After eight years at WSN, notably as Director of Sales, Marketing and Digital, Jon Lipfeld is embarking on a new professional project with House of Tribes (HOT), which aims to unite the fashion and lifestyle while bringing together the activities of wholesale and retail, physical and digital, but also business and “good time”. A challenge that begins in a newly inaugurated place, La Caserne, whose values and mission HOT shares: to imagine the fashion of tomorrow. Enough to animate the capital from September 30 to October 2, during Paris Fashion Week.
FashionNetwork: How was HOT born?
Jon Lipfeld: The project was born and matured during these last months. I left Who’s Next on October 31, 2020 to take a step back and give myself the opportunity to do other things like writing the book Luxury & Resilience Eric Briones, alongside other authors, give courses, coach eco-responsible start-ups… But with the Covid, I was often asked about the future of trade fairs and events in the broad sense. I am above all an entrepreneur and I wanted to invent this future, to challenge myself from a blank sheet of paper.
FN: Exactly, where are we with trade fairs today, and how can we reinvent them?
JL: In the last ten years, there have been enormous changes in wholesale business, to which a fair is linked. New needs and behaviors have appeared but this type of event has remained binary: we buy and sell. You need an immediate return on investment. What I learned during all these years is why I liked working in events, how to do it and suddenly, with the current thinking, to ask myself what to propose different in this context. Because that’s where we have to reinvent things. The Covid has changed the way of communicating, of doing business, everything has become ultra-digital. Every month, fundraising takes place on digital platforms; the retailers can develop their business on Instagram, online … However, the pandemic has shown that the physical link remains invaluable.
FN: What will HOT offer?
JL : Already, I prefer to ban the words “salon”, “stand” or “showroom” from my vocabulary. HOT aims to co-create events, to be of service to people who want to meet. The idea is to bring a differentiating and creative experience. I have a strong belief in digital and the art of using it to make the physical experience even better. It’s not just the return on investment (ROI) that matters, but what I would also call the return on emotion (ROE). There is an English word that I like very much that condenses this, it is “serendipity”. Namely: to make by chance an unexpected and fruitful discovery. For me, that sums up the heart of events.
FN: So, if we’re not talking about stand or business directly, what are we talking about on HOT?
JL : For the launch of this first meeting at La Caserne, it is quite naturally the communities present that will create the event. The place defines the subject: responsible fashion, ecological transition. We start from an ecosystem where I will add my paw. We will also be at the heart of Paris Fashion Week that we will use for as many connections as possible.
Concretely, 40 to 50 brands will be present on site, selected by Clémence Cahu, who takes the artistic direction and curation of this very first event dedicated to designers and fashion brands. fashion and lifestyle premium. Everyone will express themselves as a concept retail in order to arouse envy.
At the same time, conferences will be held relayed by video broadcast on our event platform. There will be showrooms connected via our video platform. The whole is intended to allow participants to meet, that creators can exchange (they agree not to stay on their stand non-stop, editor’s note), attend conferences, learn. This is the “bootcamp” spirit. The place with its restaurant, rooftop and even its nightclub will reinforce the convivial side and the meetings. You have to see this as a special communication operation, everyone to challenge themselves to make this moment a unique, crazy meeting … HOT’s vocation is to arouse connection, to be aspirational, to create ’emulation…
FN: What will be the place of the international?
JL : Essential. A major event is missing on the Place de Paris to (re) connect internationally. For this, on site, everything will be done in English for conferences and meetings. HOT is here to spark connections by live, in physics, in digital via surveys, chats, rooms following the lectures. Finally, another challenge, the team I have assembled is multicultural and we work in english first !
FN: Undisclosed is the theme of this first HOT, so not everything is revealed?
JL : Indeed, it was our code name but I think the theme will stay and is very suitable. We want to surprise until the end. The human and the emotion will be at the rendezvous.
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