à Paris : une discussion avec LUIDGI GAYDU
Interview & Photography Farade Nicolas (issue05)
He doesn’t really need any particular introduction when you are referring about the Parisian skate scene. But hey, since you might be new to this, here’s a small one : For more than 8 years he was living in New York city, nowadays Luidgi is working for Converse as the Skate team manager but not only..
Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what are you doing on a daily basis & what you did before that?
Luidgi Gaydu, 41 years old, I’m a part of the Parisian skate scene since 2003. Before that, I travelled a lot, I did some business work in New York during 8 years. Nowadays, I am involved in the marketing side for Converse skate. It means that I am dealing with magazines, press, websites and also I manage the Skate team. When I have some free time I keep doing what I always loved to do : photography, making videos, playing music & skating.
So you were living in New York during 8 years right? Can you go into the details about this exact period of your life?
Well, let’s say that I’ve had the chance to travel a lot when I was younger. I grew up in France then, I went to Guyana where I stayed 6 years. After that, I moved to Guadeloupe then New York a bit later. If I didn’t have these particular hobbies, I wouldn’t be leaving to NYC at the first place. Simple as that, I don’t have any
specific qualification, degrees or that kind of stuff so, all of the things that I do know, I learned it all by myself. I was extremely motivated, trying to be at 100% in everything that I was doing. I am still collecting vinyls you know, things that emphasize the street culture, my own intellect..
Yeah I see ! Is it me or everyone in Paris is wearing Converse? How do you explain this particular phenomenon, especially in the skate field?
First of all, I think the principal aspect is that Converse now belongs to Nike and, that shakes up everything.. On the other hand, communication and marketing are very important for example : it’s absolutely necessary to work with skaters from all around the world. We need to talk, communicate, try to organize a variety of projects even if we need the approval from Converse to launch those various activities, we still have some autonomy that other brands probably don’t have. The skate team is as much important that all of this..In France, we have a good team, with different personalities, they’re all doing something else aside skating..It’s really like a family you know, just take a look at the trip we are doing !
"The Trocadéro Days" video from Pontus Alv sponsored by Converse has been seen & influenced many people, can you talk about your meeting with Pontus & the Bloby’s?
It started when I met Pontus in 2011, at this time I was working with him on a project with 5BORO. He told me about his brand Polar and under those circumstances I wanted him to met one skater from Paris that I knew but he wasn’t really into this idea - only because he didn’t kew me that well - Following this project, we went on a trip to Malmö with the Converse crew. There, he saw the skater I was talking about and quiclky asked him to join their crew. It was a natural process. I met the Bloby’s a little while after the expedition we made with Pontus and when he decided to realize his video TROCADERO DAYS in Paris it was pretty obvious for me to do the connection since they are Parisians. However, you got to understand that it’s a big crew and from what people are saying, some of the guys who skate are not all affiliated to them. We went on a trip to Malmö with the Conversecrew. There, he saw the skater I was talking about and quiclky asked him to join their crew. It was a natural process. I met the Bloby’s a little while after the expedition we
made with Pontus and when he decided to realize his video TROCADERO DAYS in Paris it was pretty obvious for me to do the connection since they are Parisians. However, you got to understand that it’s a big crew and from what people are saying, some of the guys who skate are not all affiliated to them.
Thanks for the clarification. Let’s come back once again on Pontus. He skated for Emerica, have worked and still skate for Carhartt and also have his own brand. You worked with the dude on a collaboration with 5BORO. How is it to work with him?
There was a lot of people involved in this project not just Pontus & I. The Carhartt WIP crew, the 5BORO crew & also Bertrand Trichet..I don’t have a lot to say about working with him.. It was great & Pontus is always working hard. You can see that by yourself with Polar and the other stuff he has done..It was a really good experience to be able to work with him. The project was also interesting, we gathered two different crew around two different city : New York & Detroit... We had to connect foreign people, with foreign culture from Europe & United States. It wasn’t simple therefore, when you work for a brand you always have to create a story, a special connection to make it last...
When did you started photography?
Since quite some time but, it’s been almost 10 years that all of this became more significant to me. When I was younger I was really curious about it, I did not have enough money to carry on this path..
And for you, what are the main difference between the Parisian skate industry and the one from New York? More precisely on the Brands & Skateshops?
Clearly in Paris we can’t purchase all we want. We have a limited access to products. Nowadays if you look at it carefully, everybody wants to buy indie brands. But, when they are getting a bit of interest, they are becoming mainstream, no one cares anymore. Brands like Labor Skateshop, Hopps, Dqm aren’t availabe in Paris. Culture is just different. The same thing could be said from New Yorkers who are talking a lot about Paris nowadays. Everyone wants to come here.
Any new projects on the run?
Like always, some stuff with Converse, a few videos, perhaps something bigger.Aside from that, I am still doing my own stuff, taking pictures & shit..
What kind of animal would you like to be reincarnated in, and why?
I would love to be a cat. You don’t work, you don’t sleep. I would be a stray cat. Why ? Just to have their skills when I skate, always falling o
What kind of animal would you like to be reincarnated in, and why?
I would love to be a cat. You don’t work, you don’t sleep. I would be a stray cat. Why ? Just to have their skills when I skate, always
falling on my feet, never be hurt, things like that would be pretty rad !
Do you believe in any kind of superstitions?
Not really but when I’m on holidays with my family in Guadeloupe I do (laughs). Because there are a lot of myths, stories that people are telling ! You know, old wives’ tales... Then, when I’m in Paris all of that stop of course!
What would be your last meal on earth?
Without hesitation, a Colombo of Cabri!