Atelier Meraki is a space that everyone can use to express their own creativity. Meraki is a Greek word, and there is no equivalent in other languages but the general meaning sums up the spirit of this alternative exhibition space / open entrepreneurial space for young designers: “doing something with soul, love and creativity.” At the head of this multifaceted space is Shérif Sy, interview:
Why is the phenomenon of collectives at Who’s Next important?
The Who’s Next trade-show is a real chance for young designers to showcase themselves to the rest of the world. In the last few years, the trade-show has become an essential meeting place for young designers and buyers. Designers who are confined daily to their design space can test their products in real time, and see which products work the best and receive constructive feedback. Meeting with buyers also has other advantages: creating a lasting loyal relationship between designers and buyers. Even more importantly, implementing such a physical interface enhances the buyer’s status within the brand’s development by encouraging exchange and interaction, which are essential elements of successful communication for the young designer.
Collectives have understood the challenge of this new dynamic well: by working with Who’s Next, they are pushing young designers to the forefront and promoting new brands on the market. Far from an impersonal act, buying becomes above all a meeting, a discovery and a leap towards brand development.In your opinion, does grouping together different designers encourage young designers to talk to one another?
Presenting a collective at a trade-show that features different styles, above all, helps designers to get out of their comfort zones and to share their experiences and daily lives as creators with one another.
This morning I spoke with Hugo Jeannette, the founder of the brand Écriture studio. He explained to me that “taking part in Who’s Next, is an incredible opportunity to gain brand visibility, as well as to meet other designers and exchange ideas and experiences, or even to gain contacts for future collaborations.” More prosaically, Who’s Next makes it possible for buyers to place orders and therefore brands receive the necessary income to develop further. By launching a small production that was then tested amongst buyers, Écriture studio was able to gain feedback on its products in order to better identify its wholesale sector. Managing to find buyers comes above all from test phases so that you can refine your collection. For this, Who’s Next is one of the best solutions out there, creating an event centred around brands showcasing their exclusive collections, which puts the designer-consumer relationship right back at the heart of the economy.
We are no longer offering an anonymous product that is lost amongst hundreds of other similar products, but instead a real sharing experience with brands that coexist on the collective’s stand.
A final word?
By breaking down conventions and institutional barriers that could impose on young designers today, collectives are emerging as a new way to manage a brand at a lower cost. By putting exchanges and the designer’s profile back at the heart of the economy, temporary boutiques give us the chance to redefine our role as consumers. Buying is not only an act dictated by our society, but a good way to encourage young talented designers and to create the world of tomorrow.
As a manifesto rooted in reality, Who’s Next invites us to truly live outside of the norms and codes that suffocate us.
Let your creativity emerge, share, dare to show your difference: this is what these shops seem to be telling us, which, for a moment, takes the emptiness of our daily lives by surprise.