I have already talked with and about Masomenos, the creative project headed by the colorful duo of Parisians Joan Costes and Adrien de Maublanc, but this time their creative energy has concocted a new formula that combines not only their enthusiasm for graphic art (and fashion), but also a clever new way of financing, showing thus once more just how creatively ebullient they can be.
Through crowd-funding, a new way for the public audience to support and promote projects, whether entrepreneurial, artistic, musical or of any other kind, the more artistic side of Masomenos, Masomenos-Art, has decided to look after the manufacturing of vibrant new scarves. What comes out from Masomenos-Art and their new project is the degree of inventiveness that this duo has: inexhaustibly ingenious and vivaciously exuberant, Joan and Adrien are animated by an incessant motivation to tinge their followers and their world with wild splashes of color.
What is so wondrous in the Masomenos world is the dedication that they put into all of their adventures, and once again, they have come up with an inspired and innovative way of doing things: diving wholeheartedly, unconditionally and, first and foremost, with pure pleasure and fun, the pure Masomenos style.
Luckily the project comes at the perfect time of the year: with glacial winds and snow approaching, Christmas time will be even more jolly and warm!
Graziella Buontempo: What exactly is your new scarf project? How did it come to life?
Joan & Adrien: We were working on the Tofidi (The Snake) design (drawing, paintings, and vinyl covers) and we wanted to create a nice object with it for Masomenos-Art.As both Adrien and I are big scarf lovers (it fits really well with our lifestyles) we started working on a scarf. And, as always, we thought it a little bit out of the regular scale (a big square 140X140 cm and a triangle of 140X140X180cm).
GB: Why did you choose to finance the project through a crowd-funding platform (KissKissBankBank)? Is this the first time you venture into a project like this? How did you find the experience up until now?
J&A: Well, we discovered the KissKissBankBank platform as we had already started thinking about the production of the scarves. We had all the infos related to the production, and suddenly thought about the synergy it could create by doing it this way. We really went head over heels for it for different reasons, and the money part was not the main reason at all. The idea to receive feedback on the product, directly from our people, and to be able to propose a high quality product for a great price to them was the main motivation. So we decided to start this project this way. The good part was also to write all down, which was a good exercise. And to communicate about it, and that is for sure not the thing we do best. Here we had to! So far, we’re really happy about the experience. We’re already thinking of a second project to put up this way.
It opens the door to a new field of possibilities. And it totally fits our spirit! We’re totally into crowd-funding now!
GB: How do you usually finance your projects? What have been the advantages of crowd-funding for you?
J&A: We always did it in a “Masomenos” way, finding a good way so that the project breaks even. But in a way, it’s really limitative. You get restricted on the amount of projects you can launch, and on the quality of the production. With this way of financing, the only limitation is your creativity. If people follow you, then it’s a good one; if not, we can skip to another one. We’re not lacking ideas
GB: Do you think this method of financing could easily be applied to other parts of the Masomenos brand (for example, in the distribution of your music)?
J&A: To be honest we already thought of a lot of different ways to apply it. For sure we would not produce another fashion product right now. We though it could be nice for us, but also for other labels, to finance the reprint of sold out vinyls, or special boxes…for us it could also be a special art installation, or a sculpture! Anything, as long as it’s a good idea!
GB: How important is it for you to mobilize people in the creative process?
J&A: It’s more in the production than in the creative process that we involve people. But it is VERY important. We started having a really intimate relationship with our audience by touring, and playing live, sharing time and emotion with people. And this is an amazing experience, as anybody performing live will tell you. Making products was tearing us apart from this, and here we’ve found a way to get closer again, and we feel really more comfortable this way. Masomenos is neither a brand or a label, it’s an artistic project and therefore we need to find our own way of developing projects. We can’t apply usual brand marketing, or label promotion. It would always fail, as this is not why our audience is following us. They expect us to do differently.
GB: How well do you think you know your audience? How do you think you are able to create a lasting relationship with your customers?
J&A: Well, as much as we enjoy making products, and for this reason have the need to sell these products, we like to consider it more like an audience than as a bunch of customers, or a market. As a lot of people told us when we started with Masomenos-Art you can’t have a brand that proposes iPhone stickers, street-wear clothes lines, high-end clutch bags and artistic prints. Well we did it our way, and for sure we never really had “customers”, or we never got so much press either, but people keep following our work, and enjoy the idea of having the possibility to buy a part of it. For this we made things that were leaving everybody the chance to get them, while never restraining from the idea of making high-end collaborations (with Sylvia Toledano, Lucien Pellat Finet, Causse…)
GB: I noticed that the scarves are made in Italy. Is there a particular reason why you chose made in Italy over made in France?
J&A: No, none. We just got a great contact there and were really happy about our work relationship and the sample products we had received.
GB: Are there any other future projects you plan on financing through crowd-funding platforms?
J&A: Sure! Especially one, but it’s gonna take at least 6 months to put it up! We’ll keep you posted.
GB: How important have social media and platforms like KissKissBankBank become in developing the Welcome to Masomenos brand? What are some of the biggest challenges that you face and some of the most rewarding aspects of brand development?
J&A: As we’ve said before, crowd-funding really opened new perspectives, and great ones, so we can’t really talk for now, but we’re totally excited about it. The difficult part is that it’s more an artistic project applied to products rather than a brand, and for this it’s not easy for us to communicate. The rewarding part is seeing people enjoying to have some of our world into their lives.
Click over here to contribute to the über funky Masomenos-Art scarves!