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Exclusive Interview with Chantal Durivage, Co-President of Groupe Sensation Mode, FESTIVAL MODE DESIGN

chantalOnlineBeautyWorld (OBW): At the outset, please describe about the event history 'Festival Mode Design' in brief.

Chantal Durivage (CD): Founded in 2001 and directed by Groupe Sensation Mode, the Fashion & Design Festival is a forward-thinking event that invites fashionistas to redefine their style!

It started during the F1 Grand Prix on Saint-Laurent Boulevard and has been
a stunt in the city and in the international fashion community and general
public since its first year.

For four days and four nights (July 31st to August 3rd, 2013) this highly
glamourous event serves up a varied program that brings together the leading
international fashion labels, a host of renowned national designers,
exciting musical performances, design in real time, and countless special
events, all in a decidedly unique ambiance. The Festival is a unique
platform introducing the biggest trends in fashion, design, music and
shopping, a one of a kind event you don't want to miss.

OBW: What is the most unique aspect of 'Festival Mode Design', perhaps something you are proud of?

CD: The fact that the Festival is made for the people. Since 2001 we have an amazing dialogue with the consumers; we know what they like, what they want
to see. Now, they are asking for more and for us, this is an amazing stimulation!!

OBW: What are your basic goals to achieve and how the industry can benefit from this?

CD: We want to export the concept in other cities. When we produce the Festival in a city, we work with the local talent, we create collaborations, etc. The industry needs to be near the consumers; at the end of the day, they're the ones who decide, they're the ones who bring fashion to life!

OBW: Do you have any specific target especially with regards to country wise / gender wise / fashion wise or what so ever?

CD: Fashion Wise: The Festival has no barriers. We love to create beautiful collaborations between fashion, design and music. It's all about artistic collaborations in the respect of the image of each collection presented. People are looking for emotions and trends and this is the focus of the Festival.

Gender wise: Who I am is what I wear, what I like, what I eat, who I follow. Our main visitors are women between 25-35 but the doors are open to anyone who love fashion & design or who want to learn more about it.

Country wise: The world is invited, this is why we produce a livestream during the Festival. The results are incredible!! Then, we will bring the concept alive in different country, to bring the direct emotion of the Festival in the streets of different country. Follow us in the next few years!

OBW: What other countries do you think that holding 'Festival Mode Design' would be a worth for the industry benefit and are you planning to expand?

We would like to start with a sister city that we already visit: Toronto! Then we would cross the ocean and bring it to one alternative city and one fashion capital. Then, USA and then Asia

We are also developing a web platform so the reach of each city chosen and its surrounding will be very strategic.

OBW: Please describe fashion and design in your own words.

Fashion is sometimes an art and sometimes a commercial product and sometimes both. It's a way of expression, a way to 'brand' ourself. The relation with fashion starts in the morning (almost first thing) idem with design. There is an utility aspect but also a lifestyle. There is no barrier of expression into it and it could express a lot about each and everyone. Even the ones who pretend not having a style in fact have a style since they project 'I don't have a style'. Fashion and design are a powerful medium of expression.

OBW: What do you consider the most important facets of the fashion industry?

CD: Well there are a lot of challenges right now: distribution, production, etc. The most important facet is the niche, the story of the product but of course, its pricing, quality and distribution. There are almost no more rules in this industry so it's the best moment to be creative and figure out opportunities in this changing industry.

OBW: What do you think are the current and future trends in fashion?

Patterns are very strong right now in Europe. In Asia, people are looking for high-fashion. I think each person will create their style, their personality. The world is open now, so it will be like in music, you will have access to the small designer from Barcelona easily, that you will mix with a vintage piece and a H&M accessory. Our closet will be like our IPod, everything I like from everywhere in the world as long as it expresses who I am.

OBW: What are the current challenges being faced in the industry, and how one can overcome with them?
Main challenging, I think, it's the distribution system, then it comes to production and pricing. Most interesting solution in today's high tech era is e-commerce.

OBW: Any advice to the young fashion industry people.

Find a niche, be careful with your pricing, collaborate with others and work work work. You need to be an artist but also an entrepreneur. Stick to both!

Thank you, it would be a pleasure to answer any questions of the readers!

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