Piils, the pill that is good !
I hadn’t been in Paris that long when I began to feel very nauseous. Is it the immensity of the Porte Maillot, which makes me dizzy? I feel that I must consult someone about this… My appointment will in the Piils pratice. No less than 3 experts are busy there every day and put an end to all your woes. For my part I’m with lifestyle Doctor from western Paris specialized in assessment and diagnostic …
Piils: Parisian Lifestyle Medicine, so Dr are we on the right path to treating the West of Paris which is in search of courage? It’s been open since January. How is this first year going?
Everything is going well and developing nicely. We have more and more people who are interested in the shop. We have rather a large changing room. We’re lucky to mix brands that are super street with brands like Stussy which are much more “Heritage” such as Barbour. The two go quite well together. The idea is to mix the traditional with what is being done today. Brands like Olow or Homecore are able to propose an alternative way to a 30 year old who has inspiration, culture, a street background but is now a bit more mature and wants something a little more class while keeping an urban look. Since January as our offer has been expanding. This reflects some recognition and shows at the same time that there is a real lack in western Paris. There’s not one cool neighborhood. I do not think this is the will of the people who live there who are disinterested in everything. The problem here is that everything is more expensive. So it’s hard for young people to settle for the young who thrive. Today you’re more relaxed if you settle down in Le Marais. But for me the idea was to put myself in a place where you do not expect to see me. This was in a luxury shopping center. Here people are used to seeing framed traditional things. People offer things that that we’re not used to seeing in this type of neighbourhood and certainly not in a shopping mall. That’s the challenge!
You had the opportunity to study two years in the United States and Asia. How have these countries influenced you?
I lived in China in Asia. And I think for the US as for China both countries integrate many different communities. They are certainly more or less compartmentalized but there’s still a spongy area that absorbs each of these communities. All of this appears in fashion, in art or even restoration. Each place has a different atmosphere. Everyone wants to create their own universe. Here in France if there is something that everyone likes everyone will jump on the band wagon and we will end up with duplicates. What I remember about these countries is that they do not create limits. Everything is possible. Here, we have norms for everything! Everything has to be like this, like that. To open a shop in a city and do what you want inside is a real hassle whether in terms of design or materials. They really put a spanner in the works. In these types of countries, the more you innovate and create something new, the more people will follow you! I spent a year in Shanghai. I had already been numerous times. Things change very quickly and all of a sudden you don’t recognize the town anymore. Towns suddenly appear and bring new things to light. With us, I get the impression it’s all premade. To bring things back to life without having to innovate every time now that’s the trick! What makes the US strong is their ability to be first at everything. People start to follow you as soon as you go and see an investor with a new project. It’s because you have an interesting profile. You need to want to get things on the move.
Today we feel a real growth of store concepts, they’re cozy and friendly, what’s your opinion about this?
More and more small independent shops are opening. Today shops can no longer sell one product. People want to get into a space where they can find a complete and wide enough cloakroom. There are super street pieces as well as very creative pieces. Working with the English brand “Tourne de transmission”. The people from this brand are in a world that is both street and gothic. Everything is black, gray, white and very graphic. Well, they have items that are not necessarily incompatible with a guy who dresses in a suit all week! You can have a small knitted top, a sweatshirt, a denim shirt, a graphic T-shirt that you’re going to keep for a while because you enjoyed the message it conveyed. You can have a pretty eclectic mix of what is fashionable today. Take all of these items and add some magazines that explain to clients our evolving environment. And if you like this type of reading you may be able to open up to other things. Many people say:” It’s nice but it’s not for me”,what does that mean? It’s just that people don’t own up and don’t want to wear it. They’re just scared about what other people may think and they don’t want to be misjudged. There’s definitely some unusual things that if you wear the whole look you’re going to look a bit odd. If you’re able to mix it up a bit you’ll eventually have a consistent and balanced figure.
Many big brands have a large share of the textile market, what should you do in order to resist?
Today companies stand out because they offer alternative fashion styles. The strength of major retailers today is to produce very quickly. People introduce their collection for the following season. And coincidentally they all have the same ideas and two weeks after they’ve released their collections. It’s good in a way because they get to generalize a certain style that way people are more aware. But today trying to sell raw wash denim is a hassle. Because you can buy raw wash denim jeans for 29,99 euros at Uniqlo. They’re a clean cut jean made with Japanese fabric. Uniglo is able to lower their prices. Even those people who don’t shop at Uniglo now want to buy their clothes from there. But do we all want to have the same pair of jeans? Maybe not. Smaller shops suffer because of the larger more dominant brands. The solution on how to cope is to always innovate. Search for in every brand, every product, a story to tell people. With this shop there isn’t anything to tell, nothing to say about the products, the history of neither the brand nor the materials.
You say that you wanted to develop a collaboration between fashion and music, especially with the Larscenic website, what are you up to now?
We already did a little mix tape on Soundcloud in February for Valentine’s Day. And the idea was to do a little mix tape with songs that could be cool and not cliché for Valentine’s Day. The idea is to keep the spirit of Larscenic and speak about upcoming artists who come from different worlds. Larscenic like to mix everything whether it’s jazz, hip hop, electro or rock. They want to do something with real music. Today there are too many sounds and too much noise pollution. There are too many bad commercial sounds. Unfortunately I think it is the French rap that suffered the most. We’re no longer at the time where Solaar and Oxmo were successful. Unfortunately it sells much less than someone like Kaaris. He’s a man who says certain things that personally don’t affect me. The truth is that he doesn’t say anything and there is no story. American rappers sing about crap, but it sounds different. (Laughs). Larscenic has future projects but I cannot say anymore for the moment.
You constantly manufacture furniture from recycled materials, talk to me about these creations?
Various pieces of furniture were created by professional companies for the shop. But the truth be said, I tend to pick up a lot of stuff I find lying around in the street. I have a small car and yet I’m able to fill it up. I do a lot of Recycling. I occasionally go to small flea markets. The idea is to distort the furniture. For example in the shop, we sell a metal wardrobe that we’ve put on its side with casters. To begin with it was blue and I decided to sand it down to give it a metallic appearance. The magazine stand is a free standing cabinet. I shortened it; I mounted some shelves, and put a wire mesh in the middle. It’s the same for the stools, they’re metal. With the stools, we just painted the seats and let the paint drip. There just a few small ideas. We have a bathtub and we turned into a couch! It is not in the shop because the idea is that everything is turned around quickly it’s so you don’t have all the time the same furniture
What would you like to develop again with Piils?
It would be nice to hold events in the store. After all it’s in a shop so it’s complicated to do. The biggest problem now is time. We would need to grow in size to be able to manage everything. You can’t just half do it. This summer there is going to be a second Piils project that will open. And it will be called “Little Piils” for children. The idea is not to make a shop for wise children. Instead we want a shop for small unruly kids who run around everywhere. We want to mix clothes and trainers. Just like we did for adults, we want to stand out with our children’s department. We’ll do it hands down. We will also work with a Japanese brand Arc and Line which offers sizes for children. They’re a smaller version of us. I find kids really funny and let’s face it, they’re the way forward. Why not start educating them early, as soon as they get out of bed. It will surely make a more open minded generation. Today they tell you that to get a good job you have to be a doctor or a lawyer. All trades that are said to be artistic trades are at risk and parents tend to want their children to avoid them. Today, a graphic designer can earn a good living. We currently need graphic design and image design.
You are passionate about street art, photography, and music. Right now what are the artists that inspire you in each of these disciplines?
You’re gonna tell me that it is quite common but it’s JR. He’s currently the most inspiring man. When you think that he’s only 30 years old. Everything that he’s done since 2006 has brought him very far in his career. Each project is crazy. What I really like about him is that he thinks completely outside the box. He photographs uncommon things. He plans to work with the Ballet of New York and the Opera in Paris. He plans to work on a project that focuses on women with the Bosquets estate in the region of Paris as well asthe favelas in Brazil. He takes on anything! He is currently working on Ellis Island and the first immigrant New Yorkers. Everyone wants to work with JR. It makes you want to move. With street art, the ideas come off the streets and you don’t necessarily know who the artist is and that’s the fun of it. You start to recognize the different artists because the mark they leave is always the same. For instance, Space Invaders leave small mosaics across the whole world. With the larger mosaics everyone spots them whereas with the smaller ones maybe one person out of ten sees them. I think that Fakear is real space music.
Thank you to Manu, David, and Ilan.