After winning the prestigious 2015 ANDAM Prize and its €250,000 EUR reward, Stéphane Ashpool of Pigalle sat down with i-D magazine for a short interview, as well as to premiere a short film following his youth basketball team on their cultural exchange trip to the Philippines. Taking a look back at the past seven years since founding Pigalle and the ways in which the neighborhood around it has changed, Ashpool also discusses his tenure with Nike, and why he won’t open any more stores apart from the three existing locations. Read an excerpt below, and find the entire interview online here.
Are you working on other creative and social projects at the moment?
Last February, I took all the kids from my neighbourhood with me to the Philippines (note: the children that Stéphane gives basketball lessons to), where we have established a cultural exchange based on sports with Titan Basketball, and we even renovated a basketball court there. I wanted to take my kids on a trip for a while already, but I couldn’t decide where to go… the idea of visiting an international city like New York just seemed a bit too boring to me, I wanted to offer them something new, a real life experience that they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
Do you have any similar missions on your agenda at the moment?
I haven’t planned any other trip for the moment, but it was definitely not a one-shot – this kind of experience matters to me. I’ve stopped selling Pigalle to other stores in order to protect my brand, but also to not submit to the wholesale conditions and to be able to continue to produce quality clothing at a fair price. Besides, I only have three stores: two flagships in Paris and one in Tokyo – and I want it to stay this way. Cutting off distribution also allows me to dedicate myself to other projects, such as the ones related to social causes. I want to spend time with young people and improve what can be improved in their lives. My dream is to create a school – a sports school, a fashion school, but above all a school of life, which will offer social and creative activities after regular school classes. A school similar to the Steiner Schools, which are basically schools that focus on developing the children’s senses and that allow them to realize their very own ideas and dreams.