During the latest stop on his book tour, we sat down with Michael Dupouy of La MJC at the Supra store in New York City to discuss the new All Gone 2012 book. The famed book series has been running since 2006 featuring top picks from the street culture each year. Wrapping up the 2012 year sees a new book with a cover designed by the popular artist Parra and layouts created alongside Ill-Studio.
SLAMXHYPE // First let’s talk about how the La MJC agency came to be. Introduce yourself and give some background info on yourself and the company.
MICHAEL DUPOUY // My name is Michael Dupouy, I started the La MJC company in 2001.
SXH // In your words, what exactly is the All Gone book series?
MD // An encyclopedia of the finest of the street culture and documenting that culture to have people remember what was the best of the year.
SXH // What did you see as the importance in creating a streetwear book to document the culture?
MD // I was just really into it, and I’m actually still really into it. I think it’s a wonderful tool to promote an event or promote an item and to think about the present and think about the future. I don’t think the internet is a good tool to document it and remember everything. I started as a journalist 15 years ago and I’m still attached to paper and objects. So I wanted to make a physical object that would help people to remember about the finest streetwear culture items.
SXH // I’m sure you’ve seen the street culture change over the years, what’s the biggest progression in the marketplace you’ve seen while creating this book year-after-year?
MD // I mean it’s global now. Culture has been more mainstream and really over grown. So in one hand it’s something people really complain about and in the other hand it makes the culture more accessible and more famous. Things are still growing, but nowadays everyone knows about each other thanks to social media. It connects easily, and same for the brand, it connects to the customer directly. Now everyone is growing and I think for our small niche I see people making more success year after year.
SXH // What did you take away from the previous books to put into the latest one?
MD // First of all we change it out every year. So if you collected all the books you will see slight differences that makes the book better. The fifth year we chose the a new cover design, making it laser designed and after five years I thought we need to another thing. So this year we chose something new with a velvet design and printed it with a design recognizing the year. I think it makes the book easier to recognize and gets people really thinking about it. It’s also much easier to brand when I go touring for book signings. The book itself only started with about 50 pages at the beginning and now we’re at 248 which I think is a good amount of pages.
SXH // Can you talk about the design process of the 2012 All Gone book?
MD // I’m working with Ill-Studio studio. They are helping me with the layout and the art direction and now they created the cover pattern. We talked about many patterns and influcenes over the past year and we loved all together the paisley and if you look close there you can see they added some smileys, some flowers and more, so it’s their own paisley design. I feel like working with them help me a lot because they are talented and probably one of the best in my city.
SXH // What goes into selecting an article? Why do some pieces get put in and some don’t?
MD // It’s complicated. I try to do the finest collection as possible, and having a good balance between street, sneakers, tees, apparel, objects, decks, structures, and not only one brand. So I have to have a good balance with geographic regions. I try to please everybody and have a good mix of colors, that’s really important so when you open the book it’s less boring. It’s definitely kind of a challenge.
SXH // What do you see as some of the best products of the year from 2012, in your opinion?
MD // It’s complicated. There’s tons. From Supra it’s the creation of The Owen. I loved the one I designed. Nike I’ve got to say the FlyKnits. Reebok I love what they did with the Workout Anniversary. PUMA the collaboration they did with UNDFTD. ASICS did a really good job with the guys from Woei. I also really like the Nike Free Woven Inneva, a very innovative shoe. Let’s talk about artists, I think Parra had a crazy good year, of course KAWS did a good job with the Companion. Supreme did a really good job with COMME des GARÇONS, the decks were amazing.
SXH // Can you explain the All Gone Tour and the necessity of traveling around to introduce the book?
MD // Thanks to social media people think that we all met and we all knew each other previously, I think I need to physically meet people and the readers. Then people ask me if I want to come and sign and present the books, so for me it’s really important to be physical in the cities and to not just ship the books to the store that I’ve never met. First it’s all about friendship, I don’t do book signings with stores I’ve never heard about where people just email me. I try to know the people really well who know me because usually I stay a couple of days and it’s good to hangout with friends.
SXH // Anything you’ve seen so far this year set for All Gone 2013?
MD // There’s so many cool things already. We’re already in February 2013 and Nike has the FlyKnit HTM, adidas is coming back with new technology, Supra is going big with the new Owen, KAWS is closing his brand but doing big things with the Companion and Boba Fett from Star Wears. I can’t tell, there’s so many good things happening. It’ll be a huge one again for sure.