To put you in context, in 1989, the minimum wage is $ 5 an hour, and planned spending for Quebec will be $ 33.2 billion. Nurses are exerting pressure, culminating in a strike in September. Shortly after, 200,000 civil servants went on strike. Abortion is a hot topic with the Chantale Daigle case. On December 6, 14 women were murdered by Marc Lépine at the École Polytechnique. On the environmental side, PCBs are dumped in Saint-Maurice and tires burn in La Prairie. Guy Lafleur signs his contract with the Nordiques, Roch Voisine sings us the apple and the guys from RBO make us laugh.
And like that, Jean-François Renaud, owner of the Oclan boutique, said to himself in response to this rather dark period: “Fuck la mode”(Fuck fashion).
The genesis of this story is a postcard that will serve as a mass mailing for its customers. A simple affirmation to make people react. “Customers liked it so much, they asked for t-shirts. At that point, I had 60 printed and I thought it was going to end there. From the moment the t-shirts hit the floor, it never stopped. To date, we have sold over 100,000 units, ”says Renaud. He specifies that "'Fuck la mode', initially was something irreverent in the tone of the time. Moschino had done something similar. Now in 2020 with the pandemic, there is even more weight when you say you do what you want, that you wear what you want ... fuck the fashion. "
"This is the idea you have once in your life. I pinch myself every day. It's provocative, it tickles. I had this reflection on my own. At the time, it was difficult. I was responding to the gloom. ”
After more than 30 years, this concept continues to grow. From a simple initial t-shirt, there is now a wide range of products: hoodies, hats, caps, stockings, towels and protective masks.
The logo has evolved and been declined in several ways, always with a humorous touch. “I had the idea to decline when I joined Gucci… Guccheap. To laugh at expensive fashion. I also did a pastiche of the brands Yves Saint-Laurent, Givenchy, Supreme and Comme des Garçons. I mix humor with big brands. ""'Fuck la mode', initially was something irreverent in the tone of the time. [...] Now in 2020 with the pandemic, there is even more weight when we say that we do what we want, that we wear what we want ... "
- Jean-François Renaud, owner of the Oclan boutique
Today we will speak more of a brand associated with a lifestyle. For 2020, we are witnessing the opening of the "Fuck la mode" café on the second floor of the Oclan boutique. In addition to finding clothes, the space is now a café-boutique concept where you can have a coffee while shopping.
But who likes this slogan? Jean-François Renaud explains that in his store, over the years, he has noticed that “Fuck la mode” calls out to everyone. “From young to 80-year-olds, they find it funny. Those who are most concerned are the Anglophones. They can't get over seeing a store where it says “fuck” at the entrance. Everything is “fuck” inside, they are in shock and buy. After 30 years, the brand has become a staple in Quebec. I remember seeing tourist guides saying: “if you're going to Quebec and you don't feel like bringing home maple syrup, go to Oclan, buy yourself a Fuck la mode t-shirt, people will know that you have passed through Quebec ”.”
Over the years, this logo has been seen on famous personalities: Vanessa Paradis and Lenny Kravitz, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback. Several Quebec artists, including Marina Orsini, Claude Dubois… even Celine Dion has hers, received as a gift during her visit to the boutique. “She thought it was funny. I don't remember giving it to politicians, however. "
Since 2020, the second floor of the store has hosted the Fuck la mode café.
How are we going to see this brand, which is exclusive to Quebec City, which manages to cross borders, evolve? The ultimate dream for Jean-François Renaud would be a collaboration with a big brand like Adidas or Nike. Pop-up shops are in demand, and a reflection is underway on this concept. Products are found all over the world, but online advertising is a challenge with the word “fuck” being banned on social media. “My idea is to make the brand consolidated. I want to raise it with coffee. It changes the vibe of the store, people stay longer. Shopkeepers pass by for their coffee before opening in the morning. I want to create a community around the brand, ”says Renaud.
For now, the only physical place to get the "Fuck la mode" style is the Oclan boutique in the Petit Champlain district. A visit is essential to discover this world of humor in response to gloom.