Hunting for cool.
A few weeks ago I was interviewed on Cribeo.com about my work and my life as a CoolHunter.
Lately this is a fast growing profession with too many questions without answers, so here I am to reply all your doubts through my daily experience as fashion journalist, Coolhunter and Style Responsible in PIMKIE for Spain and Portugal.
Many young people want to make from their passion: fashion, their work… But very few succeed. Why? Perhaps because in reality, despite the attractiveness of the subject, fashion is complicated: pattern, style, trends, history, sociology, everything comes together in this sector sometimes dismissed as banal but of big importance in our time.
URBANSPOTTER.COM via WHOISMUYMIA
Clara De Nadal Trias (also known as muymia because of her unconvetional style and way of thinking) is a young talent who has achieved it. Fashion Journalist with Masters in Fashion Design and Coolhunter graduated in the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London (where Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and John Galliano among others have studied), this 31 years old girl can boast of being one of the very few coolhunters working in a multinational fashion brand in Spain. Before joining Pimkie, she has worked as a journalist in media such as RedFashion, Hmagazine, La Vanguardia, L’Autre Magazine (UK), MyTrnd (UK), Grazia Spain, Divinity, S Moda, itfashion.com and Custo Barcelona, 8 years Catwalk experience and she has also emerged as TV specialist.
How did you start to specialize in this fashion and new trends field? After returning from Holland -where I moved to after graduating from Journalism, I started studying what really fascinated me. At that time I was also working as Producer on a Spanish television, so I started writing a weekly letter to the men fashion designer Josep Abril until he took me as an intern in his atelier. From then I am part of his team in all his catwalks since February 2008 and nowadays he is one of my very good friends.
Currently you are Coolhunter for Pimkie. This profession in this type of multinational company is very difficult to achieve in Spain… The selection process was it difficult? What conditions do they required for your position? The process took several months, starting from an interview by telephone and four personal interviews in Barcelona and France. Requirements were: University degree, oficial studies in Fashion Design, graduated in Coolhunting or trend research, experience in the world of fashion, experience in a similar position, language skills (English and French essential), availability to travel and other qualities such as good communication and creativity.
A meeting at the French headquarters of PIMKIE via WHOISMUYMIA
And how is a normal day for you at work? Since I work for Pimkie, my day starts at 8AM. If I am in the office in Barcelona, I start consulting hundreds of fashion websites, blogs, trend agencies, magazines, etcetera, I do moodboards and/or trend panels and from our Style department we also begin the collections of the brand. In adition I also do weekly videoconferences with the components of my team, located in four different countries to discuss new trends, and to develop the collections we are doing. Every three weeks I go to Lille (North France) to participate in workshops with all designers, product managers, etc. and to Paris to attend to presentations of macro-trends. Finally once a week I do Competitors researches, I attend to fashion and cultural events and during the year I travel abroad to detect new trends.
Mood board or panel of trends, Clara Nadal – via WHOISMUYMIA
What is best part of your job? And the worst? The best part is working with my team -we are four talents from different nationalities- to create something together. And the worst part of my job it’s ‘managing times and processes’: since as we are a big company we must wait and be patient all the time to see the result of the changes, even the smallest changes.
Clara during a conference call with all the Trend Style team via WHOISMUYMIA
Did you always wanted to be what you are now? Actually it was very difficult for me to decided. ‘I’ve always been curious about co-pilots, secondary actors, what’s not in the limelight… So one day I was in a conference and I realized that I was born to be Coolhunter, I felt it. And as I was 100% sure for the first time in my life, I’ve been fighting for it until I manage to live from this.
via WHOISMUYMIA / illustration SARAY MARTIN – Dansvogue
Please describe how to become a coolhunter for all those readers who are thinking to study a profession like yours. Coolhunter profession is very new. When I started I had to move abroad to study it, but nowadays there are more options. If someone really wants to be a Coolhunter is essential to study Coolhunting even if it does sound obvious. Then get the specialization (so for example if you want to specialized in Fashion, you can complement your competences with specific fashion design studies, fashion pattern, fashion marketing, fashion communication, etc.) in order to investigate with more criteria, and to learn languages is essential. A coolhunter is dedicated to listen and analyze society, so in order to be a good Coolhunter you must remember that we do not see more, but we look differently.
Please let us down a false myth about your profession: Coolhunters does not search for fashion but for trends, and these are everywhere around us: design, architecture, gastronomy… And so fashion is not the same as trend. Trend is an indication of things to come, a hint.
To be a coolhunter you must be able to non-stop travelling via WHOISMUYMIA
How do you know what trends will be fashionable in years?Coolhunters we work with one or even two or three years ahead. There are methods to detect new trends, methods to study the evolution… And that is why is so important to research, watch and listen to our society.
But really… Who creates fashion? Designers? Trend Analysts? People on the street? Fashion victims? Well it depends. Sometimes it starts from the creation of a certain designer, sometimes from celebrities or famous people, sometimes influencers and/or early adopters…
Clara De Nadal Trias with Scott Schuman -editor of The Sartorialist- an institution in Streetstyle – via WHOISMUYMIA
What do people say to you when you tell them you’re “Coolhunter”?They say:”Cool what”? Sporadically I teach masterclasses in fashion schools and it’s unbelievable because even some of the students attending to my classes, they come without not knowing what I do exactly. And what I do: is not walking around the world with everything paid (as I’ve been told).
Fashion is an issue that in recent years have gained a lot of professional intrusion especially on internet. How do you see this issue? What do you think will happen to the fashion bloggers?
I see it as a great challenge and big opportunity for us -Coolhunters- to show our value and expertise, and also to show to the beginers that “to read the Vogue and to have a blog” is not enough. Regarding the fashion bloggers issue, I think only the best ones will survive and they will be part of the new generation of celebrities. In my opinion only the ones that provide something else and something useful despite its fashion outfits will stay.
It is the world of fashion as fake as it looks? After eight years working in the fashion industry and catwalks, I can guarantee that in this sector there is as much falsehood as in any other profession. But for sure “it is not gold all that it glitters”, especially if it goes hand to hand with a good makeup and a professional hairstyle together with an Haute Couture dress.
Clara de nadal Trias at London fashion Week via WHOISMUYMIA
Do you think that every fashion company should have a Coolhunter on staff? Yes, but not only in fashion companies but any kind of company, because only Coolhunters can help them understand how the market works, reacts and how society changes. Coolhunters we know the consumer, we know how to give him what he wants and thus be able to increase sales.
How do you see yourself in five years? I would like to be freelance working for many different companies and projects, always doing what I love to do: to investigate trends and to continue publishing, hoping one day my opinion will be necessary and will add value to the world.
Hace unas semanas me entrevistaron sobre mi trabajo y mi vida como periodista y Coolhunter de moda para Cribeo.com, ya que últimamente es una profesión que está creciendo mucho y que tiene demasiadas preguntas sin respuestas, así que aquí estoy para responder a todas éstas dudas a través de mi experiencia diaria:
(Entrevista original Cómo ser coolhunter de moda y no morir en el intento en español aquí).