by Léa Taïeb
March 12, 2019

Interview of Adrien Garcia, Founder of the Podcast “Entreprendre dans la Mode”

If you met Adrien in the street, consider yourself lucky. Adrien Garcia is the source of one thousand and one wonders.

One thousand and one obsessions, inspirations, ambitions, promises. If you focus on his exterior, you will notice a man that doesn’t dwell on what is superfluous.

A simple man. A complex man, too, because questions and answers tangle inside him. Ultimately, a complex man. If you observe him from close up, he will be eyes wide open.

His look asks for something. Asks for novelty. Is hungry. Hungry for life. Hungry for creation.

 

« Look. Read and Listen. »

 

To listen Adrien’s podcasts, let’s click here

Lien: https://soundcloud.com/entreprendre-dans-la-mode

the interview

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

You are today the founder of the Entreprendre dans la mode (Be an entrepreneur in fashion) podcast. What was your first encounter with the fashion industry?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I was a child at the time of my first encounter. It was most definitely my mother’s handbag: a vintage Louis Vuitton. That’s then that I fell in love with the object, with fashion. In a handbag, you can’t run away from the sensuality of the fabric, of the volume. It’s an object that makes a fashion figure whole.

When I grew up, I got introduced to the fashion magazines, including Madame Figaro (which my mother used to read) (laughs) and Elle. I eventually bought my first own magazines: Crash Magazine, We are different (Wad), and, of course, Vogue.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What does it take to become who you are?

ADRIEN GARCIA

When I decided on my professional life, I didn’t pick the right path. I studied at a hotel school and at a business school, which still benefits me today. I was stuck in a social reproduction loop: work the same job as my father, be like him, be a businessman. With such a logic, I buried my creative side, the one that I used to express through drawing or drums. I simply put aside fashion, because I thought that it wasn’t made for me. I’m from a working-class family, so as such, creative jobs can’t be thought about, even as last resort. When I started working, I got frustrated, frustrated because creativity wasn’t the focus of my job. So, when I was 28 years old, I changed my career path. I went back to school, this time at a fashion school: the Studio Berçot.

Today, I therefore define myself as a designer, because I am a designer. But also as a podcaster, because I launched Entreprendre dans la mode, a podcast to satisfy my curiosity and encounter the fashion world itself. Fashion is a quite complex world, with plenty of jobs and, as such, plenty of stakeholders: there’s something for everyone. Therefore I felt the need to meet all the people I admired, whom I still admire, and who are fashion. This podcast was the most efficient way to encounter leading figures and to obtain answers to my questions. As for being an entrepreneur in fashion, I’m thinking about it. I hope to become an entrepreneur at some point or another.

That’s all for my history!

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What does it take to launch THE podcast for entrepreneurs and fashion people?

ADRIEN GARCIA

It’s very simple. When you start a project, you dream big about everything that might happen. Your imagination is limitless and you expect the impossible. To cool your imagination, you need to downsize the scope for the first step, which in my case was a first interview. You search all around you for a topic. I actually asked an acquaintance. And at the end of each interview, I ask my guest: who would you care to listen to in that podcast? They check their address book and introduce you to their networks.

Since the podcast puts the guests at ease, people say yes. And that’s how you manage bit by bit to create a decently-famous podcast, especially in the fashion world. And little by little, I’m becoming well-known outside of that sphere. I reach a global public.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What’s your secret to put you guests at ease?

ADRIEN GARCIA

Very plainly, I’m a careful listener and I show it. And, upstream of the interview, I make thorough preparation. That way, when it’s time to record, there’s no need for notes. I have a few topics in my mind that I broach over the course of the conversation, when the time feels right. I always remind people at the beginning of an interview that I’m not here to trap my guests but because I’m interested by their career path and their character.

Guests can talk freely. If they ever feel like they said a mistake, we can always rewind. Setting up a climate of confidence therefore consists in showing that I’m not here to swindle the guests. My process is completely sincere.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

On a daily basis, what does a designer do?

ADRIEN GARCIA

Nowadays, in the great fashion houses, you have a cycle divided in four periods: two main fashion shows and two pre-collections.

So what happens most of the time, as a designer, is that the artistic director (DA) is going to demand you to work on a specific topic. You then come back after a few days of investigation in libraries, on the internet, in vintage shops, and you complete the DA’s direction with new pictures, new inspirations. Once they have chosen the strongest ideas, we launch the first prototypes. A few days later, after you’ve received them, you show them to the DA who then makes comments and adjustments.

The back and forth goes on, there are 3 or 4 of them and it lasts about three months. You eventually get a product that ticks all the boxes for the DA and the marketing and merchandising departments. Those two are systematically involved in the creative process, by ensuring that the product represents the answer to a need. Our reasoning is that we must create a product that doesn’t exist yet. The final product is a compromise or a mix between brand image and business.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

Your alarm clock rings. You open your eyes. What happens afterwards?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I’ve began to implement a new routine: not checking Instagram, but looking at Feedly, an app that aggregates the latest posts from all the websites I follow, including Tumblr. This social network is a goldmine! So with Feedly, in just one click, I can check all the new posts I wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. With the Instagram algorithm, your eye isn’t stimulated.

To complete my morning routine, I usually meditate 20 minutes and I practice 30 push-ups, 50 sit-ups and planking. That’s a real discipline.
Also, when you work as a designer, you need to be ready for fully-focused periods. So it happens that I may spend entire days drawing prototypes or doing research.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What is your relationship with creation?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I’ve always felt the need to create. That’s why I constantly nurtured side projects which stimulated creation. Whatever the period in my life, I would always seek activities elsewhere: I played in a band, I read books, I wandered in museums, I cut magazine pictures to transform them.

At some point I tried to find my way in the postcard business, and I was the one in charge of postcard conception. I also planned to launch an online magazine. I actually feel that I need to stay creatively busy on a daily basis.
If you think about it, with the podcast, you are into creation: you ask questions, you lead an interview and you also make Instagram posts. All these actions belong to creativity.

You can be creative in your daily life. Your very life can be creative.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

How would you describe creativity in just one sentence?

ADRIEN GARCIA

Creativity consists in bringing together several inspirations into something new.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What is the Adrien Garcia style?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I believe that building the Adrien Garcia style is the work of a lifetime! I’m too young, and as a designer, I’m not settled yet on my identity. I haven’t seen everything yet. Achieving your own touch takes time, longer than two years.

Despite that, I have obsessions. I’m fascinated by extreme sports aesthetics. I recommend the Fearless Netflix series, which introduces bull riders, people who do rodeo on bulls. In that story, the narrative of pushing oneself beyond one’s limits is quite present and it appeals to me. Visually, it’s striking, it’s very moving.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What is your outlook, your analysis on the fashion world?

ADRIEN GARCIA

Well, I was quite surprised at the beginning of the Entreprendre dans la mode podcast because I was able to have lots of encounters, and these people are far-removed from all the tropes and clichés. They actually are very down-to-earth and professional persons. These people are workaholic. They are obsessed.

When you’re not in the fashion industry, the image you can get from these « fashionable people » has nothing to do with reality. You think that they are shallow or completely off the mark. And I get that viewpoint. But the people I meet are passionate. Down-to-earth.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What brand or creator do you tend to praise and recommend?

ADRIEN GARCIA

There are so much! Since I really live around obsessions, I have two of them at the moment. Two entrepreneurs that I love, admire, and get a lot of inspiration from. Patagonia’s founder, Yvon Chouinard. He set himself one mission: saving the planet. And I particularly recommand his book: Let my people go surfing. I also like Ben Gorham’s universe, who is the creator of Byredo: this guy inspires me.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

Do you have a meaningful quotation?

ADRIEN GARCIA

It’s a quotation displayed on my phone, as a lock screen. I picked it from my podcast, in an interview of Bastien Daguzan, Paco Rabanne’s CEO. He says: « the cement of a company is to make someone want something ». And I completely agree with that idea.

The very essence of fashion is to create want. If you haven’t gotten that in fashion, you haven’t understood a single thing! Even inside a company, a manager has to implement ways to ensure working for that company seems appealing, sexy.

And there’s another quotation at the back of my mind : « What would this look like if it were easy? » by the entrepreneur Tim Ferriss. In other words: why complicate matters? This is somehow his life philosophy. And I agree.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

You live in Paris. What place best represents you (where you feel at home) ?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I feel at ease in my quarter: Château d’eau. I haven’t yet found the coffee place that would stick with me. I like changing from one day to the next. For Entreprendre dans la mode, I drink lots of coffee with my guests and I enjoy discovering new places. I always keep in mind how changing your background can keep you inspired. Designers require constant novelty to get visually stimulated. So wandering from one quarter to the next is a good way to stimulate one’s creativity, to get surprised, to be on the lookout.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What is the one object you never be apart from?

ADRIEN GARCIA

As a general rule of thumb, I like varying things (except my girlfriend) ! I need to be free, to avoid forming attachments, to be independent. This character probably comes from my immigrant family. We don’t get attached to objects. Material things are superfluous, they don’t matter. That’s how I’ve been raised. I really don’t mean to become dependent of an object that might hold influence over my happiness or anything else. Even if I love beautiful things, of course!

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What does your workspace look like?

ADRIEN GARCIA

When I work on a handbag collection, it really is a mess! I believe that chaos is part of any creative process. Around me, there are plenty of vintage handbags and items that I can use as inspiration. Oftentimes, in fashion, you need to make models early on to have something tangible, in order for the product to be produced as soon as possible.

The blank space said to be necessary for creation is a myth. At Balenciaga’s for instance we always start from a basis, which we are going to transform, to cut, to piece together again. This process implies chaos. And the mess can last several days. After that period, I tidy everything and it all becomes orderly again.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

What does the future hold for you?

ADRIEN GARCIA

I want to remain a designer as long as possible, either in a fashion house or as a freelance, because this job is my everything.

My podcast also provides me with a lot to think about, because there’s both a business aspect to it and a constant benchmark about everything that goes on in fashion. I’m going to go on, and perhaps tweak some things a bit. I’m considering devoting some episodes to very specific topics, such as sustainable fashion. I’m open to novelty.

In the medium term, I’d like to be into creation, with emphasis on making something useful, something that matters. Environmental and social issues are an opportunity to change our model, to think differently about production. Because, at the moment, people are going nuts. In the great houses, creative people are far removed from reality and from production. They don’t know who are the makers, where production happens and in what conditions. That distance only creates aberrations! The fashion industry hasn’t really tackled yet the environmental issue.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

Would you have some advice to impart to your auditors or would-be fashion entrepreneurs?

ADRIEN GARCIA

You need to listen to your heart rather than to your brain. It’s when you act rational that you act for the wrong reasons! Deep down, you know what is good for yourself and what isn’t. But following that advice can be a hardship.
And I believe that people shouldn’t forget that everything takes time: any success or trial in life requires patience and perseverance! People tend to only look for the end result and overlook the journey, and that’s a shame.

TOWNHOUSE (LÉA)

And you, what do you listen to?

ADRIEN GARCIA

There’s a new podcast that I discovered and that I find really progressive: Impact Positif. It really is a media that puts the spotlight on committed people, on people who step up to the mic and take a stance on environmental, ethical or societal issues. When you listen to it, you want to start questioning everything. It’s the latest revelation.