It’s gonna be May – which means a warmer welcome to the second issue of Energy Transmission. In this monthly newsletter I explore the question “what is the culture of tomorrow?” together with those who are close to the fire. I have conversations with people I crossed paths with, or who’s work inspires me and pair it with stuff we both think is worth checking out.
This month: Cecile Poignant(@cecilepoignant)
Paris. Fashion capital. Once, you could sit in a café all day, observe people and their élégantes outfits and find trends in the streets. Then boom, Covid-19 stopped it all. What does a trendforecaster do when everything stops working? We’ll find out in this issue. I came across Cecile’s work through a presentation by Pascal Monfort and his trend marketing unit REC. I found Cecile on LinkedIn and we connected. As luck would have it, a buddy of mine also knew her through IFM in Paris. So, enough signs and reasons to get in touch – what we did. It’s great to have such an experienced trend forecaster for this month’s issue. Keep an eye out for her once conferences are happening again. Her presentations are always a great inspiration!
57 years old, French, born and bred in Paris – She is, what is called a ‘Trend Forecaster’. She started the job in her mid 20s. To stop people of raising questions on what her job is, sometimes called herself a stylist. No designer, sometimes a creative, but she was always super curious. That’s also why she started this job initially, to “keep asking questions like a kid” Cecile has a never-ending appetite for new things. “Not everything old is per default not interesting but I’d like to be open to new things and explore new territories.” So, what she’s great at in a nutshell is being curious and open-minded. Trying to understand connections between products, movements and trends, is also her expertise. “For me, serendipity is something truly important in my life – finding something you were not looking for.” Over the last 30 years her job has massively evolved to what it is now, not only because the world has changed so much, but also because she developed her very own approach to stay ahead of the game.
To keep being at the forefront of change, Cecile relies on this systematic approach: (1) Have an open mind. Always. (2) Be cautious with your selection and what you curate from it. And (3), apply the curated selection to projects, conversations or products. This system can be used for many different fields of her practice, especially when educating or teaching. Although she prefers to call the latter “sharing knowledge, not teaching.”
You need expert curators like her to make sense of all the clutter there is to find the things that are truly special. So much content, so much stuff, so many people to follow, so many newsletters to read. This can be frightening, but Cecile persistently tries to help people by giving special recommendations. “Point out what in the resource is pretty remarkable. It’s cool to have cool people give you the link and tell you why you should check that out.”
“The way I look for information did change a lot since last March. Normally traveling is the most important aspect of my life.” At the moment, Cecile tells me that she needs to do 99% of work online, so she subscribes to a lot of newsletters (which are already pre-curated I guess). Contrary to social media, in newsletters the content is not pushed onto her and she can pull from the resources she wants to. I tried this for myself as well and heard some peers doing it too, since social media feeds are regularly getting messed up by algorithms. But, of course, you rarely find things serendipitously in newsletters. Cecile’s tactics: “I chose one or two newsletter per topic. So it’s food & cooking, design, fashion, politics, feminism. I’m also subscribed to paid newsletters - super cool and totally worth it!” Of course, it’s still down the rabbit hole sometimes as she tells me and it can be a long dive through Instagram or other platforms, to find the things really worthwhile.
During Covid-19 it also became more important for her to find inspiration in things that she can touch. “Forcing oneself to read a book or a magazine, not a website.” I totally feel this way, too. Now that everyone is always on the internet, it is so important to find time to unwind, take a book or mag and finish it. One good thing of last year’s developments: You can now participate in nearly every conference online. “I’ve been watching hundreds of conference talks since the beginning of the pandemic.” But she still keeps getting back to the real, offline thing: “Beyond this all – what people tend to forget – the best source of information, inspiration and energy are family, friends and curious students. Talk with people that are not in your bubble.” This is what I am doing right now, right? Kind of. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/1f3b2260-0648-4847-bac8-d52b7a1af066.png) # “Keep in contact with young souls” “I’m always interested in the youth. I think all the changes are coming from the youth.” When talking about it, she means people in their 20s. We agreed that we need to take much better care of the youth, because they are the future and we owe them a future. Cecile quoted a graffiti piece on a Parisian university that said “Nous sommes le futur mais nous n’avons pas d’avenir” (‘We are the future but we have no future’). I leave it here to keep reminding us.
Then she continued telling me about a remarkable conversation she had with young people. They said something about Nike like “That’s an old brand, they don’t understand what’s happening now. We don’t care.” The heart of the Nike Fanboy I am, skipped a beat and I was reminded of the way I talk about Facebook and stuff my parents use. But Cecile charmingly reminded me that “there is no age for being old, because you will always be the old person for someone.” So, we need to keep on learning, we need to question what we think are totally important state of the art brands and go deeper and always keep an eye out for the emerging young, rebellious brands. Keep asking “What is the future of now? What is the culture of tomorrow?” – makes a great question for a newsletter ;) . I’ll get back to that later. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/e3de3b8f-282b-4e37-a12e-cd12c55cf0be.png) # “Musicians must be more than their music” Jumping from Nike to musical artists and their collaborations with sports brands, we talked about popstars (mostly rappers) now always being at the front-row of massive collaborations, with global hype and digital experiences. We are all subscribed to music streaming, and they make money off of concerts and merchandise. As concerts are not happening at the moment, they need to come up with innovative ways to make a living with music. Jumping to the other end of a musical careers, we made a stop at Jay-Z. The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, recently bought Jay-Z's (failed) music service Tidal. “Maybe Jack is up to something new. Directly subscribe to your favourite artists. Pay directly to them for a small gig, a digital live show.” That could very well be interesting to see. Decide on what music artists you want to support. Like the Twitch Subscription model. Furthermore, there is no release without an accompanying drop of limited edition items that come with the album or vinyl. Sometimes for the good and relevant, sometimes it’s just plain money-printing. But as always, the music business keeps being interesting. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/10e538e3-344e-4d2d-bb07-b163a942783b.png) # "There are no people in the streets, so there is no streetwear." Not only the music release landscape was forced to change. “Everything is cancelled. So the landscape of fashion and streetwear rapidly changed. Even if they make us believe that everything is still up and running like before the pandemic, I think it’s not true.” Cecile claims that from her observations and conversations with students and other researchers, it is not interesting anymore to buy so much new stuff. While the brands keep on dropping and blasting products in the world, the people that are into fashion look for sustainable ways like buying vintage, repairing garments, keeping things for longer and remixing them. **“Make the usage of clothing visible, not the novelty.” (I love this quote!)** She continues “There still is the street culture and people craving new sneakers, but you also have a number of young people that are more and more evolving into a movement around the idea of sustainability.” That is exactly what Mark McGinnis and I talked about last month. And that is exactly the moment when curation and selection pops into my head again. You need experts that curate, select and remix things that are already here. Right in front of you. Declutter your bubble and look for it.
“Some brands are aware of this and are trying to move away from their first market and become more of a lifestyle brand. From garments to homeware to food products. That makes the field of streetwear a very active landscape, where collaborations and crossovers emerge even if there are no people in the streets.” We conclude with what the avant-garde consumer looks for. It is “less, but better.” It’s not so surprising that she also told me “fashion rental & repair services” will be a big thing in the near future. This is were the new mindset, the new sustainability and the new way of curation all merges into one idea: rent your clothes to dress for the occasion. The guys from the podcast [Throwing Fits](https://www.instagram.com/throwingfits/?hl=de) keep on promoting [SEASONS NY](https://www.wearseasons.com) and I am sitting here in Germany still waiting for something like this to launch. Maybe someone wants to launch it with me? Slide in my dm! !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/ca64b0a5-4a0c-4cad-973c-db4e27afc2ca.png) # Top 5 things or people that got Cecile Poignant excited lately # - old and new **Revisiting Pen & Paper**
Cecile recently bought a LAMY Pen again but [with refills from a different brand](https://www.cultpens.com/i/q/LM51012/lamy-z27-converter) to use a bottle of ink and not produce too much waste. She paired it with [lovely notebooks from Calepino](https://calepino.fr/en/product/les-types/?) (made in France), where you can choose a color for your thick paper cover and personalise it with a title or a quote. This way, you can make the notebook unique and it will become exciting to write analog notes again. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/d64e1418-2923-4e5b-8317-29b01c2d7d98.png) [**Yoga Mat made from cork**](https://sustainyoga.co.uk)
While finding sanity and spiritual energy practicing Yoga during the pandemic, Cecile keeps it sustainable with a nice touch of cork from *sustain*. As they state on their website with the mat you switch from plastic to Portuguese cork & natural rubber. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/1ab31c0d-a833-4a1b-aa5a-cbf9e66bc156.png) [**Hidden Brain Podcast**](https://hiddenbrain.org)
Find abilities and mental activities that we are not aware of with this podcast about the “hidden brain”. It’s about the unconscious, subconscious and the implicit. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/9beeb1fd-b19c-4ffe-9359-706dfb911dfe.png) [**Priya Parker**](https://www.priyaparker.com)
Longing for gatherings, the book, podcasts and videos of Priya Parker come in handy to unwind and find re-imagination between all those zoom calls. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/1da4dd55-edb4-4e48-89cb-c49a94d27824.png) [**Manon Fleury**](https://www.instagram.com/manonfleury__/)
Cecile loves great food, and tasting the culinary creation of someone else. Tasting their cooking vision. But visiting restaurants was not possible over the last year and food delivery does not bring as much joy, so she started to cook herself and stepped up her game. In this, she seeks inspiration from new chef talents like Manon Fleury. !(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/1e2706fb-4a4f-4e8a-832e-23919e23e04d.png)
# My last question for every guest: # What is the culture of tomorrow? “We need to value our time again. Develop new routines. Habits and self care are so important! It became a need to talk about mental health and care for yourself. The best way to imagine the future is a mix, a balance of high-end technology and low tech. We do not all need AC in our house, there are other ways of cooling a house without any energy. Let us all go back into the past and look at what was good in the past and bring this in innovative ways into the future, not only with technology.”
# **For Cecile the culture of tomorrow is the balance of high-end technology and low tech.**
!(https://buttondown-attachments.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/243e04b5-5db1-46a4-9d11-4f8fe58b8fa8.png) Every month, after the interview section, I share with you some things I found on the Internet or in streets, that infused me with good vibes. These are my new energy sources: **Two heart projects: [STIGMA420](https://www.instagram.com/stigma420/) & [bubbleplastic™](https://www.instagram.com/bubbleplastic/)**
In April there were still two for me personally big releases that I would like to mention here. First, the first official issue of STIGMA420 magazine was released, which I worked on together with Uwe Bermeitinger. There I am responsible for partnerships and collaborations and always have an open ear for suggestions. [Shop here!](https://kioskinternational.bigcartel.com/product/stigma420-no-1) Secondly, together with my partners at bubbleplastic™, I launched the first major drop, a collaboration with Das Wetter and Kleiner Donner. We are pretty proud of [the result](https://bubbleplastic.shop/donner-x-wetter_hoodie.html)! Enjoy! *(it sold out immediately btw.)*
As I stated last month, I currently run a lot. It keeps me sane from everything going on and it really fuels me spiritually and inspirationally. I'm constantly looking for new routes and normally collect different cities in my tracking app. Due to Covid-19 the latter of course became difficult. Then I found myself scrolling through running channels on Instagram a lot, where I stumbled upon this wonderful looking indie magazine: RUNAWAY. Each issue is "a guide to a different city and seeks to portray its soul and energy" and it sure is. The latest issue transports you to Los Angeles with beautiful photography and insightful stories. It makes you dream of traveling again and go for an extensive run through LA. Even if you do not run yet, you will after checking out this mag.
[**The Incorporated for Bad Bunny x WWE**](https://www.instagram.com/p/CNiNgJcJ2UW/)
This is an awesome example of how great collaboration works. Last month I interviewed Mark McGinnis from The Incorporated and this month he surprised the world by creating a unique garment for a unique person at a unique event. Mark, for real, made this gorgeous black coat for none other than [Bad Bunny](https://www.instagram.com/badbunnypr/), one of the world's biggest superstars right now. But not for a new music video for the Puerto Rican rapper – it was for his wrestling debut at Wrestlemania 37. And you know what, that was [a hell of an entrance](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktDX8iGC_lI) into a [match](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv-S54ZxZO0) where he was in no way inferior to the other pro-wrestlers. This is just so good! To top it all off, he made a trailer with legendary Triple H for his world tour '22, of course [wearing a hoodie made by Mark and The Incorporated](https://www.instagram.com/p/CNjDhREBn4y/).
[**SONDER - TOO LATE TO DIE YOUNG**](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2OLg3AuUag)
13 minutes of super vibey new and futuristic R&B sounds paired with a beautiful video. That is the new release from the group SONDER, consisting of singer Brent Faiyaz and producers Atu and Dpat. I rewatched it so many times and it just keeps on giving. It seems like the trio is launching a major release soon. Until then: lean back, watch it fullscreen and turn up the volume.
[**Soccer channeling Streetwear**](https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/31/sports/soccer/soccer-streetwear-juventus.html)
This month Inter Milan unveiled their new logo. They join a new league of clubs that want to be experienced much more on the street. They team up with credible partners from the streetwear cosmos like Jordan at PSG or Palace at Juventus to become more of a brand, than just a traditional club. [This article in the New York Times](https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/31/sports/soccer/soccer-streetwear-juventus.html) brings us up to date with the latest developments and sums up the exciting topic very well. A new direction for the beautiful game I really appreciate.
[**Telfar's Cultural Impact**](https://www.thefashionlaw.com/cultural-impact-is-not-what-you-think-it-is/)
The Fashion Law does not write about the Twitter meme but the real impact brands can have on communities and culture. My attention has long been on the fashion brand Telfar, which does things right because they do them differently. The example I like most in the article is their "Bag Security Program". *Quoting from the article: "When their signature Shopping bag became virtually impossible to find outside of the wildly inflated secondary market, it would have been easy for the New York-based company to capitalize on the hype the way we have seen brands like Supreme, Off-White, and Chanel do. But Telfar did the opposite."* Fittingly, I came across [this article on Complex](https://www.complex.com/style/telfar-teams-up-with-white-castle-includes-durag). Yes, I had a craving for White Castle and had a brief wanderlust for Chicago. But what Telfar is doing here very differently than McDonald's with Travis Scott. They are giving back to the community. These uniforms are great! And worn with pride, without only profit in mind. More collabs like this please!
**Have a great one - sending good vibes to you all!**