He graduated from IFA Paris and was then recruited by the American electric automaker Tesla, Augustin Sagehomme is now Sales Manager at a Brussels based digital marketing agency. He’s also a prolific and talented artist.
Michel Temman: Could you first introduce yourself and tell us more about you, about your life today and your career?
Augustin Sagehomme: Born and raised in the Belgian countryside, nature is something that I care about and that astonishes me every day. The amount of colours changing all year long with the different seasons and the contrast of the lights is something breath-taking. Nevertheless, big cities have always attracted me, as that’s the place where magic happens, with social interactions and the mix of cultures as well as fascinating architecture. I love to discover things and places and these last few years I was lucky enough to travel around the world and visit amazing cities from the east to the west - places that never sleep and where creativity is expressed in many ways. Today I’m back in the beautiful European capital, Brussels. Here, I enjoy the balance between nature and culture. Good technologies are available, incredible creators and designers have been raised here and we have the best chocolates and beers of the world. For a food aficionado, that’s quite important. Passionate about technology - I have always played with it when I was young and now I’m working as a Sales Manager in a digital marketing agency. But in addition to that, it’s my artistic and design career that takes most of my time and that I like to develop every single day. I have ideas popping up in my mind all the time and I have to filter them out somehow or make them happen.
M.T.: You first joined the American pioneer Tesla as a Marketing Coordinator and Product Specialist. What were your main missions exactly?
Augustin Sagehomme: This discussion might last forever as Tesla has been on every lips and every paper for a few years. We are in the heart of a new revolution, the one of mobility, but not only; it is also a revolution about the way we consume. Tesla is in the centre of this change and to work for this company was a great experience. Like Simon Senek said, people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe. I have been passionate about design and technology since my childhood. As a boy, of course, I love cars as well. And Tesla was just the most luxurious car out there considering all these technological aspects. With all this in mind, it was quite natural for me to want to join them.
“Moreover, as an entrepreneur myself, carrying the challenge to introduce a new Tesla product and to also be its’ ambassador was very cool!”
I had many different missions at Tesla. From being a point of contact for the journalists to setting up and organising great events such as auto motor shows but also being an ambassador for our products. I had also to bring an outstanding customer experience - as I’m thriving for quality and service. At Tesla, let’s be honest, one of the key words is “scrappy”: Do amazing things with a minimum of resources! That’s a nice transition to present the fact that I have been one of the happy few to introduce Tesla in Dubai with a very small team! Yes, right in the middle of the desert where petrol used to be their main source of revenue and where you find the craziest cars on earth and lot of petrol heads. But United Arab Emirates is looking much further to the future and it will be one of the most advanced countries in sustainability and technology very shortly. During two months we almost never slept! I had to organise events and showcase the Tesla cars in hotels, malls and airports as well as organising test drives in front of the Burj Khalifa and around town! Dubai is such an international hub, I have met people from all around the world. For part of them it was the first time they learned about Tesla. Others couldn’t quite believe it was driving on electricity only and were continuously asking where the engine was. Now, imagine a city without engine noise and pollution and with smart traffic.
M.T.: You joined IFA Paris in 2013 to study our MBA in Luxury Brand Mangement. How valuable was it?
Augustin Sagehomme: This is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had. From a human point of view, meeting people from all over the world sharing one passion, but having many others as well, working together and exchanging ideas was fantastic. Then of course, travelling from city to city and enjoying every specialty from each one of them, always having to adapt and build your social network was also special. IFA Paris offers a world of opportunities! Then being in small groups, attending lectures of luxury industry professionals, analysing daily business cases and giving presentations in front of small or larger audience was so fulfilling. Moreover, attending exhibitions, fashion shows, visiting industries and meeting professionals was also very interesting. IFA Paris definitely gives you a wide perspective, a lot of unforgettable moments, rich encounters, but it is also hard work!
M.T.: Considering your past and current experiences, it seems that everything about you is about creation and passion. You're also a dynamic contemporary artist, drawing, painting, designing... What are the bases of your aesthetic and artistic visions? Is there any wish and dream that you would like to achieve as an independent creator and artist?
Augustin Sagehomme: I believe that nothing great isn’t achieved without passion. Passion is indeed the one key word in my life. I think creativity is in every one of us. It’s just that we don’t use it the same way. I like to create in many ways, but most fundamentally I consider myself as an artist because I’m free to think what I want and to express it by doing canvas, paintings or sculptures. There are no borders in art. I might not speak Chinese, or just a few words, but Chinese people understood my art and loved it when I was exhibiting there. In my work, it’s important to find harmony. So in general, my work is characterized by a subtle balance between the harmony of shapes and colours. I consider that I’m endowed with a good sense of observation and high sensitivity, my talent is fed by the essences of everything that surrounds me. I have been collaborating with different brands to customise some items like exclusive bottles or realised the portrait of a famous DJ with Louis Vuitton monograms. I have many projects and I like the connection between art and fashion. I did my Captstone Project at IFA Paris about it. So one of my goals would definitely be to collaborate with famous luxury or lifestyle brands more in the future. I have also been in touch with hotels to decorate lobbies and interiors. As I like design in general, I would be looking forward to work on global projects as well. In spring 2018 I will be exhibiting in Belgium’s most influential city on the art scene, Knokke-Heist. I’m very much looking forward to it, as I have been there on holiday every single year as a child.
M.T.: Which advice would you give to the IFA Paris students who dream to follow your path?
Augustin Sagehomme: First, talk with people! I believe that a simple “hello!” can lead to a million things. We have things to learn from everyone. Secondly, do what you love before it’s too late and persevere in doing it. You will do great. Thirdly, surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher and who can help you to achieve what you want. Life is too short not to love and not to laugh everyday, don’t you think? Try it!
To learn more about the MBA program pursued by Augustin, please see: MBA Luxury Brand Management