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Luxury Trends report: being anti-social to win in social media?

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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.

New customers’ journeys

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.

“Along with each horoscope is a product that relates to the advice included in the text.Those under the Sagittarius sign are told they need to express their feelings, and stop worrying so much about other people’s expectations of them, so Kenzo suggests a tiger sweatshirt to “roar your heart out.”

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.

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APONIE: when a mother and her children decide to create fragrances loaded with meanings and love

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A new French brand has just revealed a collection of four new fragrances. APONIE created by Jocelyne Duval, explores new notes for men or for women, which are echoes from one another through seasons, moods and attitude.

We had a chance to interview her son, Marc-Aurèle Jules.

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Aponie is all about hyphenated identities and worldwide inspirations. How did you create fragrances right in this crossroad?

Interbreeding is a chance and a richness, it defines us and we care about it. My mother already grew up between Western and African educations, then in the same way, she raised us in this multiculturality, which opened our minds to cultures and traditions from here and there.

The best example of our love for interbreeding remains the name of our perfume “Mulâtresse” because a Mulâtresse, in French, is a daughter born of the union of black and white parents (it was also the nickname given to Jeanne Duval, the muse of the French poet Charles Baudelaire). Our origins from Europe and Arica, and our discoveries of regions in Asia or America brought us other exotic and cosmopolitan inspirations.

Personally, I have been brought up among perfumes. My mother used to soak, very young, our pillows with the Eau de Cologne by Mr Thibeault, then sprayed the filter of the vacuum cleaner in order to fill the house with the Eau de Parfum Panthère by Cartier, and our walks never missed to stop by a perfumery during the weekend or a manufacture as soon as we were travelling. Obviously, when she decided to make her dream come true by creating APONIE, recent graduate of HEC Paris, I chose with no hesitation to to join her into partnership, and so did my sister!

There is a lot of love and humour in your four new fragrances. A collection as a whole, which is very different from other “blockbusters” like Chanel, focusing on “hero” products like N°5….

Indeed, there is a lot of LOVE in our fragrances, the love of perfume firstly, and above all the love of self which is one of the main values of our House. APONIE extols three values that are the love of self, the teaching of happiness and the sublimation of self, which passes by perfume.

In addition to our philosophy of love and happiness, we put a lot of poetry into our fragrances. We realized bold and previously unseen mixes to reach perfumes “that sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses” as Baudelaire said.

We meant to create essences starting from personalities and characters. In this sense, I think our collection must be understood as a whole set but according to his sensitivity, each and everyone will find its own product-hero.

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The collection is genderless: how did you operate this fusion?

As I said earlier, our starting point for the creation of each perfume was the personality. Our perfumes carry a non-verbal communication that delivers instantly the message of your personality. The family of our first collection is made up of the proud and fiery woman (Mulâtresse), the elegant and distinguished man (Aryballe), the sparkling and serene woman (Jolanta), and the happy and free man (Sybaris).

Our collection was aiming at two fragrances for men and two for women. Once finished, to our greatest surprise, our perfumes Sybaris and Aryballe, initially designed for men, turned out to be unisex, because they happened to be amazingly worn by women. The perfumes still haven’t given all their secrets to the fusion of genders!aponie mulatresse parfum

Should perfume do a bit of politics? :) 

 

:D
The House of APONIE features the richness of interbreeding, the mix of cultures, and the teaching of happiness. If these values talks to you, then we’ll think about it in 2017 using as a programme the Perfumes as a model of unity.

You work with the craftsmen of Grasse ; is it something important to work with the French excellence stakeholders?

This French touch appeared as obvious, with the creation in Grasse, the cradle of perfumes, the manufacture in the Cosmetic Valley, expertise and competitiveness pole, and of course the elegance, the charm and et the character of Paris.

Perfumes and cosmetics are among the best ambassadors of France worldwide. We are proud to be French.

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What’s so great about Instagram? An interview with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram

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Fashion Weeks used to be a closed network, with buyers and happy journalists. It Girls were fighting for the FROW. But with Social Media and more specifically Instagram, there’s a brand new playground in which new public and new communities gather. It’s not the Front Row that matters anymore, but the backstage, the making-of, the secret stories propagated and shaped by makers. An ongoing and perpetual reinvention of fashion, which goes beyond conventions and traditional rules. Instagram is our favourite social network (you can follow Vu Quan & lilzeon and his new project). It’s a goldmine to wander around others’ dreams and through people ideas.

Instagram, it’s the reality and the perception of this reality.

We had a chance to chitchat with Kristen Joy Watts, Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram to share few ideas, crushes, vision about the network.

Let’s go, in, sta, gram.

Instagram has become one of the ‘places to be’ for fashion brands as well as for fashion enthusiasts. Is there a risk of creating a ‘snacking culture’ for brands that are more luxury oriented?

There is a lot of fashion storytelling on Instagram that is light and fun and fast. We also see really sophisticated, unforgettable storytelling from the fashion community, whether Landon Nordeman’s (@landonnordeman) Instagram-first fashion week coverage for The Cut:

#theCutPFW @rickowensonline Rehearsal #pfw for @thecut #eiffeltower #jaimeparis

A photo posted by Landon Nordeman (@landonnordeman) on

…or Richie Talboy (@okrichie) and Lucas Lefler’s (@lucas_lefler) #emptyrunway series for Vanity Fair. In France too there is a growing community of inspiring creatives on Instagram, from Carin Olsson (@parisinfourmonths) to Tiffany Cooper (@tiffanycooper_) to Simon Portes Jacquemus (@jacquemus). Fashion houses, publications and individuals all over the world look to them for inspiration.

"GRIS" #JACQUEMUS FIRST PRE/COLLECTION / @harleyweir @jamesvaleri @aninevanvelzen

A photo posted by SIMON PORTE JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on


We are noticing some emerging trends in the network à la Tumblr (such as pro-ANA movements that are creating support groups) and that you have started to recruit people in order to identify and share the community with the world. How do you identify creative community members ? Do you have dedicated tools and contacts with them?

The Community Team at Instagram was created to discover and elevate the most amazing people and storytelling on Instagram. Our small but mighty team has members in Tokyo, London, Moscow, São Paulo, San Francisco and, of course, New York, where I am based. We celebrate the community on Instagram from North Korea to Nebraska. My discovery process involves everything from research on Instagram to asking everyone I meet if there’s anyone they’ve discovered who I need to know about. I always find amazing people when I’m in Paris.

Success is hard to achieve and gaining numerous followers is a lot of work on Instagram. However, some companies such as Instabrand are created with a view to manage Instagram’s talents. What advice would you give to a talent that is starting on Instagram and wants to join the tribe of very followed accounts?

For us, Instagram is all about the fun of sharing your story and discovering amazing people to follow. Here are a few best practices for someone who’s just starting out. First, tell a consistent story. Second, follow some people you know, some people you don’t know and some people you just discovered (for example, I follow many people in fashion and art but I also follow a florist in Moscow and a lifestyle photographer who captures wonderful images of his two Newfoundland dogs. Finally, connect with other people. This can be through likes and comments or even through meeting in person for coffee or an InstaMeet. The InstaMeet phenomenon, whereby Instagrammers meet in a location to take pictures of scenes which inspire them, allows the community to come together and share their passions and creative processes in new, real relationships with others.

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AllSaints, Dripping by Blonde Redhead: a blend of beats, outfits and underground vibes

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Every morning, I walk through Commercial Street, where AllSaints Spitalfields faces a legendary pub, and a very sought-after fish-n-shop boutique. In the middle of this East London corner, you can smell leather, rock’n roll, and this thirst for more.

Actually, people wearing AllSaints clothing can’t be that bad; despite the mystic fuss around the brand these days; his godfathers keep the edgy traits, as this collaboration with Blonde Redhead illustrates. The 21-year long career of the trio demonstrates that AllSaints don’t invest in shouting stars but in talents who deeply mean something more. The latest album of the trio, Barragán (same name as Luis Barragán, known for his clean lines and raw materials) is a tribute to a dreamy art-punk, hypnotic music. Guitarist/vocalist Amedeo Pace, drummer Simone Pace, and guitarist/vocalist Kazu Makino bring us off tempo for a nice journey.

 

 

KAZU WEARS: Elm Leather Legging, £498, Elise Shirt, £138, Reya Blazer, £258 and Camden Boot, £158 // AMEDEO WEARS: Conroy Leather Biker Jacket, £358, Stove Chinos, £78 and Refute Crew T-shirt, £30

// SIMONE WEARS: Monceau Shirt, £118, Crow Cigarette Jeans, £88

 

More about Blonde Redhead:

website: http://blonde-redhead.com/barragan/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blonderedhea

Instagram: http://instagram.com/harrymakino

Barragán: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bar…

Watch more from AllSaints Studios: http://www.allsaints.com/studios/

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Superdry Varsity Track t-shirt: London inspiration (and win a T-shirt!)

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Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt is inspired by classic college sports design. And as a former UCLA student, it reminded me great memories. Learning to play “American football” (while we were supposed to play “soccer”, uh!), chilling down the dorms with great folks from all over the world. Doing some sports, 24h/7.

So when Superdry asked us to do a product review, we said yes! Oh and between: you can win one t-shirt if you comment and explain who was (or is) your favourite mate at College!

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The famous Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt, some vintage Nike sneakers, few accessories for a good session..

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Detail of the box.

 

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Sunset in London: track & field changed a lot as you can see. The crew neck t-shirt features a rubberised chest print and is finished with a three-colour Superdry logo tab on the sleeve. And the quality is pretty high, so expect to keep for a very long time!

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The “matching outfit” trend: the new fashion couples?

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Since February 2012 and Valentine’s day in Korea, a massive trend is booming: couples are now wearing the same outfits. Led by K-drama, the “matching couples” are everywhere on Instagram or an popular Asian social networks.

A love game

Making a pullover “match” with our lover’s one is obviously cute. But not only: it’s also a way to diffuse a certain softness, a nice attitude to your close friends. In France, youth magazine Néon explains that it’s a way to create a sort of moving bubble, protective from the surrounding world. As this matching is very appealing and very visual, it’s also a way to exacerbate the individualities of the two lovers.

Tatto culture, an inspiration for “matching couples”

The matching outfits phenomenon is very influenced by tattoo culture. Without promoting clichés, tattoos can be a “mark”, a footprint of someone we love. In this case, outfits are temporary demonstration of attachment to someone; everyday, patterns can change, rejuvenating the couple image…therefore its fuel. Isolated, one of the two lovers might just be an original chap. But together, the couple becomes a motif.

© Jessicahtliang Instagram

Instagram: self-reinvention, couple-reinvention

As we daily tell our lives and highlight a lot of our selves, this “matching outfits” game is very Instagram-friendly; the couple can become a digital mosaic for friends or followers. This little world can like the couple, taking part in the love project to a certain extent. It’s also a form of loyalty: an individual can therefore feed this couple culture. In 2014, Pharell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh were probably one the most visible “matching couple”.

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The Barbour Archive: when a brand teaches us why their products matter

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I need to confess: I am not particularly the typical Barbour customer. Because intuitively, it does not fit my own style, my identity. And because I’ve been exposed to a lot of communications that are not promoting diversity and mash-ups. So when we received this morning a message from the PR department about their mysterious archives, it was like a shock.

I’ve suddenly realized that Barbour is far more diverse than I thought. Margaret Barbour taking the lead in 1968 after the death of her husband and how she managed to get, in 1974, a first Royal Warrant.

A focus of 2007, when the Barbour made its mark as a festival stalwart when Lily Allen, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, TV presenter Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldof . Or when the Barbour achieved to reach a level of standard in any fashion wardrobe, as the Burberry trench can be.

The last years have been very rich in terms of widening what Barbour has to say; more feminine designs, more emphasis on collaboration with pop culture blog-busters like Pantone.

Run to The Barbour Archive: it’s an exquisite breakthrough into a brand new world.

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