The MMMM has been honored to interview Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor of Marseille, senator and president of Aix-Marseille Provence Metropole.
MMMM For its second edition, OpenMyMed offers a double exhibition at the MuCEM and MAC “Marseille, I love you”, set up by the young and talented creator Jacquemus. A declaration of love which attracts the media worldwide, and places Marseille Metropolis in the main window to international fashion. Given the privilege to this exhibition which blends fashion and art to launch the Festival season in Provence, what cultural vision would you like to add ?
JCG It contributes to boost the international image of Marseille, helped by the declaration by Simon Porte Jacquemus, the brilliant guest of honour of the 7th OpenMyMed Festival, reflecting the vitality of the event, and the work done by the Maison Méditerranéene des Métiers de la Mode over 30 years in this excellence sector of fashion and clothing. It contributes to reinforce the international image of the city, with the impulse of the 2013 European year of Culture and its 10 million visitors. Today, over 1.6 million cruise passengers visit our town, which is regarded as one of the most sought after in the world thanks to its incredible cultural heritage. We can only become even more attractive by developing our best sectors and organising brilliant events. This will be the case, in particular next year, with the cultural events around MP 2018, which will combine talents, then in 2020 with Manifesta, the contemporary art biennial.
MMMM How do you view this domain, which offers university training unique in France thanks to President Yvon Berland ? Fashion in Marseille brings together a broad cultural diversity, which has led to the expansion of international brands such as Sessùn, Kaporal, Gas bijoux, … Do these brands and the OpenMyMed Festival contribute to the local attraction ?
JCG I should remind you that fashion and textiles in Marseille are not newcomers since over 40 years ago, the jeans fabric had already helped many brands to emerge. More generally, our city has always been a creation melting pot, with its lot of mixed exchanges, influences and cultures. It is therefore a bubble of fashion and clothing, as well as a significant hub of economic activity. In the Bouches-du-Rhône department only, this sector represents more than 2 billion Euros business for 150 brands and 10,000 jobs. Marseille itself is the heavyweight in these figures, and is now the second city in France in that domain. This attractive image can only be reinforced by the opening this coming Summer, in the Zac de Saint-André, of the Marseille International Fashion and its more than 200 Chinese businesses and wholesale trade representations. Some 700 jobs will be created, enabling Marseille to play in full its role as a locomotive for the economic development of the country. All these facts put together made if logical to create a Master in Management for the Textile and Fashion Domains, bearing in mind that all university fields available in France are brought together at the Aix-Marseille University campus (AMU)
MMMM Matthieu Gamet, Chairman of the MMMM and Didier Parakian, your assistant, agree to state that, with regards to fashion and the media, Marseille is to Paris what Los Angeles is to New-York. Will you encourage them ?
JCG Paris is a highly regarded international hub for haute couture and fashion. In Marseille, the economic and cultural environment leads us towards a more urban fashion, an alternative choice with a know-how and taste symbols of French fashion. But eventually, one would not work without the other, and all seems here to ensure that our city is the fashion metropolis of SOUTHERN Europe, closely connected with the Capital and requiring that we work together. As to the parallel with Los Angeles and New-York, let us admit that, on the French scale, it may be appropriate. This pointed out, we watch carefully what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, where Didier Parakian travelled recently with a delegation from the city with an economic and cinematographic purpose in Los Angeles. This effort to promote our specificities on the US market will be followed by a new meeting during the Cannes Festival, and then a welcome extended to cinema screenwriters and producers in Marseille in June.