With many surprises from Lucien Pagés, the audience hears about the contemporary and future foundations for fashion pr and communications. These sectors of fashion are changing, and quite drastically when compared to the historically typical way of relaying information, influencing trends, and stirring public attention for sales. However, he does away with the cynical and quintessential manner when speaking about journalism–and with some alleviation presents us with a positive mindset regarding fashion journalism
“Tools have changed but the job is the same.”
And so, Lucien Pagés goes digital. He is so forward with his visual journalism that he writes off having a website and swears by the contemporary works of instagram.
It is a surprise particularly because he has worked in the business so extensively and for a very long time, and often people who do work in an industry for a long time have difficulty adapting to the contemporary changes.
In fact, Lucien Pagés has a very unique way of approaching the industry although not unfamiliar to the standard method. He seeks out young Parisian based designers and makes sure he can align with their vision,
“I need to feel comfortable with their work, so I usually choose designers I love and respect.”
Pagés was thorough, concise, and frank in sharing with us his insights and experiences. As a crucial part of the industry he works to launch young brands and does so willingly if standards are met. Not only must he represent work he believes in but the brand must also prove to unique to the industry as there are “too many brands out there and a lot of them are doing the same thing.”
He doesn’t see a need to work for the luxury haute couture brands as they don’t apply to his strengths. He also understands that the luxury fashion houses are slow to change their communication methods. Luxury fashion hasn’t been able to easily adapt because spontaneity doesn’t fit well with luxury; luxury demands control. The fact that the haute couture fashion houses used to control their advertising and they don’t anymore, has been a difficult truth to face.
Pagés ventures deeper into the world of his work explaining to us a bit of why he uses the methods he does, who he has worked for, and the conception of his work. In coming to terms with the changes in journalism rather quickly, Pagés went straight to having everything digital. Fashion has always been all about images, but now just in a different mode of conceptualizing that image
Fashion is all about images
One example of a fashion brand and designer that Pagés worked for was Jacquemus. With this particular brand, Pagés stayed true to his work ethic by working with a Parisian based designer he respects. He was able to help Jacquemus launch his brand digitally in a very constructive way. Pagés also recognized when it was time to move on.
Jacquemus is an Instagram warrior
He acknowledged the fact that the Jacquemus brand now heavily relies on the life story of the designer Jacquemus himself. “Jacquemus is an instagram warrior–he no longer needs me.”
He then explains the many uses of instagram. Pagés has both a work and personal instagram. He uses his personal instagram to maintain and build relationships with people involved not only in his personal life but also people interested in understanding the man behind the PR agency. He shares experiences, inspirations, and behind the scenes excerpts. None of his live videos have much to do with work but rather sharing what he is engaging with as a person – events, exhibitions, and special occasions. “Only moments that he’s lived.”He knows himself and it’s his personal account so he speaks from his passions and experience. Whereas his work instagram is specifically for work such as gallery pieces.
He goes on to address a very real worry of journalists in fashion,
“Are influencers taking our jobs?”
“No.” Influencers are not doing such a thing, they are simply changing the way in which we need to approach fashion journalism and communication. And without followers there wouldn’t be influencers so as dual reassurance he claims that followers don’t jeopardize professional journalism either. It is not complicated, there is a need for both influencers and journalists. They provide different services. Some brands use celebrities some use influencers–journalists aren’t even a part of this conversation; they take up a different space in the industry.
When it comes to his services Pagés allocates some of his time during the interview to elucidate a bit on his strategy. For him, there must be a story that goes with a brand. Visualization is key. There are questions that need to be answered, will there be a storefront, will there be an online presence, who is the audience, will there be a collaboration? With each of these seemingly obvious questions there needs to be a clear and thought out decision made especially when it comes to collaborations — sometimes more so in favor of the pr just because a collaboration can be very “tiring” production as Pagés puts it.
Collaboration is tiring and a lot of work for a pr,
for this reason it should feel natural and obvious;
sometimes the pairing just isn’t right.
Many of the more contemporary collaborations have been a balance of luxury and street fashion for a wealthy and cool vibe. This particularly helps attract the younger consumers. It is very much a “give a take” situation as these brands typically have a different way of viewing fashion and clearly have a remarkable difference when it comes to their position in the industry. One collaboration that he was especially proud of was “Supreme’s first collaboration with the Adam Kimmel suit 10yrs ago.”
“Some collaborations at truly phenomenal.”
At the end of the day it is about joining different communities together and creating something totally fresh and new. It can be really exciting.