Dear readers, subscribers, gentlemen, and friends,
Today we have an important message to share with you, which may be the most important message since the inception of PG a decade ago in January, 2009.
For more than 10 years now, we have actively participated to the great sartorial debate with :
- The Parisian Gentleman blog (with close to 2,000 articles published),
- Bestseller books, The Parisian Gentleman and The Italian Gentleman, published by Thames & Hudson and Rizzoli, which have both been reprinted and issued as re-editions in compact versions,
- Interactive social platforms (Facebook and Instagram with more than 210,000 authentic followers),
- Our YouTube Channel Sartorial Talks (in English) and Discussions Sartoriales (in French) which has grown to an involved community of 80,000 subscribers with an out-of-this-world “engagement rate”. Some episodes have more than 1,000 comments and 9,000 thumbs up. We try to set ourselves apart by answering almost every comment, when possible, as a commitment to our community. What makes us confident in the future of Sartorial Talks is that we achieved these results with only 32 episodes published, so far. Some of our esteemed colleagues and friends have produced between 250 and 300 videos to reach comparable figures. We feel amazed and have so much gratitude to see these results.
As you can imagine, this sudden and spectacular rise of the video medium in the PG ecosystem has had a huge impact on our internal organisation, on our content production priorities and, more generally, on our vision and development projects.
When we decided to create a YouTube channel 18 months ago with a video explaining the writing odyssey of my last book “The Italian Gentleman” and revealing a sneak peek at a few pages, we thought this add-on to the PG world would be a simple complement to other activities. And if we consider the humble beginnings of the channel, for a while, we thought we were right.
Then, last Spring, Sartorial Talks penetrated the mysterious YouTube algorithm and became a widely “recommended channel”. Needless to say, the number of views and subscribers skyrocketed, clearly showing the potential of this channel in the sartorial community and beyond, especially in the USA (which now represents more than 40 percent of our subscribers and viewers)–a country where people seem to crave this kind of sartorial content.
At the moment, back in May 2018, we had to choose between two paths :
- Produce a lot of videos, focusing on quantity, using simple tools like an iPhone and amateur equipment in order to generate the most traffic possible (and the biggest advertisement revenues).
- Or to stay true to our founding vision and embark ourselves into a very ambitious (and costly) production process (out-of-pocket) with a real crew, real lighting, real cameras and the obsession for quality which is, I believe, part of our DNA since the inception of PG ten years ago.
Our idea was to give birth to a YouTube channel as close as possible to broadcast quality which has a strong identity and a unique tonality. Our goal was to step out from the crowd of “Do’s and Dont’s”channels, steering away from the temptation to insert invasive click-bait and speak of non-elegance related topics (like how to seduce women or how to look like a millionaire) in order to get more views. Elegance is a subject that suffices to itself and is degraded by sensationalism.
Still, we believe the subject of garments is more about creating emotion than the clothes themselves. And while speaking of a tie or suit can appear superfluous, in the words of Khalil Gibran (Sand and Foam), we resonate with his explanation when he said “Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it so that the other half may reach you.”
We continue to attempt to elevate the debate by showing that the sartorial culture and bespoke lifestyle go beyond the simple subject of garments.
In our humble opinion, style embraces formidable paradoxical colours: it denotes both fortitude and ease, is both stiff and graceful, exacting yet blurred, plain yet floral, reflecting modesty and prance…it is not only the attribute, but also the gesture. Hence, the lines blur as we explore the heterogeneous yet strongly interconnected blend of charm, sociability, aesthetics, technique, craftsmanship and even personal ethics.
To date, Sartorial Talks has been developed and produced with our own money, with the exception of “A Discussion with Alessandro Sartori”, which Zegna financed.
The mid-length documentary (28 minutes) entitled “the Astonishing Story of Harris Tweed” has been fully produced out-of-pocket, with the exception of travel and housing expenses of our six-person team. If you have never watched this film, please take a look at it below. It will give you a good idea of the investment we dedicate to our productions :
Considering the intercontinental potential of Sartorial Talks (with the next step being the production of a pilot show for a global broadcaster like Netflix or Amazon), we’ve decided to shift into a higher gear and to see if you would like to join our PATREON page : PATREON SARTORIAL TALKS.
PATREON is a membership platform praised by a multitude of artists (musicians, actors) and content creators (Youtubers, Podcasters).
The reason we chose PATREON is because it’s not only about raising money (like classic crowdfunding platforms) but much more about building a closer relationship between creators and their public and creating a very strong community of people who share the same passion.
Thanks to the “Patrons” who wish to support their work (from very modest support to heavier support), it’s possible for creators like us to secure a regular production budget in order to produce our shows with freedom of speech and independence, while getting very specific direction and ideas directly from our public: an incredibly interactive way to approach a major production.
This is the reason why we feel this message is so important: to take Sartorial Talks to a global level, we need to do it in full independence (away from brands and sponsors) with the sole help of our formidable and loyal community of gentlemen (and ladies) who believe in the value of our input in this often brutal and vulgar world. Our goal, in the mid-term, is to build our own production studio (for both filming and post-producing) in order to produce weekly broadcast quality shows and take the empty seat of a TV world-class act–promoting and explaining the sartorial culture.
By visiting our page PATREON SARTORIAL TALKS, and selecting the BECOME A PATRON button, and then choosing your Tier (starting at $3 per month), you can help us make this happen. In exchange of your membership, you’ll have access, depending on the Tier you choose, to Patrons-only bonuses like completely exclusive Talk-Shows, “behind the scenes” sequences, unique audio messages, original music, and other surprises that come to our minds.
It goes without saying that the success of this project will represent a MAJOR MILESTONE in the (young) life of Sartorial Talks.
We believe beauty can be created in more ways than imaginable, and that even an article of clothing can somehow touch the soul. We know if you feel the same and join us, it is possible to make this unique project happen, while also bonding together within the closeness of a community, at the same time.
Thank you in advance in helping us to make this world a more elegant one.
Hugo, Sonya Glyn and team.
PS : For those who have the question in mind: nothing changes for Sartorial Talks on YouTube or for Parisian Gentleman–which both will remain free and accessible to all!