Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last year he wow-ed us with a look straight out of Brideshead and yesterday he treated us to a bit of waistcoat action on Centre Court. Hello Federer - our sporting fashion icon for the season.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This will make your life will be significantly better.

Bag by Jessica Kagan Cushman, available from Bunnyhug.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For the librarian in you.

Love, love, love, love this! Click THIS LINK to make your own.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From the ridiculous to the sublime.

Most pretentious product description of the day goes to Cire Trudon's Odeur de Lune candle. Apparently invokes the scent of a satellite orbiting the earth. Oh, so that's what that smell is.

While Malin + Goetz win the prize for best recession chic packaging design. Tapping in to consumers' desire for full-disclosure and pared-down aesthetics, M+G have integrated product title and ingredients right into the design. See also Aesop and Kiehls.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm raging against retail.

Ok, I'm not raging in the way I did the other week which led me to being locked in the managers office at Natwest to "calm down", but a simmering rage against British retail and the way it's failing to give this recession everything it's got. Just twenty minutes in Covent Garden on Saturday made me chronically depressed at the pathetic excuse for customer engagement from two of our leading highstreet brands. First up, the new Nike shop, which replaces Shelly's on the corner of Neal Street, had two rather embarrassed looking live models in the window. Nice idea on paper, but shoving two reluctant sales assistants in the window to be gawped at by daft American tourists does not exactly create the 'wow' factor. This is a shame, because I was recently much impressed by the Nike id section in Niketown on Oxford Circus. Way to let the side down, Nike.

And number two to name and shame comes Marks and Spencer. I regularly let them get away with their shocking excuse for fashion, on the basis that their food halls are second to none and that they have an endless supply of matronly women whose only joy in life is to make sure British females wear the correct size bra. Or so I thought. I don't want to go into details, but I'm pretty sure the buxom lady from their ad campaigns was not fitted by a painfully shy, hijab-wearing girl who thought an accurate measurement is best taken over a Wonderbra.

In a recession, people want value for money. This does not only mean quality, it means proper service. It means getting to know your customers, catering to their every whim, enchanting them, exciting them and sending them home with more than they came in with. Even if they didn't buy anything, even if they leave only with a story about some crazy live models they saw frolicking in the Nike window or the knowledge that they're a 32C, rather than a 32B. Build a relationship, start a conversation and your customers will stay loyal. Simples.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Absolutely entranced by this video... Reminds me of how you remember your childhood - snippets of memories set to a care free vibe.

This is kind of funny too. Love you Nat!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some people go to Puerto Banus for the sunshine, speed boats and sangria. I hang out in supermarkets.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Branding outside the Box
(previously posted on the Moving Brands blog - one girl, two blogs, too much!)

Economic and environmental change means brands really have to think, and act, outside the box if they are to enchant nervous consumers. Two new launches this past week exemplify this so-called ‘wild-sky’ thinking which draws people in emotionally. The first enterprise can be found at London shopping mall, Westfield. There, alongside Louis Vuitton and Gucci in The Village – the luxury section of the mall – a charity shop has been set up by retail guru Mary Portas and Grazia magazine. Stocked with donations from Grazia readers, celebrities and high street and designer stores, the ‘Living and Giving’ shop re-positions charity shopping as an exciting, chic and sustainable alternative to buying new - making second-hand clothes as aspirational as the latest ‘It’ bag.

Across London, in Battersea, another ‘pop up’ takes the form of the Doodle Bar. Tapping in to consumers’ desire to personalise and interact with their environments, the Doodle Bar invites patrons to draw on everything from the walls to the furniture sourced via the recycling website, Freecycle. Billing itself as a “recession-proof credit crunch cafĂ©”, the Doodle Bar aims to develop the local community through a series of events over the summer.

Mary’s charity shop made nearly £4,000 in its opening hour, while photos of Doodle Bar’s opening night show it packed out. From luxury chazzing to caffeine-fueled doodling, innovative retail brands are discovering how ‘being’ the change, rather than simply dealing with it, will engage customers and ensure success in the long-term.