– Liberty London Girl has just launch a very glamorous competition to win a 5* luxury holiday to LA, New York & the British Virgin Islands in conjunction with Tumi. Make like Charlie and find that golden ticket….. LLG.
– Kate Moss X Topshop has landed- shop the collection before it sells out completely. Topshop.
No one in their right mind can honestly be comfortable with the concept of ‘fast fashion’ and throw away products, with the vast amount of negative information about mass producing excrushingly low cost products and the impact this type of practice has on our our environment. The far to frequent media coverage of women and children fighting their way out of collapsed factories making cut priced good has only compounded the general concesous that ‘someone, somewhere will be paying for your cheap purchase’.
I won’t go on about a subject that has been well documented else where but I will point out that a higher RRP doesn’t always equate to ethically sourced, sustainable products.
What I really want to talk about is brands that re-brand and why it isn’t always a good idea. As consumers/customers become familar with a brand they come to expect a certain level of continuity. Repositioning a brand is a risky business, you risk alienating your current customer base who no longer resemble your new target customer. H&M have, in my eyes alway been a fun, trend-led brand, stocking quirky pieces, perfect for testing out fresh looks without worrying about getting it wrong.
Look at the current fortunes of Mulberry, a brand I adore and much admire for their use of quality materials and heritage techniques. A brand that has shifted from producing beautiful, reasonably priced handbags (around £500-800) to selling items retailing at well over £1000’s. The famous Alexa satchel now commands £1100 plus. As a result, over the last couple of years profits have dropped significantly, despite the brand soaring in popularity. Both creative director Emma Hill and CEO Bruno Guillon have left the brand. It’s a huge shame and reminds me of the old saying ‘if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it’. We only have to look at the fortune of M&S over the last 20 years to see the effect ignoring your customers can have on your business.
Which leads me to question why a successful business would be intent on change when history has taught us that change isn’t ‘always for the best’.
Model Agyness Deyn is launching her own fashion brand this Spring called Title A.
The Brit model who was practically on every catwalk during the 00’s, has produced a collection inspired by her own relaxed, tough-luxe, androgynous style. Agyness isn’t the first model to move into fashion design, iconic model Kate Moss famously teamed up with Topshop to create multiple capsule collections for the high-street brand. So Agyness is in good company. I suspect this will be the start of a new model/fashion designer trend. How fabulous would a Cara Delevingne collection be?
Modelling and fashion design may be opposite sides of the same coin but rarely do the two cross over. I’m not sure I can recall one single fashion designer who has ventured into modelling? Traditionally models were required to be seen and not heard, only the occasional sneer or smile hinted at the models personality. Recognising a quirky personality or wicked sense of style is an asset, brands are now opting for ‘stand out’ models to front their catwalk shows. It’s not surprising savvy models want to channel their creativity into creating their own brands.
Click here for a sneak peek at the Title A collection via Fashionista.com
SATC Sarah Jessica Parker to curate exclusive jewellery website WeTheAdorned.
Launching this Spring, WeTheAdorned will offer limited edition pieces designed exclusively for WeTheAdorned members. Going against the grain, WeTheAdorned isn’t about accessibility and attracting a wide audience usually associated with online fashion. Instead one item a week, selected by SJP, will be offered to customers from a small selection of exceptional brands.
(Maybe earrings like these by Dannijo might make the cut?).
Pamela Love, Erickson Beamon and Dannijo have all signed up to this exciting new website founded by Tim McElwee and Cyia Batten. I can’t wait to see what SJP comes up with.
Charlotte Olympia works her own brand of magic, injecting a selection of her cult classics with a dose of ghoulish spirit to celebrate Halloween. Kitty flats have real bite with devilishly red eyes.
There’s a pumpkin clutch perfect for stashing candy in and red satin pumps complete with razor-sharp fangs…. all the better to bite you with! The limited edition collection will be available to buy in-store in the US but also exclusively online at Charlotte Olympia & Net-A-Porter. I think this could be a collection to die for….
– The British Fashion Council launch their blogger strategy for LFW. A renowned team of bloggers will be helping the BFC put together a strategy to ensure accredited bloggers receive the best LFW experience possible. BFC.
– Three LCF graduate collections will be on display in Selfridges’ windows and concept store as part of the Bright Young Things 2013 showcase. UAL.
– Reiss launch their first in-house perfume, sign up to their newsletter for a chance to win a personally engraved bottle. Reiss.
– Win VIP tickets to Whistles S/S14 show at LFW and £300 to spend in-store. Whistles.
– New York Fashion Week kicks off- watch all the action here. NYFW.
When the French Connection catalogue arrives it is always a good day. Last week the A/W13 book landed on the mat and even though I’d already had a preview of this season’s collection from the highly publicised Rankin campaign, the catalogue means I can really scrutinise the designs and figure out what would work on me (the digital catalogue is available here).
The whole point of the A/W13 campaign was to highlight the fact that French Connection actually design their own collection in-house and don’t ‘borrow’ from other designers. Ever noticed that some retailers have scarily similar designs, almost identical? It’s a sensible idea when you think about it, reproducing last season’s best seller and you’re pretty much guaranteed success. Design something new and it’s a leap into the unknown- it may turn out to be a big hit or epic flop.
I cringe slightly to use this phase but ‘fortune favours the brave’ where fashion is concerned. Reproduce the same old design with no hint of innovation and you will fall behind.
From Sketch to Store celebrates the design process. I’m not suggesting radical change but it would be nice to see variety and originality. Take inspiration from the past by all means but inject it with a good dose of fresh talent (check out GFW for inspirational design- we have some amazing talent in the UK). Congratulations to French Connection for reminding everyone (myself included) just how important originality really is.
Yesterday American retailer J.Crew posted their September issue collection on Pinterest, marking a social media milestone.
J.Crew opted to showcase their fall collection through the media channel rather than the traditional subscribers catalogue. For a company who didn’t even have a Pinterest account until last year, this is a bold move. While I love picking up a copy of Vogue and admiring the ads, social media sites like Pinterest allow me to share my fave collections/items with my followers, potentially expanding the brands audience. Don’t be surprised to see more designers/retailers promoting their collections exclusively through social media in the future.