Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Monday, 23 August 2010

I Love my Scarf / J'aime mon Carre

Luxury brands are now becoming more heavily engaged in the internet. Hermès have just launched 'J'aime mon Carre' (I love my Scarf)... an interactive website which show cases street fashion from the IT Girls of London, Paris, NY and Tokyo. The content is captured in multiple media formats - video, images, photo booth style pics and detailed how-to's...

I love the 'knotting card' element - which illustrates lots of different how-to's. I have to try some out!

This website is also open to customers who are invited to build their own space and upload their version of wearing 'Le Carre' (the French name of Hermès signature silk scarf). 

This platform is created in a similar format to Burberry's Art of the Trench. Which indicates a trend towards user generated content and viral marketing. Both concepts have rating and  sharing features integrated which enables users to rank profiles and connect them to their social networks... I think this is a really exciting move from high end luxury retailers. I can't wait to see how both platforms develop...I'm all for fashion being more connected! 

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Grunge Glamour Knits

 "Slouchy Knits please elegant evening skirts: it's a modern mass up" Vogue, Sep 2010

Louis Vutton a/w 2010
Marc Jacobs a/w 2010
Do it Yourself (DIY)

To follow this modern grunge look dig out an old favourite or source one from your local charity shop. Alternatively, you can Do it Yourself by signing up to Ravelry. This online knit community host a range of patterns that can be downloaded for free. Further support is offered through visual how-to instructions and video demonstrations. 

I hope to try this out soon and have selected my top two patterns to replicate this look. I love the idea of making a jumper like this, as I know I would wear it forever. I'll update my progress...
Aran Knit via Ravelry
Aran Knit via Ravelry

Monday, 16 August 2010

An Open Letter to the UK Handmade Industry

Mary Portas: Fashion industry consultant has released a response to a call for advice from the UK handmade Industry. The response was triggered due to an innovative marketing campaign which encouraged makers to sign a petition and display a badge (image above) on their blog or web page.

This letter offers honest and direct advice to all of those designer makers trading handmade goods. To compete with the big boys handmade goods need to be stylish, sexy and desirable to stand out. 

1. If you're selling online, look at Topshop, ASOS and Liberty - these are your competition for share of £'s spent. Then look at Etsy. Spot the difference.

2. PR - of you've got a product that deserves space in magazines, you'll get it. Write a lost of ten magazines you want to appear in. Then call them. But add your point of difference. Tell the press why you are unique.

3. Think about produce adjacency's on your site. Yours are all over the place. I noticed an absolutely gorgeous necklace that was placed next to an odd glass painted tile - what is this saying about the necklace? Segment the range to lifestyle and end use.

4. Pricing - you say in your letter that you'd like handmade to be a "viable, affordable choice". If I am honest, at first sight some of the pricing seems quite premium. I find £25 for three egg cosys a bit steep. However if under the produce there was a beautiful design, fabric and source story which I as a customer can pass onto my friends, then I might not shirk at that cost. Remember Status Stories are the Status Symbols replacing logos, brands and general bling. 

I think each point offers independent designer maker's something to consider. Portas also highlights that handmade goods will stand out if they are beautiful , stylish and presented in a sophisticated way. I like the last point which references "Status stories are replacing logos, brands and general bling..." The narrative surrounding the product is really important and what separates the handmade from the mass produced.