A keen photography, fashion and arts enthusiast, Christophe has years of experience in creative strategy, marketing and digital with an exceptional track record in growing brands into global success stories. After heading up the marketing, PR and creative teams at various luxury and lifestyle brands including Orlebar Brown, oki-ni and Penfield, he has more recently embarked on a new adventure as Strategy Director for Amplify, a brand experience agency that helps clients such as adidas, Airbnb, Amazon, BrewDog, Burberry, Dr. Martens, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Nike, PlayStation, Porsche, Red Bull, Sonos, Spotify and YouTube join the dots between people, brands and culture.
What was your very first job?
I started working pretty early at the age of thirteen for a local restaurant, greengrocer and artisan cheesemonger, waiting tables, gardening and running errands - fairly demanding but I will always remember the satisfaction of getting my first paycheck and being able to buy a fresh new pair of skates!
Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
As a creative strategist, I essentially help brands understand and shape their context to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways. I am an expert at designing, developing and deploying innovative multichannel strategies that raise brand awareness, elevate brand profile, grow loyal communities and deliver sales.
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?
I think it all comes down to my natural curiosity and the fact that I have always loved learning and discovering new things. While I have followed a standard academic path, initially pursuing an education in maths and sciences, I grew up in the middle of the 90s skate culture which is one of the most creative and visual worlds out there, mixing all sorts of music and fashion influences, documenting everything via photography or video, designing artworks and logos for merchandising, inventing new tricks, exploring the city and observing it from a different angle to find new spots and make sense of your environment, meeting new people when going on trips, always pushing your own limits… I quickly realized that I had developed something quite unique with this combination of first-class analytical skills and original creative thinking.
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Thanks to the never-ending nature of social media feeds, the daily newsletters that clutter my inbox and the 'related articles’ sections that populate the bottom sections of most websites, I read a lot every day and always try to challenge myself to find new sources of information in order to avoid the trap of tunnel vision or the web’s "echo chamber" - I don’t know what I would do without . In turn, this allows me to draw from various influences and mix references to create innovative and relevant work. Apple’s "Add to my reading list" option is just the best thing to keep track of everything I see.
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?
#Snapshorts, the app my team and I developed while I was still at Orlebar Brown earlier this year, probably ticks all the boxes above. I managed the development, design and UX of this new photo app and service, allowing users to design their own custom swim shorts from their mobile photos, and recruited over 120 high-profile publishers, emerging artists (photographers, illustrators, designers…) and social influencers to launch the app which turned out to be a commercial success only after a few weeks.