In our inbox this week, were found three intriguing news.
First is a neat lookbook from the menswear brand Billtornade, exploring for next FW15 a minimal and raw vibe much along the lines of cult brand A.P.C. – which is why it caught the eye of our loyal Petit New Standard user Vu Quan.
Second is a reminder that french cinematographer Valérie Donzelli is dropping a sulfur bomb at Cannes Festival this year. The film is called Marguerite & Julien, and tells the gripping and peculiar story of a brother and a sister loving each other “too much” and confronted by society, and deciding to run away. We love french cinema when it tackles borderline stories like this, guessing one’s smart enough to be his or her own moral judge.
Last but not least, we learn of an interesting collaboration that one could call the fashion Avengers of Normandy. French-made knitwear specialist Armor Lux teamed up with trends bureau Nelly Rodi (the S.H.I.E.L.D of fashion industry?), long-time lone gunwoman agnès b., and the city of Deauville to present a special collection referencing the city’s particular lifestyle.
Menswear specialist and curator of all good things Vincent Laserson, previously member of the now split-up crew De Jeunes Gens Modernes (all seem to have found greater callings within the creative industries), documents his findings on this inspiring account. Things you think you’ve seen, actually he haasssen. Americans are intrigued by the whimsical concept of La Parisienne. This guy is some great exemple of Le Parisien.
With the NET-A-PORTER and Yoox merger, all luxury brands need to quickly embrace new e-commerce strategies and develop a unique social media experience. An interesting pivot that needs to be quickly mastered by luxury brands, in a very competitive market. That’s the sense of this takeaway report: opening the club while closing down the curtains to keep exclusivity and build up new value proposals.
From anti-social behaviors to re-generate exclusivity, to new approaches regarding customers’ journeys, the opportunity is big for luxury brands.
“Word-of-mouth’s impact is almost 20% of sales in higher price-point categories.” (WOMMA, November 2014).
What was previously perceived as a sort of useless territory to reach very demanding and high profile customers is now one of the main battlefields for the luxury industry. Word-of-mouth which is now accelerated through digital channels, basically means to be literally everywhere and at any time. Chanel got it right, releasing an agenda for e-commerce, with 2016 as their business objective.
Luxury marketing used to be pretty “simple” when elaborated: high-profile customers were to be brought forward into bespoke retail experience. Details mattered, as real-life service could not suffer any bug in the journey.
But now, digital revolution changed the entry-points to retail, therefore the social function attributed to the brick and mortar temple; some very sophisticated and well-travelled customers already know what they want and just want to pick up a product they’ve seen online – they no longer accept that an item is not available straight away. Other customers are more digital wanderers, who only discovered a tiny part of the brand; the classic Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt is a very good example: there were queues of customers who were not initially in the “luxury” segment but happened to regroup and bring a new light to Kenzo. Now plugged into the “Kenzodiac” experiment, the brand starts to uplift its new customers into a more subtle and comprehensive understanding of the brand.
In the meantime, traditional high-profile customers don’t want to mix with the crowd, while embracing new ways of consuming luxury through visual networks like Instagram. This high-profile customer does not hesitate to buy from the high street – wearing a pair of Converse while holding a Chloé bag is the new normal.
Digital interfaces totally broke the traditional path to purchase; the smartest brands like Hermès created a whole new tone of voice to face this challenge to again become the information-maker instead of suffering from this dilution through billions of new digital touch-points.
Growing with new communities of luxury customers
What’s even more interesting is that in some less mature markets, customers discovered luxury universes first and foremost through their favorite social networks – like Weibo, but also through celebrities’ pages and on-going “daily-telling.” In order to grow with these thirsty customers, luxury brands now need to adapt: social channels are now no longer an accessory in the marketing mix but the key hub of influence.
Lilzeon: PRO. “The proof of a new luxury made in China”
We need to stop making fun of this dress; the event is huge: MET Gala is probably one of the most influential milestone in the business of fashion. It dictates what will be trendy or not. What journalists will write about or not. Which designers will be hot or not….
Guo Pei, a story of creating a fashion culture in China
50 000 hours. That’s the amount of time that embroiderers, designers spent in assembling this dress. Yellow matching with the red carpet was a great way of highlighting one of the magic symbols of Chinese culture: fortune, luck, happiness.
And to be legit’, Guo Pei has developed for 15 years a know-how among her teams: Haute Couture did not rise in China until very recently, destroyed by an anti-consumerist policy. She made it happen through hard work and dedication. This dress is not JUST a dress: it’s a fashion manifesto.
Guo Pei has also just released her collaboration with MAC Cosmetics. Colours and tones very similar to the dress, that are going to be a massive hit in the coming months. That’s a gigantic coup.
VQ: AGAINST. “Confucius-Confusing things”
Beyond the wordplay, I think we mix problems. Is the dress beautiful? It’s a matter of taste. Is China really sublimed? Good question.
A new continent of luxury buyers
If you read BoF or that you write a Phd on “luxury + China”, you already know that the country is key for growth. You can read a nice piece about the “bling dynasty”. Luxury is a nice source of opportunities from West to East, but the other way round is not really true.
A big misunderstanding with creative culture
At the moment, even if some Chinese designers are state-of-the-art and gifted, they cannot really challenge current brands and Western talents. First because Western brands will never accept to leave market shares as long as Chinese brands will expand thanks to their own fundings and assets, without joining LVMH or Kering. And then, “let’s be honest”, Western consumers still think that Chinese creativity is not attractive. Neither do they understand the Chinese culture. The proof: just have a look at Bieber’s ridiculous outfits.
Apparently for Hollywood beautiful people, China only means #Dragon or #Mulan. And very surprisingly this time, not any commentator mentioned a cultural-appropriation scandal. It’s ok to say so when Pharrell Williams wears a Native American item, or when WASPs try to do some hip hop. But we don’t hear much when it comes to Asian people. We will only believe in the Chinese creative influence when Kim Kardashian decides to have even more slanting eyes.
This week in our inbox landed three pretty fancy pieces of news.
First was a recap of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Engagement manifestation at Hyeres Festival. Sponsoring an exhibition called “The Formers”, the brand invited designers having participated in the past 30 years of the Festival to show their collections.
Among them were Steven Tai, Satu Maaranen and Roshi Porkar.
Meanwhile Patek Philippe is putting on a major exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London from 27th May-7th June. Yet another luxury brand committed to showcase their craft and expertise to the public. Value is in the product, as we say. Among the highlights, maybe the Grand Complications Room which will showcase the most sophisticated mechanisms in the world. Watchmaking geeks assemble.
Finally, all looking forward to the weekend, Cîroc shares a few recipes for summery cocktails. Our pick would be the SCÎROCO.
Follow these instructions:
Crush mint leaves in a glass to release their flavour.Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour CÎROCand cranberry juice over. Top with more ice and garnish with mint and a grape.
We’ve been following @flicka_elisa for quiet a long time now.
Elisa is the muse behind Buff.
“Buff is a brand that focuses on cut and sewn pieces. Fairly new in the clothing industry, the brand was brought about by the desire of its owners, to create a line that would be able to provide affordable, well-made leisurewear that would reacquaint the local industry with the beauty of clothing.”
An intriguing world, post or pre-punk, who knows. Enjoy!
This week in our inbox, landed a few interesting pieces.
Keeping their focus on arty-ness of the brand, The Kooples chose to present their new Fall Winter 15/16 Collection under the higher pretext of an art exhibition at Gallery Marquardt, in Paris. Photography of 30 portraits of mixed-culture couples will be exhibited in a show called “Latitude, Attitudes”, from the 6th to the 14th of May 2015. The exhibition was previously on the roads, showing in New York City and Dubai.
In the age of superheroes named Iron Man and villains named Ultron, in the news where Cristiano Ronaldo and Lebron James are more often described as bionic men than athletes, Reebok chose to renew their tagline by launching a bold statement: “Be More Human”.
Last but not least, we also received a come-around email from a very young brand we criticized harshly a couple of years ago on the french blog. Their press release mentions “sportswear chic”, which means this deserves its very own article to follow, this wednesday.
Yoann started his brand litterally named “without a name” nearly five years ago, when he was in high school. The same year ran the shorter-lived TV show “How to make it in America”. Amazingly, Yoann has since brought his brand to niche but o-influential street culture concept-stores in France (Pigalle) and Japan (Beams). Hard work, passion and a singular character seemed to drive this young gun we met in Lyon right before he decided to “make it in the world”.
Maybe you don’t need to make it in America first. As they say, everything is about Ni**as in Paris, now. Follow this hot rookie of the fashion game, he’s made it so far, who knows where he can take it next.
His Instagram will take you showrooms, shootings, meetings, all the real behind the scenes of a fearless style-entrepreneur.
Climbing the ladder of lifestyle has always been the aspiration behind brand consumption. That guy Maslow – for the sociology geeks, nailed it somehow with the pyramid of needs.
Now this “infographics” is quite interesting in the way it defines segments of luxury from the bottom up. And we already heard controversy, such as “aren’t Coach and Geox more suitable to be called “upper mid brands” instead of affordable luxury?”
There’s much to discuss.
What will Daigou buy therefore? And aren’t old Maisons sketpical by this positioning in the digital era? A real camouflet againt Louis Vuitton, downgraded to the “accessible core” thus.
All fashionisti can now place once and for all brands that all seem to mean glitter and billions: Cartier, Bottega Veneta, Prada, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton…). Black is the new Bling.
Here is the Bermudan triangle anyway. Don’t get lost in it!