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Interviews

3 question to Guillaume Salmon, Public Relations for Colette

The 3 questions - March 22, 2017

As Colette celebrates its 20th anniversary, we got to talk to Guillaume Salmon. As a PR for the shop, he’s in charge of organizing events with the biggest stars on the planet.

Orange Pop: Has Colette always held in-doors events from the get-go?

Guillaume Salmon: Yes. Ever since its opening in 1997, the shop was already hosting events, signings, brand launchings, These kind of events have always been part of our shop’s DNA and they represent a great way for us to communicate on anything and everything we have to offer – through all the designers and artists we get to work with.

O. Pop: When you’re putting together events with the likes of Pharrell Williams or the Odd Future crew, how do you usually handle the influx of fans?

G.S.: Depending on the day and the time slot that are predefined, it is already known if there will be more or fewer people. As a result, security measures are taken accordingly and then we use barriers to manage the flux. Fans queue up in front of the store and we let them in in groups so that they can see the artists, take a photo, get something signed, have a look and eventually buy the store’s products. We are very careful not to have an unmanageable crowd in front of the store. It happened once, when Drake was launching a clothing collection and had come in person to the shop.

O. Pop: In general, what added value these kinds of events bring to the store?

G.S.: This is a common added value because these events also allow artists to leave the music niche, to touch new grounds. They also take advantage of the store’s image. Most of the time, it’s these artists or their managers who contact us, which speaks volume. For us, it makes it possible to attract another kind of clientele and of course generate sales, as it remains the heart of our business. But most of all, these events drum up buzz and communication around the store.

Guillaume Salmon, PR for Colette © Radio Marais

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3 questions Anne Le Beuz, manager of Orange’s concept store in Paris’ Opéra district

The 3 questions - March 15, 2017

The newest Orange store has opened its doors in Paris’ Opéra district. On the edge of all things digital, the store is the ultimate in the client experience. Its manager, Anne Le Beuz, tells us what gives the store its uniqueness and how it’s managed to make such a success of itself.

Orange Pop: What are the objectives and strengths of the new Orange store?

Anne Le Beuz: We follow a number of objectives at this Orange smart store. On one hand, we want to remain a leader against other operators and on the other, we want to be a major player in the world of digital retail by offering a high quality customer experience. Our main desire is that each client has a highly personalised experience. We don’t force our customer in any particular direction; they’re free to go wherever they want, whenever they want, according to their interests and interests. The essential technical, digital, financial and human resources out there might be seen as redundant, but it’s something that interests our team very much. The possibility for our client to have an “experiential experience”, within any sort of digital domaine, be it the connected home, the quality of sound or their wellness, is what guides our store.

O. Pop: The central idea is clearly to offer your customers a complete experience with as much choice as possible.

 A.L.B.: It’s about innovation in terms of the customer experience at every level, whether we’re talking staging, technology or a one to one purchase. We privilege the customer’s welcome to the store above all else; for us, it’s something essential to their experience. A number of employees are therefore dedicated to this side of things, following processes like taking their phone numbers, asking the customer about their shopping experience and inviting them to take a tour of our 1000m2 shop. Then, according to what each individual wants, a digital expert will come to guide their experiences, helping them to make the most out of their time in the store. We want our clients to be free from any of the sorts of constraints they might have in a different shopping environment. Our advisors are all therefore equipped with individual payment terminals; waiting in line to pay is no longer mandatory. If you’re interested in in a set of loudspeakers, the latest smartwatch, or any of our products, you can try them out for yourselves, too; everything can be tested on site.

O. Pop: You’re combining the digital with the human. Is that it?

A.L.B.: Exactly. We wanted to create a “human” space, centred on how people act. We’ve developed a number of thematics, based around wellbeing, sound, mobile phones and sport. Our approach is modelled on how you might walk around a house. We start in the garden, focusing on sports, then we make our way through to the kitchen, then the lounge and the office. At each stage, digital experts are available to accompany the customers, from the early discovery phase right up to their final purchases. Our digital coaches can demonstrate how a product works, offer their expert advice and bring objects like drones, robots and video games to life. Individual or group workshops are also organised, free of charge, three times a week. Whether it’s helping with configuration, data transfer, repair or troubleshooting, everything is in place to make things run as smoothly as possible. We currently boast the best customer experience rating of any Orange shop in France.

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Anne Le Beuz, the radiant manager of concept store Orange Opéra

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3 questions to Eri Umusu, the Nigerian digital artist shaping the scene

The 3 questions - March 08, 2017

Young digital artist Eri Umusu has taken residency at Anthill Studios, one of the most exciting animation studios in Lagos, Nigeria. We talk to him about his journey so far, his favourite works and his take on the future of African animation.

Orange Pop: What was your artistic journey? And how did you end up at Anthill Studios?

Eri Umusu: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved animation. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid but it was only after my sister’s encouragement that I decided to make a career out of it. I started studying 3D animation after hearing about an opening at Beavers Studio back in 2011. While I was there, I met studio head Niyi Akinmolayan and pretty soon, we became good friends. When he finally moved on to launch Anthill Studios, he took me along too. It was actually while working on the Visual Effect project that I spoke to him about the possibility of directing THE SIM. Thankfully, he loved the idea and since then, we decided to really make a good of it in animation!

O. Pop: How was your project Plaything born? Did you have to adapt it to meet certain criteria?

E.U: While the studio was in the middle on working on a TV series, Nurdin Momodu, another animator, spoke to us about wanting to work on an animated short. He had no real ideas about the story or the characters; he just wanted to get to work. A conversation about animated greats like Toy Story and Ant Man reminded me of an earlier idea I had had for a future film. I presented my plan for the film Plaything, everyone loved it and the idea was born! While we’re still playing with ideas on the project, there is something in the works.

O. Pop: In your opinion, what’s the story with Nigerian and African animation?

E.U: In Nigeria, Lago has always been the capital of animation. I can’t speak for the rest of Africa, but generally, I don’t feel like we’re making as much out of animation as we should be. It’s for reasons like this that studios like Anthill are experimenting so much before releasing projects into the wider world. Today, the biggest difference between Nigerian animation and the rest of the world is the budget. We have incredible designers and CGI artists (Computer Generated Imagery) and there are tons of stories to be told. Without the right resources, though, the projects can’t go anywhere.

interview-cinema-afrique

Animation’s future is in safe hands, thanks to the likes of Eri Umusu !

ELSEWHERE ON ORANGE POP

3 questions to Jean Fall, the precursor of tomorrow’s African cinema

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3 questions to Flore Philis and Marie Menand, creators of project D.I.V.A

The 3 questions - March 01, 2017

Headlining the concert event Night of the Voice 2017, D.I.V.A is one of those rare and exceptional ensembles. We talked singing and song with its founders.

Orange Pop: Why did you choose the title DIVA?

Flore Philip & Marie Menand: For us, the word DIVA evokes the mythic opera singer at her absolute best, with all her complexity, excesses, and extravagances. It conjures up the spirit we wanted front and center!? Our group is made up of 5 operatic singers, each embodying a specific facet of the diva persona. The acronym D.I.V.A. offers each singer the choice of one of the characteristics: Driven, Irresistible, Vivacious and Amorous!

O. Pop: What makes a singer a diva?

FP & MM: A diva, the way we see it, is an artist who’s somewhere between a woman and a goddess, a stellar performer who is as rich and complex as she is fragile and insecure. Their 3 hallmarks are breathtaking talent, charisma and mystery. One of the greatest of them all was Maria Callas, opera singer extraordinaire, whose glorious career inspired us throughout the project. We also believe the diva figure isn’t limited to opera: they abound in cinema, fashion, and musical comedy, too. She’s a timeless symbol of liberty.

O. Pop: When did you realize that your voice was “exceptional?”

FP & MM: We began singing young, at the Paris Conservatory and at the Maîtrise de Radio-France; (a national choral program for ages 7 to 18) and we never slowed down. Song was our means of self-expression, and thanks to some wonderful teachers we became aware of just how blessed we are to have such a voice. They encouraged us and pushed us to become the singers we are today.

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The 5 divine voices of the group D.I.V.A ©Louis Decamps

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3 questions to Hugo Obi, founder of Maliyo Games

The 3 questions - February 22, 2017

With his studio, Maliyo Games, Hugo Obi is creating the future of mobile gaming. His characters, mobile games, and virtual environments are distinctly African. We sat down and chatted with this visionary.

Orange Pop: Why do you prefer working on mobile games instead of console video games?

Hugo Obi: Africa is a mobile phone market. Almost everyone has a mobile device and it’s the primary gateway to the internet for most Africans. But mobile phones are much more than communication; they are entertainment devices stuffed with multimedia content. Compared to consoles, they’re much cheaper to buy and you can do a lot more things with them. So we think it makes more sense to build content for Africans that is designed for mobile distribution rather than console or PC.

O. Pop: Why are mobile games so wildly successful today?

HO: In Africa, people are just starting to experience the power of computing using their mobile devices. Unlike the West, your average African does not have easy access to computing devices or gaming consoles, while mobile phones are readily accessible. Combine that with casual games which provide users with a strong visual experience and ease of play. It is no surprise that 32 million games were downloaded in Nigeria alone in 2016, 16 times more than 4 years ago. People are exploring and experiencing the various choices available through the web and the rich multi-media opportunities available through mobile.

O. Pop: It seems that new studios are cropping up daily, designing video games in Africa. Is the future of video gaming in Africa?

HO: These are pretty exciting times for the Africa game ecosystem. When we launched, in 2012, there were a handful of gaming studios in sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Today, we are seeing new indie studios rise across the continent. These are early signs of a developing ecosystem as more people are learning the skills needed for video gaming and there is a better appreciation of the financial opportunities within the local market. Africa has a population of just over 1 billion with nearly 50% mobile penetration. As data costs go down and bandwidth increases, there is no question that downloads will increase in number, generating more and more revenue.

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Hugo Obi, founder of Maliyo Games © Hugo Obi

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Stories: Maliyo Games the first Nigerian gaming company

 

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3 questions to Olivier Ravanello, CEO of Explicite, the 100% web-media news outlet

The 3 questions - February 15, 2017

Independent, quality, digital: three adjectives that sum up Explicite, a new 100% Web news agency staffed mostly by journalists who quit France’s 24-hour news station i-Télé, furious over alleged editorial meddling and condoned sexual harassment. CEO Olivier Ravanello, sat down with our reporter!

Orange Pop: With Explicite, you’ve ditched traditional broadcasting for the Web’s advantages, like streaming and viewer flexibility. Are we at the dawn of a new journalistic era?

Olivier Ravanello: Explicite unites 2 complementary journalistic cultures: TV reporters, with their on-camera experience, and Internet journalists, with all their Web-savvy. We adapt content to the formats of popular social networks by developing our own news-specific apps. We’re not just slicing the 8 o’clock news up differently to make it mobile-compatible, like traditional broadcasters do. We offer a whole different format, with more efficient and thorough coverage. That means the kind of nuance and in-depth reporting that cross-pollinate wide news stories.

O. Pop: “Technological maturity” is the tipping point when the general public adopts an innovation. Streaming is already there, and the on-line press exists (Les Jours, Le Quatre Heures, Brut…). Has digital journalism also arrived?

OR: The Web format acknowledges a social shift, providing 3rd Millennium citizens with the tools they want. People are clamoring for independent news media. App and social media innovation enables us to provide high-quality, independent, digital news that any smartphone can receive.

O. Pop: What are the constraints specific to Explicite, and Web media in general?

OR: One constraint is the market for Internet-based news. It’s rapidly growing but hasn’t yet reached its economic potential, paling in comparison to TV advertising. The other constraint is just natural human resistance to change: news has always been free. How much does quality news cost? What’s it worth? We’ll have to pay if we want quality, independent news.

We need a viable economic model and investors who believe in this thing. Our crowdfunding drive is very promising, with the support of 60,000 so far on social networks. We’re true believers and think we’re the right thing at the right time.

olivier-ravanello-explicite-chaine-information-journalisme-streaming-video

Olivier Ravanello, shakin’ up the French media scene © Explicite

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3 questions to Franck Simon, foreign correspondent and African football specialist

The 3 questions - February 08, 2017

Frank Simon covers football for L’Équipe, the BBC, Radio France and France Football. He’s been reporting on African football for 30 years. He shared some of the continent’s success stories with us.

Orange Pop: How popular a sport is football in Africa today?

Frank Simon: It’s always been popular in Africa because it’s a sport you can play without snazzy equipment and facilities. You can fashion a ball from paper, string, or old rags. All over Africa, everyone plays football in the street. There are even derivative forms of it, like the maracana in Ivory Coast, and farther afield in West Africa. Though the continent still lacks sufficient infrastructure, it’s passionate about the game. Women’s football is also developing there and building a fan base, which isn’t always the case in Europe.

O. Pop: What is the greatest success story in African football today?

FS: In addition to the stars who are household names around the globe, there’s Yves Bissouma, a Malian player of Ivorian descent. He started playing pick-up street ball in Abidjan’s slums. His talent got him noticed, and an invitation to a football academy in Mali followed. He grew up in Bamako, took Malian nationality, and played for Mali in this year’s African Nations Championship (exclusively for locals who play in leagues in the nations they represent) in Rwanda. Scouts took a shine to him and he signed with Lille, France. He represented Mali during the CAN and sparkled on the pitch. Not bad for a 20-year-old. He’s got a promising career ahead of him in Europe for sure.

O. Pop: How inspiring are stories like this on the continent?

FS: Every sand lot kid dreams of becoming the next Yaya Touré, Samuel Eto’o or Yves Bissouma. These sporting heroes are a huge source of inspiration across the continent. Football can offer livelihoods and the ability to help family, friends, and communities. Icons like these spark the dreams of Africa’s youth and inspire them to develop talent, values and strong work ethics. And making it doesn’t necessarily mean skipping off to Europe; you can shine in domestic leagues and on national teams.

franck-simon-journaliste-reporter-football-afrique-interview

Frank Simon talking tactics with young talent © Frank Simon/Twitter

ELSEWHERE ON ORANGE POP

3 questions to Boubacar Niang, specialist on African football and Director of Communications at Orange Money Sénégal

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3 questions to Agnès Marcetteau, Director and Curator at the Jules Verne Museum, in Nantes

The 3 questions - February 01, 2017

Agnès Marcetteau, Director and Curator at the Jules Verne Museum, in Nantes, is an expert on Verne’s 62 novels, known as the Extraordinary Voyages. She shared insights on this visionary master of the adventure novel.

Orange Pop: Jules Verne is one of science-fiction’s pioneers. This visionary genius’s masterpieces include Voyage to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and 20,000 leagues Under the Sea. How did he come up with these stories and those extraordinary machines?

Agnès Marcetteau: Jules Verne is first and foremost an author who imagines future worlds, so he’s one of the ancestors of the 20th century’s science-fiction movement. The first sci-fi writers and filmmakers, especially Orson Wells, cite him as their spiritual father,. Jules Verne got his inspiration from contemporary scientific research and technologies, altering and enhancing them for his stories. The submarine is a good example. He didn’t invent it, but he souped up the Nautilus so it almost resembles modern day nuclear subs.

O. Pop: What did Jules Verne think of progress?

AM: The general public views him as a champion of progress. But when you dig into his works, you start to see a more nuanced opinion. Jules Verne highlights the benefits of progress but ponders its dangers, too. For example, while he portrays the conquest of space as a magnificent adventure, he describes natural landscapes that have been ravaged by industry. Throughout his stories he advocates environmental protection and warns against the dangers of pillaging Earth’s resources.

O. Pop: Do you think man has surpassed the visions Jules Verne dreamed up?

AM: Where Jules Verne remains a relevant visionary is in his environmental awareness and his understanding of our fragile ecosystems. As far as technology is concerned, his wildest inventions have long been surpassed. Mankind has either already made them or his conception was erroneous and hence a dead end. But insofar as a visionary who stretched the imaginations of whole generations, Jules Verne is as relevant as ever. His inspirational force is still very powerful.

Jules Verne with the projectile train for the moon & the Nautilus

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3 questions to Paul Dillinger, Vice President of Levi’s and fashion designer for Project Jacquard

The 3 questions - January 25, 2017

With Project Jacquard, Google is teaming up with Levi’s to manufacture smart clothes – iconic jeans all souped-up with new-tech. We met with Paul Dillinger, Vice President of Levi’s to talk about this hip new fashion/tech collaboration.

Orange Pop: How did Project Jacquard start?

Paul Dillinger: The Levi’s innovation team and Google joined forces to create a modern version of denim: The Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, with Jacquard technology woven in. Both Google and Levi’s bring something very special to the table in each of their respective fields of expertise. Levi’s is built on design innovation, unique craftsmanship and a pioneering spirit that has been a part of culture and style over the past 140 years. Google brings cutting-edge tech, platforms and digital systems. Google approached Levi’s to be their first partner for the Jacquard interactive fabric as they knew they could count on us for our expertise, being the inventors of one of the most iconic products in the world: the blue jean. Google did not want to tackle clothing, they wanted to partner with experts in the field.

O. Pop: How did you work with Google on that project?

PD: The great thing about the partnership was that each company was able to own different elements within the project. Levi’s has always been about purposeful design and creating products that meet a consumer need. Since the launch of the Commuter collection in 2012, we have been integrating advanced technologies into our products- and so Commuter felt like the most natural fit for the collaboration. Jacquard is a platform developed by Google which enables the user to program interaction with a device – adjusting music volume, silencing a call, or getting an estimated ETA to their location.

 O. Pop: Do you think this is the start of something big, something everyone will wear in the future?

PD: What is special about Project Jacquard is that the technology is discreetly integrated into a fabric we know, and a garment we already love.  This isn’t “like denim”; this is denim.  Style isn’t sacrificed to achieve technical utility.  First and foremost, these are great-looking Levi’s® jean jackets.  You wear it and care for it just like your other favorite jean jackets.  …and if you get it dirty, you can put it in the laundry. We believe this is an important direction in the evolution of wearable technology.  Useful interface, discreetly integrated with the objects we already know and love, rather than invented “gadgets” that are added to or imposed on our lives and end up in junk drawers.

O.Pop : Comment avez-vous travaillé avec Google sur ce projet ?

P.D : Ce qui était vraiment bien dans ce partenariat est que chaque entreprise a pu amener au projet des élément différents. Levi’s a toujours cherché à concevoir et créer des produits qui répondent à un besoin du consommateur. Depuis le lancement de notre collection Commuter en 2012, nous intégrons les nouvelles technologies dans nos produits. Cette collection Commuter nous paraissait donc naturellement adaptée à cette collaboration. Jacquard est une plateforme développée par Google qui permet à l’utilisateur de programmer lui-même l’interaction avec un périphérique – par exemple, pour ajuster le volume de sa musique, refuser un appel ou demander un itinéraire.

O.Pop : Pensez-vous que c’est le début de quelque chose que tout le monde portera dans le futur ?

P.D : Ce qui est particulier avec Project Jacquard, c’est que la technologie est discrètement intégrée dans un tissu que nous connaissons déjà, et un vêtement que nous aimons déjà. Ce n’est pas “une sorte de jean”, c’est du jean. Le style n’est pas sacrifié au profit de l’utilité technique. Avant toute chose, c’est une belle veste en jean Levi’s. Vous la portez et en prenez soin comme n’importe laquelle de vos autres vestes en jean préférées… Et si elle est sale, vous pouvez la mettre à la machine. Nous pensons qu’il s’agit d’une direction importante dans l’évolution des technologies à porter comme des vêtements. Une interface utile, discrètement intégrée avec les objets que nous connaissons déjà et que nous aimons, bien plus que les “gadgets” inventés qui sont ajoutés ou imposés à nos vies et qui finissent à l’arrière de nos garde-robes.

©Paul Dillinger, Vice President of Levi’s & Jacquard Project

ELSEWHERE ON ORANGE POP

Interview: Eric Schmidt (Alphabet/Google) : « The Internet will disappear »

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3 questions to Jessica Easto, the author who drew the portrait of Elon Musk through her quotes

The 3 questions - January 18, 2017

In Rocket Man: Elon Musk In His Own Words, scheduled for release on Valentines Day, Jessica Easto offers us a portrait of the visionary celeb entrepreneur: a compilation of 100 of his quotes from interviews, speeches, and articles.

Orange Pop: How did you get the idea to make this collection of quotes from Elon Musk ?

J.E: The publisher where I work, Agate Publishing, has a series of books called In Their Own Words. Each book collects the quotations from top entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world. We have books the focus on Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Ma… I thought a book focusing on Elon Musk would be a great addition to the series. I wanted to learn more about him and how he thinks. His choice to pursue these highly improbable endeavors sets him apart from other innovators. In short, his causes seem noble and his success seems improbable. That’s enough incentive for me !

Moreover it’s particularly interesting for Musk to get this treatment. He is known for correcting journalists who, in his view, twist is words or report the facts wrong. He must be hypervigilant of this kind of thing because he is competing against very powerful interests. Also, one of the way he tries to combat misinformation is by explaining things to journalists and the public in as clear of a way as he can.

O. Pop: How did you collect, select and organize all these quotes ? Are some unpublished before ?

J.E: Essentially, I read, listened, and watched everything I could get my hands on. This amounted to hours and hours of audio and video. I focused more on videos and audio recordings of public appearances. As I mentioned, Musk has talking points that he tends to repeat, and his fans can likely recite them almost word for word. I wanted to include those since they seem to represent the foundations of his worldview, but I also include quotes that fans may never heard before. All of them come from sources that are available to the public, but may be lesser known. I organized the book into 10 chapters by subject, including “Learning and Logic”, “Environmentalism and Sustainable Energy”, “Life Lessons”… There are more than 200 quotes in all.

O. Pop: Precisely, what do his quotes and sayings say about him ? Is he really like his reputation, a visionary engineer and a genius entrepreneur ?

J.E: I think his quotes reveal that he is a highly rational, skilled, and principled businessman. People tend to be skeptical of his self-proclaimed mission to ensure a positive future for humanity because 1) that doesn’t sound rational and 2) people tend to think such a claim is pretentious or that it couldn’t possibly be as selfless as it seems. But, after spending hour upon hours listening to Musk speak (from his PayPal days to the present), I’m convinced that he certainly wants to change the world for the better through his companies (and in many ways, he already has) and that guides his business decisions.

Very few business leaders understand the nuts-and-bolts of their products as well as Musk does at Tesla and SpaceX. He believes deeply in his missions, which I think helps him keep up his rigorous work responsibilities. It will be fascinating to see how he continues to innovate the manufacturing sector, especially car manufacturing in the United States. Although he is fabulously wealthy, money doesn’t seem to motivate him in the way it might others, which is an unusual quality for entrepreneurs, at least in the United States.

elon-musk-interview-scientifique

© Jessica Easto

 

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