These six iconic handbags may get more expensive with time

Don’t call them just bags!

“It-bags” are the dream of every woman and to afford some of them you would need to win the lottery! Seriously. Lottery. Yves Saint Laurent once said, ‘Fashions fade, style is eternal.’  Iconic bags are the epitome of timeless style, quality and beauty.

The attention to craftsmanship and quality make these pieces worth the investment and some of these bags have become part of the history of fashion over the years.

These bags are not only great investments in terms of elevating style, but they often have higher resale values, making them a smart financial investment.

This means owning an “It bag” is like owning a piece of history in its original form. From the Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags to Dior’s Lady Dior, iconic bags have a long tradition and some were named and designed after stylish women and fashion icon who inspired luxury brands.

Exclusivity, rather than functionality, defines the “It bag” and these iconic bags  never go out of style.  crop-1376634880-single-designer_bags_hello_kabbie_

Here is my list of Iconic bags of all time :

  1. Hermès Kelly Bag

It was designed by Robert Dumas in 1930 and it was introduced in 1935.

Monaco Princess Grace Kelly fell in love with this model of bag and she ordered twelve different colors. In 1956 the Hermès Kelly was renamed after the Princess Grace Kelly who carried the bag everywhere to hide her pregnancy from the paparazzi.

It is hard to get and the waiting list is endless!

The Hermes Kelly is not only one of the most coveted Hermes bags but the one that is most worth the investment in the history of fashion.handbags-women-who-inspired-them-grace-kelly-hermes-kelly-bag-today-170313-tease_0b529b074545edad7ae3980f3d38582d.fit-660w

2.  Hermès Birkin Bag

In 1981, Jane Birkin was sat next to Hermès Chief Executive Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight from Paris to London in 1981. After placing her straw bag in the overhead compartment the contents fell out all over the plane’s floor, including her Hermes diary. Birkin confessed to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. Dumas was immediately inspired to create a purposeful bag suitable for the modern women and invited Birkin to collaborate with the brand. Thus, three years later in 1984, he created a roomy black leather bag just for her, easier to carry, modern, unique, fashionable and practical. Jane Birkin was the inspiration for this, hence the name.

The Hermès ‘Birkin’ was released, and has continued to be one of the most iconic status symbols in the world.

The Birkin bag personifies Jane Birkin’s style completely. It is classic, beautiful and timeless. Always in fashion and forever coveted.

Waiting lists can be up to 2 years and even 4 for exotic skins. Clients are required to pre-order bags as they are not readily available in the stores. handbags-women-who-inspired-them-jane-birkin-hermes-birkin-bag-today-170313-tease_0b529b074545edad7ae3980f3d38582d.fit-660w.jpg

3. Chanel 2.55 Bag

Probably one of the most legendary designer handbags of all times, Chanel’s 2.55 was named after the month (February) and year of its creation (1955) and could be regarded a sort of personification of fashion icon Coco Chanel’s fashion views.  Ms. Coco Chanel designed her first bag in 1929, but like all the others available to upper-class women during the era, it was hand-carried.

In February 1955, she debuted the shoulder-carried version and changed handbag history. For the first time, it was acceptable for women of society to be seen carrying shoulder bags.

Aside from the beauty of the bag, each detail in the bag designed by Coco Chanel has a purpose, a memory or a reason for its existence. She stored her love letters in the zipper compartment of the bag, lipstick in the inside pocket and money in the back pocket and for example, the interior lining’s burgundy color represents the color of the uniforms in the orphanage where Gabrielle grew up.

In February of 2005, Karl Lagerfeld released a reissue in celebration of the bag’s 50th anniversary.

The starting price for a new purse is around $4,400. Prices go up around 10% every year. The handbag is viewed as an investment since the value of it goes up every year.

If you happen to already have one, make sure to treat it like a treasure!chanel-2.55-misure-prezzi

4. Gucci Jackie Bag

Originally meant to be a unisex handbag, Gucci’s Jackie Bag was designed in the Fifties. When Mrs. Kennedy was spotted carrying it the bag became an instant hit. Mrs. Kennedy was without doubt one of the most stylish First Ladies that America had ever known and was a huge fashion icon in her time. So naturally, her choices for accessories and clothes had a great influence. As a tribute to Jacqueline Kennedy, Gucci changed the name of the bag to the ‘Jackie’.

So the bag was named after Jackie Kennedy who originally carried the Gucci Shoulder bag to shield herself from paparazzi. Many photos show Kennedy clutching a Gucci purse.

And decades later, the Jackie bag, unmistakable for its distinct shape, is still in production. It was later renamed the ‘Jackie O’ bag. Gucci’s New Jackie Bag was redesigned and reintroduced by Giannini in 2009.

Of course the Jackie bag embodies the classic beauty of Jacqueline Kennedy.handbags-women-who-inspired-them-jackie-kennedy-gucci-today-170313-tease_0b529b074545edad7ae3980f3d38582d.fit-660w

5. Lady Dior Bag

The Christian Dior Lady Dior bag is the epitome of style and elegance; its name is a tribute to Princess Diana, who frequently carried it.

Designed in 1995, Princess Diana received it as a gift from France’s former First Lady Bernadette Chirac with a charming stitched-leather handbag finished with dangling letter charms from Dior. The bag also featured a stitched square pattern that was reportedly inspired by the Napoleon III chairs that Dior used in its first-ever fashion show in 1947. Although it was a bespoke gift for one of the world’s most famous royals, Princess Diana’s obsession with the design soon caught the attention of the public, who wanted their own version. The bag became an instant success as soon as the first magazine covers featured Lady Diana carrying it around.

So, Dior named the bag ‘Lady Dior’ in honor of Princess Diana and an instant “It” bag was born.handbags-women-who-inspired-them-princess-diana-lady-dior-bag-today-170313-tease_0b529b074545edad7ae3980f3d38582d.fit-660w

6. Fendi Baguette

Fendi Baguette is a designer bag that was made famous thanks to the TV-series Sex and the City.

Fendi’s Baguette Bag is, as hinted by its name, a small pochette that elegantly sits under any arm, like a loaf of French bread. Designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi back in 1997, it was “the first bag that was treated like a garment,” as  Venturini Fendi told Vogue, as well as being probably one of the industry’s biggest brand comebacks.e29569044476204497fdad18cdef51f01

7.  Louis Vuitton Speedy bag

Louis Vuitton Speedy is a must-have for a handbag collector. It is practical, classic and it has great history behind it.

The Speedy was designed in 1930 as a smaller interpretation of the hugely popular Keepall bag. The bag marks a turning point in the history of Louis Vuitton, as the Speedy was in fact the very first handag from the fashion house. While the Keepall was intended for the globetrotting elite, the Speedy was designed for everyday use still offering plenty of interior space for essentials.

The original size of the Speedy is 30 cm but in 1965, icon Audrey Hepburn asked Louis Vuitton to create a miniaturized version of 25 cm of the Keepall travel bag that she loved so much and that she could carry regularly.

Louis Vuitton created the bag in a smaller 25cm size just for her daily use.

After Hepburn made the Speedy an iconic finishing touch to any outfit, as a result the bag really became coveted and timeless.

In fact, the Speedy is one of the most purchased Louis Vuitton bags in history.ca57ad119619de42d10d7a4c417bbc0a.jpg

 

 

One day, I hope that all of these iconic bags will be in my closet!!!

 

Anna Luongo

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“Sicily is my love” NOW AVAILABLE!/Dolce&Gabbana take your kitchen to Sicily

It is now possible to pre-order the Dolce & Gabbana kitchen appliances by SMEG!

After the success of last year, when SMEG and Dolce & Gabbana created 100 exclusive hand-painted fridges together ($50,000 each and sold out), the collaboration of experts has focused on small appliances characterized by themes symbolizing an aesthetic strongly linked to Sicily, Italy and its cooking.

The collection includes smaller products such as toasters, juicers, coffee machines, kettles, mixers, immersion and centrifugal blenders: 8 models in total, available soon with prices starting from $600 for the simplest products.

The products will be decorated by hand with golden lemons, citrus fruit or prickly pears, which represent some of the typical Sicilian decorations, framed by triangular geometric patterns called “Crocchi”.

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There are also delicate floral motifs inspired by the coasts and landscapes of southern Italy, as well as fascinating images of Mount Etna, arabesques, patterns similar to stylized acanthus leaves.

 

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These are the symbols of an aesthetic inextricably associated with Sicily, the place that has touched the soul of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and associated more generally with Italy and its cuisine, of which Smeg has always been an excellent interpreter.

The new products were shown at the Milan design fair in 2017 and are finally available to customers.

The two companies belong to two different creative sectors but they have the same strong values, with roots in the territory and a tradition of “Made in Italy” excellence. That’s why they have a deep respect for tradition and their creativity that allows them to combine their skills, different specialties, and sensibilities.

Moreover, Dolce & Gabbana had already “dressed” packs of Italian pasta such as paccheri, penne, spaghetti made by the pasta factory Di Martino di Gragnano, “signed” boxes in limited edition mainly destined to the United States.

Credits: http://www.smeg.com/; http://www.dolcegabbana.it/

Ekaterina Okoulik

 

MAKE IT COLORFUL!/Not what you’d expect from a German watch

Do you notice sometimes that everything starts to be a bit boring and look the same way… everything seems like in a  grey, black or only pastel colors. But you really want something more – brighter, colorful, more energetic.

The watch brands also feel this demand for something more “fancy,” even some of the most conservative ones like German ones…like  Glashutte Original.

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Before we start, I should admit that I am very impressed by German design. For sure not always and everywhere, but quite often. The dryness, simplicity and purity, coupled with functionality, make German watches ideal. However, sometimes you really wait for something a bit more funny…a bit more colorful, and here we meet Glashütte Original Sixties Iconic Square.

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glashutte-original-sixties-iconic-square-4.jpgIn the new collection, there are five models which differ from each other only in terms of dial design. Their colors correspond to their names: for the creation of Forest, Ocean, Graphite, Tangerine, Fire the company used green, blue, gray, tangerine and fiery red.

More color! Even gray is not ordinary, it seems that drops spread on the glass. The burnt orange digitizer also looks impressive. Juicy red seems like slightly burnt – my choice from this collection.

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The release of each version of Sixties Iconic Square is limited to 25 copies. By the way, because of this, it is difficult for them to be sold in some countries where this brand has no boutiques. This is because the company gives priority in getting models to its own stores.

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The watch is entirely composed of what is commonly called “characteristic features.” Body-pillow, convex glass, which is high above the dial, convex dial, curved arrows, repeating the relief of the dial, typography in the style of the 1960s. The chronograph is also very special – it is two-sectioned, with hypertrophied counters.

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Inside the watch there is a manufactory automatic caliber 39-34 with a skeletonized rotor made of gold. Power reserve is 40 hours. The case diameter is 41 mm. It is put on a very comfortable and soft leather strap. Price: is 8,100 euros.

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Color your life with some of Glashutte Original watches!

 

Being to Becoming, Customers to Users, Personas to Evolutions. What luxury marketers can learn from the “Meaningful Economy”

Brand Model: from customer personas to user evolution. 

Previously brands distinguished their target market around aspects such as demographics, income level, hobbies and social circle. However, all of these labels indicate a state of being – static in place and time. Although these descriptions are useful in adding context about the consumer they do not provide the depth which brands need to get to ‘user evolution’, the transformation that the consumer is undergoing.

Previously this transformation that changed the consumer’s buying behavior was based around time and place: for example a job promotion or purchasing a new home. However, today we work in ever-evolving co-working environments where those around us change from the beginning of the week to the end. We reveal ourselves around micro-content that we publish on social media on an hourly basis, creating our own job titles, walking into a yoga class one person, only to emerge into a spiritually uplifted human being an hour later.

If we now look at the type of transformation which now defines us as consumers, it is clear that we are experimenting, testing, pushing, changing, discovering, formulating, creating and effecting, all of these labels indicating a state of becoming. Individuals do not describe themselves for who they are, they explain what they are turning into. We are constantly growing into something new, our new state of ‘being’ is actually a state of transformation. Brands need to implement a strategy in order to understand how the consumer got there in order to understand how to communicate to them.

"We are what we wear, and wear what we become."

It’s all about being in tune with the consumer’s passion. Gucci is a prime example of tapping into how a consumer sees themselves, inserting themselves organically into individualism by going fur-free. Millennials are more likely to be vegan and vegetarian, they are progressive politically, caring about animal rights and the environment. Fur free is about being part of that, rather than, in management speak, tapping into a brand strategy.

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https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/qvwkbb/how-luxury-went-millennial

So how did we get here?

If we re-wind back to the 1960’s, our marketing efforts were focused around the family life cycle and the changing needs as consumers moved through the cycle. Even though this concept made sense at the time, as general wealth spread through the United States and more individuals moved up the hierarchy of needs, our relationship towards purchasing behavior changed. For the Millenials, milestones of marriage, homeownership and child raising have now either been delayed or dissolved.

In 1998, we entered the Experience Economy with Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, who’s ideas created a shift from a service-based economy to a focus on seeking experiences over products. However, this was only to lead to an even more exciting ‘Transformational Economy.’ Here, experiences are elevated from enjoyment to personal transformations, sought from brand activations.

And where are we now?

Transformation is the new baseline - The Rise of the
Meaningful Economy.

Power comes from within the consumer, they look to themselves for authority rather than luxury brands to inform them on what true luxury actually is. This shift is from being to becoming, from customers to users and from personas to evolutions. 

Customers are buyers, users are those who experience things on a deeper level, coming from how a brand creates context within the users life. Customers should be thought of less as one-time buyers and more as members with an ongoing relationship. This relationship is formed from meaning. Users assign meaning to those brands because they share a transformative belief.

So, in order to serve this market we have to ask ourselves: "What 
transformation is our user going through/wanting to go 
through/starting to go through?”

Luxury brand marketers should categorize by mentality, a much stronger signal than any demographic could be. When we truly understand and feel the internal change that a user is going through, we can begin to place the brand within the context of that evolution.

Lucy Bunting

 

Sources:
https://medium.com/@TripleJas/in-the-transformational-economy-being-becoming-have-started-to-merge-d821501bf28
https://medium.com/meaning-conference/meaning-is-a-new-currency-6324e0ae6d1b
https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/qvwkbb/how-luxury-went-millennial

Balmain takes Milan shoppers on virtual reality experience

This month is going to be remembered in Balmain’s history, because it is the opening of the first store in Italy by French brand. The store, located in Via Montenapoleone, Milan’s top shopping street, is set to become their third mono-brand in Europe, after London and Paris, but it is going to be a one-of-a-kind!

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Oliver Rousteing wearing the VR Oculus

During the Salone del Mobile Design Week, a really busy time in Milan, Balmain decided to open their Milanese store, and to celebrate it, the brand decided to go TECH! In this new store shoppers are going to have the opportunity to strap into Oculus VR headsets to have an experience designed by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, who is making history by mixing the new stores with tech-world collaboration.

In this new store the custumers can queue up to try a Balmain Special Edition Oculus headset. Olivier has created the virtual experience inside it as a metaphorical journey through the creative process designed to trigger the feelings that he experiences during the creation of his collections in a complete way. He wanted to make sure that people can access his mind and can approach the brand in a different and innovative way.  He said his goal is to let customers discover his feelings.Resultado de imagem para opening of balmain in milan

Rousteing  had never experienced VR before this project and he is confident that VR or other technologies will soon be impacting the fashion system.

“Fashion is more inclusive that ever, and there’s no better way to include more people than through technology and digital.”

Olivier Rousteing

The two-floor store measures 280 square meters, and was designed by Olivier in collaboration with Paris’s Studio AMV in the spirit of the design of a Paris Hotel. Rousteing says that he loves a paradox and he is comfortable with it. “You know me, for seven years at Balmain I’ve been loving French classicism and tradition, but at the same time I’m part of the click generation.”

 

Fernando Lucas Ferreira

Source:

https://www.vogue.com/article/balmain-milan-store-oculus-vr-experience

Design Week 2018: parties & events in Milan you CAN’T miss

There are many events during the Milan 2018 Salone del Mobile, all included under a label now famous all over the world: FuoriSalone. These are exhibitions, vernissages, installations, cocktail parties, presentations, conferences, gastronomic events, and real and exclusive parties where everyone wants to go.
Let’s find out all the events and appointments not to be missed.

 

Milan has been divided into 11 areas or districts that host all the events of the FuoriSalone 2018: Tortona Design Week, Rainbow District, Sant’Ambrogio Area, Lambrate District, Ventura Future and Centrale, Porta Venezia in Design, Bovisa Design District, MonteNapoleone Design Experience, 5vie Art + Design, Brera Design District and Isola Design District. These eleven locations will host over one thousand events in just seven days.

Tuesday April 17, Brera Design District Official Opening

At 7 pm there will be the official opening of this district. At the NH Milano terrace of Palazzo Moscova in Viale Montegrappa 12, you can take part in an exclusive cocktail party with DJ sets and taste excellent truffles.

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Brera Design District

Wednesday April 18, Inauguration of the Coccoina d’Autore Collection

The historic stationery and typography Fratelli Bonvin celebrates in his Atelier 1909 space the legendary Coccoina glue, famous for its almond scent. The appointment is for April 18 at 6:30 pm for an “almond” toast.

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Coccoina

Thursday April 19, Terrazza Duomo 21

Thursday April 19 starting at 7 pm do not miss one of the most exclusive events of FuoriSalone, a cocktail party with Royal Buffet & Dj Set overlooking Milan’s amazing Duomo cathedral and topped by its “Madonnina.”

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Terrazza Duomo 21

Thursday April 19, Circle Cocktail Party

Thursday, April 19 at the Circle of Zona Tortona you can participate in an event that mixes good wine with music and fun. From 7 pm you can taste the aperitif offered in collaboration with Vini Tocco and then you can go wild with three different DJ sets of Dj Dibe, Dj Danilo Tocco and Dj Fernando Visone.

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Circle Milano

Friday April 20, White Night of Design in Brera

It is one of the most important events every year and will be held on Friday 20 April in the Brera Design District. Every year a different theme. This year’s is Be Human: designing with empathy. On this occasion, all the showrooms, art, antiques and design shops that will offer special events and various events will remain open at night. Of course all the trendy clubs in the area will be open, some of the most exclusive in Milan.

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Brera by night

Friday April 20, Hotel NYX Party

To mark the FuoriSalone and the opening of the hotel’s summer garden, the Nyx Milan Hotel, the first lifestyle hotel in Europe, will be celebrating Friday, April 20th starting at 7 pm with a cocktail party, a large buffet and Frankie Lopez’s Dj Set.

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NYX Milano

Installations in the courtyard of the University of Milan

A few steps from the Cathedral in the courtyard of the State University, you can admire installations and works by international architects and designers in a highly engaging sensory journey. Among the most surprising works is “Cells,” realized by the architect Filippo Taidelli that reflects on how the hospitals of the future will be.

Immagine correlata
The University of Milan

BMW inaugurates its Silicon Valley of autonomous driving

BMW has inaugurated the Autonomous Drive Campus in Unterschleissheim, near Munich, a center of excellence and a potential business for the future in the short-to medium-term. To show how much BMW believes in the project, it gave it a name that reflects its pride and ambition: “The Bavarian Silicon Valley.”

The year of the autonomous BMW car will be 2021, according to the company’s official statements. The Bavarian brand has concentrated its efforts. In particular, it has put them together on the “Campus” following the American model, with the aim of channeling and putting all the spearheads of research, experimentation and development in close contact, and comparison.

This is an investment of 500 million euros, funded with a contribution from the state of  Bavaria, and Governor Markus Soder was enthusiastically present at the inauguration.

BMW has always developed and changed over time, to adapt: this is its strength. Born “as a Bavarian engine factory” (Bayerische Motoren Werke), famous for the engines, radial, and jet of the Focke-Wulf and Messerschmitt in the Second World War, it then climbed the sales rankings of sports and luxury cars. Now it is specializing in services, connection and guidance.

Schermata 2018-04-17 alle 14.34.50.pngOn the Unterschleissheim campus there are numerous teams, who study and develop every aspect of autonomous driving. The focus is on levels 3 (expected for 2021) 4 and 5, the last of which does not provide for the presence of the human driver.

Spearheading this push will be BMW iNext, the electric flagship slated for 2021. At that time a new modular platform will be ready, adaptable to any type of powertrain (electric one and the hybrid one with the combination of the petrol engine) .

Meanwhile on the campus, sensors are developed, the Series 7 (that is the best model of the BMW) of the tests have as many as 40 installed . Millions of pieces of experience data are stored on the road in Europe, USA and Asia. This data forms the basis of further simulations,  adding other variables of conditions. FCA and Delphi are also working alongside BMW.Schermata 2018-04-17 alle 14.34.59.png

At the Autonomous Drive Campus, a structure that is as long as three football fields, artificial intelligence also develops. Driver assistance systems are experienced, with an ever increasing calculation capacity. An example? On cars that test stand-alone level 5 driving, the central control pad has the processing capacity of 150 desktops, office computers. Artificial intelligence on cars is set up very similar to human behavior. The first sensors are like eyes and ears, they perceive everything around them. Then we move on to the selection of the most important objects, to the visualization of the scenario and finally to the behavior / decision to be taken. Depending on the situation and experience.

The business of being the first to become more and more efficient and above all safe, self-driving could be a cornerstone for BMW. We got on a 7 Series, with no one behind the wheel. Sitting in the back seat. From which we could, using a tablet, give the starting command, sound the horn, open the roof or the windows, listen to music. But the car has traveled alone. A window on the future, not overwhelming, but extremely advanced and above all just around the corner.

Social Media and e-commerce: is it a match?

How has customer behavior changed in the last years? Which are the new trends in retail? These are the question we should ask ourselves to understand the new digital era and its implication in the luxury retail system.

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Considering the big impact that digital has had in retail, brands can’t ignore the new trends. According to the report “Digital in 2017” from We Are Social and Hootsuite, globally people spend, on average, at least two hours per day on social media.

Looking at those data it is possible to understand that the step from e-commerce to social commerce was not a big one.

Social commerce is not only the act of promotion on social media of an ecommerce platform, it also involve all actions of customer loyalizing and product improvement thanks to customers suggestions.

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The new trend can be found already on Instagram with Shopping, created last year and launched in Italy last March. The tool allows brands to insert special tags in their organic posts through which customers can directly purchase. The “Shopping” tool of Instagram allows you to select the photos to show and tag up to five products per image or up to twenty products in the case of carousels by adding filters or captions. Through a simple tap, users can access the information on prices and products directly in the Instagram feed and, after discovering more about an interesting product, can press the “Buy now” button and be sent back to eCommerce where they can conclude what is called “a fluid shopping experience”.

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Another important social commerce platform is Facebook Marketplace, that lets users see private ads or create groups for sales purposes.  Facebook is also creating a vertical hub, based in Paris and now extended also to Milan, tasked with creating a dialogue with fashion and luxury brands. The aim of the project is to make important luxury houses approach digital and social media commerce.

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Social media is an important  tool for brands: lead generation and data acquisition are the  main activities that can be done. Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook can provide access to a wide variety of relevant information that certainly cannot be found using traditional sales systems and can effectively translate into formidable business opportunities: from discussions between marketers on LinkedIn to user complaints on Twitter and Facebook, through product reviews on specialized blogs, forums, YouTube channels.

Having access to this large amount of information is key to facilitate a higher conversion rate. It helps brands to understand customers and their needs, and to personalize the purchasing experience.

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Is it clear that social media commerce is taking a big space in the retail industry, anyway there are still some negative points to be clarified.

It is still not clear if users want to allow Facebook or other social media to access their credit card and other sensitive data. Moreover brands should provide complete information of the products they are trying to sell on social media, in fact the lack of information could turn the customers away, as shopping is not the first aim of these platforms.Another point of difficulty that can be identified is the different tone of voice that brand must keep for each platform as the target customer change. For sure Instagram, Facebook and snapchat can’t have the same method to reach customers.

It must also be underlined that users request for real-time experiences also for what concern financial issues. For now no social platform has integrated a direct payment method, but more and more alternatives are progressively accepted.

Again, the awareness generated by the brands and their influencers can often create a great allure for the product. Maintaining a positive presence on social media and being always approachable can make brands gain new customers.Social media shopping is also an important touchpoint to enter in the Asian market.

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 But what luxury brands think of social media commerce?

There is a high risk of lowering the customers perception of the brand as since few years ago only fast fashion was involved in eCommerce. The brand image can also be affected due to a less exclusive shopping experience.

In any case luxury brand must adapt and follow modernity, as the digital is becoming more and more relevant. More crucially, luxury brands must satisfy their customers, and in a globalized era customers ask for a worldwide brand experience.

 

Charlotte Cassanelli

Did you get your Prada Train Tickets?

 

Yes, it is an actual train, with Prada robot train masters who are in charge of tickets. The journey started from Macau in December 2017 and has now arrived in Istanbul. Mainly the train “stops” in luxury malls in big cities. The route map of the train is from Asia to the Middle East and then Europe to the USA. Also, Prada created special products for each destination in limited quantities.

 

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(GQ Turkey)

Prada Silver Line Train in Istanbul is in one of the biggest and popular malls in the city, a 132 meter square space in a pop-up format. The mall, Istinye Park, is  famous for its open-air area with stores of only luxury brands.

 

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(GQ Turkey)

The train is inspired by themes such as travel and modernity, representing Prada’s mobility. The imaginary railway station with its metallic style definitely shows the Prada DNA when you enter.

Prada Robots are the most attention-getting thing in the station. Human sized robots give you the feeling of an innovative and modern train. Also, these robots are not only just robots but Prada Robots  — the same ones on bags, wallets or keychains you can buy.

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(Prada Group)

Another characteristic of the train is each location of the installation has limited edition products for each area. In the Istanbul station, there are products with the tags of Istanbul and special colors.

 

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(Photo:Taken by me)

With this approach, Prada is not only selling its new Silver Line collection but also connects with its customers directly by showing the value that they give.The sales associates told me that the travelling retail project is very popular in Istanbul. They said :”Many locals and tourists just come to see and take pictures of the train.” Looking from the marketing approach, Prada Silver Line Train achieved its marketing goals in Istanbul in very successful way. 

 

Dicle Altintas

Is it the end of brick-and-mortar shops?

Traditionally, luxury brands have always considered online channels to be marginal to their sales strategy. This was mainly because they were considered as a threat for their brand image, as well as because affluent customers were thought to be unwilling to buy online high-end luxury goods. Well, today this assumption is strongly challenged, as demonstrated by the constant growth of Farfetch and YNAP, the two e-tailer giants.

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According to a McKinsey study, in fact, by 2025 more than 1/5 of personal luxury items will be purchased online. In addition, the same study found that the digital landscape – social media sentiment, online stores, Instagram and the influencers – has an impact of more than 40% for the offline purchases of high net worth individuals. In particular, 73% of them browse in multibrand retailers when searching online, to then purchase offline: The quintessential omnichannel approach.

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Consequently, even the most traditional luxury brands are  now starting to sell their products through multi-brand online retailers, that are very often used only as a brand awareness channel, as Valentino or Armani.

In any case, online sales channels are a big deal today. In fact, in 2017 LVMH, the largest luxury group in the world, created 24 Sèvres, its own multibrand eCommerce portal. It features more than 150 brands, including not only their own such as Le Bon Marché, Louis Vuitton and Loro Piana, but also brands like Gucci and Prada – namely, their competitors.

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And it is not by chance that in January 2018, right after 24 Sèvres was created, Richemont announced it was purchasing YNAP, paying up to $3.44 billion. This is a clear sign that luxury shopping will never be the same.

But the key question is: would you really buy a €25,000 crocodile bag with a simple click?

The answer would be probably no. 

So, why are companies moving in this direction? Obviously, items of that kind are not sold online, as the shopping experience in the physical store plays a crucial role.

Therefore, in order to fully benefit from the online channels without comprising a luxury brand’s exclusivity, companies should segment and place their products across channels depending on their positioning. A brand could decide, for example, that certain lines and product categories will be reserved only for their monobrand sites or offline boutiques and, on the other hands, their affordable lines might be sold on online multibrand stores, to reach a broader audience.

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Clearly, there is not a one-fits all strategy (Chanel does not even think about online sales), but what is really important for companies is to have a customer-centric approach, that is, consumers first.

“Today we live in the customers’ world. Every target has its own online behaviour, requires ad hoc shopping experiences, and buys different products […] Does not matter if they are Italian or Chinese customers, young or older. What really needs to drive the strategy must be their purchasing funnel.” 

Carlo Alberto Beretta, Kering chief client and marketing officer.

Pop-ups popping up everywhere!

Pop-up retail formats are temporary stores that showcase a brand from a single day to 120 days, and they reflect how consumers want to shop today. Pop ups help retailers  generate interest and a sense of urgency among shoppers, thanks to unusual and interesting store layouts and unique offers for customers.

Pop-ups are gaining momentum because they are modern showrooms for brands. Nowadays, established and luxury brands are using pop-ups to test new geographic locations and markets, and to capture seasonal sales.

For instance, Louis Vuitton launched a new series of traveling pop-up shops inspired by the idea of exotic islands and travel. The program will be making its way from Miami to Los Angeles, Hawaii, and New York. For the pop-ups, a can’t-miss Volkswagen Bus has been revamped to mimic the tropical island theme behind Kim Jones’ inspirations.

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Louis Vuitton’s Volkswagen Bus
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Louis Vuitton pop-up store in New York
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Louis Vuitton pop-up store in New York

Another example is that of Tiffany & Co., which at the end of January 2018 opened a pop-up store in Los Angeles, just in time for Valentine’s Day. For this occasion, the brand launched a Tiffany tag charm personalized with an L.A.-ism, such as “Love Always” or “Running Late”.

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Tiffany & Co. pop-up store in Los Angeles
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Tiffany & Co. pop-up store in Los Angeles

Prada introduced “Prada Spirit” in January 2018, a new retail project premiered at the Galaxy Mall in Macau, which will last for a month. The company is planning to present the project to other major Asian cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore and Seoul. The idea consists in the suggestion of a prestigious and typically Italian traditional café, which displays leather accessories.

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“Prada Spirit” – pop-up store in Macau

The latest news comes from the luxury shopping area Quadrilatero della Moda in Milan.

The Italian brand Attico, founded in 2016 by Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini, opened its first pop-up store in Milan, with an installation inside the Larusmiani store. The two designers decided to re-create the iconic world of the brand on the first floor of the store: the sartorial aesthetic of Larusmiani meets the overwhelming femininity of Attico in a capsule collection made up of six limited edition items.

The collection includes a revised version of the classic suit, in which ’80s-inspired pants are combined with a shirt embellished with feathers; a trench developed in an uncommon fabric; an embroidered dress; a pair of corduroy trousers and a double-breasted blazer.

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Attico pop-up store at Larusmiani
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Attico pop-up store at Larusmiani

Moreover, the temporary store offers a selection of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories from the Attico Spring/Summer 2018 collection.

You have time until the end of May to discover and buy this special Attico collection.

…In the meantime, you’d better watch out and bet on which brand will open the next pop-up store!

Sara Saladino

The e-shop that brings together craftsmanship from around the world

Created by Mila Serena di Lapigio, Folkloore is an e-shop dedicated to the excellence of craftsmanship all over the world.

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“Folkloore was born in 2015, but the idea of an online store dedicated to craft excellences flashed through my mind for the first time a long time ago. I have always travelled, I am a breeder of unique and unavailable pieces from the countries of the world.” -said Mila Serena di Lapigio to Amica Magazine

By selecting the finest fashion and crafts from the planet’s most remote corners, Folkloore’s dream is to become a touch point for the planet’s best unique artisanal creations. Revealing the secret beauty of worldwide handicrafts will also help to promote and sustain ancient know-how and keep local traditions alive. From Colombia’s sacred mountains to the marvels of southern Italy, Folkloore selects endless scopes of handmade excellence. Explore.

But where do all the products come from? There are now almost 20 countries included in the project (at the time it was just 3!), From Iceland to Thailand, from Ghana to Mexico, passing through Turkey, Great Britain and of course also the closest regions such as Friuli and Sicily!

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The fil rouge uniting the chosen products is authenticity and quality. “I like to study every detail with extreme care: from the choice of the artisans with whom to collaborate to the product in all its forms,” said the founder. Folkloore is firmly opposed to any form of exploitation of territories and people, choosing methods and responsible work that enhance local skills and know-how, undisputed protagonists of an almost unbranded project. It is by choice that Folkloore does not take pieces of already known brands: “I prefer to give an opportunity to the artisans, taking care of the collections that I propose,” said Lapigio.

Folkloore is the good face of globalization: its mission is to act as a global showcase, to give visibility to all those artists whose talent and folklore are worthy of being shown to the whole world.

Francesca Borroni

References: amica.it – folkloore.com

 

Fashion through the eyes of a guru

Natural, funny, lively, intelligent and a well-established woman; but also a wife, a mother of two, Beatrice and Federico, and grandmother of  Rebecca and Tobia.
Adriana has gained experience in the luxury industry since the very beginning of her career, dealing with the most important names in the business, playing a key role in the buying decisions of the most prestigious multi-brand store in Hong Kong. 
The interview with Adriana Camerini Saralvo.

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Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about your career and how you started working in the fashion industry?

A: I started working in fashion, for a multi-store buying office, called AGAM, as a market representative for Neiman Marcus. I was overseeing three departments at first: Menswear, furs, and home, getting responsibility for them all after three years. I worked at AGAM for ten years, then I was appointed Manager of Joyce HK, one of the most significant retailers in Asia, resident buying office in Milan.

Q: As an Italian, how do you feel working with people with a completely different culture from yours?

A: It’s a challenge but it’s interesting. It is very important to understand the company’s mission and vision and the customer’s tastes and needs.

Q: What are Chinese customers looking for, from luxury brands nowadays?

A: Mainly luxury brands with a good reputation and brand awareness;  but some customers are now getting more conscious about fashion and more confident of their own taste and style and so are getting more willing to explore new brands not that recognized. They are basically starting to appreciate their own individuality.

Q: Which are the top brands for these clients?

A: As always Italian high-end designer brands, the “usual” ones, and new such as OFF-WHITE, Vetements, Balenciaga, more in general edgy street style brands.

Q: Which are in your opinion the best emerging brands in Italy?

A: Sara Battaglia, Attico, Alanui, LaDoubleJ. These brands, despite their “short life”, are still bought by important and renowned stores worldwide. Is not easy to give to a collection an edgy style with strong personality, good quality and a valuable and distinctive fashion content. Chapeau!

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LaDoubleJ: Girls Gone Wild

Q: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

A: Joyce Ma. My style teacher

Q: What do you think are the most important skills for a buyer?

A: Passion, fashion attitude, customer understanding, organisational capabilities and little math 🙂

Q: What is luxury to you?

A: Exclusivity in fashion. Silence in my life…

Francesca Borroni

Feeding the Fashionistas

Luxury: found both in the boutique and in the bistro – to be worn and to be tasted.

Growth in the luxury food segment is accelerating and the transition from haute couture into concepts of lifestyle via gastronomy experiences is an attractive strategic tool of many international players in the current luxury market.

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Seta, Mandarin Oriental, Milan | www.mandarinoriental.com

Gastronomy experiences are becoming much more ‘insta-worthy’ than designer bags or shoes, mainly due to validation for status and triggering conversation over social media – suggesting why many fashion brands are branching out into fine dining experiences. Such an approach allows brands to follow where their high-spend clientele spend their cash in order to enhance their brand, through demonstrating creativity and gaining exposure to the most valuable market today – Millennials and Generation Z.

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Wine, spirits and food contributed 120 billion to a 1.2 
trillion luxury market with an increase of 6% which was more 
than clothing and accessories - Bain & Company Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Fall - Winter 2017.

Gucci Osteria in Florence is one of the most recent examples of a luxury brand dipping into the culinary scene. Created with Three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura, the 50-seat green-walled restaurant is nestled behind the walls of the 14-century Palazzo della Mercanzia building, overlooking the city’s most famous square – Piazza della Signoria. The restaurant is located inside the Gucci Garden; an experiential museum-retail concept.

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Credits to: Scatti di Gusto

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A project focused around a gastronomic experience aligning with the products of the brand, in a luxurious setting – targeting international travellers whilst applying Italian cuisine.

Following my recent experience dining at the Gucci Osteria, I discovered how Bottura creates high end dishes to target the Millennial market – suggesting why it was no surprise to find a high-end interpretation of a hamburger and hot dog on the menu – but of course Gucci-fied!

“Haute couture and haute cuisine are a recipe made in heaven." - Massimo Bottura

The first designer to welcome chocolate, bars and restaurants into the world of Fashion was King Giorgio with Armani Cafè,  Armani Dolci and Nobu. The brand branched into the world of food and beverage in 1989 and is now one of the most established luxury brands with a culinary arm, with many establishments in the most fashionable cities including Milan, Dubai and Tokyo.

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Armani Caffé, Cannes |  www.armanirestaurants.com/cannes-armani-caffe/

Armani Nobu: the ideal location for those who want to enjoy a fine dining experience before continuing the evening to the underlying Armani/Privé. Here I sense a chic environment, boasting an international and refined atmosphere together with a class of Armani style. The menu is vast from classic sushi and tempura to various main dishes including the chef’s speciality Black Cod Miso. Sophisticated interior, simple elegance combined with excellent food and attentive service are just a selection of words to describe my experience here at Nobu.

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Ravioli stuffed with Wagyu Beef and Caramelized Onion, Nashi Pear Sauce and Truffled Butter

 

Lucy Bunting

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lucy-bunting

Azimut 60 Fly – From the water to the sky

  • New external design with vertical bow and full-height windows that give an unprecedented visibility and illumination
  • Maxi volumes in sporty and streamlined lines
  • Numerous lounge areas and privacy islands, unique in this range

This is the new Azimut 60.  It offers the performance and style of a megayacht, packed into a much smaller size.  It has a sporty cut, larger interiors, a vertical bow and big windows of the deckhouse, which on the straight side becomes full height offering an unprecedented view of the sea, thanks to the lowering of the falcon at the salon. The numerous relaxation areas, including a bow lounge, offer unique privacy islands on a boat of this size (18 meters).

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The design philosophy was based entirely on the theme of timeless serenity and elegance, in an absolutely contemporary interpretation: “the new Italian Renaissance”. A wise contamination of essences gives a unique contemporaneity to the spaces, dominated by fluid lines. On the ceiling, concentrated geometries are emphasized by the combination of different materials such as the opaque lacquer of the central shell that meets the technical covering of the ring that encloses it.

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Regarding the layout, everything from the main deck to the interiors offer totally innovative solutions.

The dinette offers an unprecedented sea view thanks to the lateral lowering of the falcon and full-height windows. As well as being a dining area, this area can also be used as a second sitting area, even at the up / down table, available in solid wood or crystal.

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Below deck the Azimut 60 offers a layout with three cabins and three bathrooms. With a style borrowed from the home design, the master cabin placed at the center of the boat full width, is distinguished by strongly distinctive design elements. The suspended furniture means there is more storage. The large bed has been designed for a wonderful view of the sea; the closet and the bathroom are placed aft to separate the cabin from the engine room and ensure greater silence.

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In line with the Azimut style, the flybridge offers an extremely wide surface, laid out in three areas: the command area with seats for pilot and co-pilot and sundeck side, the dinette with mobile bar and a further living area in order to create a private and spacious lounge, furnished with home-style sofas, soft and comfortable. Comfort is also guaranteed by the hard top with electric bimini.

The elegance of the exterior is completed by the cockpit and fly tables, proposed on the first unit in sintered marble with solid teak edging.

On the outer main deck, there is an additional privacy island in the bow, a revolutionary element for boats of this size, a large sunbathing area can be transformed into a lounge area, with two large sofas facing each other.

Its incomparable beauty leads it to be the ideal way to get carried away from earthly life to the deep sky full of dreams.

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Who is Clio Zammatteo?/How Clio Zammatteo became Italy’s top beauty influencer

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Clio is considered the queen of makeup; she shares with her followers the secrets of makeup and skincare through her personal YouTube channel: ClioMakeUp. Clio keeps active as a make-up artist, working in NY and Milan Fashion weeks and also in TV on Real Time.

In 2013 Clio opened her personal blog, the ClioMakeUp Blog which quickly became one of the most popular websites in the Beauty vertical in Italy.

Before starting few numbers:

2.8 Million users per month and 17 million page views per month for the Blog. 24 million followers on Facebook. On Youtube channel 1.3 million followers and 3 million views per month. On Instagram 1.8 million followers.

Why is reading her Blog so funny and useful at the same time?

It’s full of interesting advice on make-up, beauty products, and habits we have.

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Reading her blog you’ll find for example what are the best lipstick colors of the moment and how to match each of them with the right dress and the right occasion.

Do you feel ill at ease when you have to put make-up on? It’s not a problem: Clio will tell you the right products to use according to your skin and how to manage them.

With tutorial videos on her YouTube channel, you’ll understand how to put make-up on following each step, what to avoid when you put your make up on and millions of other interesting and useful tips on beauty products.

In the Blog, you can find very useful reviews on some famous products. She makes an introduction for each product she wants to analyze with its characteristics, then she gives tips on when to use it and who it suits best, and lastly, she writes a report card with grades.

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Clio is updated with trends: she knows the most popular trends of the moment and she is always ready to write something about them. The amazing thing is that she is an expert not only on beauty trends but also of fashion, hair, tattoo, weddings and magically weaves all together find a connection in her blog.

So Clio’s blog becomes a sort of online daily magazine to read if you want to be always updated with all kind of fashion trends, no matter whether they are beauty, fashion or hairstyle trends.

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Last but not least, there is a part of Clio’s Blog called Forum, where you can ask Clio directly your questions or your doubts about you, your skin and products. Clio will reply helping you to find the best solution at your problem.

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To conclude, if you don’t feel good when you have to go out because you don’t like something in your look… why don’t you have a look at Clio’s blog? Maybe you could find the solution to your problems or you could ask her. You may find useful little tips that could change the perception you have of yourself and discover that with some easy trick and just a little bit of time, you could feel better. Moreover, you will always be on top of the latest trends.

Come on… Clio is waiting for you!

 

A short overview of dictators and their favorite watches

Politics is power.

Power is money.

Time is money. 

Time and money are watches…

Today let’s look at a short overview of international political dictatorial figures and their watches.

But before we start let me make a remark – this “hit parade” of politician “dictators” in power does not cover the entire spectrum of statesmen, but only the most public ones.

Russian President Putin holds video link on first gas tanker entering Sabetta port

IWC-Mark-XVIIThe new “love” of Russian President Vladimir Putin is the IWC Mark XVII. It’s important to mention that Vladimir Vladimirovich used to wear a Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung.  These watches were his faithful companion for many years and in all kind of situations – during meetings with voters, at negotiations and summits. The president was always with them  even when he was going hunting and fishing. At that time it seemed that an alliance with the good old Blancpain would last forever, but… as we already mentioned before IWC took the place on his wrist.

Mwazi III, King of Swaziland, the husband of 13 wives, the father of 25 children, on the throne for 32 years. He is the owner of a large collection of watches. In the photo: Hublot Big Bang.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea. He manages the country for 39 years and truly respects a Rolex with diamonds.

Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, has been leading the country  for 15 years after he took over the reins from his father, who held the presidency for 20 years. He wears different watches, for example this Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5270G-001.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, has held in power for more than 25 years. It seems that in the photo he wears Breguet Classique, but his collection of watches is more than extensive.

Omar Hasan Ahmed al-Bashir has been leading the Sudan for more than 25 years. Here he wears a modest Les Grandes Classiques de Longines.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus since 1994. He is photographed with a  Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120.

Idriss Deby, President of Chad, has been in power for 28 years. Wears the legendary Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

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King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud has been on the throne for 10 years. On his wrist is something really very expensive.

Emomali Rahmon has been the president of Tajikistan for 24 years. The watch is quite hard to identify, but it seems to be an  IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater.

Islam Karimov has been the president of Uzbekistan for 27 years. The watches can not be identified properly, maybe Vacheron Constantin Patrimony or Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119.

Kim Jong Eun took over the reins of government from his father. In December 2011 he became the highest leader, leader of the party, army and people of North Korea. On the wrist he wears a watch similar to the Omega De Ville.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, the first president of Yemen, was in power for 18 years and was dismissed in 2012. Here he wears Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day Date.

Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, ruled for 30 years. He wears a Hublot Big Bang.

Pervez Mushsharaf, former President of Pakistan, deserves a dictatorial sympathy prize for his love of Panerai Radiomir.

These are the choices of the International political figures.. but what would be your choice? And would be this choice totally “free”..

Furs in luxury: yes or no?

“A wool sweater is as cruel as a mink coat.”

With this statement against animal cruelty, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) takes a position on a controversial subject: the use of furs in the fashion industry and the fur-free movement.

Decades after PETA started its anti-fur campaign, furs are still very present on runways and in the fashion world in general. The debate is still relevant, especially now that the big firms are gradually joining the fur-free movement.

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The battle for animal rights is celebrating great victories. One of them came just a few days ago from the Unites States, where the city of San Francisco banned the sale of any form of item with animal fur. According to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the sales of fur items creates a profit for the city of around $40 million annually, the ban will involve more than 30 dealers, only considering central San Francisco.

The San Francisco announcement comes at the same time many fashion brands are announcing a fur-free policy including Versace and Furla, which have joined pioneers Armani and Ralph Lauren.

One of the first fashion brands going fur-free has been Stella McCartney with the “Fur-Free-Fur“.  The brand believes that:

“Fashion can be luxurious without using leather or fur. Fur-Free-Fur is a no-compromise, modern statement that demonstrates what the future of fashion looks like today.”

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One of the last brands joining the cause was Gucci, that claims to go completely fur free  starting from Spring/Summer 2018.

The future of fashion is radically changing. As the respect for animals is more and more rooted in people’s minds, fashion brands are evolving and moving into the sustainability and social responsabilty field.

But to what extent?

“For me, as long as people eat meat and wear leather, I don’t get the message” said Karl Lagerfeld.

It will be interesting to see how the fashion world will respond.

 

Charlotte Cassanelli

Credits: images come from PETA website, Stella McCartney website.

Is Social Media “Influencer” the New Unpaid Internship?

If you’re a social influencer, whether it’s an Instagrammer, blogger, or fashion guru with 1,000 or up to 100,000 followers, you can easily get paid between $50 to $1,000 to advertise for a brand, according to influencer marketing firm Hireinfluence.

However, recently, many consultancies (name one?) have examined this new endeavor and spoke about “the myth” that working hard on a personal brand will pay off in the long run.

 Chapter I:  The myth that powers aspirational labor

The formula is easy: if you are putting the most creative, unique content out there, and you have a special voice, you will rise to the top. And by rise to the top, I mean you will earn an income.

The reason that it has been called a myth is that, if you look at people who have actually risen to the top —the super bloggers, the super influencers— we see them as people just like us, but they exploited some sort of human capital, call it the right connections, or “being in the right place at the right time,” or maybe have a forward-looking mind, as you wish.

So the myth lost its holy aura to a human soul of digital meritocracy 

The take-away here sounds like “If we work hard enough, if we have this creative vision that nobody else has provided, we can get our dream job and do what we love and get paid.”

Oh seriously?! Is it such child’s play? (To me there are contradictions in this section. You are saying that successful influencers have succeeded because they exploited connections or timing, and not just their own ideas. This contradicts the word meritocracy. Also, I think your argument would work better if you didn’t use sarcasm in the last line.)

Chapter II From the Age of Individualism to Social Addiction

The decline of individualism is evident in practice as well as theory, in the proliferation of social networks, and not only.TODS

For years, several successful business people had worked moonlighting as a blogger while maintaining their full-time jobs. They were essentially doing two jobs in order to make enough to subsist on. People got into this likely because they really enjoyed styling, writing, taking photos for themselves.

Thousands of people (and from now on, I bet, they’ll turn into millions) who had been doing this for years must now feel shocked at how such a culture of self-promotion eclipsed the creative elements nowadays.

Today, there’s this kind of “what is this doing for my personal life?”, or “when is this going to pay off enough for me to leave my job?”. Today, they would state:” I’m coming up with my creative product, and then I’m spending hours promoting it to others—sharing it on Instagram, sharing it on Facebook, sharing it on Twitter”.

Chapter III:  Brands that make dreams come true…

Brands kind of dangle this promise of hope. You’ll see campaigns where brands will say “Hey, hashtag your favorite jeans look and post on Instagram and maybe we’ll feature your image for people to see.”

There are also more dubious promises of exposure.

I talked with peers who said the companies would not offer them any sort of financial compensation. I have one particular case of this friend of mine, who was a fashion addicted teenager, with a sizable following on the most popular social media at that time. She deliberately contacted a few companies to sometimes send her clothes unsolicited, and they replied to her: “Good one! Could you just do a solid blog about this for us?”.

She felt so in love with this part-time self-esteem game, God knows how much, that she ended up starting to work as fashion blogger, her brand-new full-time money-making  occupancy.

Was she probably born to became a fashion blogger, no matter the era she was living in? Lucky or smart, the point is she envisioned how to turn her sickness into her current “job.” (So she was the lucky exception to what you stated at the top of this section, that most brands dont pay for posts and sort of exploit people’s love of fashion? This is a bit confusing. You can just fix it by making it clearer that she is an exception because the brand is paying her.)

Acceptable or despicable? Whatever the answer, chapeau!

Chapter IV: Why does Influence Marketing pay off exactly?

Honestly, the best example which pops-up in my mind is recalling when you are back in high school. You walk down the hallway or the park in front of the building, and suddenly, you stroll past the “popular crowd” of girls—who, metaphorically speaking, would be Kylie Jenner on Instagram — and you eavesdrop “Kylie” saying in passing, “Oh, I love my new Speedy”.

Instantly you feel as though you know something no one else does. You know what she wears, and what she considers to be cool. This is exactly what has happened. And from that time on, you just need that damn LV purse.speedy-30-

It’s not pure numbers and big promises of “impressions” what they are chasing on, but #associations.

The above example just meant to provide a case-in-point of what brands are now willing to pay big bucks for.

A recent survey revealed 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.

TIFFANY

It’s happening everywhere, to anyone. From multinationals to small businesses and boutiques, everyone now is willing to spend huge money for a social media influencer with a few thousand followers in their market. BUT WHY?

Easy! Because influencers are repping products and promoting brands, all the while still staying true to their unique voice and story. And what bands get in return is targeted exposure to the right kind of consumer, one who is already interested and will likely pay attention.

There’s a downside to this strategy. As China’s social media landscape is showing pretty well, the market is getting more and more saturated, while brands may risk losing out on establishing an authentic connection and building trust with their millennial audience.

Second issue to not underestimate is that there’s also the potential trouble of retaining a sense of product exclusivity if the KOLs, or key opinion leaders, they’re working with are too over-exposed.

PUMA

The big influencers collaborate with anyone as long as the brands pay enough money. The photos they take are not necessarily as good as the upcoming ones and the content isn’t as good either. So gradually, you find that the bigger influencers kind of lose their identity.

Some luxury brands are already recognizing the need to branch out in their social media campaigns. Ahead of its Fall 2016 campaign, Gucci collaborated with an influencer with less than 30,000 Instagram followers, a man named Trevor Andrew who used the hashtag #GucciGhost in his posts.

“The brand’s creative director Alessandro Michele has been working hard to connect the brand with a younger generation, and this way of doing so can serve as a particular lesson for brands”, says Kim Leitzes, CEO of China influencer marketing platform PARKLU.

What’s interesting about this example was GucciGhost was not a known name, but they worked with a KOL that had his own interpretation of the brand.

And when you think about it, whether or not a brand wants influencers to interpret their brand, it’s happening anyway. By working with smaller KOLs, brands can embrace branding interpretation while still maintaining a modicum of control.” Mrs. Leitzes says.

 

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Chapter V: Are Instagram Influencers bad for Luxury & Fashion?

Individual social media platforms appeal to different industries in different ways.    Instagram has always been the most natural fit for the fashion industry because of its overt visual focus.

The platform’s distinct visual language allows clothing brands to show off their wares in adverts that don’t quite look like adverts, which tiptoes around ingrained consumer cynicism, all while saving cash that might usually be spent on billboards.

And it is this symbiotic flirtation between industry and platform has birthed one of the most notable developments on the fashion landscape of the past decade: the Instagram influencer.

In certain segments of the fashion world, the influencer has become the go-to vessel for brands to pin their latest marketing campaign on.

The reasoning is totally self-explanatory:

Influencers have large social media followings, commanding plenty of eyes that brands would like to show their products off to.

People are far more likely to buy a product if it’s suggested to them buy someone that they know, trust, admire or generally have some sort of rapport with. It’s like celebrity endorsement, but the DIY nature of blogs or Instagram breeds a false sense of intimacy and confidence that creates an illusion of direct dialogue.

A concrete example? Let’s think about when Nike seeds its latest sneaker to an influencer, seeing it pop up in your feed feels like stumbling upon a friend’s photo rather than staring at a glossy Vogue spread.

Luxury & Fashion, more than most industries, rely on aspiration, exclusivity and dreams.

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Obviously influencers (Instagram, blogger, or otherwise) are useful to the fashion industry because they offer another revenue stream for brands and designers, but could they potentially be bad for the industry’s “brand.”

On the other hand, what we have is the accessible, grassroots nature of social media that makes it less prestigious by default, which risks cheapening the brands that rely on it.

Before the rise of the internet and the proliferation of social media, the bar of entry into the fashion world was much higher.

Let’s think about the mainstream example of Anna Wintour, who isn’t simply a woman with impeccable taste and an ability to articulate it in written form, she’s a qualified journalist. And again, Alexander McQueen isn’t just someone with undoubted talent for designing clothes, he was the graduate of the world’s most elite school for fashion design too.

 

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Chapter VI:  The Populist Superheroe

Influencers, on the other hand, are simply the winners of a popularity contest.

They haven’t endured the same level of scrutiny from people who know how and what to scrutinize. The keys to the door are now shared between the “establishment” and consumers, but making fashion more accessible, doesn’t risk to corrode some of its prestige?

Is this dreamed world of frills and whims evolving into a more merit-base universe? Perhaps yes, if we think that a sizable chunk of the rest of the industry comprises of hangers-on, the beneficiaries of nepotism, and people who’ve slept their way to the top.

Let’s not forget that Madame Wintour comes from a very wealthy family and is the daughter of a journalist. That’s a head start that many bloggers and influencers didn’t have.

However, I would also agree that the rise of the influencers risks compromising the creative vision of the industry. Before the digital era, there was very little discourse between the industry and outside forces: fashion professionals picked the supermodels, dressed them, curated the image and beamed it out into the world.

Their choice of influencer puts the tastes and desires of the consumer into a very public forum that the industry can observe. I have no doubt that this info comes into consideration when making creative decisions within the industry – #inspiration inevitably gets watered down by data.

But then again, fashion has always been a compromise between creativity and commerce. A painting might be a pure expression of its creator’s artistic vision, but clothes are made to be worn.

The end product is created with the consumer in mind.
So, in that sense influencers haven’t really changed anything, they’ve only made the voice of the public clearer and louder. 
Is that a bad thing? Well, that depends on who you ask, I suppose.

Cheers!

Virgin

 

Why is the Fashion World “GAGGING” about Drag Queens ?

With RuPaul Charles getting his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and the beginning of the 10th season of his “Drag Race,” we can definitely say that Drag Queens are becoming more mainstream than ever !

 

Imagem relacionadaFor those who have been living inside a cave for the last few years, MamaRu, as the drag community calls RuPaul Charles, referring to him as the mother of drag, is the creator and the host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” a competition airing on VH1 that aims to find “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” It is a mix of  “Project Runway,”“America’s Next Top Model” and “America’s Got Talent,” requiring its girls to sew, sing, dance, act and “lip-sync for their lives.” And of course there is a lot of drama between the 14 participants.

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Is it any wonder that fashionistas are gagging about the show? NO ! Gagging is a term used all the time on the show and it means:

“A slang term primarily used by gay men in the early- to mid-90s. Used when something is so fierce you can’t help but wanting to gag from the overload of extreme fierceosity”.

UrbanDictionary

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RuPaul, through the years, has had a lot of celebrity guest judges and some of them are big names in the fashion industry, for example, Jeremy Scott and Marc Jacobs.

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With the success of the first episode of Season 10, its easy to see that the symbol of the underground LGBTQ community is becoming more and more mainstream. In fashion circles the show has been celebrated for its politics of affirmation and visibility, but also for debuting a class of demi-celebrities who are becoming online influencers, a category absolutely loved by the fashion houses, because of their power in the modern world.

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Since being on Drag Race and becoming instant online influencers with million followers, many drags started to be on the radar screen of fashion houses, not only to attend to fashion shows, but also for collaborations, basically because they now are capable of influencing a huge amount of people. In 2016, Miu Miu flew several participants of the show to Paris for a perfume launching party, aiming to cause a bigger buzz for the product.

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Some example of the Queens that are working on the fashion industry are:

Miss Fame, from Season 7, who has attended both New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, made beauty videos for L’Oréal, and went to the Cannes Film Festival, wearing a Zac Posen dress.

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Milk, from Season 6, was in Marc Jacobs spring ads, wearing his women’s collection.

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Violet Chachki, the winner of Season 7, has attended to New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Week. She was featured in several fashion magazines, including Vogue Italia, on a photo shoot signed by Steven Klein, one of the most important photographers of the business. This year she walked on the Moschino Fall Winter Fashion Show catwalk.

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Everybody is aware that drag fashion is not runaway fashion, but drag fashion satirizes high fashion and at the end celebrates it. The Supermodel of the world, as RuPaul is also known, said to The New York Times that:

 “You reserve the right to simultaneously love something with all your heart and absolutely hate it to your core. I love creativity and beauty. Fashion is absolutely that.”

This can may explain why fashion people as well as the  world beyond has decided to love the program, because it’s a runaway show with very few expectations, it’s different of the serious environment of the common runaways, it’s just a place to enjoy and have fun.

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It’s satisfying to watch fashion houses using drag artists as influencers. We know that their aim is to reach new market segments and sell more products, but use these people is a cool way to celebrate representativeness and also help to reduce the prejudice that is ingrained in society around the world. It is a conquest for this minority that has been, since the beginning, inside the luxury world.

Fernando Lucas Ferreira

Balenciaga gets crazy: Demna’s revolution

Balenciaga in 2018 is considered to be one of the three pillars in the Kering group among the “soft” or fashion-based luxury brands. It represents a positive example of a well performing company since it  was named the hottest brand in fashion by the Lyst Index, an analysis tool that tracks the shopping habits of 65 million consumers and 12,000 brands.

Balenciaga’s portfolio is composed of two main businesses: 75% by accessories and shoes and 25% for ready to wear pieces; even if the business pushes the accelerator on ready-to-wear it is still a complementary revenue stream, that’s why they can afford to do whatever they have in mind.

In the beginning Balenciaga was a classic high-end brand, but now their strategy has changed and they are revamping the brand and succesfully accelerating the business growth. The key factors of the brand’s success are:

  • A focus on a merchandising  strategy of single products and portfolio in order to maintain balance, coherency and continuity
  • A  renovated stylistic identity with streetwear, undone glamour, a luxury product that is more approachable and a new couture.

“The luxury product has changed, unfortunately, in my opinion. The emphasis has gone from quality and craftsmanship into the uniqueness of the product. The younger generation are looking for something that stands out and makes them special rather than necessarily an amazing finish that you would find with some traditional brands.” (Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga)

The focus is more on contrasting products and wardrobe mix-and-match, since the young target seems to love it! While other French designers dream about the Parisian girl that lived in the past, Demna imagines a life in a metropolis lost in insecurity, the internet and multi-culturalism.

Kering group’s choice leaves us surprised on one hand, but on the other side the successful decision for Gucci to rely on Alessandro Michele has been a motivating factor. Isabelle Guichot, Balenciaga CEO, explained that it was a pleasure to welcome Demna in 2015. Over the years he adopted a innovative vision of creativity recalling in this sense Cristobal Balenciaga’s original view. He was able to interiorize the deep values of Balenciaga and re-elaborate them according to the alterations of the contemporary world.

Credits: www.fashionista.com, https://www.businessoffashion.com/

Ekaterina Okoulik

Backstage with Alberta Ferretti and her new more powerful woman

On the first day of Milan Fashion week Alberta Ferretti debuted at Rotonda della Besana for her fall-winter 2018/2019 show. I had the opportunity to work in the backstage and see her collection before the show .

With a new wave of feminism, Alberta Ferretti has used AW18 to reinvent the Ferretti woman.

She quite literally placed a ‘woman made of strong stuff’ at the centre of her show.

In fact, an impressive aluminum sculpture named “Gravity” by the artist Lorenzo Quinn was strategically displayed under the arches of the late Baroque complex of Rotonda della Besana, just in the middle of the runway.

The large geometric structure represented a suspended naked woman hanging from the hands of a naked man, encased in this aluminum structure.

info@imaxtree.com

The work displayed balance and strength between the sexes.

Supermodels such as the Hadid sisters, Kaia Gerber and Joan Smalls walked a runway that divided for the sculpture, reflecting her power.

“Everything revolves around the woman, who is at the center of the universe. She is the force of attraction of everything. She gives life, but it is the duty of the man to support and encourage her. I believe this is especially timely today,” explained the artist.

As a friend of Ferretti’s, Quinn said they had long wanted to collaborate on a project :

“I believe that my sculpture has a lot in common with the fashion and clothes of Alberta Ferretti, who has always described the idea of a woman who is aware of her position and strength,” declared Lorenzo Quinn.

For this season, Alberta Ferretti was inspired by the 1980s and wild west theme.

In fact, the designer makes her woman stronger and more sensual and AW18 has been curated for the confident women of today, focusing on silhouettes with important shoulders and declining daywear halfway between day and night.

Less chiffon, more leather. Less ethereal, more sexy.

When asked backstage who embodies this collection, Alberta Ferretti said: “I think all women. I am very curious. I like to understand which one is the woman of the near future. For me, the inspiration is you, you, you. It’s all women; the real woman. Through my designs, I wanted to highlight character affirmation, I imagined a confident and assertive woman.”

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Alberta Ferretti presented something different at her show and it was not only the giant aluminum sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn but the new personality, by adding denim for the first time in the runway and changing her romantic inclination.

In the backstage she explained : “Women today have changed, and fashion needs to speak in a different way. I wanted the women to have a big personality. The shoulders are important and to add a little bit more volume. There is a little touch of evening dress, but I think the women now want more personality”.

The collection saw denim jumpsuits with studded detailing, jersey garments and wool and leather mixtures to create voluminous capes.

Kaia Gerber opened the show wearing a silver-black western denim jumpsuit accessorised with a silk scarf around the neck and knee-high suede boots.info@imaxtree.com

Alberta Ferretti said “I want to give an example, it’s unusual for me to use denim in the show. However, we did use the denim and put it with the lamé or knitwear or leather. I feel more free to mix the collection; I think the women of today want to be respected.”

The main elements of the collection were the big shoulders, sequins, studs, ruffles, embroideries, fur-trimming, velvet in vibrant colours, including a pretty fabulous sleeveless cape coat in brick orange.

All the outfits were blended with eighties style volumes, not forgetting the touch of glitter and glam, in particularly in the dresses and coats.Alberta-3

Alberta-12The dominant colors were mostly black and silver, also for the few pieces of the evening dresses.

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There was also a vast variety of accessories from cowboy hats to chunky necklaces, gold metallic belts, elbow-length leather gloves in eye-popping colours and a number of velvet knee-high boots.

In the backstage the atmosphere was tense and everyone was nervous before the show.backstage-defile-alberta-ferretti-automne-hiver-2018-2019-milan-coulisses-76

Model’s hairstyle was curated by Guido Palau, the global Creative Director of Redken, who made naturally curly hair, parted in the centre and tucked behind their ears. While for the make up and beauty, Tom Pecheux, global beauty director for YSL, contrasted the 80s shapes and Western references with a glamorous eye liner flick with fresh faces and bushy brows, very natural.

Ferretti’s message was clear all throughout, where the full collection coincides with her vision of the modern and celebrates the multi-faceted femininity of today’s women … stronger … more aware … more sensual… A focal point of style, elegance and charm.info@imaxtree.com

 

 

 

Source : www.vogue.it/sfilate/sfilata/alberta-ferretti

Anna Luongo