea of cameras, micro-booms, mobile phones, and satellite dishes of all kinds, nobody is safe from seeing an inappropriate comment repeted and reproduced ad inifinitum on the Internet. Words are thunderbolts, which most of the time sneak their way out of their owners' mouth to reach the media. Those who say them now have to be very careful about flashes and sunlights, and they rediscover the urge to remain silent, or know what to say, after a time where everything was good to gain publicity. It is now the time for repentance and apologies that people should pull out as rapidly as the inappropriate BS they said got out their mouth.

    There's no word said, no gesture made, that can fall down the censors' cracks.

    Trash-talking, especially when it conveys racist overtones, has become the ultimate social offense. Like racism was not already everywhere: prejudices againts the poors and the riches, against ugly, beautiful, old, young, smart, dumb people. That's how the unfortunate John Galliano exploded in mid-flight, victim of a mediatic drone.

    A defensive move will most of the time take the form of a press release or an explanation in front of a rigid journalist. Karl Lagelferd, the eternal sharp-minded fawning polyglott, found himself in a very uncomfortable position in the TV studio of a major French channel newscast, where he had to explain

himself about his lese presidency comments. The good people, who wasn't wishing for more, watched King Karl's apologizing: “I don't speak Spanish, I find François Hollande witty”. Brice Hortefeux, the French former Home Secretary waited for a long time before admitting that his verbal blunder about the “too many Arabs” in France was the worst time of his mandate. It is crucial not only not to apologize, that would be acknowledging that your detractors are right, but also to swear that the contrary was said, that microphones got it wrong. And it's often the case.

    Even an anonymous overworked Orange employee who swamped with despise a less paid employee from the French railway company on a suburban train station platform is entitled to his fifteen minutes of fame, and to a press release from his company explaining that he's burning out and doesn't earn as much money as he says. Like a boss :-)

    Not to mention Patrick Besson's caretaker, a columnist for Le Point, who broadcasts press releases to set her vacations dates and the opening hours of her lodge.

    LAURE / Childish, narcissistic, assertive, materialistic, restless, whiny, Laure has all the flaws that men assign to women, including beauty.

    Everyday, I declare my love for her on Facebook with an average of forty signs (°)(°) and characters for each status update. In a bit more than four years, my 4,900 friends accompanied us in our trips to Corsica, Greece, Africa, the 20th district of Paris, Rolland-Garros, a dinner with the Obamas on the evening of their first investiture. My friends came on Laure's side when she got cross with the Sarkozy-Brunis, don't ask me why. I don't remember. I supported the abolition of death penalty in the world, the closing of open-cast mines in places I never heard about, I chased down dictators who existed only in my bourgeois-bohème mind, and I did all that out of love for her. I also posted lolcats on my Facebook wall to make her laugh :/ I spent sleepless with her at the Amour hotel ♥, changed a hundred times our relationship status to “married-single-it's complicated”. A hundred times she cancelled lunches we didn't plan “we're married for better worse, but not for lunch”, she dumped me a thousand times but she always took me back. She died twice, the first time around 6 AM, on acid, hit by a Porsche Cayenne on the promenade des Anglais during the Cannes festival, the second time? Probably because I was bored.

    I tell her story everyday, often several times a day. My friends on Facebook either love or hate her, but they are not indifferent to our passion. A status about Laure can generate up to fifty likes

and forty comments. Because of the virality of the social networking website and of the number of my friends, six to twelve thousand people, friends, and friends of friends, read my daily love declarations as well as all my status updates, whether passional or professional.  Not counting about a hundred private messages sent by women animated by various motives, such as concern: “Does Laure really exist?”, jealousy: “I would love you to write me love letters”, “She is so lucky”, dismay: “You seem to be suffering”, anger: “you are mistreating her!!!”,  or friendship: “dump the bitch, she's not the one you need”. We even received dinner invitations, or postcards, sent to my Agency.

My epistolary 2.0 relationship with Laure all started with a poke and a private message. The Sorrows of Young Werther, reviewed by Mark Zuckerberg. On Facebook, I am Petrarch, Laure's chaste lover. Status updates which are intended to her have created a strong emotional relationship between me and Facebbok friends. Shameless, passionate, frequent, totally devoted her, my love declarations provided my digital existence with some material. They considerably increase my visibility on the social networking website, but also in real life. Along with hatred, love is the emotion that enjoys the biggest impact on the Internet. Everyday, unknown people, women most of the time, stop me on the street to tell me I am lucky to be so in love. They ask me about her, if I'm on my way to meet her, since when do I know her, if she exists.

    My answer is that Laure is my lover. She's here, not far from me.

    You don't have to protect your personal data on Facebook, they're accessible through many other ways. It's not about protecting them as if they were a secret, a secret is always against someone, it's about protecting your intimacy.

FIXIE crisis at full speed: unique piece, eco-friendly, urban, the fixie is super fashion.  This fixed gear bike, entirely recycled, is the incarnation of all the efforts it take to be elegant in a crisis context. It has no chain shifter, no speed shifter, no fender. Its pedals have footrests, the ultimate torture instruments. To top it all with danger, discomfort, and elegance, it's not equipped with brakes. In order to make it immediately recognizable, its old-styled frame is repainted in accordance with the color block trend. Athletic and hype, the Fixie-boys move around in tribes and are driving straight to the wall of crisis with style. ;-)

    Richness of French and European brands / In crisis time, brands invest in their development: plants, distribution networks, research, e-commerce, as they are anticipating the restarting of consumption in rich countries and its taking off in emerging countries. Brands always emphasize on their workers and their plants in order to value the origin and quality of their products.

    In 28 years, we went from “Merde in France” (Gaumont Music), a song from Jacques Dutronc to Made in France which now ranks first on the top fifty trends of our time.

    Invisible until then, we are now witnessing the starization and the staging, behind glass windows – large screens, of professionals in their workplace: from its restaurant table, the customer can see the cook bestir himself on his order. It is now before our very eyes that automobile specialists repair our car which was produced abroad. In a country which has lost a substantial part of its industrial sector the value of handmade work realized in our presence has become the guarantee for a high quality work, a work that we will not see going abroad :-(

    We are being compelled to produce local, buy local, eat local, spend local, and entertain local. To live in a grey-powered neutral world.

It's the end of the bling-bling and the beginning of soft-bling. Brands and politicians now play on the new rich/poor relation.

    A new poorly expressed speech which may sound populist. Eco-conscious, the Babybrand trend, which cannot manufacture its low levels of production in Asia is at the origin of the renaissance of the Made in France and Made in Paris. Encouraged by the government, the press, and by the public opinion, a Babybrand will help create local jobs. The district of the Sentier as well as the suburbs will regain  their  position of Made in Paris manufacturing hubs for fashion and new technologies.

    3D printers, with their technology and their now affordable prices will first allow the public to product locally spare parts (glasses side arms, small car parts, etc.) for its personal use. But in the near future, they will bring about a true industrial revolution. Networks of self-replicant tool-printers connected through an open source technology will allow the individuals as well as the firms to create products and exchange their skills. The machines will then also pay payroll taxes, like employees, which will make them gain extra soul.

    Never too thin never too rich / small is beautiful / In a timespan of thirty years, the deserted Bourget airport has recovered its attractivity against Roissy and Orly, even on Sundays. We have moved from Emmanuel's first class of a Boeing 747 to Alexandre Allard's private jet. From Bernard Tapie's Hilton hotel to former camping turned into eco-chic lodges by Alain Dominique Perrin in Noirmoutiers // Expensive is Luxuous / the price is also part of the object of desire's PR strategy: Patek Philippe and Aston Martin outscored Rolex and Porsche, which are not expensive enough.

    Just like the Fabergé eggs, which are genuine jewellery and mechanics masterpieces, luxury is a creativity and innovation factor that travels through the centuries without fading.

    For some, Luxury is supposed to combined richessness, pleasure, scarcity, and taste. For others, luxury is a lifestyle which consists in spending huge amounts for unnecessary purchases, for the simple pleasure of owning an object, of adopting a lifestyle which is supposed to bring them closer to the riches' or even super riches' caste.

    In the world of fashion, Luxury is most of the time associated with a single product and to its functionality: the Hermès house builds its success around the horserider's saddle bags which has become an appropriate luggage for cars, and was then reproduced in a smaller size for women's use.

These still present-day hand sewn bags can now contain a digital touchpad. Besides, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré based saddler had a stroke of genius when the idea of associating Grace Kelly, the actress that become the Princess of Monaco, to his most emblematic bag came to him. She wore the eponymous handbag to hide the beginning of her pregnancy, which hadn't yet made public. Hermès' silk squares, used to stay warm and protected from dust, are another accessory that achieved the status of piece of art, and which also founded the brand's success.

    The Italian House Gucci, inspires itself from the equestrian world refinement and from the travelling luxury. Like her Parisian predecessor, bags and leather goods have played a major part in the brand's success. Creativity also constitutes one of its trademark: the Bamboo bag's bamboo emerged to replace leather during war. This soft and resisting elegant bag gets seasoned just like leather.

    Starting from the 60's, the horse-bit brand has also associated some of its models to its most famous clients, such as Jackie Kennedy or Grace Kelly. 

    Afterwards, all Luxury brands will associate their accessories to stars: the Louis Vuitton bag designed by Sofia Coppola, the ultimate bourgeois-bohème symbol, or Dior with the Lady Di, the People's Princess. It's not a sure recipe for success though ;-)

    The Tod's house, more contemporary, owes its car shoes' success to their antislip pikes and their perfect adherence to the car's footpedals. It also associated itself to celebrities. 

   Hermès and Tod's contrast with Luxury groups by basing their PR strategy on the quality of their products, and thus on their ethics. None of these Quality or Luxury houses will communicate on the functionality or the comfort of their iconic products, they prefer to highlight the quality of the materials used and the handmade work.

    Like in the 18th century, Luxury can be the ostentatious manifestation of a financial elite who lives at the expense of the growingly numerous poors, disconnected from reality and then lead to revolution. 

    One can not talk about fashion and creation without paying tribute to the designers, stylists, creators, artistic directors, to Christian Dior, to the Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint-Laurent as well as Tom Ford and Richard Buckley couples who from the beginning of the former century to now have brought their support to the liberation of an oppressed majority, women. It is also to these talented and determined men that we owe the recognition of gay rights.

    It's in the USA, land of all the 20th century's revolutions, that the fight burst out in June 1969 against the security forces, and carried on in America's Courts. The first gay pride parades took place in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco on the 28th of June, 1972, which will soon be followed by another one in April 1972 in Munich. Until now, these parades celebrate sexual freedom, and the idea that all communities can live together. 

    Just as it did for other minorities, the press will play a major part in the fight for the recognition of gay rights. Pierre Bergé will dedicate a part of his fortune and his political connections to this cause. In 1995, he founded the Têtu magazine which will exist thanks to the advertising support of fashion and new technologies firms. Many celebs, artists, politicians, will choose Têtu to do their coming out. In 2002, Jacques Chirac was the first president to give an interview to the magazine. In December 2002, Pierre Lellouche, drafts the “Lellouche Act” which criminalizes homophobia on an equal footing with racism and antisemitism.

    During electoral periods, the magazine has become a must for all candidates who have to express their views on the future of civil liberties.

    Today, the gay family has expanded. Starting from June 2013, after the implementation of a civil partnership in the French legal system, the Republican marriage will no longer be subjected to sexual preferences conditions. Besides, thanks to aviation, to the Internet, and to more favorable foreign legislations pushed by the evolution of mentalities and scientific progress in the field of medically assisted procreation, gay couples are no longer subject to local adoption laws that relegated them to the second plan. In fact, those who can afford it can already legally know about the joys of parenthood. The envious ones can no longer call them DINKs,  for double income no kids.

    While the fashion world has played an important part in the recognition of gay rights, gays have played a major part in freedom and comfort of men's clothing, allowing them to enter into a new seduction game, the one in which you please yourself. Proud of their looks, gays have reviewed, resized, colored all the clothes and acessories which used to be  considered as outdated in town because they uncover men's bodies: shorts, flip-flops, sandals, marcel tank tops... Gays allowed them to play again, bringing a new comfort, a less formal elegance to all men. They allowed men to access diets, hair removal, skin care, to have their hair cut short or long, and to find their way back to the gym.

That's what advertisers, who always have had a penchant for etiquettes and weird grammar, call Metrosexuals :-)

    The Pope, how many friends on Facebook? The Pope is, right after God, the biggest registered trademark both on earth and on the Internet. His dress code, his lifestyle and places of worship spread all around the worl, the Pope is a people. With his words echoed by all the churches in the world, he could have been the one with the most important number of Facebook fans. But from fan to fanatic, there's only one clic that his counselor, Papal Nuncio probably advised him not to take.

   After an appearance on Facebook in 2009, the Pope's profile POPE TO YOU (P2Y) did not reach remarkable heights probably in order to avoid religion wars and online viral attacks. It's never safe to be a fan.

    One tweet away from #G. / Though the Church has always been wary of the media, it has just recruited its first strategic communication advisor. Greg Burke, an American journalist member of the Opus Dei organization, has been assigned the mission to accompany the Pope and the Vatican in their communication policy, internally when aimed at a billion catholics in the world, globally when it adresses the whole world. Posted in the beginning if December in eight different languages, Benedict XVI @pontifex's first tweet was followed by 700.000 followers. Uncomfortable with Facebook, the Church has found in Twitter an adequate tool to conduct its corporate PR stragety which is increasingly appealing to a younger audience. The # hashtag is the new cornerstone of the online Church.

Our friends the Obamas / though he is African American, Barack Obama is a man well-versed in the Asian culture, since he was raised in Hawaï and Indonesia. He embodies the switching of the centre from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. From the East Coast to the West Coast. He imposes his own discourse, his coolness inherited from the surfers with whom he grew up, and from quantum philosophy, which impregnates him. He learnt from the surfers how to manage his stress, and he went as far as recognignizing himself the right to be wrong: “I screwed up”.

In line with the 60's counterculture, he has opened the second decade to a new discourse, he privileges the new interactive media, and he has irreversibly paved the way for non-white minorities who will no longer be excluded from having responsibilities, or from appearing in advertising campaigns. By exposing his family to the public eye, he set the tone for a new family order. Just as cool and responsible as his husband, the new planetary lifestyle icon, Michelle Obama, dresses herself with a 300$ budget, to the very much regret of the American press and fashion designers. At the White House, Michelle grows her organic garden with her now 12 and 15 year-old daughters and has dinner in town in restaurants where you can eat for 30$. The Obamas have made us reconnect with the myth of genuine people leading real people.

America still is the one and only power that still can create myths and associate them to new media. After having invented the radio, the cinema and television, Obama's America is now the master of the Internet over which it has total control. America has also invented formats and messages which it broadcasts on new media it uses to impose its will. Without any stress or visible violence, the bow of the American ship has changed its course from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Barack Obama, as a symbol of a changing world, embodies a new order for a world which is now focusing on communication, new technologies and Asia. Thanks to the Internet, the new leadership is cooler: transparent, virtuous, omnipresent.

It never neglects humour, which is the only way to deal with serious matters, especially with a young audience. For young people are the future.

    In 2009, the presidential candidate Obama integrated in his PR strategy the digital and interactive media: Twitter (76.000 followers), Facebook (with more than 6.200.000 members, his group is the biggest one), and above all his campaign and governance websites. Because of the relatively small number of his cyber supporters then, in a country of nearly 300 million people, Obama has mostly talked about new media.. on the printed press ;-). He has been using new media and new communication tools in order to convince the whole world.

    His online video messages have an average length of 1 minute 30. He signs official documents in the webcam's eye. Obama's BlackBerry, his Roman Emperor's sword, the symbol of his belonging to the digital world was reviewed by the security services to allow him to keep in touch with the people through social networks.

    After having warned the young Americans about the dangers of Facebook in 2011, Obama, on the brink of presidential elections,

later sought the support of his new friend Mark Zuckerberg, who suited up for the occasion ;-).

    The online press revolution: in 2009, we have switched from printed magazines to online press. The highlighting of the role played by the Internet in Obama's campaign illustrates the crisis that the printed press is going through. The press future lies in the online versions of magazines, and in digital media combining free and paid features.

    This technological revolution gave rise to an individual lfreedom revolution which now prevails over the press freedom. The time when journalists could unilaterally impose their view is now over. Bloggers have invented a new way of writing which makes room for comments, and thus to their readers opinions. The printed press used to be the voice of the people, the Internet is the people.

    After experiencing the realm of exploitation by politicians and brands who rapidly measured the impact of these interactive media, blogs are now integrated by the press groups, and are to be subject to legal regulation soon. Politicians, artists, and brands will now directly adress the people online, through editorials, videos, and advertisements. The Internet have made the Arab spring possible by allowing the individuals to gather and challenge the official media. Now the newly liberated people no longer thank America, but Facebook ;-)

    The web is a world like any other one, with its websites dedicated to sharing of ideas and goods, its social networks which are comparable to bars, countries, or continents depending on the number of their members. These website also have thugs, pirates and wars made by independent or governmental hackers through viral attacks or the taking over of a website. War and death can also be found online. The military and the politicians have found new virtual battlefields where their strategies of attack, defense, monitoring, and prevention are implemented. And also their psychological manipulations.

    Like any industry, the army communicates online. It uses weapons which correspond to this new medium. By using targeted killings and drones, the Western military have invented  “fair war”, where villains are killed without generating too much collateral damages among civilians and its own troops. These targeted actions, broadcast on TV and online, avoid mass pacifist demonstrations that would negatively affect the chances of a president to be reelected. In a world where political correctness prevails, where trade is fair and wars are clean, it is crucial to be in line with the public opinion who no longer trusts  important military operations following the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. An opinion which promptly gets outraged when its formal

requirements are not met.

    In his book Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency, Daniel Klaidman tells how Barack Obama chooses himself America's enemies who shall die on a trombinoscope, called “baseball cards” by the presidential advisers. The Americans love drones because they remind them the video games they used to play to when they were children, and because their sanitized prowesses are broadcast on TV and online in the form of short black and white videos. Without endangering their boys' lives.

    The commando raid movie that allowed the capure and the killing of Osama Bin Laden has largely been screened on television, and of course online, in order to reassure the American people about the recovered inviolability of their country's territory and to confirm to potential governmental and non governmental attackers that no one falls out of the powerful America's reach.

    However, there's no video of Barack Obama watching live Bin Laden's death in the situation room, only a photo of the President surrounded by his vice-president Joe Biden, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, high-ranked military officers, and members from the presidential staff. They are showing no visible rejoicing sign in order not to undermine their future relations with the Islamic and Arab world, only a cold determination for men and a certain fright expressed by Hillary Clinton.

A staging worthy of the 18th century paintings of battlefields, without victims or spilling of blood.

    Just as sanitized as war, you will find the Stuxnet virus, developed in 2009 by the USA and Israël, that aimed at slowing down the Iranian nuclear program allowing thus diplomats to get ahead the military.

    President Obama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, once presented as fainthearted by his detractors then showed to the Americans, on the brink of the 2012 campaign, that even in weaponry matters, he is a supporter of technology and that he is not slow to strike a fatal blow if necessary. He also showed them that he's protecting them without sending them to the battlefront.

    Viral communication can also be used to prepare the public opinion to a military intervention aiming at protecting the America's sources of supply located abroad.

    This was probably the case in March 2012 when a video titled “Kony 2012” reached nearly 100 million views in less than fifteen days. How could the buzz work so miraculously quickly? This unusually long video according to the web standards, was posted online by the NGO Invisible Children, which had supported the first election of Obama. The video aimed at bringing to light and help capture Joseph Kony, an Ugandan tyrant who disappeared in 2006. Jason Russel, cofounder of Invisible Children movie director and actor with his young son, of the Manichean video

dedicated to the glory of story-telling destined to a right-thinking audience, was later arrested and charged with public indecency a few weeks later in San Diego's streets.

    At the same time, we will learn that Uganda had just received 6 Russian fighter jets in order to protect its oil fields discovered in 2006 at the country's border with South Sudan, which is also rich in oil and had just gained its independence.

    Probably because it was too obvious, the “Kony 2012” which called for the sending of unarmed American troops to teach the Ugandan people about the benefits of a clean war thanks to new technologies got stuck and we never heard again about Mr Kony.

    Before helping an old lady who fell in the street, a Baby will first take a picture, then post it to Facebook and caption it with “looool”.

    In a tougher style, criminals, young and older, also learnt how to show themselves on the Internet. A Batman fan, James Holmes, got in Aurora's cinema yelling “I'm the Joker” and started shooting people, killing 12 and injuring 58. He appeared in Court with his hair dyed in bright orange, just like his hero and his source of inspiration.

    Chances are that deadly games where death will be staged are going to be the next successful online and televised entertainment. Just like in the Ancient Rome games, the public's

“likes” will determine if the looser has to be executed :/

Next chapter

    Hair pops up sometimes, and then suddenly disappear. Hair, as the symbol of a man's virility and wisdom, is worn long or medium, or in the form of a beard, a moustache, or sideburns as popularized by the movie Easy Rider in 1969. Hair was highly fashionable at the end of the 60's and at the beginning of the 70's not only among Hippies scented with the Patchouli perfume but also among Brut de Fabergé scented preppies. Even President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing will go for pop sideburns.

    While some people say hair is from the leftwing, it grew again in the 80's in the shape of a  three-day designer stubble, well-groomed thanks to a trimmer and the comb it comes with. At that time, the USA and Italy prevailed on the fashion industry which had become minimalistic. Short Italian beards are worn with three-piece pinstripe Ralph Lauren and Armani suits, straps, preferably red, and with a small crocheted black tie. Italians have always been stylish, and great fans of the British elegance. George Michael and Don Johson, with their slicked hair and their all-year-long tan will promote this elegance among the winners from the 80's in all their video clips and TV series.

    The designer stubble stands for men's black dress. It immediately makes a difference in any style, in every circumstance. You can wear and remove it just as easily. It is reserved for a few control freaks who pay attention to their public: Romain Duris, Jude Law, Pierre Moscovici, Steve Jobs, Tom Ford, Zinedine Zidane...

    The beard came roaring back at the end of the 90's with the emergence of the bourgeois-bohèmes. These lovers of layered clothes and pop rock music find their style and hair  inspiration small rock bands musicians they listen to live in tiny clubs, who are themselves inspired by the low-profile looking of the sound engineers: low waist jeans revealing a trunk top, or an unpleasant back bottom, white comfy sneakers, and, on top of a white t-shirt, a linted round neck pullover , or a widely opened checkered shirt. In order to finalize their outfit, workers of the music industry let their beard grow for two or three months, so they don't have to shave themselves anymore. As it is the case for musicians, it has become an efficient girls' trap.

    Beards mark the heyday of resident Djs at the Baron or the Silencio and of music bands with an ephemeral career. Hedi Slimane for Dior Men and Zadig & Voltaire, soon followed by the Kooples who photograph them at the entrance of nightclubs, have perflectly integrated the pop rock culture in their PR strategy aimed at a young audience, by dressing in an even trendier manner these new bearded dandies who go out every night to conquer dancefloors.

    Sometimes worn in a committed way, the beard fits very well Frédéric Beigbeder, Sébastien Tellier, Haider Ackermann, Brad Pitt, Richard Branson, Che Guevara, Santa, and nearly 200 hundred veterans of Le Baron, including Leo Dorfner.

    The moustache experienced its fifteen minutes of fame last winter when Brad Pitt and Jude Law, who rapidly erased this mistake, went for it. Except when it's worn by Tom Selleck in Magnum, Salvador Dali, Emmanuel De Brantes or the Movembers, in November only, in order to support a few men's revendications, this inappropriately located hair plainly does not fit anybody.

    We live in a two-tier world where the quality of goods and services within the same country drastically varies depending on people's wealth.

    In thirty years from now, thanks to the progressive elimination of noise and pollution in big capitals, we will be able to tell by our hearing and smelling senses if we are in a democratic country. We will hear the bell towers in the crystallin air of Paris, freed from its fuel driven cars, and its inhabitants will be able to swim in the Seine.

    Free Wi-Fi for all will be recognized as a universal right just like the free, compulsory, secular education is.

    In the 18th century, a honest man would have two suits, a white shirt, and a few fake collars made by a local tailor. Women's closets were more filled. In postwar times, the industrial production of consumption goods along the ready-to-wear revolution changed our habits and considerably shortened the time spent by our clothes in our closets. It's the beginning of the consumer society, clothes rapidly go out-of-style and are immediately discarded. Abbé Pierre and his companions will find in our bins what they need to dress the poorest, and will sell the remaining clothes through dedicated distribution networks.

    Profit corporations will professionalize this phenomenon by offering to brands to get rid of their stocks without affecting their distribution networks or their image. These discount stores exist in many professions where the stocks' value quickly declines because of the everchanging fashion trends and technology obsolescence, as it is the case for example in the telephony sector.

    In the 80's, creators and brands build their strategy around creation which has to be preserved like a work of art, and around a price which has to be guaranteed to the customers. In this perspective, the hype minimalist designer Yohji Yamamoto burnt in the presence of a Court bailiff unsold pieces from his collections. This episode did not last for long though.

    Faced with repeting crises, discount stores and their parallel distribution networks will become a major requirement for leading and minor brands which will have to find how to  dispose of their unsold stocks. Jacques-Antoine Granjon will have the idea to sell them far from France, on a continent which was then unknown to brands, the Internet. He founded the website Following the concept stores example, he will at the beginning of the 2.0 years, put for online sale all kinds of rather elitists consumption goods, and organize on his website one shot event sales with leading brands products available at a discounted price which can go up to seventy percent.

    The Luxury firms' sales forces were first wary of this new media and kept on turning a blind eye to discount stores, because of their low range perception. It is only a few years later that they will get involved in e-commerce.

    Just like concept stores, Jacques-Antoine adresses a community of customers selected through a sponsorship system, which did not keep millions of them who live in rich European countries and in the USA from following the website.

    His success led brands to rethink their online distribution model of their current collections but also to manufacture collections intented specifically to private sales.

    Such private sales existed in real life for twenty years, but they would take place only twice a year, at seasons' ends. They were reserved to journalists and a handful of happy few who could buy commercial and press samples in brands' showrooms or warehouses.

    Xavier Niel, founder of Free, the Internet access provider which has been slashing prices as well as his competitors' nerves to the bone, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, and Marc Simoncini founder of the online dating website Meetic, are the representatives of a pivot generation of entrepreneurs who set the tone for the new French economy which now relies on new technologies and affordable instantaneous consumption.

    Enjoying the opportunities brought by thirty years of financial and economic crises, they invented new consumption modes which take into consideration small costs savings, recycled in environmental principles and a fairer trade.

   More conspicuous than our parents' resale shops which were as embarrassing to visit as  sex shops, the communautary colossus eBay allows everyone to discretely get rid of old stuff or wedding gifts and earn some money.

    This new consumption mode has become a heavy trend thanks to the technology used and to the crisis, with the approval of the fashion press which has been promoting the phenomenon. Instead of throwing away their Zara or Yves Saint Laurent pieces, women, teenagers, and now men organize at their homes private sales of their clothes on the model of American yardsales. They provide these friendly sales with more visibility by sending text messages and emails to their connections and also by creating virtual events, on Facebook mostly.

    Thanks to the number of their followers and to brands who consistently provide their closets with products in exchange of some visibility, bloggers have become indispensable for the organization of these sales.

    Sometimes they simply trade them with friends, resorting to a primary barter economy which is emancipated from the social link constituted by money, thus making it a win-win situation.

    The website, which has recently become for international expansion purposes, has federated users of this new way of selling second hand clothes. It provided friendly e-commerce with a structure by favoring and guaranteeing deals between individuals: the website offers a wide visibility to the item sold thanks to its seven hundred thousands members, items are sent only after having been checked, and all these services are provided in exchange for a fee which is lower than the margins gained by professional retailers.

    As a result, resale and second hand shops have gained a certain popularity and flourish in fashion fields, as well as in decoration and technological devices sectors.

    When they are not traded or sold, our closets' clothes and accessories get a new lease in life: they become vintage not only by passing from grandparents to grandchildren, but also by a benevolent misuse of language when H&M clothes are traded among girl friends. Once cut, jeans experience a second youth and become shorts.

    Since they are romantic and thrifty, young women borrow their friend's clothes and call them Boyfriend pants, Boyfriend shirts or Boyfriend jackets. For men, tailor-making and half-measuring are fashionable again, even in Asia, and it is now a must to have your shirts' collars and cuffs altered.

    Today, fashion animals' clothes have seven lives and their wallets always fall on their feet.

    These two personnalities are emblematic representatives of the 2.0 decade, and though they seem to be totally opposed  they are in fact the two sides of the same golden coin. Their careers both started out in the suburbs of Paris, and they are both extraordinary showmen.  These children of the television age have been seen on the small screen since their teenage years and they share the same innate talent for communication and fast quips. These two emotional tempers are yet very demanding and they consider their collaborators as employees who need to be frog-marched. They also both share a taste for trophies, whether Ray-Ban sunglasses, pricey watches, holidays spent in palaces, luxury cars, or women they lovingly kiss on camera.

    In a world impregnated with images taken straight from fashion magazines and advertising campaigns, professional terms and usages have become an integral part of our everyday language.

    The minimalistic merchandising of concept stores has surprised and attracted a wide audience at the beginning of the 2.0 years. They are the exact replica of  minimalistic commercial showrooms, lit by post-industrial spotlights in order to enhance the visibility of the displayed collections, without distracting the buyers with superfluous decorative messages. Minimalism has become the rule for mono and multi brands retail shops. This is true for fashion shops, but also for garages, bakeries, florists, buchers, banking agencies.. Even our apartments and closets look like minimalistic showrooms

    The spiral bound collections look books which were until then only for journalists and professional buyers are now sent to the good customers, with retail prices. The fashion show videos can be watched in the shops, and sent on CDs to a few privilegied clients.

    The word shopping refers to the packages adressed to fashion journalists by press offices in order to help them create the looks that will be photographed. These looks have to be validated by their editors in chief. Today, young women validate their mum's looks and their friends' points of view. All these  professional terms are now incorporated in the general public's language.

    In the wake of models and actresses, printed press journalists and bloggers, starting by Kenza, have become the new fashion examples to follow for young girl and pose in advertising campaigns.

    The private sales and press sales which were once reserved to journalists in order to allow them to buy the prototypes they used six months earlier to write their magazine piece, are today's conspicuous way of organizing sales intended for the general public.

    A few shops offer or sell to a discount price samples or symbolical gifts called goodies or press gifts.

    Journalists were the first ones to sale to their friends or to their neighbourhoods' resale shops the numerous gifts, often not so expensive, made by brands when they want to attract their attention.

    The consumers, who are now aware of the quality and life span of the products they buy, have adopted a professional discourse and a thrifty behaviour.

    The Art of Soft Bling discourse. Whether they come from Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a trendy Parisian district, or New York, the Dandies of our time master their art, an art which relies on a discourse which is as beautifully formed as their creations. They turn their lives into a work of art.

    As an emblematic representative of the 2.0 years, the artist Jeff Koons has retained from his former job as a raw materials broker a certain pragmatism and focus on investment. This artistic director does not himself produce his artworks, but he is surrounded in his creative studio by 100 assistants to whom he gives very precise artistic exploration instructions. In the wake of Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons' kitsch work is aimed at the largest possible audience, it deals with the magnificence of consumption with a zany humor close to the world of childhood. This man of heart and skilled communicator married the Cicciolina, a porn actress Cicciolina who will make him famous for the general public. His artworks are appreciated by François Pinault who bought several of them, and also by new millionaires who consider these artworks sometimes worth a few millions a mere investment like any other and a good way to nettle their friends and rivals who don't buy anything under one million euros. Like with jewelry over the past centuries who is also starting to bring about record sales.

    Jeff Koons' artworks were exhibited at the Centre Pompidou and in a retrospective at the Château de Versailles where he displayed all his artistic techniques: paintings, sculptures,

computer-assisted videos, installations. Like Karl Lagerfeld who held Chanel fashion shows there.

    Far from the outdated and voluntarily cynical discourse of Iggy Pop, the post Punk Rock Star who has become a meticulously organized stripper selling his image to  advertisement campaigns and who “[doesn't] care about what the public who has already bought [his] album think”, Jeff Koon's contemporary discourse is a t the same time realistic and modest when he admits being incapable of realizing alone any of his works.

    The writer Frédéric Beigbeder is another example of humility,

who, receiving the Femina Prize for one of his books, turned off his detractors' resentment by declaring “I don't accept this prize as a reward, but as an encouragement to become a writer”. That's what you call a nice snook ;-).

    With the return of the crises, familys rediscover the family's virtues, whether they are two-parent, reconstituted, single parent, or chosen families. Home has become again a place where you invest: you decore it. As genuine heirs of the porn chic trend, the present times are for lingerie and sexy homewear. In the kitchen, organic well-eating replaced the junk food dictatorship. Virtue is an active, committed valor. Political parties and brands praise the return to valorous virtues such as labor, the passing on from a generation to another, sharing, equity and solidarity.

    Diet product sales plunged, leading distribution retailers to progressively get rid of this label associated with a too high level of sugar and to obesity, and to orient themselves to the appeal of new organic and fair (in theory) trade.

    Sustainable development leaves more to the future generations than to the current generation, it has to preserve health and environment.

    At the Stock Exchange, gold and diamond are no longer seen as safe-haven values. The living-well has become the new savoir-vivre. The virtuous organic trend will reign unchallenged in our closets and our plates. Organic cotton has replaced the Rolex watch in the bourgeois-bohèmes' list of musts.

“Selling one's Rolex” has become the new politically correct equivalent for “Eating one's hat”. In a time where organic products do the talk, the advertiser Jacques Séguéla has clearly understood that provocation is no longer in the air. The ambient atmosphere is impregnated with political correctness and humor. He sold his Rolex and donated the money to charities, in his competitors' store in the drugstore Publicis.

In the 60's, Lenny Bruce, the inventor of the stand-up, stood against the hundreds of million dollars invested by the Kennedy government in his affirmative action policy which is  aiming at favoring the social and professional integration of visible minorities, Black and Hispanic people mainly. He wanted the President to mention in his speeches the terms “niggers”, “kikes”, and “chicanos” which would have the effect of limiting the reach of these racist expressions according to him.

In the 80's-90's, the decade of the children of the advertising era, you had to be unconventional, seriousness was banned, Lenny's theory was triumphing. Derision and cynism were highly fashionable. The soaring of prices in the stock exchange and art were their last avatars. The two elections of President Barack Obama proved that the politically correct approach, responsible and virtuous are an active principe which brings forward society and its habits. Today, politically correctness has become the cornerstone of laws, it helped electing a “non-white” as president of the most powerful State in the world.

It is also the official language of all democratic nations, the one that will allow the evolution of society's usages and habits, and of love relationships.

    Political correctness as a life insurance?  Today, the well-being is collective, it is forbidden to pollute the air, the earth, water, or to upset your peers. The alarming warning “Smoking kills!” has replaced the classy “Do you smoke?”.  Alain Delon, Jacques Tati, Coco Chanel, Lucky Luke, Jacques Chirac have become, against their will, defensors of the struggle against smoking.

    Frédéric Beigbeder, an over-excited, hypersensitive romantic hero, reconnects in his book “Un Roman Français” with his family and history. Hypersensitive people get back home and abide by the rules, at least on the streets ;-).

Luxury is dead, long live quality / Far from Tom Ford's porno chic, the PPR Group has been reconnecting with the land origins of his founder, the forrester François Pinault. The Group will then position itself on a new kind of Luxury focused on quality and a mastered creativity. PPR announces this turn by funding the movie HOME from Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

    Successfully launched in the 70's by Alain-Dominique Perrin, the Musts, a jewelry line with affordable prices was rapidly given up in order not to demean Cartier's image. In the mid-nineties, in order to answer the growing demand generated by globalization and the emergence of new markets, the luxury groups have invented something called the affordable luxury and the must haves.

    In 40 years, we have shifted from an elitist luxury to mass luxury, from the Musts to the must haves.

Next chapter

    Rich / Poor – the new World's new frontier. The global number of people holding more than one million dollars of assets is 10 millions. They are now equally distributed between Asia, America and Northern-Europe, but the most important concentrations of millionaires can be found in the USA, in Japan and in Germany. Their assets account for more than 20 thousand billions dollars. A 1.4% of the European and Northern American population now lives under the poverty line, while the purchasing power of the middle class keeps eroding.

    In 1920 Gandhi imposes the use of the spinning wheel as a symbol of Indian protectionnism against the colonial power represented by the UK. 80 years later, India and Asia have become the world's manufacturing plants.

Next chapter

    What about love ? Along with the recognization of same-sex marriage, the current times are witnessing the shift from the shallow right to multiple sex of the 2.0 decade to the right of multiple love. From porn chic to shocking love.

    It's a small world after all / At the Big Bang's time, the universe was billions of times smaller than a particle of dust. A particle which contained the maps of stars and galaxies wich now form the cosmos, and of the animal and vegetal world which live in it. What could be held in the palm of a hand was the promise of current marvels, the atomic universe we are now living in.

Our daily lives.

    Everything is now connected by an extraordinarily precise combination of random circumstances, from the lightest human thought to the achievement of big projects. The world as we know it appears to us like a village with the size of a pea, ruled by its “connections”.

    Originated in 1905 by Albert Einstein and his famous relativity theory – which emerged from the study of the fusion of atoms – quantum physics were born in 1925 from the works of Werner Heisenberg, Max Planck and Wolfgang Pauli

For Einstein

For Heisenberg 

    Without quantum physics, there would be no atomic clocks, no computers, no lasers, no information society, no GPS, no magnetic resonance. Quantum physics represent a major part of the global economy's structure and, in a timespan of one centure, more than 40% of the global wealth.

    This mathematical theory, which rejected determinism, describes atoms and elementary particles, assuming that objects are interpretable and that things change if we look at them.

   Opposing Einstein's thoughts about relativity – we can not predict what the future will be – Heisenberg highlights the fact that if the causes of an event are known, its consequences are not: “reality” is forged by our brain. We forge are own reality.

    Quantum physics have become the prevailing theory on which lie all the action of politiciants and firms: Barack Obama “Yes you can”, Nike “Just do It”, Apple “This is a revolution”.

    Sitting in the middle of the arid desert under his tent, an old Yemeni sees a pilgrim passing by and offers him hospitality. The traveller noted the beauty of the carpet on which they were sitting and learnt that his venerable host had four daughters who all left him to get married. They were renowned for making the finest carpets of this montainous and cold region. Before leaving, the daughters made the carpet on which they were sitting. The oldest daughter sheared the sheep and spinned the wool, the second daughter designed the drawings and chose the colors, the third one wovened the carpet and the youngest daughter was sitting on it when she met her husband. Today, the old man is feeling a little sad about giving away the carpet but he agrees to leave it to such a fine connoisseur. He poured a very sweetened mint tea to his guest. By the time the teapot was empty, the two men had agreed on a price for the carpet and the guest went back on the road, his purchase rolled on his shoulder. The seller then takes out another carpet from his stock and smokes his narguile, waiting for the next customer.

    Since the dawn of time, it has always been all about a good product, a good story, a good location and a good price.

    Based on the success of leading brands, the story telling has now been marketed by advertising agencies. Can a brand's history sustainably be invented? Here are two brand stories and their decoding.

    As the grandson of a shoemaker and son of a minor shoe industrialist, everything predestined Diego Della Valle to turn shoes into his life passion.

    At the end of the 70's, the family factory, located in the Italian region of Marche, handcrafts not only shoes for the major creators of that time including Azzedine Alaia and Christian Lacroix, but also Della Valle shoes which are sold in the family owned shop on the ground floor of the brand's commercial showroom on via Della Spiga in Milano.

    While remaining within his family, Diego, who had turned 25 ans in 1978, wanted to tell his own story. At a time when Creators had the upper hand, Italians were fond of the Anglo-saxon elegance of the 30's and the 50's, their icons are Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire and the Kennedys ; but also New York, Boston and Cape Cod. Flair and luck are part of talent, the brand will turn into a planetary success. It is therefore natural that Della Valle chooses a brand with an American-sounding name. Diego built the brand around a model of moccasins which embody what America looked like then, the car shoe his father was already manufacturing. After that, he will randomly pick from a New York telephone directory a name easy to remember and pronounce in every language, J.P. Tod's.

The J.P. Part will rapidly be scrubbed out but Tod's has made its way to fashion history and to Harvard's University where it is an industrial business success case study.

    Encouraged by the emerging success met in Italy by the mocassin famous for its 133 rubber studs, Diego soon comes to France in order to find for his brand a legitimacy that only Paris is able to provide him with. L'Eclaireur will confirm his notoriety by distributing his mocassins which, at the beginning, didn't trigger so much enthusiasm.

    The French press, which was at that time focused on hype minimalism coming from Japan and Belgium and trending among creators, was not yet interested in these old school shoes. It is only with the 19th of October 1987 crisis and the returning back to centenary brands that the landmark value of the Tod's brand and shoes will be recognized in France by various magazines: Elle, Vogue Men and Marie Claire which will launch the brand with three full pages in the same week.

    At this total look times, accessories were nothing more than... acessories in the constitution of a look. Diego Della Valle will show all his inborn talent as a communicator in order to male Tod's a fully-fledged brand and promote it outside Italy.

    For if Italians are really quick to fire up for a new brand, they are just as quick to turn their back to it after a few weeks. On the contrary, French people with their natural sense of criticism since the 19th century are difficult to seduce. Paris thus had to be seduced in order to open up to Tod's Europe's doors, then the USAs and the whole world to finish.

    That's what Diego will do by importing to France a common practice in Italy: the Ommagios. He will select a panel from the Parisian audience which counts among others a florist from the Palais Bourbon, a young advertiser who will later become a writer, a junior journalist, a few crowned heads from the UK and Monaco, as well as, of course, French celebrities.

    These mocassins success will be immediate among the happy few who are happy to be a part of it. This success is also linked to another characteristic of the shoe which is never underlined by the brand itself: its amazing comfort. It is only after ten years that French luxury brands will follow Tod's steps and integrated product placement in their PR strategy, though they are not acostumed to it.

    The notoriety and the turnover of the transalpine brand have then grown at a steady pace. Diego Della Valle launches an institutional advertisement campaign which marked its time:

John and Jacky Kennedy appear barefoot, and, under the black and white photo, a pair of Tod's moccassins can be seen, in color. Simple and straightforward, the campaign created a buzz. Some picky comments were made about the facts that the brand didn't exist at that time, to which Diego wittingly responded that if it had, the iconic couple would have worn Tod's. Definitely reassured, the Italians will also be convinced by the most elegant of their peers who will appear on TV wearing rubber-studded shoes: the industrialist Gianni Agnelli, who made the brand take off. European success is on its way.

    The Tod's shoes who were already present in style section of magazines from all around the world conquered the celebrities' section when the latter started to wear them. They also stimulated the economics section.

    But that's not enough for Diego who, after 8 years of existence, turned the rubber-studded shoes brand into the hypest accessory of the time and the most dramatic success of the beginning of the 90's in the fashion world.  

    The brand kept rethinking its positioning and its PR strategy. The mocasins were first very classical, available only in leather or nubuck, in black, brown and dark blue. It's by bringing some color in its collections, starting by the patent leather in order to gain some popularity among the hipster circles of the middle of the 80's, that Tod's will become a major player of fashion and luxury.

    As a skilful communicator, Della Valle almost succeeded making everyone forget that he is  an industrialist. Predating other luxury houses, who for most of them don't own their own manufacturing infrastructures, Diego will give publicity to his working tool: his plants, his workers trained by the house and paid with a better salary than his competitors' in the region. And to their savoir-faire. The international press informs its clients that he buys for them the best animal skins in the world one year in advance, which are set aside in locked safes in order to guarantee the shoes production and delivery to his shops. “Now you'll know that I really manufacture shoes”, he said to a French journalist who came to visit the factory.

    Like many founders of successful fashion brands or Luxury Groups, Diego hides to the public his role in the creation or artistic direction of the house. As the only master of his time and of his firm's growth, Dieogo tests a new model or a new platform sometimes during two years before including it in his collection. It took him 15 years to launch the first rubber-studded bags. He probably had the idea on the backburner since the inception of the brand.

    Though he is a huge fan of the American East Coast and of John Kennedy, he by the way bought at an auction the latter's rocking chair and his small sailboat, Diego de la Valle rooted Tod's in his hometown and in the Italian culture.  The brand's advertisement campaigns voluntarily display models with an allure a bit too show-off for a European or an American, he publishes

books paying tribute to the Italian touch and lifestyle, the country's traditions and its crafts that he represents. With his friend Luca di Montezemolo, Diego owns the Charme fund which invested in furniture and Italian design. Diego financed the restoration of the Rome Coliseum, which cost him 25 millions euros. And since the love  of football runs in any Italian's veins, he also is the owner of the Fiorentina. The only last thing that he needs is a renowned gourmet restaurant. Italy has become the core of the brand, in the way that Paris and France have become the land of French Luxury.

    Diego didn't forget about his initial activity though, by entering in 2009 in the capital of the famous American department store, Saks Fifth Avenue and by buying out a part of the Brook Brothers shirts' capital. At the same time, Fiat bought its American competitor, Chrysler, confirming the trend around the building of global groups in all industrial sectors. Fashion is an industry like any other else, but a glamorous one.

    However, Diego's heart is also French. It is an old tradition that has been uniting the country since the Renaissance, a mutual respect made of shared admiration and petty rivalries. Diego Della Valle, as a fan of Hermès of which he is the transalpine cousin and the neighbour on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, is also present in France. He bought and revived the shoemaker Roger Vivier, by appointing at its head an old friend, Inès de la Fressange, of whom he appreciates the Parisian elegance and advice.

More recently, he enthroned Farida Khelfa as ambassadress of the Schiaparelli house, established on the place Vendôme. Farida is a former model with a typical Parisian style and cheekiness, and she's also Inès' best friend since the Palace times, as well as Jean-Paul Goude and Azzedine Alaia's Muse. Together, they succeded in creating a buzz around the brand without unveiling a singe product.

    Founder of the Tod's groups and co-owner with his family of the Fay and Hogan brands at the same time, Diego Della Valle also has holdings in many firms including the glasses' giant Safilo. He also is the director of Ferrari and LVMH, to which he sold his perfume brand  Acqua di Parma. Diego's long walk took him to the building of the biggest Italian luxury group, to which he brings his industrial and political vision. His group promotes quality and aims at preserving the Italian industrial sector as well as its culture. Some see in him a top-level future politician.

    Thierry Gillier was born into the profession. He’s from a family of hosiers settled in the city of Troyes for three generations, and who invented the Lacoste shirt and the Jil underwear. After having enhanced knitted collections for leading designers of the 80’s such as Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler, Thierry and his brother decide to launch their own brand of knitted products.

Together, they create ATG (Arnaud and Thierry Gillier) which has proven successful thanks to its camel hair pullovers, in Europe but in Japan mainly where the brand will enjoy the highly-coveted status of Creator. The 1991 Gulf War along with the economic crisis led ATG’s investor, the Mitsubishi group, to brutally put an end to the experience, by fax. Thierry Gillier says that this crisis has in fact been providential and that it saved his life. He disagreed with the creation mode of his “Creator” brand and he couldn’t stand fashion shows and the too narcissistic and pompous ceremonial around them.

    Thierry is a graduate in Arts and Media from the Bart College in New York, who for two years dedicated himself  to his other passion : painting. Thierry also enjoyed the opportunity to travel and to reinterpret “Zadig; or the Book of Fate”, a philosophical tale written by Voltaire in 1748 which was directly inspired by a Quran Surah, the Cave, (S.18; V.60-82) “it is necessary to accept that evil is necessary to the world order and from evil, will emerge the good”. This Surah reminds us of our nowadays quantum physics.

    This introspective period will lead Thierry to be aware that he has his own fashion sense, which is more similar to the approach of Agnès B. than to the creators’.

    At the same time, fashion is undergoing deep changes, big French and Italian Luxury Groups are emerging in the world of Luxury.

    Thierry founds the Zadig & Voltaire house, following the economic steps of these creative yet structured brands. He soon became the inventor of the new emerging type of brands whose motto is “affordable luxury”. The industrialist’s grandson has been followed by Sandro, Maje, and the Kooples from the Sentier neighbourhood in Paris, as well as by designers such as Isabelle Marant and Vanessa Bruno. All of them are born in the profession, like him, except Isabelle Marant who is the daughter of a former fashion model.

    Thierry Gillier has an genuine knitting culture which allowed him to reinvent the knitting practices, by creating a less close spacing in order to save money on the raw materials budget and obtain an affordable selling price. This was the kicking-off of the loose style. Thierry has also been among the first ones to democratize access to cashmere which prices are dropping while its production is consistently increasing in Asia. By introducing cashmere in its collection, Zadig & Voltaire makes it to the Luxury label. Since the space between the knits is bigger in order to use as little as possible from this material, it is necessary to wear t-shirts under, that’s how Z & V kick starts the layered clothing.

    As a sharp observer of the street phenomena, he invents, not without putting a feminine touch, the layering of short-sleeved t shirts on long-sleeved t-shirts. He creates a new everyday look that the low-profiled bourgeois-bohèmes soon made theirs, as they don’t identify with the bling-bling codes of their bourgeois and proud contemporary peers. He suggests to his clients to

wear their clothes inside-out.

    He refits military clothes. He invents a whole universe for the brand close to his artistic universe.

    It takes a lot of adjustments to create a brand, to settle new products and outfits. The mastering of time is one of this entrepreneur’s greatest strengths. He knows about all the fashion industry professions, he knows a great deal about the selection and buying of raw materials, and from the very beginning he understood how decisive it was to delocalize the manufacturing in Asia, but also in Italy for the leather. It is no coincidence that his own office is directly connected to the styling department, where he regularly intervenes on the creations.

    Thierry also has high-level skills in the real estate industry, he invented a new unique type of merchandising relying on a tightly woven network of the brand stores within the same district, sometimes even the same block, to gain more visibility. In order to gain even more publicity, he installs in the stores front windows big light boxes which serve as signs visible night and day.

    Though the collections can seem a bit repetitive, everything is made in order not to bore the visitors. The displaying furniture are easily accessible allowing the clients to touch the items, and they have supplying drawers always filling the display shelves giving the impression that the collection has just arrived. Stores are restocked twice a week, with collections which are so important

that the products offered vary from one shop to another from the same district. He created a unique olfactory signature, recognizable in all the brands outlets, so that the brand’s fans associate it with the smell of cashmere.

    Setting up a brand, create collections, are complex actions, the result of years of experience, of succeedings as well as failings which are equally enriching. And then one day, hardwork and adaptation just pay off, one day you finally get it right, and luck has its say in this story, as long as you strike quickly.

    Zadig & Voltaire owes its success to its very recognizable tunisian collar shirt and its buttonholes that the plant had forgotten to unpick for the first delivery. Unchanged until now, it has been for the last ten years one of the brand's must haves and the blue overall of all artists, whether they are actors, singers, writers, painters, football players, TV hosts, and of all those who want to achieve this status.

    Since its launching  the brand knew how to conquer the teenagers heart : Zadig & Voltaire remembers them by offering them posters they can pin in their room next to their favorite rock bands,...which are also customers of the brand.

    In the movie Lol, Lisa Azuelos dresses all members of the blended family in Zading & Voltaire, from the young child to the grandmother, not mentioning the psychologist.

Zading & Voltaire has become their blue overall. The brand has always included Rock music in its communication, and now owns its music label.

    The brand, mother of all slip-ups, has reached the peak of its success, as it is present in all the books from the writer Frédéric Beigbeder, in the lyrics of the Marc Lavoine singers, Renaud and Helmut Fritz. The brand is also mentioned in the Oui FM radio advertising campaigns and at the backburner of all campaigns thought by artistic directors who are in search of the “Zadig & Voltaire woman”.

    On the occasion of co-branding operations, landmark brands such as Leica or Samsung attract customers who pay attention to fashion and its codes. In exchange, they provide Zadig & Voltaire with credibility and visibility.

    Without any star designer or emblematic artistic directors, and with reasonable advertising efforts, Zadig & Voltaire, knew how to tie strong emotional bonds with a wide audience. It embodies the new French woman elegance, cool and responsible. The brand convinced the investment firm TA Associates, who paid an amount of money representing eleven times Zadig & Voltaire's profits in order to diversify into the ready-to-wear industry, somewhere halfway between life style and upscale products, and it also got the very conspicuous Thierry Gillier in the club of the one hundred richest people in France.

    The emerging brand Zading & Voltaire, which is already present all around the world is now in a position to succeed where all other French brands failed:  ensure a significant growth in the USA, then Asia, and become, along with the French Luxury Groups a major actor of the French and international fashion.

    Thierry Gillier is following his path, accompanied by Jesrad, the providential angel from the  Quran Surah “The Cave”.

    Both of these brands are closely bound to their founders' lives, which story they tell. Maybe that's the reason why they tied such strong emotional ties with their customers, just like the way people identify themselves with the scenario and the actors of a movie, without necessarily knowing who is the director. In contrast with a movie which lasts one hour and a half, and gets revived only on the occasion of a remake, a brand can live and dress us up everyday for a hundred years and even more by anticipating its time and without renouncing its founding values.

    From Apple to Zadig & Voltaire / The Luxury Apple / Technological products have become a the sign of youth and of the belonging to the fashion planet, just like a purse, stilettos, or glasses. Like fashion did with the pop rock style, the Babys have played a decisive role in the battle that Apple is now winning against Microsoft, since Apple's entry point in 2001 was music. With the iPod, Apple conquered young people, who then brought in their wake the older generation. The brand knew how to capture them in its ecosystem thanks to products working in synergy: smartphones, computers, touchpads, and soon, television. These products are all the result of Steve Job's motto : “Think different”. It is a direct consequence of quantum physics, and lies on his believing that a bad thing can brig a good thing, you just need to know what you love and who you love, and seize the chances. Life is a resolution. 

    Luxury as a model / Just like fashion brands did, Apple has established a strong emotional relationship with its clients by communicating on its history and the one of its founders,  nobody forgot about their beginnings in their parents' garage, and by presenting new products in hypermediatized big shows, expected all around the world. The brand also resorted to product placement in movies, and it associated an immediately recognizable design to a unique technological identity. Which Samsung is not capable of.

    By manufacturing a very limited range of products in Asia, building a distribution network backed by its own concept store and e-commerce infrastructure and by setting a non intrusive and very subtle PR tone, the bourgeois-bohème brand preserved its double digits margins in spite of a cut-throat competition context.

    Apple has invendted the electronic total look, just like fashion brands do in the luxury industry ;-)

Acknowledgement :

Bérangère Lanteri (Facebook friend), Laurence Bantchik (Facebook friend and sister in real life), Alain Elkaim (Brother on Facebook and brother-in-law in real life), Gilles Verdiani (Facebook friend and writer in real life), Léo Dorfner (who has illustrated this book, Facebook friend, Laurent Dubary in real life), Daniel Dass (Webmaster and Facebook friend), Olivier Bardolle (publisher at L'Editeur who offered me an exquisite lunch and the idea of writing more),  Bruno and Julie De Guillebon (Facebook friend and mother, in real life, of Mahault & Cesar, the new world twins and of course LAURE (my lover, and not only on Facebook, who inspired to me this ABC-book).