[I]n a world where we are bombarded with the same celebrities representing brands, we love seeing a different approach.
Launching this week, YSL’s new fragrance Y sees the house bring together three unexpected creative talents – rapper Loyle Carner, sculptor David Alexander Flinn and artificial intelligence researcher Alexandre Robicquet.
The campaign is a refreshing break from the norm, championing aspirational yet relatable faces, all making their own unique mark in the world as pioneers in their fields, embodying the youthful spirit of the fragrance.
We recently caught up with Alexandre Robicquet – a man who spends his days researching robotics and the future of human behaviour – to talk success, empathy and AI.
Yves Saint Laurent was one of the foremost creative pioneers of his generation: do you see yourself as a pioneer?
You often become a true pioneer once you’ve achieved, not before. I don’t consider myself a pioneer at all yet but I aspire to become one. This is a work of consistency and a very long, lonely path. You become one by marrying paradoxical worlds such as simultaneously being an absolute dreamer and a true pragmatic. It is hard to dream without losing your discipline, but if you do so, and if you’re putting your heart into whatever you’re doing, magic can happen.
You’ve chosen a totally different path from fast fame – what inspired you to go into research?
The hunger for meaningful impact. It is my intent that AI will mark a crucial turning point for man in various ways. It’s my intent to ensure that it has a positive impact on our society.
Do you think it’s important to create boundaries between your professional and personal lives?
Yes, but not in the sense that you think. Boundaries are not barriers. It is important to create bridges, a harmony between those worlds. It is important to create flux that empowers both sides.
What does success meant to you?
Success means looking into the eyes of the ones you love and seeing how proud they are of you. As well as looking into the eyes of someone who despises you and only seeing respect. But mostly leaving a trace of kindness, wisdom and inspiration in every interaction you have.
What advances can we expect in the world of artificial intelligence?
It’s hard to give a single answer – there are so many. I would say more empathy, or at least more understanding on both sides. A better understanding of how we behave, how we heal, and even more empathy.
Can you give your advice to people looking to carve their own creative path?
Read the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling and always be hungry!
Y, the new fragrance from YSL Beauty is available to buy now online exclusively from Boots now, and from retailers across the UK from September 1st.