Amid rising levels of national anxiety and pessimism, I explored how French youth are rejecting the old France mindset in favour of new, regional role models and digital communities.
Unrest is being felt across the country owing to widespread nationalist and political protests, compounded by France recently launching national civic service for its youth. The capital city of Paris is also losing power as the epicentre of youth culture, with young people turning to digital platforms and suburban communities to establish their place and build a sense of identity and purpose.
A recent report by Jean-Louis Borloo, a former French minister, presented France as a two-speed country where 500,000 young French people – more than 50% of Paris’s young suburban population – are suffering from isolationism and forced communitarianism. Now, France’s young people are looking away from the capital towards new and inspiring models.
For brands, this outer-looking mindset is becoming a source of inspiration and untapped space to align with France’s overlooked youth. In 2018, Lacoste collaborated with Moha La Squale, a young rapper from Créteil, with a collection celebrating La Squale’s own personal style, strongly rooted in his suburban upbringing and spirit.