Stalked: Alexei Obolensky, Founder and Director, Wasted Talent

3 April 2015

Alexei, is the founder and director of a very special agency. The type of agency that gets this Stalker extremely excited because it's all about supporting young talented individuals and as my regular readers know, championing young emerging designers is one of my loves and the reason I am still blogging now! 
Wasted Talent is an agency that Alexei and his partner started not so long ago, specialising in growing young entrepreneurs and creatives with their fountain of knowledge and expertise. From sales and distribution, marketing & PR , design consultancy to creative content, they help to build their clients strategies and grow their brands like they were their own. They also stationed themselves in the most of divine areas of the world to do this.... South West of France!

I caught up with Alexei when I popped to see what the lovely Daisy Knights had created for her AW15 collection at Somerset House. 

Tell me all about Wasted Talent and how did you get into it? 

Wasted Talent is a 360 degree agency with our roots in surfing but our minds on the global stage based out of South West France. We nurture and grow projects that we believe in, whether that be for individuals that we manage or brands that we believe have got the legs to succeed in Europe but need a platform to grow from. My partner and I got into it by seeing so much fragmentation, incompetence and waste in the sector of the industry we are in, yet there being so much potential we really wanted to create something that pulls it all together, and here we are. 

Why have you decided to represent a cross section of brands? 

The decision to represent a collection of brands wasn't really a conscious one that we decided from the outset.  We started with our major brand, Epøkhe and it grew from there organically of different brands that have a good synergy together. Our rule is that we only work with brands we really believe in on a personal level. All our brands also feed each other really nicely as they are all fairly niche but at the pinnacle of the niche they are in. Whether that be from sunglasses to magazines to jackets to wetsuits, it all has to link.

What's the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is the people, the people we have met so far on our professional journey are all amazing, and all from different corners of the World. The lifestyle apparel industry is naturally pretty friendly so work relationships are often based around good times. People like working with people they like. Other than that being based in the South of France, travelling the world and sneaking off for a surf over lunch is pretty fun…. 

Who is your favourite designer at the moment? 

In terms of Eyewear, what the guys at Epokhe are creating now is pretty amazing. My friend Jorge is a neoprene based designer who makes amazing wetsuit designs under the name of Narval. In mainstream fashion, Nigel Cabourn is pretty heard to beat, timeless. I like a lot of the upcoming Australian surf based fashion labels such as Afends, Insight and of course Stussy

Who are you watching in regards to emerging talent? 

We try and emerge ourselves with emerging talent from all disciplines. It's what get's us up in the morning and keeps us firing. We work with some crazy talented guys. On a music level, Nathan Ball is really exciting. Art wise, the stuff Joao Cruz comes up with is crazy, we are really trying to get him some solid recognition in 2015. In the surf world, Conor Maguire from Ireland is out there surfing 60ft waves in the freezing cold and no one really knows about it which is pretty insane. Our friend and Comrade Daisy Knights is amazingly talented, her jewellery is great. Go daisy!

How would you describe your personal style? 

My Personal Style, I guess I like to wear what I like to wear. I don't really change outfits for where I go so it's kind of a melting pot of everywhere I go. From the Fields of Cornwall to LA or Berlin. Whatever really. 

Five items you can't live without? 

1) Passport, I have the itchiest of feet 2) Credit Card, for living outside of my means   3) A sea view, I have to be by the sea, I can do stints away from her but I always go back  4) Surfboard, I couldn't be by the sea without being able to surf… 5) A Watch, I hate not knowing the time. 



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