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Inbox: The Kooples Exhibition, a new Reebok tagline and ambitious designers.

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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.

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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.

 

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The Pyramid of Luxury : climb or die.

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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!

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Vietnam-Based Designer goes Worldwide with crowdfunding

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How many Vietnamese brands can you name except the informal international NGUYEN diaspora? Not many, but things are going to change. Rice Creative team, a branding and creative agency based in Ho Chi Minh City (currently hosting Boulevardier co-founder VQ) has been monitoring the pulse of creative and exportable businesses in Vietnam for a few years and coined a term defining a new wave of creators destined to make a hit worldwide: “Neue Vietnam”.

Among this handful of relevant brands making their way on the international scene is found Linda Mai Phung. The french-born designer has been developing a womenswear designer brand for 5 years and is now looking to expand. Their first round of fundsraising is crowd-oriented, while preparing to welcome private equity investors. These latter are still discovering the market that hosts Linda Mai Phung and things will pick up in the coming months, but the brand is already set to start an ambitious growth.

Defended successfully for 5 years on limited funds, the brand has been recognized with awards and press coverage in Europe.

In this unique configuration, Linda Mai Phung is turning to fashion-savvy consumers and activists to support her brand development.

Our editorial team is taking a specific interest in this campaign, as it has followed the brand’s activity for a while and has found its potential unlimited, should relevant funds be raised. Talent and ethical vision cohabitate in this singular brand profile. Authenticity and metropolitan style adequacy are still rare on the market, as is the opportunity to invest in such promising brand.

Discover Linda Mai Phung brand in the video below, and click on this photo to learn more about the Ulule crowdfunding campaign currently running for the brand.

Bet with us and make a difference on the fashion scene! The course of future fashion is ours to set.

 

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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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I Can’t Breathe. With Comic or Sans?

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While the #icantbreathe protest campaign gets traction following NBA superstars involvement and a hint of Jay Z support, some observers have started issuing judgements on the quality of the action. This Hypebeast post will attest to the extent of the “outrage”. (Haters gotta hate)

Everyone will have to admit – well, apparently not these guys – that Comic Sans was not the best font to convey the message protesting the aftermath of the sad and upsetting Eric Garner affair. While notorious stars such as Jay Z and LeBron James have invested heavily money or their name into designed collaborations with clothing/sportswear brands (Rocawear, Nike…) resulting in quite decent and even outstanding design and impact on the communities, one can admittedly raise a (uni)brow at this quite amateur roll-out. Proof here:

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But designers with an engaged will to make the world better have decided to help, and have come up with alternate visuals to vehiculate the cause. I Can’t Breathe is a serious social affair, and obviously deserves an appropriate effort. Here it is. Guys and girls out there, please share. Surpassing the style, the context and the political statement at hand matters. Black lives matter. All lives matter. We hope to contribute to change, somehow, here, now. #fashioncanchangetheworld

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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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Is this the most boring fashion film ever?

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Chanel just released a video called Reincarnation, directed by You-Know-Who, featuring Happy Hat and Hot Brows (no, not Anthony Davis, come on!) as well as little Charlotte. Karl is name-dropping faster than Jay-Z now…

Here are three reasons to save 7:46 minutes of your day and skip this “buzzful” video showing Pharrell Williams and Cara Delevingne perform a contemporary musical number.

1) The intro scene looks like a cheap version of what Wes Anderson would have pulled as the most symmetrical and perfectly set back-travelling movement in the history of cinema.

2) Editing and framing gimmicks feel like borrowed from french and british tv shows. Meaning too many close-up shots of unseasoned comedians (maybe a play to make the most of the money put into them famous faces?), and hazardous cuts.

3) And maybe what will be remembered as the most anecdotical piece of musical work from Pharrell Williams. Let’s admit the CC loop gives it a groove, but the overall commissioned track sounds like Christmas music for a mall somewhere in Vermont.

You don’t believe us? Suit yourself, here is the most boring fashion film ever.

 

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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 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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