Posted on May 17
in INTERVIEWS, Linda Loppa, TALENTS
Linda Loppa interviews the five Polimoda former students (Jessica Smith – Editorial Specialist, Nancy Zamudio – Head of Communications, Kasia Łuczak – Creative Strategist, Bernina Chan – Planning Producer, Mylène Lemercier – Multimedia Designer), founders of TRENDtank, a brand new trend forecasting agency based in London.
Dear Kasia, dear Mylène, dear Bernina, dear Nancy, dear Jessica, It feels it’s a great achievement that before you left Polimoda and Florence finishing your Fashion Trend Forecasting Master course you founded your company named TRENDtank. Not only is it a great website and content is appealing but it and goes to the point of what you can offer to a company in need of visionaries looking to the future able to implement ideas in their products. You are 5 women with different cultural backgrounds but it seems destiny brought you together. I have a few questions about this idea of starting a business together…
1. How and when came the idea of making TRENDtank and building a company together?
First of all, thank you Linda for having us, we appreciate your time and interest. It’s true, we started developing TRENDtank while still studying our master’s last year. A year ago, we found ourselves fully inspired, coming from different backgrounds with similar goals. Polimoda was a great starting point for us, bringing us all together, an opportunity that would have been quite difficult otherwise. Our idea for TRENDtank slowly built up along the year as we realised a gap in the trend forecasting industry. Wanting to express our vision, we knew we had to start while still in Florence, before we would split again.
2. It seems you are complementary, skill wise and cultural experience wise. How many languages do you speak all together?
Yes, coming from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, we do complement each other. We often laugh about how we have bonded despite different personalities. In terms of skills it is an indisputable asset. We speak 9 languages among all of us: English, Spanish, German, Polish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin and Cantonese.
3. What companies are you targeting?
TRENDtank’s portfolio of clients is quite varied. Although our services are very attractive for companies operating around fashion and lifestyle, these aren’t the only industries we target. Jewellery and hospitality are also sectors we are involved in. The attitude of the client we work for is much more important for us than their field. We want to help farsighted brands that care for their long-term goals. Brands that want to establish trends rather than follow them. If you’re both grounded and open for change, we’re able to do great things together.
4. Where do you get your information from?
Our content comes from a wide range of sources both online and offline. There are no boundaries in our research, as being trend forecasters we cannot be biased to one domain. We tend to start collecting information from different areas (e.g. technology, art, music) observing human behaviours, current social and cultural movements as well as their anthropological roots. We gather primary research through interviews and observations, as well as collect resources from exhibitions, films, gigs, music, fashion shows, design weeks, press, online media… As context is specifically important for us, we show relationships between current affairs and both historical and philosophical knowledge.
5. Your pictures are great and the site is very fresh and goes to the point. How do you translate the ideas in a trend book for a company?
Thank you. We work hard to select the imagery that not only illustrates evidence of the concepts we work on, but also gives them another, more metaphysical dimension. Developing each trend, we want to show its multiple facets. It helps to apply the concepts into different contexts and plan tangible brand actions. The most important for strategic solutions is to show that every tangible action has a theoretical base: scientific, economic, social and cultural. Spotting trends in these areas at an early stage allows our clients to adopt them in disruptive ways.
6. For the section portfolio you work on five different themes: NARCISSISTIC FEARDOM / SCHIZONOLOGY / TOTEMOSOPHY SOFT HEROINE / IN-BETWEEN-NESS. Can you explain the different categories and why they are important for your research?
As the starting point of TRENDtank, the current portfolio is where our eclectic inspirations, visions and design aesthetics come together, creating the unique identity of TRENDtank. The variety is essential. NARCISSISTIC FEARDOM uncovers what increasingly drives our decisions: on one hand our inner admiration, on the other hand our outer fears. As we become increasingly self-centred, constant anxieties over impairing ourselves and losing others’ approval instigate other fears. Yearning validation, we seek solutions to either conquer or simply embrace Narcissistic Feardom. SCHIZONOLOGY reflects the inner battle and mental instability we are facing in an increasingly mechanistic and decontextualized world. With our balance of thought shifting towards the external objects (particularly technological devices) at the expense of the more natural self, we search for recovery to relieve our tensions. Nature is seen as the cure. TOTEMOSOPHY talks about the return to the primitive self with an emphasis on our inner animal, our totem fundamental to our healthy lifestyle. Reconnecting with all aspects of the self requires a phase of purification of the human nature. At a time of enhanced mobility, success to survive anywhere lays in the concept of totemism – ‘being whole’ and knowing one’s true self. SOFT HEROINE shows that femininity is an understated strength. Soft power is the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce or use violence. The heroine may be strong, while being fragile – a personality collage – a one of a kind mixture of experiences and traits. Instead of imposing, she proposes. The Soft Heroine is in touch with herself and her fragility. Thus making her self-aware, empathetic, and graceful. IN-BETWEEN-NESS is the metaphor of the world seen in a state of doubtful equilibrium, with no spatial borders, nor time constraints. It is an interzone, a middle ground, where opposites meet and merge into hybrids. There, we find ourselves constantly oscillating betwixt polarities, like a swinging pendulum. In-Between-ness suggests dissatisfaction and a constant longing for a resolution – a never-ending process. Covering a vast range of areas from archetypes to emerging social behaviours, the different categories highlight our diverse thought processes and perspectives on the future. This is important for our research as it provides the ultimate foundation for a perfect blend of individual ideas. We aim to show TRENDtank’s ability to concatenate the essence of different pathways into effective and unique applications for brands.
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