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Business

Darkslide – a French luxury brand which adopts minimalist values

Business Name and what it does 

Darkslide is a French luxury brand which adopts minimalist values. We create a sportswear collection dedicated to kiteboarders needs. The aim of the company is to prove we can develop a model which respects environmental and human emergencies. We don’t reinvent fashion, we rethink the process. The goal is no longer growth but awareness. Our challenge is to build a strong corporation commitment and business development in using a minimum of marketing, advertising campaigns and social media influence. We want to slow down the process and show rentability is still possible. We don’t want to be a fashionable brand, we want to be recognized for our values and settle for the long term to be able to act over time. Darkslide is a cheeky but committed brand, which creates only 100 units per model. We don’t rely on the mass but on the margins and we dare confidentiality. No more seasonal collections or fashion dictates: the collection is drawn according to the constraints related to the practice athletic. Here, the desire is to produce in a reasoned way, the French brand favors exclusivity and word of mouth. 

Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business. Laure Haezebrouck is a 38-year-old serial entrepreneur and a real jack-of-all-trades. Passionate, she wants to undertake differently to give meaning to each of her actions. She creates businesses to fill a gap in the market. In 2016, she created Le Loft, the first coworking space in Rennes. A pioneer in this field, she was quickly recognized and called upon to support other similar projects. 

In 2020, she decided to start on a market that had fascinated her since childhood: clothing. Laure’s family owned a french clothing factory when she was a little girl. As a passionate kitesurfer for 8 years, she identifies a lack in a growing niche, an identity sportswear brand dedicated to her community. That’s how Darkslide was born. Kiteboarders are players with high purchasing power and a community who love oceans. The ambition is to rely on sales to reinvest profits in research and development in order to invest in textile innovation and bring back the know-how to France. As a kitegirl, her ambition is to create the first identity brand with a strong level of actions and commitments of which customers will be proud. 

The challenges the business/market is facing 

Clothing industry is a real ecological and human well-being disaster. The know-how has been lost in France and most of the employees are exploited worldwide in very bad work conditions with a high risk of danger for their health. Fast fashion is highly responsible for this state to the point that consumers think clothing should be cheap. Respecting humans and the environment is currently not compatible with low market prices. The most complicated today is to justify price versus quality and impact. Our role as manufacturer is to spread to the world that we have to change our way of consuming and make them realize their impact. However, instead of using blameworthiness towards customers, companies should be the first to lead by example. We ask people to consume in a reason way but in the meanwhile advertising campaigns and influence marketing are non stop used and every year more. It’s a nonsense ! 

The opportunities the business/market is facing 

With climate change and raising awareness campaigns, consumers are conscient things have to change but it’s hard to know what they can do. As manufacturers, we should be the

one to show examples and be leaders of the change. We cannot wait for politics to do everything, moreover money as the power and who creates money, not the politics, they are ruled by money. By creating Darkslide, I rediscover the pleasure of giving life to a new project. Its bold positioning gives a reasoned and committed dynamic to my thirst for positive impact. I am convinced that extreme growth leads to suffocation, whether mental or material, so I imagined a brand that adopts the codes of minimalism. For all big changes in the world, we need those who show a different way of doing business is possible, those who take the risks whatever it costs. I do not create business to get richer or to become the leader. This helps me to think on a positive side about respecting humans and the environment and gives a sense to my day-to-day mission on Earth. If my way of thinking can be spread and make people think differently, II would have carried out part of the mission and hope other business owner will keep going. 

Advice to others about business 

In France, being an entrepreneur is a highly admired social status. Why ? Our country has chosen a strong social policy that financially helps employees more than small business leaders. Choosing to be an entrepreneur is at high risk instead of being employed. For me, this is an easy way of taking control of citizens and giving them confort avoid struggling troubles…I have chosen entrepreneurship as the price of my freedom and the only way to achieve what I’m good at. At the beginning of Adam & Eve, the project of everyday routine was not working. The essential as humans was to find water, food and if necessary a house. When money has started to lead the world, all has changed and work has become an obligation of survival. Was this the project ? Nobody knows but as a fact we have no choice to deal with it. My advice is to tell people to keep in mind who they are, what they are passionate about, what they are good at and what makes them happy. Our society tends to push us so fast to our future that we forget to think about what’s our mission on earth. If you have the feeling you are someone who can realize things on your own, they at least try it and keep listening to your inner voice. No one better than you knows your capacites. Having friends and families, it’s cool for support but please do not listen to them. Listen only to people who have been through your way before, to those who have experienced failure or success. Everyday I wake up full of enthusiasm because I know my mission, I know what my dreams are, they make me grow as a human among society. I am pretty sure that ego and desire for power has killed this world. Wars, fights, business monopoly, which of getting richer, wish of getting a leader has led the world to its loss. The only way things could change dramatically is to pay attention again to the reason. It’s as easy as this but I don’t know why only a few people take care of it. I don’t know why most of the people keep comparing themselves with others and lead them to the opposite for their original personality. Being humble and looking for love around you is for me the only source of happiness. The rich person is the one who has enough. Always think that even though you became number one, as strong as this feeling can be, it’s extremely temporary. What’s next ? This eternal search is the best way to live a permanent instatisfation. Dying as the richest on earth is nonsense, instead you could have achieved a lot of positive actions with your money, and helped people who are trying to but have a lack of assets as associations or non-lucrative organizations. People should never forget that their social status is not what make them important but who they are and how they act as a human is the essential of our mission to find fulfillness.

Barbara Santini
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