Clara VILLEGAS

Style & Image Director | MAISON KITSUNÉ

Clara has been working 11 years for premium and international ready to wear brands, both on the products and image aspects. She has been developing the Image of Maison Kitsuné for the last 6 years, building years after years a fresh storytelling and an in-house creative team. In a fast-paced environment and with a partiality for artistic innovation and exploration, she art directs and produces all the content for the brand, from the worldwide campaigns to the films and e-commerce images, constantly in search of new talents to collaborate with.

questionnaire

1.) What was your very first job?

I worked as a receptionist in a Parisian rock music radio at the same time as my studies. I was really into music and it was the opportunity to have tickets for all the cool gigs. It was before rap take over the world.

2.) Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

In constant interaction with the founder and creative director, I select the talents, provide the graphic design team with strategies and creative directions; I supervise, produce and deliver all the digital and print visuals necessary to the other departments. Among others, it consists in art directing and producing all the photo shoots, films, design of packagings… always making sure the result match the ambition and vision of the brand.

3.) How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

As a child, my four main interests were sketching dresses, reading, music and cinema, so I guess my interest for the creative world was just always there. After high school, instead of applying to Ecole Duperré to study fashion as I had wanted, I gave in to my parents’ concern about my financial future. So, after following two years of a foundations degree in literature, I went to La Sorbonne where I obtained my degree in Anglophone studies in 2006. I then took a gap year in London and Brighton, to explore the British music scene and improve my English. When I came back to Paris, I decided to give myself a year to work on my music – I played in an indie band. My keyboardist worked at A.P.C. and, it is a long story, but I ended up getting a job there, at the creative studio. So, it was about meeting the right people at the right time. But also about working a lot.

4.) In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

The digital age makes it harder and harder to find original inspiration, first because one needs to create always more and more content, which makes it complicated to find time for reflection and inspiration, then because everybody is looking at what everyone else does on Instagram, the content becomes very similar. I go to the movies a lot, to exhibitions, music gigs and art events when I can. I look at people in the street. What is important is to remain curious, and not only in one’s field.

5.) If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

Create a whole lookbook in which the models were integrated into digital paintings created by a Swedish artist, Jon Koko. It was a project that required much planning, organization and foresight. I had to initiate the creative process 5 months before the deadline and interacted daily with the painter. There was no room for error or delay since I would only discover the very day of the shooting if the concept worked. The success of a project often depends on ideas as much as on organization. 

6.) What social media artist/account are you most influenced by?

I can’t say they influence me, I use social media mostly as a work tool to remain aware of what is going on and scout new talents. But I like this artist account : Tommycashworld, it is both creative and funny. Which is a great combination, to me.

7.) Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)

I frequently commission photography and film, sometimes packaging design or digital art. But my team of graphic designers has a lot of different skills, so a lot is produced in house, so far.

jury

Co-Founder | ALTMANN + PACREAU
Groupe Creative Director | GOOGLE
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President | FF GROUP
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Comm, Marketing & Digital Dir. | AGATHA
Head of Art | OGILVY
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General Dir. of Strategy | PUBLICIS LUXE
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Chief Marketing Officer | SHOWROOMPRIVÉ.COM
WW Head of Global Comm. | FREDERIC MALLE
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Deputy Director of CEO | LADURÉE Thé & Beauté
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Creative Director | BETC
Creative Director
Chief Mktg & Comm. Officer | SONIA RYKIEL
Communication Dir. | GRUPPO MAX MARA
VP Advertising | GAMELOFT
Partner, CCO | SERVICEPLAN
Crédits photo : Julie ANSIAU
Founder | YORGO & CO.
Art Director | MONCLER
Creative & Image Dir.| SONY MUSIC
Founder | ANIMALS PARIS
Executive Creative Director | PUBLICIS CONSEIL
Style & Image Director | MAISON KITSUNÉ
Storyteller & Creative Director | NWA
Brand Manager | PEDRO DEL HIERRO
Communication Director | NINA RICCI
Global Creative Director | DARPHIN
Head of Strategy | DDB Barcelona