A room with a view 大開眼界 / IN Conversations with Jarrad Clark
A room with a view // 大開眼界
Jarrad Clark Interview / Questions By Kyle Johnson
Interview by Gabrielle Sauve [Features Director]
GS/ As the newly appointed Partner and Director of Creative Services at KCD, Can you explain to us what a day entails in your shoes?
JC/ To be in my shoes has been referred to as lucky, amazing, crazy and exhausting by others. Every day I have the pleasure and privilege to balance work and play. Somehow, my childhood love of all things pop culture, entertainment and a wanderlust view of the world, has became my reality. To explore, whilst being conscious of our global melting pot mentality and cultural diversity is important.
GS/ Can you tell us more:- About what inspires you and your work? What do you bring to your role that makes it truly unique?
JC/ Life is inspiring to me. Being blessed to have spontaneous meetings that become meaningful relationships/ forged with significant lessons all my mentors whom taught me, have helped shape who I am today. I want to bring about a lifelong commitment to my craft. Individuals encouraged my passion to live, and dream and showed me how our choices have a positive influence. My day is about combining the right team of people, for the right project at the right time – this helps with the creation of magic.
I take pride in my daily tasks and take great pleasure being involved in an industry that is constantly evolving, challenging, experimenting and learning from it. Therefore my day is about continuously processing, navigating and questioning as we look to deliver our clients ambitious vision each season. As a producer every day is truly a holiday, that’s how I have always looked at it. You live your job and your job is your life. If you are not totally committed, you are in the wrong industry, as life becomes a chore.
GS/ What makes a good producer?
JC/ A consistent curiosity, always having one eye out (for new venues, technical advancements, talent, technology). It’s the lifestyle, where the ideas, the challenges and extreme pace of immovable deadlines influence all aspects of a producers’ lifestyle and life choices. While simultaneously meeting &/ or communicating with clients, vendors and talking with our global teams (of architects, set designers, producers, accountants, lawyers and freelancers in NY, London, Paris and Milan) ensuring our projects are pushing forward and our spirit is in synchronicity.
I take my responsibility very seriously, whether it be selecting and often leading the right team thru the process or playing a cameo role in someone else’s project as we all combine to deliver our clients vision. The KCD team amaze me every day, with their passion and drive to make our clients dreams a reality no matter how impossible it sounded. In fact, this is part we thrive on; collaboratively working to deliver a moment.
We’ve also had a few hiccups along the way – It’s a balancing act – being equal parts memorable, innovative, entertaining, beautiful, emotional and original. Also equal parts luck, leadership, teamwork, adrenaline, and a highly considered series of choices that create those #magicmoments.
GS/ As a seasoned veteran of the fashion industry, you’ve been involved with Sydney Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week and Tokyo Fashion Week to name just a few. From the opinion of an expert, what moves the masses at these Fashion Week events? What is the event-goer looking for?
JC/ When I was in my previous role at IMG, I had the chance to educate myself and with hopes to positively influence Berlin, Sydney, London, New York, Miami, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Toronto, Budapest, Istanbul and Zurich Fashion Week or emerging designer discovery programs, many since inception. We were constantly evolving each one to ensure the right platform for the homegrown industry was offered. The most successful events were those that evolved seamlessness through constant dialogue.
No event was ever the same, each one was a favorite for a very different reason. It was and still is the job of the organizers to nurture, collaborate and constantly evaluate to ensure they are providing a platform to elevate their industry thru facilities, attendees, and marketing support, as Sydney has done very well since day one, back in 1996.
GS/ How do you go about finding these answers and put it all together into a final production?
JC/ When seeking the answers, you need to listen and then adapt to the needs of the emerging designers and established brands. It was their mindset and creative concepts that inspired attendees, provided content for the media to fill their pages and blogs, enchanted the buyers and their consumers to purchase. Often creating a blue print to the style and desirability of their respective fashion capitals.
I congratulate the current team at IMG and the Australian Fashion Chamber for working together to give MBFWA a new focus and keeping our incredibly talented designers relevant at a time when there is so much competition for the sale. Resort seems to be exactly what the designers need and I hope it provides them with the opportunities to increase their brand awareness and increase their sales today and into the future.
GS/ On your Instagram account (@jarradaclark), you say that you are Lucky to “travel often for work and play, with KCD + capturing those’ stop & smell the roses’ moments!” What defines a “stop and smell the roses” moment for you?
JC/ It’s just my outlook on life when working or playing that provides the common thread – I am a ‘Carpe Diem’ type, making the most of every day and open to change or challenge. My mother always encouraged me to ‘stop and smell the roses’ from a very young age, which I always thank her for, thank you again MUM. She provided a world where we grew up as happy souls. I keep my eyes open to random moments of beauty, stay positive, meditative, and good energy, at all time.
My guilty pleasure is the magic in the sun’s ability to start or end the day with authority. It’s this moment inevitably that offers me strength in observation, as mother nature clearly demonstrates that time is absolute, change is constant and all round us.
GS/ As a judge on Project Runway Australia you’ve had the chance to be a part of critiquing designers and their work instead of working for them organizing shows or on campaigns. How has that experience changed your relationship with the industry? What insight did you gain from viewing it from a different perspective?
JC/ Honestly this process was more of a challenge for me than it was for the designers. This is not an experience I enjoyed, because it is not my role to critique. My love of working with creatives is singularly about being there to support them in their endeavors and that is how I tried to approach my relationships on the show, however it was a reality tv and being a constant source of encouragement does not inspire ratings. Clearly others approach the role of nurture differently and my time on the show was short-lived.
GS/ In the last decade, social media has come to the forefront of the media mix for pretty much the vast majority of industries. How has this changed the landscape of fashion? How are the top designers benefiting from it? And if you don’t mind, tell us who you follow on Instagram or Twitter?
JC/ Absolutely the digital age has completely changed every single touch point of the fashion landscape, personally I think for the better. It created a sophisticated consumer more in control than ever before. As fashion became more accessible, immediate, at time too derivative, the retailers had to evolve. as result This created opportunities for internal and external designer collaborations purposely curated to cut thru the clutter.
Heritage brands while late adopters, have finally emerged as the trailblazers in the art of storytelling, often using a millennial to help support the brands next generation DNA. This multimedia communication helps with the clarity, to build a new and loyal consumer audience. Content is now planned and built out with engaging and emotive story lines providing life to the seasonal gesture beyond the traditional 8-minute runway show as audiences crave for a more experiential moments.
I follow a diverse group of artists, models, musicians, designers, travelers, writers, photographers and familyship members on Instagram. It’s my guilty pleasure. Having lived out of country (Australia) for so long, it now helps you feel connected to home, heritage and loved ones. I really don’t do anything with twitter tho, was never my thing.
GS/ For you, and the industry in general, name five (5) of the most exciting things coming out of the fashion industry today?
JC/ • Fashiontainment – larger scale live multimedia productions that touch millions of people and drive a more evolved and longer lasting content distribution opportunities for brands, ambassadors and destinations
• A growth in appreciation for artisanal and creative collaborations that ensure the genius of a few unique ideas can be fully realized without compromise to the process or original vision
• Online retail for men
• Fully resolved storytelling thru the eyes of some of the most exciting designers of our time
• Emerging brands from outside the usual fashion metropolises.
GS/ You’ve had the chance to view the impact and experiences of many designers, editors, photographers and fashion aficionados many times over. In a sort of role reversal, what, and/or who, has had the most impact on you? Also, tell us about your favorite part of the industry?
JC/ My favorite part of the industry is the forging of life long connections, the cultures I have been exposed and experiences enjoyed both individually and as a member of a team. My mentors Maurice Terzini, Marco Macappani, Simon Lock, Deeta Colvin, Nikki Andrews and Julie Mannion all have had a huge impact on shaping me, my life, mindset and craft. All, have been more than a boss and or colleague, often becoming confidants, parental substitutes and friends. It’s my #familyship made up of a core base of family members, lifelong friends, colleagues past and present who mean the world to me and my fiancée.
I thank the industry for being so generous in the friendships and bonds, formed over many hours on site at all projects I have worked on. In production you also have a goldfish outlook, even the hardest and physically taxing productions you love, as long as you accept you can only control what we can, anticipate the variables, but don’t sweat the small stuff, be it at work or play.
GS/ Apart from your work-related travel, you must have some passions of your own. What do you like to do in your free time? Who do you spend it with? Where do you go? What do you buy?
JC/ Earlier, I spoke of free time not being a common idea in my job, still I have created a life balance that suits my needs. I now live 2 hours outside the city with my fiancé, this provides a sanctuary of our time together, which is now much better quality. We also spend our time at the house, nesting which is influencing what we now buy.
I love being in the garden (something that even surprised me), or hanging with our dog and cat and I love to cook. My kitchen is not a NY studio apt kitchen anymore so I can experiment more enthusiastically and the hobby farms close by have incredible produce so it’s hard to go wrong.
GS/ As the fashion market continues to grow and designers are better able to reach their consumers, global innovators and communities from new and exciting places around the world are now able to participate in the fashion process?
JC/ Nothing should limit talent, especially geography!!
GS/ Last but not least, name some social causes that you are most interested in?
JC/ I support in any way I can:
– Marriage Equality, please Australia join the rest of the countries who have provided their commitment to us as human beings giving us the right to choose.
– Lifeball – Ending HIV, an annual event I work on each year to raise awareness, education and funds for all effected and in need.
Congratulations to Jarrad and Jarrod on their up-coming Nuptials and Wedding July 15th. #LABloves