She was born in Montreal, entered university with a scholarship at 17 to complete her Bachelor's business degree and started working in cosmetics and luxury design in New York City. Studying wine and luxury marketing at Reims and working in Milan, Casablanca and Montreal in the fashion segment, she has gained a multi cultural view on the business of fashion. MBA Fashion Business graduate at IFA Paris, the globetrotter and passionate fashion blogger Yanie Durocher, reveals her talent in her collaborations, with international and local brands. She’s the founder of the blog The Marginalist. Interview.
Michel Temman : Can you introduce the story and concept of your blog, The Marginalist ?
Yanie Durocher : The concept of The Marginalist has been created, originally, through the ideas of following the « road less travelled », not always following the rules and going though diverse creative pathways instead.
M.T. : You're covering mainly these three cities, Milan, Shanghai and Montreal : does this choice offers new and fresh perspectives ?
Yanie Durocher : My blog covers Milan, Shanghai and Montreal fashion scenes, bringing different perspectives both on fashion and business, but also by covering new trends and insights in the fashion market.
M.T. : Why The Marginalist ? It's a beautiful name but how did you find it and what does it mean to you ?
Yanie Durocher : I found it actually with my father back home in Montreal, where he thought it suited me ! Walking on the fine lines of life, embracing the unknown, taking risks and valuing creativity and the unconventional has always been part of me.
« I believe that in the next four or five years, something bigger than simple blogging will occur, it’s about catching the right wave, the trend of the moment. »
M.T. : The fashion coverings and communications changed a lot during the past years. Do you think that the blog is today the best tool to write about fashion trends ?
Yanie Durocher : In general, I think the blogging trend is going on a steep decrease where most fashion bloggers, mainly in the West, have been « bought out » by big media conglomerates such as L’Officiel, Vogue or Style.com, while Chinese and Asian bloggers are requested to be paid in red envelopes (hong bao) for each SM post which decreases their credibility as having an « independent voice ». Nevertheless, I still think there is still a need for independent voices in fashion, art and design where bloggers and influencers can showcase their own opinion, so I believe that in the next four or five years, something bigger than simple blogging will occur, about catching the wave, the trend of the moment.
M.T. : Are you also very active on social networks such as Wechat ? Are these networks crucial for you ?
Yanie Durocher : Indeed, yes. Regarding Wechat and The Marginalist, many brands have started to sponsor me as a fashion and lifestyle blogger, to elaborate creative contents for them. I’m very fortunate to have had the experience of working with international brands such as Perrier, Charles and Keith, Monkey 47 as well as emerging fashion designer brands such as Celia B, Mozaik, ReDesigns and more.
M.T. : You’re also a fashion editor for other titles and you work with several fashion and luxury brands. How do you see the actual fashion scene in China ?
Yanie Durocher : I was chosen as a fashion blogger and columnist for Style TV China (a renown fashion portal in China geared towards first tier cities, nfta) and freelance editor for Jing Daily (China’s luxury B2B magazine, nfta).
I think the fashion scene in China has definitely a large potential and will continue to grow but in a much different way than the last five years. China’s first tier cities are looking at more niche designer brands and products where I see three predominant trends in the Chinese market : first, a huge trend for emerging Chinese designers ; second, the affordable luxury boom in China – given the « anticorruption law » ; and, three, the change in the modern consumer mind sets to go from buying products to more experience, lifestyle and travel. I’m also working in fashion public relations with Glimpse, or helping clients – such as Ecco, CK, Chow Tai Fook, American Rag and more –
to amplify their image and communication message in China. These collaborations have given me a broader overview on the power and influence of public relations in China, both on digital and traditional platforms.
« My MBA in Fashion Business at IFA Paris, in Paris and in Shanghai, has really given me a great boost in entering China and understanding and testing the waters before working here. »
M.T. : You grew up in Canada and lived in Italy, France and China where you graduated a MBA at IFA. What did you learn from those international experiences ?
Yanie Durocher : I believe that I grew up with a cross cultural environment ; my two brothers are from Brazil, my parents are French Canadian and I was born in China and half of my family is from France ! This has really allowed me to push boundaries and go abroad to experience different type of cultures and environments in a more natural way at the age of 17. Working and studying abroad in New York, Milan, Montreal and Casablanca and Rabat in the fashion environment, I’ve learned how to approach people in different manners and respect the codes of fashion in different cultures and environments where my network has also become more global. My MBA in Fashion Business at IFA Paris, in Paris and in Shanghai, has really given me a great boost in entering China and understanding and testing the waters before working here. I’ve also realized how the power of language is extremely important, because I speak English, French, Italian and « professional working » Mandarin, which has really allowed me to open doors and get in connection with influential and inspiring people which otherwise would have been impossible. I work in public relations, a major aspect – disregarding the city I’m in – is really about sustainable relationship building. Making people trust you over time and collaborating is very important, respect and integrity is the basis to the first step of success !
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