Her background includes founding the Musée de la Mode in Marseille and working to help regional brands develop. Maryline Bellieud-Vigouroux, who's in charge of public relations and sponsorships at the Maison Méditerranéenne des Métiers de la Mode (MMMM), tell us about her enthusiasm for her city and its young designers.
What is the Maison Méditerranéenne des Métiers de la Mode's mission?
Over the past 30 years we've established several branches including a university program, the first of its kind in France, to train future managers; and a professional program to assist young designers in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA) and Mediterranean regions. As of today, over 200 brands have gotten help developing, including Sessùn, which is celebrating 20 years. Each year, our competitions select 20 new talents and put them in the public eye. They benefit from mentoring, market visibility, and communications tools.
These rewarding experiences led us to create OPENMYMED, a showcase-event for our skills. From May to August during the tourist season this annual event hosts a fashion tour featuring our new talents in prestigious settings such as the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (MuCEM), the Villa Méditerranée, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs et de la Mode. The 13'015 exhibition on the couturier Yacine Aouadi, a Marseilles native, attracted over 35,000 visitors! The event was written about in the OPENMYMED publication (45,000 examples printed) by numerous personalities including Audrey Azoulay, minister of culture; Benoit Decron, director of the Soulages Museum; and Olivier Guillemin, president of the Comité Français de la Couleur.
There's a bright future for the MMMM, which four years ago took up residence in a 1,000m2 industrial building in the Euro-Mediterranean business and cultural district. Our enthusiastic president Matthieu Gamet and team of professionals in their 30s who monitor the trends are now working on the next edition, OPENMYMED17, with guest of honour the talented Jacquemus who is passionate about Marseille and its identity.
What is your analysis of the Mediterranean identity?
Creating the Musée de la Mode in Marseille and, at the same time, the Institut Mode Méditerranée put me in contact with historians, sociologists, couturiers, and sponsors who were supportive of my project to help and give visibility to the Mediterranean-style wave in haute couture and ready-to-wear. That strategy was always backed by the region's industrialists and administrations as well as numerous sponsors from the luxury sector. The Mediterranean Basin countries offer cultural diversity, and the MMMM, as a founding entity that values diversity, is the umbilical cord that unites designers around the Mediterranean. This vision is shared by the Mode de Marseille network, which exports our casual style around the world.
Why is the Who's Next trade show so important?
I appreciate the warmth and humanity of Who's Next founders Xavier Clergerie and Bertrand Foache as well as the professionalism of their teams. Each season the Paris trade show is the fashion world's international rendezvous where our regional brands show their collections. Our participation is more significant this year, since we'll have a space to present selected work from our competition winners. These designers are ambassadors for the trade show theme, which is the creative excitement in the Mediterranean region. Participating at the Who's Next trade show is a wonderful professional experience for these young business managers of the future who want to play a part in the international market and be exposed to the competition.