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If the name of his website and picture aren’t enough indication, let me tell you, Javier Lourenco has a way of finding the niche of what is cool.
Javier Lourenco founded The Uncoolhunter with the question “Is uncool the new cool?” and with the success and far reaching span of The Uncoolhunter, it seems the answer is “Yes.” While Javier Lourenco may not seem like a likely candidate to talk to about what ‘cool’ is, to dismiss The Uncoolhunter as in fact uncool would be to miss the point entirely.
12 Questions with Javier Lourenco
1. How did you get involved with The Uncoolhunter and what motivates you to continue?
The Uncoolhunter.com started off during the peak of online trend mags such as coolhunting.com or thecoolhunter.net. All those sites, as well as others which promoted the latest trends in advertising, cinema and design, were sources of inspiration for advertising creatives. When I was working as a creative director at El Cielo, a Buenos Aires ad agency, I realized that all those sites lacked some stuff that I considered important in order to nourish my work. In my view, they were posting a partial vision of the trend, focusing only on the “in” culture and “elite” products. The Uncoolhunter was therefore created with the aim of putting together all the stuff sites about trends omitted, forgot or simply left out.
Nowadays those “cool” sites have opened their eyes and started sprinkling uncool stuff in their content. Maybe this is my main motivation to keep going with The Uncoolhunter, as an innovative concept about the way we understand trends.
2. How significant are the topics of trend spotting to The Uncoolhunter?
Our idea is to complement the discipline of coolhunting with a counter-culture vision of the trends. We began to collect all that freak, camp, kitsch, bizarre, trash, extravagant, eccentric, marginal, incoherent stuff and put them all together. This we call the OFF Culture.
3. How do you define a trend?
A trend is a direction to follow. If we are talking about an emerging trend, in my opinion, we are talking about originality.
4. How do you define cool?
We traditionally define cool as “new” or “fresh” but with some “snob” connotations. I think “cool” in its snobby meaning is an old-fashioned term now. In my opinion, terms such as “cool” and “uncool” are nonsense today, because we are looking for originality, no matter whether it springs from “cool” or “uncool” world.
5. Do you need a culture of innovation to create something that is cool?
Yes, we always need to be involved with innovative stuff in order to create original things.
6. What is the best way to create an infectious idea, product or service?
Being informed, understanding the process and picturing the results just as you want them to happen.
7. What is the key to innovation?
Focusing not only on what’s “in” but trying to see beyond.
8. What is the most important trend you see in your industry?
Aesthetics are changing. The concept of beauty is changing too. In design, fashion and advertising we are now influenced by a trend that some people call The New Ugly. It’s as if doing it badly (e.g. poor design, messy mixtures of colors, etc.) was the latest new.
9. What are your ambitions for The Uncool Hunter?
The Uncoolhunter is becoming a big community all over the world, with contributors and correspondents in more than 30 countries. We were recently selected as one of the 12 Ultra Cool Blogs by Trends Updates, answering our initial question—Is uncool the new cool? This selection has placed The Uncoolhunter as a “must” among traditional sites about trends.
Nowadays we are launching a new website that is called UNSTYLE. Street fashion with the Whoa! factor. It is a kind of B-Side of all those trendy Street Fashion sites. It is still in Beta, but anyone can take a look at it here: http://www.unstyle.us. UNSTYLE wants to move further from fashion spotting. We want to focus on personality. Whether our finds will become the next big thing or fade to oblivion, that’s not really the point. We want to find what’s really creative – be it marginal, extravagant, old-fashioned or just plain incomprehensible.
Our idea is to launch a print magazine and some thematic books in the near future.
10. How do you reset yourself to be creative? (e.g. do you have any rituals, do you set aside time for creativity, etc.)
I stay awake late at night.
11. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I’d like to be a creative and a director leaning on new technologies and also owning an island in Polynesia.
12. What are your most important hobbies?
Shearing sheep, Scrabble, Scuba diving with dolphins.