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APONIE: when a mother and her children decide to create fragrances loaded with meanings and love

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A new French brand has just revealed a collection of four new fragrances. APONIE created by Jocelyne Duval, explores new notes for men or for women, which are echoes from one another through seasons, moods and attitude.

We had a chance to interview her son, Marc-Aurèle Jules.

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Aponie is all about hyphenated identities and worldwide inspirations. How did you create fragrances right in this crossroad?

Interbreeding is a chance and a richness, it defines us and we care about it. My mother already grew up between Western and African educations, then in the same way, she raised us in this multiculturality, which opened our minds to cultures and traditions from here and there.

The best example of our love for interbreeding remains the name of our perfume “Mulâtresse” because a Mulâtresse, in French, is a daughter born of the union of black and white parents (it was also the nickname given to Jeanne Duval, the muse of the French poet Charles Baudelaire). Our origins from Europe and Arica, and our discoveries of regions in Asia or America brought us other exotic and cosmopolitan inspirations.

Personally, I have been brought up among perfumes. My mother used to soak, very young, our pillows with the Eau de Cologne by Mr Thibeault, then sprayed the filter of the vacuum cleaner in order to fill the house with the Eau de Parfum Panthère by Cartier, and our walks never missed to stop by a perfumery during the weekend or a manufacture as soon as we were travelling. Obviously, when she decided to make her dream come true by creating APONIE, recent graduate of HEC Paris, I chose with no hesitation to to join her into partnership, and so did my sister!

There is a lot of love and humour in your four new fragrances. A collection as a whole, which is very different from other “blockbusters” like Chanel, focusing on “hero” products like N°5….

Indeed, there is a lot of LOVE in our fragrances, the love of perfume firstly, and above all the love of self which is one of the main values of our House. APONIE extols three values that are the love of self, the teaching of happiness and the sublimation of self, which passes by perfume.

In addition to our philosophy of love and happiness, we put a lot of poetry into our fragrances. We realized bold and previously unseen mixes to reach perfumes “that sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses” as Baudelaire said.

We meant to create essences starting from personalities and characters. In this sense, I think our collection must be understood as a whole set but according to his sensitivity, each and everyone will find its own product-hero.

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The collection is genderless: how did you operate this fusion?

As I said earlier, our starting point for the creation of each perfume was the personality. Our perfumes carry a non-verbal communication that delivers instantly the message of your personality. The family of our first collection is made up of the proud and fiery woman (Mulâtresse), the elegant and distinguished man (Aryballe), the sparkling and serene woman (Jolanta), and the happy and free man (Sybaris).

Our collection was aiming at two fragrances for men and two for women. Once finished, to our greatest surprise, our perfumes Sybaris and Aryballe, initially designed for men, turned out to be unisex, because they happened to be amazingly worn by women. The perfumes still haven’t given all their secrets to the fusion of genders!aponie mulatresse parfum

Should perfume do a bit of politics? :) 

 

:D
The House of APONIE features the richness of interbreeding, the mix of cultures, and the teaching of happiness. If these values talks to you, then we’ll think about it in 2017 using as a programme the Perfumes as a model of unity.

You work with the craftsmen of Grasse ; is it something important to work with the French excellence stakeholders?

This French touch appeared as obvious, with the creation in Grasse, the cradle of perfumes, the manufacture in the Cosmetic Valley, expertise and competitiveness pole, and of course the elegance, the charm and et the character of Paris.

Perfumes and cosmetics are among the best ambassadors of France worldwide. We are proud to be French.

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What’s so great about Instagram? An interview with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram

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Fashion Weeks used to be a closed network, with buyers and happy journalists. It Girls were fighting for the FROW. But with Social Media and more specifically Instagram, there’s a brand new playground in which new public and new communities gather. It’s not the Front Row that matters anymore, but the backstage, the making-of, the secret stories propagated and shaped by makers. An ongoing and perpetual reinvention of fashion, which goes beyond conventions and traditional rules. Instagram is our favourite social network (you can follow Vu Quan & lilzeon and his new project). It’s a goldmine to wander around others’ dreams and through people ideas.

Instagram, it’s the reality and the perception of this reality.

We had a chance to chitchat with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram to share few ideas, crushes, vision about the network.

Let’s go, in, sta, gram.

Instagram has become one of the ‘places to be’ for fashion brands as well as for fashion enthusiasts. Is there a risk of creating a ‘snacking culture’ for brands that are more luxury oriented?

There is a lot of fashion storytelling on Instagram that is light and fun and fast. We also see really sophisticated, unforgettable storytelling from the fashion community, whether Landon Nordeman’s (@landonnordeman) Instagram-first fashion week coverage for The Cut:

#theCutPFW @rickowensonline Rehearsal #pfw for @thecut #eiffeltower #jaimeparis

A photo posted by Landon Nordeman (@landonnordeman) on

…or Richie Talboy (@okrichie) and Lucas Lefler’s (@lucas_lefler) #emptyrunway series for Vanity Fair. In France too there is a growing community of inspiring creatives on Instagram, from Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths) to Tiffany Cooper (@tiffanycooper_) to Simon Portes Jacquemus (@jacquemus). Fashion houses, publications and individuals all over the world look to them for inspiration.

"GRIS" #JACQUEMUS FIRST PRE/COLLECTION / @harleyweir @jamesvaleri @aninevanvelzen

A photo posted by SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on


We are noticing some emerging trends in the network à la Tumblr (such as pro-ANA movements that are creating support groups) and that you have started to recruit people in order to identify and share the community with the world. How do you identify creative community members ? Do you have dedicated tools and contacts with them?

The Community Team at Instagram was created to discover and elevate the most amazing people and storytelling on Instagram. Our small but mighty team has members in Tokyo, London, Moscow, São Paulo, San Francisco and, of course, New York, where I am based. We celebrate the community on Instagram from North Korea to Nebraska. My discovery process involves everything from research on Instagram to asking everyone I meet if there’s anyone they’ve discovered who I need to know about. I always find amazing people when I’m in Paris.

Success is hard to achieve and gaining numerous followers is a lot of work on Instagram. However, some companies such as Instabrand are created with a view to manage Instagram’s talents. What advice would you give to a talent that is starting on Instagram and wants to join the tribe of very followed accounts?

For us, Instagram is all about the fun of sharing your story and discovering amazing people to follow. Here are a few best practices for someone who’s just starting out. First, tell a consistent story. Second, follow some people you know, some people you don’t know and some people you just discovered (for example, I follow many people in fashion and art but I also follow a florist in Moscow and a lifestyle photographer who captures wonderful images of his two Newfoundland dogs. Finally, connect with other people. This can be through likes and comments or even through meeting in person for coffee or an InstaMeet. The InstaMeet phenomenon, whereby Instagrammers meet in a location to take pictures of scenes which inspire them, allows the community to come together and share their passions and creative processes in new, real relationships with others.

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AllSaints, Dripping by Blonde Redhead: a blend of beats, outfits and underground vibes

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Every morning, I walk through Commercial Street, where AllSaints Spitalfields faces a legendary pub, and a very sought-after fish-n-shop boutique. In the middle of this East London corner, you can smell leather, rock’n roll, and this thirst for more.

Actually, people wearing AllSaints clothing can’t be that bad; despite the mystic fuss around the brand these days; his godfathers keep the edgy traits, as this collaboration with Blonde Redhead illustrates. The 21-year long career of the trio demonstrates that AllSaints don’t invest in shouting stars but in talents who deeply mean something more. The latest album of the trio, Barragán (same name as Luis Barragán, known for his clean lines and raw materials) is a tribute to a dreamy art-punk, hypnotic music. Guitarist/vocalist Amedeo Pace, drummer Simone Pace, and guitarist/vocalist Kazu Makino bring us off tempo for a nice journey.

 

 

KAZU WEARS: Elm Leather Legging, £498, Elise Shirt, £138, Reya Blazer, £258 and Camden Boot, £158 // AMEDEO WEARS: Conroy Leather Biker Jacket, £358, Stove Chinos, £78 and Refute Crew T-shirt, £30

// SIMONE WEARS: Monceau Shirt, £118, Crow Cigarette Jeans, £88

 

More about Blonde Redhead:

website: http://blonde-redhead.com/barragan/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blonderedhea

Instagram: http://instagram.com/harrymakino

Barragán: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bar…

Watch more from AllSaints Studios: http://www.allsaints.com/studios/

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Superdry Varsity Track t-shirt: London inspiration (and win a T-shirt!)

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Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt is inspired by classic college sports design. And as a former UCLA student, it reminded me great memories. Learning to play “American football” (while we were supposed to play “soccer”, uh!), chilling down the dorms with great folks from all over the world. Doing some sports, 24h/7.

So when Superdry asked us to do a product review, we said yes! Oh and between: you can win one t-shirt if you comment and explain who was (or is) your favourite mate at College!

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The famous Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt, some vintage Nike sneakers, few accessories for a good session..

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Detail of the box.

 

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Sunset in London: track & field changed a lot as you can see. The crew neck t-shirt features a rubberised chest print and is finished with a three-colour Superdry logo tab on the sleeve. And the quality is pretty high, so expect to keep for a very long time!

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The “matching outfit” trend: the new fashion couples?

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Since February 2012 and Valentine’s day in Korea, a massive trend is booming: couples are now wearing the same outfits. Led by K-drama, the “matching couples” are everywhere on Instagram or an popular Asian social networks.

A love game

Making a pullover “match” with our lover’s one is obviously cute. But not only: it’s also a way to diffuse a certain softness, a nice attitude to your close friends. In France, youth magazine Néon explains that it’s a way to create a sort of moving bubble, protective from the surrounding world. As this matching is very appealing and very visual, it’s also a way to exacerbate the individualities of the two lovers.

Tatto culture, an inspiration for “matching couples”

The matching outfits phenomenon is very influenced by tattoo culture. Without promoting clichés, tattoos can be a “mark”, a footprint of someone we love. In this case, outfits are temporary demonstration of attachment to someone; everyday, patterns can change, rejuvenating the couple image…therefore its fuel. Isolated, one of the two lovers might just be an original chap. But together, the couple becomes a motif.

© Jessicahtliang Instagram

Instagram: self-reinvention, couple-reinvention

As we daily tell our lives and highlight a lot of our selves, this “matching outfits” game is very Instagram-friendly; the couple can become a digital mosaic for friends or followers. This little world can like the couple, taking part in the love project to a certain extent. It’s also a form of loyalty: an individual can therefore feed this couple culture. In 2014, Pharell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh were probably one the most visible “matching couple”.

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The Barbour Archive: when a brand teaches us why their products matter

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I need to confess: I am not particularly the typical Barbour customer. Because intuitively, it does not fit my own style, my identity. And because I’ve been exposed to a lot of communications that are not promoting diversity and mash-ups. So when we received this morning a message from the PR department about their mysterious archives, it was like a shock.

I’ve suddenly realized that Barbour is far more diverse than I thought. Margaret Barbour taking the lead in 1968 after the death of her husband and how she managed to get, in 1974, a first Royal Warrant.

A focus of 2007, when the Barbour made its mark as a festival stalwart when Lily Allen, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, TV presenter Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldof . Or when the Barbour achieved to reach a level of standard in any fashion wardrobe, as the Burberry trench can be.

The last years have been very rich in terms of widening what Barbour has to say; more feminine designs, more emphasis on collaboration with pop culture blog-busters like Pantone.

Run to The Barbour Archive: it’s an exquisite breakthrough into a brand new world.

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A Selective Attention Test With The Free Help Guy

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Before reading the interview, do this test. Do it. Seriously.

How did you get on? Did you get it right?

This illustration of our selective attention (originally developed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris) represents an interesting psychology and an almost unnerving duping of the brain.

In this video, The Free Help Guy created a version a bit bolder, a bit deeper. And it’s true: busy we are, busy we claim to be. Whereas very important people and topics are around us, we might lose ourselves in the daily bread.

We had the chance to interview T., the man behind The Free Help Guy, a very interesting platform, connecting free helpers. In a world where we don’t talk much to our neighbours, there might be a need to re-shape social links…

Many experts talk about the fact that attention economy is the new playground for humans; time should be more valuable than money itself. Do you think that basic reactions like empathy, trust, caring, are dismantled by the noise which tries to grab our mind?

I think you’re right. Attention economics looks at our attention as a scarce resource which is exactly what it is, increasingly so, in modern society. As with anything scarce, its value is increasing but I fear we’re most likely to spend this attention on short term gain and instant gratification, whether it be box sets or booze. Empathy, trust development and the act of caring for one another is not a short term game and it’s rarely instantly gratifying, so they’re demoted down our attentive ‘to do’ lists. The aim of our film is to challenge this. To suggest to the viewer that our attention selection can be duped and that there’s often a cost to this – in our case the cost of ignoring the issue of suicide in the UK.

Suicide is a social issue; it’s not that easy to properly identify when someone’s about to commit it. What should we do in order to help, or at least be more vigilant?

Each case of suicide is as individual and unique as one person is from another. But as a foundation to it all, we have to be more aware of the problem and consequently much more open, accepting and pragmatic about its many influencing factors. I think this starts with the everyday person. I’ve heard too many people say whilst shrugging their shoulders that it’s an ‘irrational act’, yet I’ve heard from people who have described the most detailed, measured and rational means by which loved ones have taken their lives. Assuming it’s irrational is a way for that person to shirk their potential to empathize and understand and without this there’s no openness, accepting or pragmatism. If society as a whole started paying attention then there’d be a greater likelihood of people considering committing suicide coming forward and seeking help before they do.

This initiative is part of a more global goal for the Free Help Guy: could you describe your purpose?

I have a hunch that traditional social enterprise and charity work the wrong way round. Organisations develop solutions and then find beneficiaries for them. They but be right and it’s certainly a more obviously scalable approach but the cost is that each issue is dehumanized. I want to explore the alternative, which is taking one person and their problem (or request for help) and creating something that works for them but hopefully helps more in the process at the very least through informing and inspiring a wider audience through documenting each instance of helping. Whether you’re me, a collaborator or simply just a reader of my blog, there’s a real person with a real problem to engage you with each issue and I think this is powerful. Either way, my goal is to do all I can for those who approach me needing help whilst mobilising others to do good in the process – and doing this anonymously!

What can we wish you?

Collaboration. This is what I wish! Individuals, agencies, charities, whoever you are, if you believe in doing good differently then I’d love to hear from you.

To know more how you can help, go visit the dedicated page.

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Louis Vuitton Celebrating Monogram Creative Story

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We’ve been following a lot the last developments of Louis Vuitton as we know the brand is trying to rejuvenate what used to be its creative magnificence before 2010.

Louis Vuitton has started a new celebration of the classic Monogram.

“It is within this context that Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ project appears this year. It is a collection of works that shows the distinctly personal side of the Monogram; re-presenting something we think we all know in an extraordinary, individual and idiosyncratic way. Six creative iconoclasts – the best in their individual fields – who blur the lines between fashion, art, architecture and product design, have been given carte blanche to dictate and make whatever they see fit in the patterned canvas.”

In the video below, photographer Jennifer Livingston creates a special campaign for Rei Kawakubo’s creation with model Saskia de Brauw.

The result is impressive. we can actually be “taught” with this sort of contents. The emotional impact is of course brilliant. And for whoever knows a bit about Comme des Garçons magician, it might make sense…

Anyway, enjoy the video and don’t hesitate to share your views!

A holy matter: the #LouisVuitton #CelebratingMonogram Collection by Rei Kawakubo through the eyes of Jennifer Livingston.

A photo posted by Louis Vuitton Official (@louisvuitton) on

 

In a less “fashion luxury” interpretation, we adore Cindy Sherman by Johnny Dufort’s interpretation. Clowns challenge badges and stickers on the monogram. It reminds us a Sundance film.

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Give us more, Louis Vuitton!

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