We had the privilege of catching up with Nicolas from a very trendy, as well as interesting company called AFRICA IS THE FUTURE. Check out what he had to say below:
1AFRICA: Hey Nicolas, firstly thank you for allowing us the opportunity to grab this interview with you. I guess the first obvious question we’d like to pose for our curious readers is, what exactly is AFRICA IS THE FUTURE ?
NICOLAS: ‘AITF’ is a creative work in constant progress. Its current form may evolve as has been the case since Patrick and I began this project in 2004. The main goal is to promote critical thinking of the people in Africa, its place in the World and more generally what it can contribute to the World.
1AFRICA: Tell us a little about how it got started and what were some of the highlights and challenges of getting a fresh and unique brand like this off the ground?
NICOLAS: I would say that three main factors behind this project are: We are tired of seeing and hearing the same clichés about Africa, we want people to understand that Africa is not an exception but the rule and the roots of the worldwide system, and, to note that nowadays brands may have a greater capacity than any other entity to disseminate ideas about Africa’s relationship to the world.
1AFRICA: So we know that you’re based in France. Were you born there or how did this fascination and love of Africa begin for you?
NICOLAS: I was born in France. I try to not have too much fascination for something. To be fascinated implies a magical relationship to reality, a psychological state in which critical thinking is absent. Furthermore, this kind of approach is especially damaging for Africa because the global power relations that shape the continent have nothing to do with magic! My interest in Africa is more natural than anything else, due to the fact that my father was born in Congo.
1AFRICA: What would you say, is the main over arching message that you would like people to walk away with after being exposed to AITF?
NICOLAS: Think by yourself.
1AFRICA: We recently noticed the launch of your new website (looking super slick by the way). How did you go about approaching the art direction and look and feel of the brand?
NICOLAS: We take the same tools used to promote the American way of life from the post-war economic growth of the U.S. until today. They are emblematic of, and inseparable from, everyday life. We keep their form and aesthetic and we divert the content to give birth to a new reality, able to create a critical distance from the common representations. That’s the plan !
1AFRICA: While “AFRICA IS THE FUTURE” is a powerful statement in itself, is there anything specific you’d like to say to people currently residing in the continent of Africa.
NICOLAS: Do not forget what you already know.
1AFRICA: How and where can people check out more of what you’re doing and also get hold of some of your awesome apparel?
1AFRICA: Once again, huge thanks for the interview and we hope to stay in contact with you guys to see what other exciting things unfold for AITF.