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Why The Power Of The New Is Always Trending

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“I want to see what is new, what I haven’t seen yet. I want to see it what’s not commercial, and what is not out there yet.”

For Marina Larroude, Market Director of online fashion bible Style.com, creativity is about the novel, the fresh, and the as yet unknown. Ever since she was a little girl, Larroude has been interested in how we express ourselves through fashion. “I found a school notebook from when I was younger and one of the questions in it was ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ My answer was, ‘I want to be a fashion editor.’ I was 10 years old when I wrote that, so I think I always knew, in a sense, that this was what I wanted to be doing, but it took me a while to realize that I could make it my career.” After working for two years at Brazilian Vogue, Larroude moved to New York where she worked at various jobs in the fashion industry—at handbag designer Botkier and smaller house Alice Temperley, before realizing her true calling was in editorial. “I met Candy Pratts Price [one of the earliest editors at Style.com and the eventual Creative Director of Vogue.com], and sent her my resume with flowers. She must have been like, ‘Let me see if this girl’s crazy or not.’ So she invited me in for an interview, and the rest is history.” After working for two years as an assistant at the now-defunct Men’s Style.com, she moved up the ranks and is currently in her eighth year with the company. “What I tell all of the interns or whoever comes to me for advice is that when I got the job here it was in the menswear market. It wasn’t something that I wanted to do in the long run, but I needed to get my foot in the door. I feel that that perfect job will come with time, and you should be open to learning and having the experience. That will eventually take you wherever you want to go.” Larroude knew she loved the constant learning experience that being in journalism—especially online journalism—offered her. “What I like about editorial is that you can get behind so many designers and so many ideas and so many brands at the same time. You never have to think only one way. When you’re working with a single brand in the industry you have to devote all your time to it. With editorial you can never get bored because you’re always seeing new things.” And that, for Larroude is what constitutes creativity. “I think it’s newness. It’s always looking for something new, or seeing things that are very simple, and putting them in a new format that no one has seen before.”

“The market is huge, and I have to pick and choose ideas for my stories. What I try to do first is look at what I have already done and not repeat it again as fashion is always a cycle. We always have leopard print, or a naval theme. But how do I make these things different? How can I recreate them in a new format?”

In her search for the continually novel, Larroude relies heavily on young designers to help inspire her and force her to reevaluate current trends. “Thank God that there are new designers offering new things all the time. I really like to promote new designers more than established ones. It’s more interesting, and that in itself helps makes my work look fresher.” But Larroude’s inspiration does not come solely from the fashion world. “Movies, magazines. Even in New York you can just walk around and see things that are really fascinating. I’m constantly paying attention. For me it’s a 24 hour job. If I’m going out, and looking at what the girls on the street are wearing, or if I go to a avant-garde shop like Dover Street Market I can see a new brand that I have never seen before. Then I come back to the office and find out more about them, bring the designers in so we can have a conversation. It’s an ongoing process.”

“I am in the market so much, and I see so much of everything. Whenever I find something new I try to expand that idea into a bigger story.”

The process of trend-spotting is a huge part of Larroude’s job as Market Editor. “It’s me going through thousands and thousands and thousands of pictures of accessories. I start with the obvious. We have all seen mules for this season, and we have all seen fringes all over the bags and some of the shoes. I start with the biggest message of this season. Then I’ll think, ‘What else that I’ve seen that I really love? I really like a winter white over the knee boot.’ Then I put that in the actual folder and I start paying attention at what else has that same message. Then, it comes together.”

The internet and social media have certainly changed the research process for Larroude, with a 24h stream of inspiration always on offer. “I’m obsessive about fashion. It’s ongoing. Even in my free time, that’s what I do. I try to meet as many people as possible, and be very open when see anybody’s collection. That’s the only way that I can turn my work into something new, is if I’m seeing new stuff all the time.”

“Instagram is also a big part of my day now. I love to find new talents through social media, because there are so many brands that I got to see throughout the years that really stood out, and then all of a sudden they’re hugely famous and selling at all the major department stores all around the globe. I think it’s really satisfying when that exposure can change somebody’s life. I think that’s when I am the happiest.”

Yet, even Larroude will admit that the fashion business, because of its cyclical nature, can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. “What I learned from my career is there are ups and downs. You have to realize that some days, you’ll create a feature that is going to be amazing, but there are times that your collection’s or your feature is not going to be the greatest, or even as good as it was the past season. I think that the only way you can be a trendsetter or create something new is if you really trust in your gut, and then you just do it.”

“I find that people who are most successful in whatever field they are in, believe in whatever they are doing. They are not imitating what anyone else is doing. You really have to trust your own work, and do whatever you have the passion to be doing. If you don’t have passion for your work, don’t even try. Follow your passion.”

Marina Larroude / Style.com Images by Catalina Kulczar, Carolinesmode

Explore the image gallery inspired by the conversation with Marina on Moodboard by iStock.
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