Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lunch With An Old Bag 2011

Last week, as a volunteer for the Prince's Trust, I worked at a fabulous event held at the very grand Prestonfield House in Edinburgh: Lunch With An Old Bag 2011.

The event - currently in it's third year - brings together 50 of Scotland's most high profile ladies who each host a table of 10, enjoy a beautiful lunch and fabulous entertainment (this year in the form of singer Russell Watson) and bid on some of the most sought after handbags of the season. Luxury design houses, designers and celebrities donated a selection of bags which were auctioned to the highest bidders in aid of the Prince's Trust who are aiming to change the stereotype of disadvantaged young people.
Yours truly was asked to style the bags on stage, sell raffle tickets then prepare the designer bags for auction. I then also somehow ended up on stage "modeling" the bags as they were being auctioned. See below for me (in a fetching red Prince's Trust t-shirt) and a fabulous Prada bowling bag.
Images Copyright of Alan Simpson

Monday, September 12, 2011

Luxury Fashion & Social Media

The words Luxury and Exclusivity are often considered synonymous. As luxury brands increasingly feel more pressure to conquer marketing online, how do they remain desirable in a medium that is open to the masses?

It is widely perceived that the web isn’t a luxury market and brands face the dilemma of either embracing social media or being left behind. As people spend more money online, in order to make profit luxury brands must find a way to engage these consumers.

The biggest challenge that faces luxury brands when approaching social media is that luxury implies exclusivity and therefore the product shouldn’t be accessible to everyone. Social media sites make it more challenging to selectively choose whom to interact with. Furthermore, some brands are hesitant to try new marketing techniques, which might be risky to their established brand image. If done incorrectly, they risk ruining their brand reputation and diminishing the perception of affluence.

The solution for the luxury sector is to embrace social media: Just as product can be desirable and exclusive, so websites can be.

Burberry is a fantastic example of a brand who have created their own online community. Rather than shun Facebook and Twitter because of their mass audiences, Burberry has embraced them.

Burberry’s Facebook page boasts over 7 million followers, and the face of the brand’s new ‘Body’ fragrance (and fashion ‘It girl’ of the moment) Rosie Huntington-Whitely appears in a short video to thank fans for the achievement. The page introduces new content, which keep the consumer engaged in the brand and lusting for the product. Whilst remaining exclusive, the brand offers a mass audience the chance to be part of their brand in the same way that a new fragrance does.

Their Twitter page similarly offers snapshots into the world of Burberry with Creative Director Christopher Bailey even taking over the account during Fashion Weeks.

But significantly on top of this, Burberry launched its ArtOfTheTrench internet community, allowing those who sign up to comment, favourite and – if their image is selected - even share their own real-life shots of them in the famous Burberry trench. Bailey even commissioned The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman to launch the site in a tactical move which would appeal to young internet-savvy fashion fans. Through this site and the younger audience appeal of a renowned fashion blogger, Burberry give their users another outlet that is more refined than the larger social media sites open to the masses.

Other luxury brands have also embraced social media to fantastic effect. Jimmy Choo started an Internet frenzy by launching a “Shoe Treasure Hunt” in London via location-based social networking website Foursquare, whilst Tiffany & Co. and Chanel were quick to realize the potential of iPhone applications which interact with Facebook.

Whilst some hold back attempting to guard their brand identity of desirability, most luxury brands are increasingly realising the need to focus on creating unique online experiences. Social media is a tool that any brand can ill afford not to be involved with. Acknowledging that exposing your brand to consumers through social networks is the only way to engage today’s customers consistently.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Vogue's Fashion Night Out

So I wasn't at Vogue's Fashion Night Out this year because I am no longer living in London but here's me "papped" by a fashion blogger outside Selfridges from last year's Night Out.

(Hareem pants (Next) and aviator jackets (A|wear) were all the rage. Also wearing Chanel necklace and bag, and Clarks Originals desert wedges.)
Hope all my London friends had a great time this year!

Nike: Back for the Future

Remember how space-age the idea of having self-lacing Nike sneaks seemed in BTTF? Well we are now well and truly in the future and apparently they're not that space-aged. Nike have produced a pair which were relatively simple to make and the limited stock will go up for auction with all proceeds go to Michael J. Fox Parkinson Disease Foundation. Awesome.

Saturday, September 3, 2011