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Interview: Dr Lida Hujić is The First To Know

Based in London, operating globally, Dr Lida Hujić is best described as a 'chasm translator' between the corporate world and the underground, her expertise involves tapping into alpha trend-setters' networks of which she has insider knowledge. She works for blue chip companies and private companies across industries. Equally, she supports 'hipsters' and start-ups in harnessing their creativity. Her first book, The First to Know, goes some way to shedding a light on this rare combination. Run Riot caught up with her prior to London Fashion Week to get a glimpse of her world.

RR: How would you describe your job?
Innovation consultant.

RR: What compelled you to write the book 'The First To Know'?
I am still asking myself that question. With hindsight, so many things that I imagined would turn out a certain way – didn’t. I didn’t quite know what I was doing but every step of the way I overcame the various obstacles you can expect with publishing. The other thing is that the whole process took longer. The more time invested, the more reasons not to give up. The challenges towards completing the production of a book and bringing it to market are far greater than writing it and I thought writing was hard enough. What I learnt is to enjoy the journey. We’re in a society that measure success according to the outcome – in my case a book – but what we learn in any process is as valuable.
What I had in mind is a book to for the marketing industry about innovation – that fundamentally challenges marketing myths, in particular the role of the youth market and cool hunting. But then, as it developed, it took on a social study dimension. And it also became a first hand insight into the wonderful innovators, many of whom I have the privilege to call friends, who have inspired others with their creativity. I explain how ‘creativity’ goes from underground into the mainstream. In the back of my mind, that’s what compelled me to write.

RR: Who are the 'alpha trend setters' of today (2012), and how might we feel their influence in 10 years time? What ideas are challenging the status quo today?
If I am right, we are in the incubation stage of something new and it is too soon to make judgments on a scale of a paradigm shift. The people and the model I uncovered in my book still have a lot of clout.

RR: If you were to Protest, what cause would you chose?
I am cooking something up with The People’s Supermarket, watch this space.

RR: It's London Fashion Week - who is the must-see designer du jour?
There is a lot of talent around. We’re offering readers [via the Run Riot e-bulletin] the opportunity to go see the Merit Award winner at Vauxhall Fashion Scout – that’s a recognized platform for emerging talent. Another reader will have the chance to see the first show by Fam Irvolli. I talk about BLOW PR who represent her extensively in my book as one of the key orchestrators of the zeitgeist, so Fam could be a name to watch out. On the other scale, big names are back in London, from Westwood’s Red Label to Moschino Cheap and Chic making their debut. They are ‘designers du jour’ as much as fresher blood, like Christopher Kane or Mary Katranzou.
Personally, my sartorial choice is Ashish. Of course, I have the odd piece by other designers (so many friends are designers and make really great stuff) but Ashish is the main one. Is he du jour? Last season, his show made the front page of most of the Sunday press.

RR: Being Valentine's week, what would you recommend to young lovers for the ultimate romantic experience - with only £50 to spend?
Didn’t you know, the best things in life are free? What I'd recommend doesn’t cost a penny.

RR: London, Paris, or Sarajevo - which is your favorite city – and why?
They’re like children – I love them all equally (ha, ha, ha).


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'So you think you're cool? read this book to find out how cool you really are! an essential read for anyone wanting to stay one step ahead or at the very least to find out how it's actually done. and of course you're cool, because you're reading this.' Rough Trade’s Top 10 Books 2011
'Fast becoming the intellectual must read.' Time Out

The First to Know: How Hipsters and Mavericks Shape the Zeitgeist is available at independent book shops, boutiques and galleries such as Artwords, Foyles, Rough Trade as well as Amazon.
Favourite independents stockists stocking here The First to Know

The First to Know Description from The First to Know on Vimeo.

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