January 17, 2022

Herald of Fashion

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The crazy story of Villiva, the world’s most expensive “French” fan


Digital Met Stephen Droin, the creator of Villiva. This 850 fan – twice as expensive as a Tyson – has a somewhat insane history, and its ambassador is nothing. Story

Surrounded by his works by Stephen Troy. (© Arnaud Childrick)

It is not uncommon to see Koyo Truveto in the tech world, and Stephen Troy is definitely one of them. Over the years, this farmer’s son has become an industrial designer, working hard at Villiva, a quiet fan recently talked about, especially due to its price: 50 850. White shirt with medium length gray hair, sneakers and orange jeans, reminiscent of Vilva’s color code, comes from Stephen Troy’s Grenoble, step alert and volunteer approach Digital Under the arm is its product (to be built) and a Tyson fan for the demo (already fitted).

While Willowva’s editing session shows us that it’s a fun thing to do, despite having a simple coin as a tool, the man who cut his teeth at Legrand, Facom, and later Chep wants to talk about him and his work and its fan. And many dangers stuck in its path.

I want to create an effective, durable and desirable product

S. Throin

Villiva’s adventure (taken from the Amerindian period for a cold breeze) begins after a disagreement with his final boss, Sepp’s team. For 10 years, he was paid to create beautiful items by painting buttons and power stations, then facials and finally, home appliances for SEBI. But despite having an MBA in his pocket, we do not recognize anything useful other than creating beauty, and, at a lower cost. However, for him, being a designer is also an architect of materials … a little more. “It’s not just about drawing an object. You have to be a conductor. But in France, only CEOs have the right to be conductors. So he keeps his sensibilities to himself, and swallows the marketing logic of his various bosses – often missing nowhere.

Believe it against all odds

Then by mutual agreement, in 2016 he took over the rights to the project called Bamboo Fan and left the appliance maker Sepp. “A fan we started to create to compete with Tyson by emphasizing the quiet and desirable decorative feature of the machine. It did not match the company’s specifications.”. The project, according to him, was shot by marketing review. Nevertheless, he manages to reclaim the propeller axes – an industry tool that still costs a paltry $ 10,000 – and launches a kickstarter of one million euros to fund the production of the fan: to produce 350 model 3000 pieces for the market. He collects 99 pre-orders and 47,000. “It was a total failure.”

A Villiva fan in our meeting room.

A Villiva fan in our meeting room.

But he firmly believes in his fan. “I want to create an effective, durable and desirable product.” For that, he doesn’t cut things. First requirement, poorly aged ABS plastic, but quality polycarbonate. Specifications – and In practice Growing Bill-Heavy: No removable plastic clips, but 115 screws, wooden feet, nine-blade propeller (three on entry level fan) and one motor No brush This allows you to turn at very low speeds. To the stage, Willivow uses a spiral (twisted by hand) to reduce turbulence and create a constant flow of air. Which does not help, it takes two different; One in front, one in the back. “ The aerodynamics of the components follow the aeronautics codes. “For example, this is the position of the shields that support the machine. Its purpose is to control the formation of audible turbulence. A 40 to 270 oscillation of the fan requires a real area “Gas Factory”. But above all, it has temperature sensors to make it smart. “It’s the only fan that turns off when it’s hot and in the cold.”

Its advantage: allows you to heat a room in winter

So inevitably, the Villiva bill rises. You have to fight everywhere, trust friends, deal with life. Here’s a lobbying contest, there’s a design contest … Stephen Troy says he’s not even getting any support from Bpifrance (a public investment bank). He fights hard for his machine. He finishes it by thanking a friend who runs a factory in Shenzhen. Everything is made in China because it would be even more expensive if Villiva was made in France; Keep in mind that Villiva sends more than 100 screws. But Stephen Troy wants to offer a durable product that can transform a classic air conditioning system.“The gain in terms of energy is enormous. Air conditioning in a medium room costs € 9,000 in 10 years; purchasing, installing, maintaining and consuming thousands of watts is wasted.

But Villivov wants to make a difference in the winter, because he promised to heat a room. “It’s a simple observation story. I have a mezzanine in the house in the winter, and in the winter I noticed it was warm on the floor and cool downstairs. , C, below 19 ° C; When I started my idea, the temperature was the same everywhere at the top and bottom of the mezzanine to reach 21 degrees Celsius.We are talking about heat removal. The designer did a study to measure energy savings. This represents 30% heat savings per room. These are all managed from one application.

The special propeller and angle action selection system increases the price of the willow.

The special propeller and angle action selection system increases the price of the willow.

Stephen Droin hopes to convince his clients with these arguments. At the moment, he has sold 1200 copies of his Villiva, 70% of which are sold by his site, and 30% by Phnok Darty. “You have to like beautiful things, not like air conditioning, have instructions”, He declares that he is defending his high-quality product, which has nothing to do with the Tyson Plateless fan and he has not erased the words (see sidebar).

So our Geo Truveto creates a limited edition version of the Villeva with brass parts so that it can work on the beaches of the Carlton Hotel, Cannes, thus preventing the rim from running over the face of wealthy customers who are overheated. In the sun. Moreover, he is, like a sales representative, an ardent defender of his solution. It has no staff other than projects. “I don’t want to be the king of the fan, but the king of useful stuff.” He wants to create his own brand and establish it in a landscape where home appliances often represent products that we are ready to eat. I do not want this eternal dissatisfaction anymore “Bored with low cost products”. “My dream is that my product will never end up in a recycling center. No porches have been removed.”

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