Online Exclusives

Peclers Prism for Beauty and Design

By Nancy Jeffries, Associate Editor | September 1, 2009

The trend agency looks into the future.

Peclers Utility Cosmetics unites color cosmetics, MP3 player and utility tools.
PeclersParis is fashioning the future with trend books, audiovisuals, marketing and product development consulting. Last month at the New York headquarters of PeclersParis, the trend, style, and innovation agency founded in 1970 by Dominique Peclers, the Peclers team presented perspectives on the socio-cultural, economic, and aesthetic factors impacting consumer behavior, products and services in today’s market. Eric Duchamp, president and CEO, greeted attendees and provided background on the company’s DNA, noting that a key component of the company’s mission is to decipher and anticipate fashion and lifestyle trends and translate them into creative insights, as well as recommendations to develop better designed and more desirable products.

Peclers consults with companies in a wide range of industries, including beauty and cosmetics, home and décor, consumer electronics, telecommunications, packaged goods and retail, to help them translate socio-cultural and lifestyle trends into innovative products and designs.

Duchamp said, “Developing colors and designs for clients was the first step for the business, which began with trend books, and now has 1,300 clients around the world.”

Francoise Serralta, PeclersParis Strategic Research and Future Insight director, left, with Emma Fric, global development director, and Eric Duchamp, president and CEO, Peclers, at New York City headquarters.
He noted that 40% of the business is currently devoted to trend books, with 60% advising clients.

“This is a tough context now and we are facing major crises in the ways consumers are purchasing products and services. There is faster innovation and faster creative cycles, and consumers want a quicker, more interesting turnover of products. What we are doing is analyzing the evolution of the socio-cultural context and defining future consumer values, lifestyles, fashion, design and aesthetic trends, and translating them into creative insights,” noted Duchamp.

With three communities of experts in Paris and New York, and 20 business partners in 30 countries around the world, Peclers is packaging solutions through four categories of trend books, namely Textiles and Apparel, Home and Environment, Luxury, Beauty and Cosmetics, and Information Technology and Services.

Beginning with a chronological evolutionary chart that maps out how values fluctuate according to a worldwide context, Peclers focuses on the global context of societal values and evolving indicators. These indicators translate to beauty, fashion, industrial design and more.

“To design with more emotion, more passion, better colors, and to consult across all business sectors to design and sell the best products is our mission," said Mr. Duchamp. "This is what we are doing.”

Futur(s) 9 Mapping

The newest trend book from Peclers, Futur(s) 9, addresses the major trends that are likely to impact product development in the future. Emma Fric, global development director, and Francoise Serralta, strategic research and future insight director, took attendees through the four key values with the strongest impact on trends. The Futur(s) Trend books, which come out every year in May, explore the subconscious motivations of consumers. Fric said, “We study emerging signs appearing in the marketplace that are likely to reshape the motivations of consumers. These values are hedonism, natural elements, technology, and imaginary elements, from the most sensorial to the virtual.”

Peclers Crystal Lipstick repre- sents beauty with new form and function.
How they manifest themselves in a variety of sectors depends upon numerous factors. In beauty, for example, a post-modern tool, called Kit Universal, displays a new take on design incorporating an eyeshadow palette, configured with an essential tool assortment, and handy MP3 player, to answer the needs of the modern woman on the go. By combining functional tools with cosmetics, as well as a source of aesthetic pleasure, i.e., music, the design melds hedonics in form and function, as it celebrates the interactive and multi-layered lives of today’s consumers.

Ms. Fric notes that while trend presentations for clients are customized according to needs and geared for particular industries, they evaluate each sector and represent the trends most relevant to a customer’s business. In packaging, there are moire patterns, indigenous elements, sustainable materials; in fashion, filmy looks and reflective materials for apparel and textiles; and for makeup and cosmetics, transparency, natural sourcing, and multi-functional beauty. All the materials, from gold chains to beads and tapestry, have a place in the newly blended, variegated, and globalized world.

Ms. Fric notes that economic conditions have clearly impacted consumer behavior.

"Maybe the crisis was actually a revelation. It could be an opportunity to re-think our values and act with a new form of conscious imagination and collaboration," she explained. "The new consumer rejects the frivolous and is a more mature consumer. We still will be designing products to consume and to connect. We are global travelers, nomadic people.”

Referring to the term, co-errant, a key aspect of the Peclers vision, Ms. Fric said that this represents the feeling they are addressing.

“It’s about collectivity, being together, wandering and embracing global culture, understanding the other and communicating,” she said. “This is authenticity based on nomadism, new forms of migration, where individuals travel, migrate, meet, and coalesce around common purpose and tendency.”

This is a reevaluated interpretation of migration, stemming from the current economic, physical and metaphysical states in which we live. Whether moved by hurricanes, floods, or spiritual quest, globalization has taken root in the mind and manifestations of individuals in today’s world.

Values based on true friends and affinities, rather than hundreds of vaguely recognizable associates linked through electronic media, are important. She said the maze of electronic links obscure the value and importance of whatMr. Serralta described as “the new wisdom of common sense,” which is impacting the minds and movements of individuals in today’s marketplace.

“We are witnessing various flows in today’s market and consumers are decelerating and re-centering on the most basic things in life. This allows consumers to filter what is non-essential and become more sophisticated consumers,” Ms. Fric said.

Translating the Context

“In order to look into the future, we can’t forget the past,” said Fric, and clearly that is the take away message from Peclers. The hybridization, the mixing of the classic with pop culture, and the way these elements combine in contemporary profusion, form the core of the new global language of expression. From Celebration, connecting old and new with experimental textures and futuristic design; to Circulation, where migrating populations project a new survivalism; to Saturation, in which we make sense of the chaos to create new patterns in the world; and then to a Reconfiguration, where we separate from 20th century values and downsize, today’s consumer is in a state of flux. The final steps in the process, according to Peclers, are Emancipation, in which consumers take responsibility for their actions, consumption and behavior and embrace shared knowledge and the greater good; ultimately leading to Revelation, which Peclers notes is the rediscovery of basic truths. Fric said, “This is where fundamentals are addressed and there is a return to poetry, art, and holistic harmony; where there is cautious measurement over wasteful accumulation and a re-focusing on life and the Sacred, fundamental aspects of it, that lead to Grace, ultimately capturing the frailty of humanity, creativity and art.”

Duchamp concluded that while Peclers is aware of a multitude of changes going on in the world today and that consumers are indeed difficult to read, their job is to better understand future consumer behavior. “We are bringing creative inspiration to our clients. We are here to inspire them,” he said.

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