JESSICA MICHAULT: THE INTERVIEW
Inside the world of Launchmetrics and the fashion industry.
by TEAM PARIS SOCIAL DIARY, photography by COURTESY | 21 August, 2017
We talk with the Franco-American fashion journalist, SVP of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics, editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and also, contributor to BOF, Jessica Michault. She tells us about her and her work in the fashion industry.
ABOUT JESSICA AND THE INDUSTRY
Team Paris Social Diary: How are you today Jessica?
Jessica Michault: Happy, fulfilled and content.
PSD: Tell us a little about how you got into Fashion and Journalism?
JM:It was a bit of a fluke really. I applied to be the assistant to Suzy Menkes, not knowing who she was or having any interest whatsoever in fashion. Then I went with Suzy to see a Guy Laroche show by a young upcoming designer named Alber Elbaz and I finally understood how powerful and impactful fashion can be. I was hooked. It also helped that Suzy was such an amazing, generous and supportive boss. She was the best teacher I ever had.
PSD: As one of the most important journalists in the fashion business world, how would you describe the evolution of the industry in terms of Designers, Editors, Magazines?
JM: I don’t think I am saying anything new here by stating that the pace of fashion has just been ratchet up year after year and that has been crushing to creativity in my opinion. Also there is no underestimating the power that social media has had on the industry. Just the whole idea of choosing prints or colors for outfits because they will “read well on Instagram” is a scary state of affairs. Although I do love how the digital space has been able to help us discover new talents and make creative connections.
I think that monthly magazines are going to have a hard time surviving. They can’t break news and both Millennials and Generation Z consume their fashion digitally...more importantly…on their mobile phones. To this end I think that video content is going to be big in the future. So I see magazines that come out twice or four times a year as being the ones to have a continued resonance as physical souvenirs of a certain time in fashion.
Furthermore Millennials and Generation Z consumers are going to be looking to peers and not so much professionals for fashion advice and guidance. So designers who are want to be successful need to reach out and engage directly with their followers. Editors need to adapt or die. That is why I started doing my fashion show reviews on Instagram instead of writing them up. These “60 Second Reviews” are videos of the shows I attend with a voice over by me explaining the collection and why it worked or didn’t work. The same goes for my new Fashion Your Seatbelt podcast…as podcasts are very popular and are gaining global influence.
PSD: Would you say that Fashion has lost the “illusion” or “magic”? Why or Why not?
JM: No. There is nothing like attending a fashion show and watching a designer at their creative best. No matter how democratic fashion gets or how easily it becomes to watch a show, live online….or soon via VR headsets…nothing beats being in the room and feeling the electricity of a fashion moment. On a more personal level there is no doubt that fashion still has a lot of power. A great outfit can transform you, put you in a good mood and maybe even set your life on a new path.
PSD:After the big every-day changes and downsizing inside high-ranked magazines and fashion houses, what would you recommend them in order to succeed?
JM: Adapt. Don’t be afraid of new technology and don’t be afraid to risk and fail…or ask for help! As things are happening so fast now there is much less stigma around an “Epic Fail”. After all, this industry is built on reinvention and fashion editors and magazines need to remember they have to evolve as well.
PSD: And what would you recommend to the new generations to come in order adapt well on this matter?
JM: To stand out today you need to make yourself a brand. But that doesn’t mean lots of Instagram posts in fabulous locations with famous people. It also means finding your unique voice and speaking your truth when you write, style a shoot or snap a photo. You will never ever make it in fashion if you are a diluted distillation of someone else’s creativity.
PSD: Tell us a little bit more about Launchmetrics and GPS Radar.
JM: Launchmetrics is a company that helps the fashion industry as a whole work better. It helps brands understand their audience, connect with their community and benchmark their performances using our company’s trademark software tools and our proprietary big data algorithms that crunch both online and offline data so brands can make smart choices that save money and elevate the profile of their house.
My baby within the Launchmetrics family is GPS Radar. It is a members-only fashion community where top tear editors, stylist, photographers, creatives and influencers connect with brands. They can do everything from RSVP to shows to create mood boards of their favorite looks and then download the images for a story or actually order up pieces for a photoshoot from the PRs directly via the site. There is also a curated editorial feed on the homepage and a section dedicated to sifting though all those press releases we fashion journalists drowned in everyday. It has been called in the press “the Linkedin” of fashion” which is not a bad analogy.
PSD: What other interests do you have beyond Fashion and how it influences your work today?
JM: I am an avid horseback rider. I love riding because when I am on my horse Bellini I can’t think about anything else. I have to be 100% present and in the moment. No texting, no checking my phone, no daydreaming. It is just is so invigorating and it really helps me to focus and recharge my creative batteries.
PSD: Fall 2017/18 collection
JM: DriesVan Noten
PSD: Fall 2017/18 show
JM: Calvin Klein
PSD:Song for cheering you up
JM: “Groove is in the Heart” by Deee-Lite
PSD: Place to have a glass of your favorite drink
JM: A mojito on the rooftop of The Peninsula hotel in Paris. The views and the drinks are breathtaking.
PSD: ice cream flavor
PSD: Resort collection
JM: The Miu Miu show during the couture shows in Paris. The brand showed at the Paris Automobile Club, which is one of the most exclusive clubs in France. It is located right on the place Concorde. I have worked in this business for 20 year and never seen a show in this amazing location. And the sporty collection fit perfectly with the vroom vroom venue.