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Panic Trees: Creative Resource Must Be Paid – How To Monetize A Provincial Brand

How can a designer evaluate himself correctly? What is wrong with the province and why is the demand for fashionable things a cultural issue? We asked about this from the curator of the Fashion Laboratory’s local fashion festival recently held in Tomsk.

– How to contact you?

– So turn around – Panic.

Perplexity passes in the first minutes of communication: you just get used to the fact that you are facing a person who thinks not in the usual categories, but in concepts, images and visualizations. Panic Trees is the full “name” of the Moscow multidisciplinary designer collaborating with the Siberian Design Center of TSU. Panic Trees is not only the name that acquaintances call the girl, but also the name of a virtual studio where there is a brand manager, graphic designer, designer, photographer, producer, technical director and, in fact, Panic.

Formally, this is an IP with a large list of activities: from organizing events to selling art objects. All employees work remotely and gather “for projects,” including creating a capsule of clothes for the Artmossfera street wave art biennale and creating the famous yellow raincoat for Strelka Institute.
Nickname turned into a name
Panic did not invent an unusual first and last name in order to promote her brand. “It’s just that when in Lebedev’s studio, where I worked, it was necessary to create a postal address, the letters of my name and surname formed the word panika, it became fixed and became a nickname. Then the “last name” was added – Derevya. Initially, there was no commercial interest in this, although many people call a brand by its name if it already has a certain value. ”
numbering-small.pngResearch – also work

Panic knows how to work with close friends from his own experience and believes that this is the most successful type of team – when everything is on the same wavelength. She does not see any problems in building business relations: you only need to discuss financial conditions in advance and … slightly exaggerate the amount of work.

– At first we discuss for a long time whether we will take up this idea in general, then we pronounce the blind spots, after drawing they are already understandable. Research – a preliminary study of the topic – the usual practice of designers, which is used to understand on the basis of what to do a project. “If a client hires us, it means that he is not able to solve this issue himself,” Panika believes and clarifies that this stage of work is always laid down in the budget. In an ideal world, of course. Although designers, and indeed creative people, it would be worth more to value themselves and their work.

– In Europe, there is the practice of even joint workshops: the client, together with the agency or the designer, works at the workshop, learns to understand himself, his goals, values, on the basis of which the visual appearance, the philosophy of the future product are formed. And the client pays for this format. In the province, of course, this is hard. But you need to understand that if you spent two weeks creating the concept and estimates of the project, then this work should be paid.
Fashion Laboratory is a festival dedicated to Tomsk clothing and accessories brands. A mix of party presentations, including lectures, master classes on fashion and style and fashion shows. Organizer – Siberian Design Center TSU. The festival was held in Tomsk on March 30, 2019.
numbering-small.pngOpening “T-shirt”

The first Panic project in Tomsk was the Fashion Laboratory festival, where in addition to showing clothes and accessories of local brands, there were lectures on design and speeches by Tomsk experts in the PechaKucha format. Designers for the show were looking for a long time: it turned out that with all the diversity of the fashion community in Tomsk there wasn’t. “There are brands, they have a large audience, many buyers, things are sold all over the world – but sometimes the designers themselves do not know each other,” Panika says. After the festival, the formation of such a party began: the masters began to gather at the Design Center and discuss new projects.

By the way, despite the popularity of brands online and a fairly large number of Fashion Laboratory participants, the audience was not ready to buy designer clothes at the festival: the pop-up store with the cool name “T-shirt” was not pleased with sales. “This is normal, because we showed an alternative product, and in a sense it is a shock to the market. But we tracked the interest, and everyone who received our things as a gift gave a very cool review. I think in such projects only 3-4 months can be understood by sales. This is an experiment, we just looked at how to communicate with the audience, maybe it was worth preparing it intellectually, ”says Panika.

At the same time, she is sure that the issue is not the cost of things manufactured in Tomsk; on the contrary, some brands could have increased this cost, for example, Sweiteram, where all things are knitted manually. “There are only two sales models: you can do it quickly and sell very cheaply and a lot, like Fast Fashion brands do, or do it small and exclusive. No third one has been invented, ”Panika explains and gives an analogy with coffee culture in Russia.

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