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 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.
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.