Interview with Éric Dupont, member of the ANDAM 2010 Fashion Award's jury
1/ Introduce yourself in a few words, and tell us why, in your opinion, innovation is still relevant ?
Following my engineering studies, I worked for 20 years at Decathlon. I lived there a wonderful adventure, on multiple posts, in particular the creation of branded products. For exemple, i was part of the team that worked on the design of the best-selling bike in Europe, of this famous tent which unfolds so easily, or even this diving mask which has been recently so useful during the coronavirus pandemic. In these three moments, innovation has enabled to looking at an issue with a different eye to meet the user's need.
For 9 years, I work for Chanel. First, to the supervision of the entity that oversees the Arts and Crafts, a superb challenge to run workshops in embroidery, leatherwork, featherwork... that develop and made components or finished products for the Maison Chanel and other clients. To support these companies, we have been led to develop an innovation department including around processes and materials.
Today, I am working on the sustainable transformation of Fashion, where innovation is even more relevant, facing numerous issues, including environmental.
2/ How did you get into fashion ? And Tech ?
During my career path at Decathlon, I managed teams for all product types (bikes, table tennis tables, shoes...) of the company. I discovered a stronger link with clothing because it reconciles aesthetic criteria, globalisation issues on several levels and it is very technological.
I then met Didier Grumbach, at the time president of the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion, when I was a member of the board of directors of the Défi, as a representative of the sportswear brands. This meeting inspired me and led me to discover luxury fashion at Chanel.
3/ An innovation related to Fashion Industry that has made a big impression on you ?
The Lyocell development which participate to offering an alternative to viscose.
4/ What do you expect from the start-ups that will compete this year to the ANDAM innovation award ?
We need to reinvent ourselves, to transform ourselves, particularly in the face of climate changes. This award should enable the emergence of new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new talents.
5/ Do you have an advice to be given to them or to innovation entrepreneurs who entered the Fashion industry ?
Surround yourself well, it's primordial. Because an idea, is technical issues, a market vision, financial look, commercial development.. One person is not able to have all these competences.
6/ What is your ideal vision of tomorrow's Fashion ?
Slight, inspiring and sustainable.
7/ Concerning your own business, what are your priorities in term of innovation ?
We are working to change the different stages of the product's life to imagine a more sustainable fashion.