When we approached Anat Royer of Parade Studio, Paris about producing the artwork for our 20|21 Prodigy 3.0 Collab ski, we encouraged him to let his imagination run wild. We were looking for something fun, colorful and unique. Anat settled on the pinball theme, drawing a parallel between the game and Prodigy 3.0, built to pop, press and bounce around the hill.
Read on to learn more about Parade Studio, Anat’s relationship with Faction and the Prodigy 3.0 Collab Ski.
A graphical element from the Prodigy 3.0 Collab Artwork.
TFC: How did your Faction collaboration begin?
Faction is more than just a project to me. Working with this brand has been a dream of mine from the brand’s inception. Maybe four years ago I sent an email [to Faction] saying basically, “Hi guys, I’m in love with your brand, I love skiing, and I’m a designer, so, maybe we can do something great together.” I got an answer saying, “Yeah that would be nice, let’s keep in touch” but nothing happened. Almost a year later I received an email from Josh [Cohen, Hardgoods Product Manager], so that’s how it started. Josh called me and said, “Ok, we took a look at what you do, we like it, so let’s do something.” To be honest that was one of the best days of my life.
TFC: Tell us about your background.
I wasn’t born in the mountains, but I was born very close, in Lyon. It’s very close to the Alps, maybe one hour to go skiing. Every weekend and sometimes even weekday afternoons since I was a kid, I could go skiing. I used to ski every weekend November through March. I’m definitely not the best skier out there, but just I love it. Sometimes I love skiing alone… I’m a bit special. I have many friends, and I love seeing people and sharing beers with friends, but I also love being alone. When I go skiing, I take the first lift with my friends, and at the top, “you go right, you go left, ciao see you tonight,” I love this way. I don’t go for lunch on the mountain. I had one Red Bull in my bag, I stop maybe 15 minutes the whole day. I’ve always loved skiing, I love designing and I love music.
TFC: The first project that you worked on was the 19|20 Prodigy Series. How did the collaboration process work?
The idea has always been to combine music and skiing. I’m very fond of music. Faction and I agree that music and skiing share a lot of similar values. For the Prodigy topsheets— the pink and black— we thought about many ideas… playing cards, hip-hop and rock singers… We worked on many, many ideas that people will never see. Some ideas were a bit too edgy and some were too complicated to tell a succinct story.
TFC: Striking that balance can be tough. Can you talk about the back-and-forth process to get to the final design?
Before designing anything, we always ask: what is the story? What do we want to say? What do we want to express? Then, how can we tell this story effectively and in the best spirit? The first Prodigy designs were a bit vintage; I would say disco. Those popping pinks and the black background were very punchy, and it worked well. People remember the skis.
19|20 Prodigy 2.0, artwork by Anat Royer.
TFC: Can you tell us about the pinball theme on the 20|21 Prodigy 3.0 Collab Ski?
I love this ski. The main idea was to say simply, the mountain is a playground and we are here to play on snow. Based on this idea, Josh and I worked on something that was created for play and so the ski is built like a toy.
Anat's concept designs for the 20|21 Prodigy 3.0 Collab Ski.
The pinball is a cool image interpretation of playing in the mountains, because the ball can jump. It’s like when you ski, you go down, go up, you jump and if you fall… you start again. When you ski, you’re like the ball in the machine. You can go wherever you want and like the game, you never want to stop.
There are many inside jokes and personal things hidden in the ski, based on all the funny happenings during time spent with Faction over the last few years. You can see these in the tiny details. On the tail of the ski there is a kind of cabin, it is the cabin of my dreams. There are sayings from the times when we were together, drinking wine and brainstorming. We had so much fun, so the hidden codes are ways to remember these sometimes long and hilarious nights together.
The Prodigy 3.0 Collab ski is now available to buy online and at selected retailers. Read more about the ski and get yours today by clicking on the link below, or use our Prodigy 3.0 Collab store locator to find your local dealer and check out the goods in person.