Special report “A radical shift in consumer desires and behaviors” 3/3: Katell Pouliquen

Katell Pouliquen

Editorial director of Marie-Claire, co-author with Nathalie Dolivo of “Retro-Cool, How Vintage Can Save The World”
(Editions Flammarion).

In your book, you point to a powerful trend that has been countering the consumer frenzy we’ve witnessed in recent decades. How would you define it?
We conducted an extensive survey before writing
our book and many signals pointed to a desire
to slow down, a desire felt by many consumers.
It’s a major shift, which is still growing, and it
affects all kinds of consumers – urban or not,
young or not so young, people cutting back on
new purchases for economic reasons, and others
trying to limit their own environmental impact.
What they all share is a desire to restore meaning
to objects. There is, effectively, a desire to put an
end to the frenzy sometimes generated by fast
fashion and the dizzying wave of trends. More
fundamentally, there’ s a desire to stand out,
to reject the standard, globalized uniform that
really dulls style and the streets.

Your book was published at the end of 2018. Are
you seeing a further escalation of this trend?
Absolutely. Our book came out a little ahead
of the movement; it documented its inception,
but since then the tide has grown immense.
Especially because of the lock-down and the
ensuing economic situation. According to the
Kantar consultancy, Vinted, a specialist in the
sale of second-hand clothing, is now the fourth
largest e-commerce fashion-player in France. And
audiences for eBay and Rakuten rose sharply in
the second quarter, according to Médiamétrie.
Vintage has definitely caught on!

Do you think the fashion world has sufficiently
heard this message? Which initiatives do you
think best align with this shift?
The industry has to address the vintage issue
because of the exponential figures I mentioned.
This is a part of the business that is escaping
them, so they have to think differently. Many
stores, from Sézane to Selfridges, are now
broadening their offer to include vintage. Luxury
houses are also looking with particular interest
at the richness of their “heritage”, assigning it
even more value than before. Beyond that, the
overall thinking in the industry, regarding fashion
shows for example and the number of collections
shipped each year, is moving generally towards a
greater appreciation of time. Rediscovering the
importance of time – even the time to desire an
item of clothing before buying it – is obviously

More Special report “A radical shift in consumer desires and behaviors”


1/3 : Discover the testimony of  Serge Carreira, Serge Carreira, Head of Emerging Brands Initiative at the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode and lecturer at Sciences-Po Paris here

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