Daily Archives: July 22, 2013

Natalia Allen: Dresses made by robots

Natalia Allen, made in the U.S.A., eco-friendly dresses, sustainable dresses, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

When was the last time you felt inspired by a piece of clothing in your closet? Designer Natalia Allen hopes to strike a chord with her debut eponymous collection seeking to connect women to sustainable fashions exemplified by quality fabrics, responsible manufacturing, precise fit, and easy functionality. With formal training and education from Parsons The New School for Designand holder of the coveted title “Designer of the Year” (an award she shares with fellow alumna Marc Jacobs), Natalia Allen serves as a medium for admirers to live out their values through “modern clothes made from modern practices.”

Natalia Allen, made in the U.S.A., eco-friendly dresses, sustainable dresses, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

“Fashion is emotional at its core,” says the designer. Dubbed the “Conscientious Fashionista,” Allen took on the title with voracious enthusiasm when creating her collection by spending several months in factories learning about apparel manufacturing and sustainable processes. When it comes to manufacturing, Allen employs the help of robots. Yes, you read that right, robots. The robots are programmed by skilled technicians and are programmed to save a significant amount of waste, energy and fuel through their efficient cutting and manufacturing processes. “The robots make it possible for me to manufacture high quality clothing close to home”, says the designer. In fact, Natalia Allen is manufactured in the United States in a factory that looks more like laboratory than an atelier.

When asked about her greatest source of inspiration, Allen proclaims that her customer is the real hero. “They are smart. They are comfortable in their own skin. They are professional and driven.” Allen designs for quality and longevity because her clientele value these elements in fashion. Inspired yet?

 

Source: ecouterre

Vivienne Westwood: Eco friendly Uniforms for Virgin Atlantic

It’s not quite “Where’s Waldo,” but frequent fliers will be able to catch glimpses of Virgin Atlantic’s new Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms ahead of their official rollout. In a trial run that began Friday, 180 employees, including cabin crew, pilots, Clubhouse staff, and Virgin Holidays personnel, will assess the fit, comfort, breathability, stain-resistance, and performance of the new ensembles before their full launch in 2014. Westwood and her team had to consider a number of practical challenges when tweaking the airline’s signature look. Roughly 7,500 staff wear the Virgin Atlantic uniform while conducting a various job roles, all with differing levels of movement, in different climates around the world.

Virgin Atlantic, Vivienne Westwood, eco-friendly uniforms, sustainable uniforms, Richard Branson, U.K., United Kingdom, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, recycled plastic bottles, recycled polyester

TAKING FLIGHT

The legendary British designer also developed the new items with sustainability in mind. In addition to the use of recycled materials, the garments are designed to be closed-loop, meaning that that worn uniforms will be reprocessed into fibers for weaving into new clothing.

All the garments are designed to be closed-loop, meaning that that worn uniforms will be reprocessed into fibers for weaving into new clothing.

For ground staff, Westwood designed bags composed of recycled canvas, reused roadside banners, leather offcuts, and recycled brass.

“Our staff, and particularly our cabin crew, are some of the most envied in the airline industry when it comes to uniforms,” says Luke Miles, Virgin’s head of design, in a statement. “Our iconic red outfits are globally renowned and when we make changes to the design, it isn’t something we take lightly. These wearer trials are a key part of the feedback process we engage in with our teams around the world.”

The uniforms, Miles adds, have to look sleek while being practical and easy to wear. “It’s a challenging design brief but means so much to our staff and customers so we have to make sure we get it right,” he says. “We’re confident our Vivienne Westwood designs will continue to turn heads in the airport and in the sky.”

 

Source: ecouterre.com

Kering: Meshes in-store and online experience

Luxury conglomerate Kering launched global ecommerce options for six of its luxury brands and is making the in-store and online experience seamless for its customers.

This ecommerce upgrade comes as part of the partnership with Italian Internet retailer Yoox Group. Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent Paris, Sergio Rossi and Stella McCartney are now using Yoox’s technology to simplify the shopping experience for consumers.

“Through this partnership we are expanding our global digital presence to offer an exclusive online shopping experience that is seamless for our customers and parallel to our in-store experience,” said Laurent Claquin, head of Kering Americas, New York.

“Our customers can browse or shop on our ecommerce sites in more than 100 countries and shopping can be as easy as three clicks away,” he said.

“Each of the six brands that have been launched to date are supported by the cutting-edge Yoox platform, which lends 12 years of experience in fashion ecommerce and a global expertise in powering mono-brand online stores.”

Easy as one, two, three
This digital renovation comes as the first big step in the partnership between Kering and Yoox that was established last August.

Through Kering’s alliance with Yoox, six of the conglomerate’s luxury brands are likely to benefit from the simplified shopping experience and reach more shoppers in areas where boutiques are not accessible.

Yoox was able to open up the brands’ ecommerce operations to include more countries around the world.


Saint Laurent Paris ecommerce options

Through these new sites, customers will have an easier shopping experience that will not take away from the brand’s digital content.

“Our customers can readily navigate their favorite shopping sites for Bottega Veneta or Alexander McQueen or our other four luxury brands, and preview great photos of our products from multiple angles and purchase the items in an easy manner,” Mr. Claquin said.

“At the same time, our brands have full control over their online stores,” he said. “

“We provide them with the creative freedom to decide on the products available, photos, content and artistic direction.”


Balenciaga ecommerce site

Shopping upgrade
A few Kering brands have also recently revamped Web and mobile tools to keep consumers interested and engaged.

For instance, Bottega Veneta aimed for a boost in ecommerce through a revamped Web site that offers large product images in a simplified layout.

The label is promoting the site through its social media by using the hashtag #DiscoverTheNextChapter. Fashion marketers should make sure that their Web sites are constantly updated to promote ecommerce and remain relevant to consumers.

Also, Italian fashion house Gucci quadrupled mobile revenue and experienced a 70 percent growth in mobile conversion since the beta launch of its optimized Web site for iOS and Android devices.

Gucci rolled out its permanent mobile-optimized site to let consumers browse and purchase products on their smartphone. Since the beta test run in December, the fashion house saw mobile revenue increase to four times what it was during the same time last year in addition to a 70 percent increase in mobile conversion since then.

Since more consumers are using digital means to learn about products, luxury brands need to be able to deliver the same in-store experience to consumers over other shopping platforms such as mobile and online.

“With all our brands, we strive to deliver the best online shopping experience,” Mr. Claquin said. “Specifically with the luxury brands, it is important for the online experience to maintain the allure and high standards of the in-store experience.

“More and more, we’re seeing consumers look to do much of their research or shopping online,” he said. “Our goal is to provide the ease of online shopping with the unique luxury aesthetic of an in-store visit.

“Ecommerce is a key strategic priority for Kering, and through this partnership with Yoox we’re looking to make our portfolio of flagship stores accessible all over the world.”

 

Source: Luxury Daily

BIB + TUCK: Shop with out spending a dime

Bib + Tuck, clothes swapping, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-fashion websites, Sari Azout, collaborative consumption

There’s organic, upcycled, recycled, vintage, and many other ways you can find an outlet to be a more conscious shopper. But Bib + Tuck, a members-only online community for women, is upping the fashionable ante to trading as the new green. As in, swapping with some of the hottest women in the country including designers like Mara Hoffman to Manhattan fashion editors who get too many clothing and accessory freebies and not enough time to wear them.

Founders Sari Azout and Sari Bibliowicz (yes, two Saris), say they bonded from the beginning “over their identical bell-bottom jeans and petit bateau undershirts.”

From the beginning, their love story was defined by a closeness of closets. Over 20 years later, where fate found both Saris as college graduates living in the same building in NYC, the two began “sharing clothes as a way to save time, space, and money and with small budgets, and even smaller spaces, access to each other’s closets multiplied their fashion selections.”

In addition to their curated cavern of fashionable goodness, the two say they bring together the hippest people so that each can find the ”new” in another’s ”old.”

Ecouterre caught up with Azout to see what she had to say about her business and her most solid piece of sales advice.

Bib + Tuck, clothes swapping, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-fashion websites, Sari Azout, collaborative consumption

You’ve been asked a million times but we’re going to ask, too…why in a sea of reuse did you decide to launch Bib + Tuck and how is it different?

Bib + Tuck is all about giving and taking, not just giving or taking. There are a lot of places online where you can sell your clothes but we didn’t like the existing dynamic. We set out to create a community where real money was secondary to participation. Bib + Tuck is more than just a marketplace. We are a brand, a lifestyle, a community, a point of view. At Bib + Tuck, you won’t have to scroll through pages of mom jeans and Juicy sweatpants to find something you like. It’s a beautifully curated experience.

Do you think clothes sharing is the new green?

Yes, absolutely. I used to be the kind of shopper that would buy five tops for under $100 at Forever 21. At the time, it seemed like a guilt-free way to stay on trend. I would use one or two; the rest would stay in my closet for a few years, and be disposed years later. There’s no excuse for this now. Being able to easily share/sell your clothes is a game changer. Now, when you purchase a garment, you can buy pieces that are more valuable and higher quality because you’ll be able to trade them in for something else or get a return on it. Essentially, clothes sharing lengthens the lifetime of a garment. And if every American reused just one shirt, we’d save 210 billion gallons of water. That’s big.

When it comes to women being original in how they dress, do you think there’s a level of fear or apprehension to do something different? To look different than the mannequins in the Forever 21 windows?

I like to think that there’s a movement underway where people are shifting their attitudes and willing to pay a little more for clothing produced in ethically sound conditions, and for clothing that honors craftsmanship and uniqueness over fast fashion. We are doing our part as a company to communicate that importance of replacing that faster cheaper mentality with a a triple bottom line that accounts for the social and environmental costs of goods. The disaster in Bangladesh represents rock bottom. I think people are realizing that someone, somewhere is paying the price for what seems like harmless and inexpensive retail therapy here in the Western world. We’re still a long way from where we should be, but the sudden rise of second hand marketplaces means we’re moving in the right direction.

Bib + Tuck, clothes swapping, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, eco-fashion websites, Sari Azout, collaborative consumption

You’ve gotten some great people to share on Bib + Tuck, how do you go about getting new people and do they already follow you?

We have never paid a cent for followers or influencers. People are naturally excited by what we’re doing. The pre-owned, secondhand market doesn’t really have that cool factor and appeal, so we set out to make barter sexy and present second hand clothing in a visually appealing way. When you create something people love and need, the product spreads virally and organically.

What’s your best bit of sales advice to a person who has only bought new their whole life?

I’ll say this: The average garment requires 135 liters of water to make, enough to meet the needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. 800 million people are living with no access to clean water. I’ll then say that most, if not everything I’m wearing I got on Bib + Tuck, and show them the goods. Tucking is the new shopping. It’s a no-brainer.

 

TAG Heuer: Watch inspired smartphone for travelers

Swiss Watchmaker TAG Heuer is targeting affluent travelers with its new Meridiist smartphones equipped with features similar to its timepieces.

TAG Heuer is transferring aspects from its watches, such as a formidable battery life and optimal time-displays, to the Merediist smartphone to ensure that users have a coherent communication experience while traveling. The watchmaker has previously carried its sensibilities into other product markets including eyewear and will likely use the lessons it learned to protect its brand equity.

“As an avant-garde approach to technology is rooted in our DNA, entering the technology-driven sector of the mobile phone market was no cause for fear,” said Camille Barthelet, director of communication at Atelier, Paris.

“Throughout the history of TAG Heuer, it has never been interested in reproducing what has gone before,” she said.

“TAG Heuer has also been assured in our approach by the tremendous success of our eyewear collection, which showed us that as long as we are true to our DNA we can have total confidence entering a sector other than horology.”

Atelier developed TAG Heuer’s Meridiist line.

Forget about charging
The Meridiist phones are lighter, thinner and more powerful than the brand’s Racer smartphones. Dual SIM slots allow consumers to achieve greater connectivity.

Staying true to TAG Heuer’s brand DNA, the phones feature prominent time functions. At the top of each phone is a dual-display time unit, giving consumers the chance to discreetly view the time and monitor incoming calls or messages while engaged in another activity.

A GMT function enables consumers to quickly change the time zone, which may be appreciated by frequent travelers. The time display is also supplemented with a hundredth of a second chronograph.

Bespoke digital engineering of more than 430 components is also available.

The screen is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal on a stainless steel frame.

Although the phone may seem unwieldy, it supposedly provides a week of talk time.

Meridiist phones come with 24/7 concierge service.

A video offers prospective buyers a chance to see different facets of the phone and to briefly experience its operating system.


Video still

The Meridiist Sapphire comes in many styles such as white and black alligator, light diamonds and black and gold.

The models start at $5,100.

“Every year more than one billion mobile phone handsets are sold worldwide,” Ms. Barthelet said

“The market is growing at a double-digit rate, but is heavily dominated by mass market with the result that products become obsolete very quickly and are often lacking in quality,” she said.

“At TAG Heuer, we believe that the mobile phone deserves better.”

Tall waves
Vertu, another purveyor of luxury smartphones, has demonstrated its desire to dominate the market as it is rapidly expanding its physical retail presence to reach high-net-worth, mobile-savvy consumers in established and emerging markets.

Riding on its third consecutive annual sales turnover increase in 2012 and the launch of the Vertu Ti, the brand’s first smartphone with the Android operating system, Vertu is aiming to reach global consumers by combining its original brand values with a modern twist. The brand plans to open 49 new boutiques and stores this year around the world to further tailor the brand experience to global markets (see story).

Other smartphone manufacturers could pose a challenge for a watchmaker looking to enter the playing field.

“As a brand driven by innovation and avant-garde, TAG Heuer had to be the first Swiss brand to enter the luxury smartphone market,” Ms. Barthelet said.

“So, from the design stage to completion, we challenged our best team to create communication instruments that will be to mobile phones what our chronographs have been to watches since 1860,” she said.

Source: Luxury Daily website

Nike Air: Concept Packaging

Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz Friend Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz & Friend

Nike is in the air – To highlight the benefit of the Nike Air Max, the shoes were packed in air-cushion. The benefit of the product is transferred into the packaging, and made visible. The package provides the best possible presentation of the shoe and a height advertising effectiveness. Due to less usage of materials, it also contributes to sustainability.

Designed by Ralf Schroeder / Scholz & Friends

Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz Friend 02 Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz & Friend

Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz Friend 03 Nike Air packaging concpet by Scholz & Friend

 

Source: retaildesignblog.net via thedieline

SAKS: Witty flowchart packaging

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Shopping and gift-giving are all about choices. Should you give her shoes or earrings? Do they want something for the house or a present that’s more personal? And how about a little something for myself?

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 01 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Pentagram’s new fall campaign for Saks Fifth Avenue attempts to diagram this complex decision-making process in a series of humorous flowcharts. Designed by Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona with Sabrina Friebis Ruiz, the graphics appear on shopping bags, print promotions and advertising for the luxury retailer. In developing the campaign, Pentagram worked once again with Saks Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Terron Schaefer and his creative team led by Christopher Wieliczko and Andrew Winton.

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 03 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Each flowchart starts with a problem posed in a circle (“Uh oh, is that today?”) and branches off at different decision points as shoppers consider their options, winding through various stages of deliberation (“He’d like to have…. Jeans that aren’t ‘Dad jeans’”) or distress (“Think quick… I think I need an expert”). The paths all lead to Saks, represented by the store’s square logo, also designed by Pentagram.

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 04 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

The campaign complements the grid-based, black-and-white brand identity we designed for Saks in 2006, as well as the look and feel of previous campaigns we’ve developed for the retailer, which are often playful, usually highly graphic, sometimes directional, and may involve games and puzzles.

Designed by Pentagram
Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Katie Barcelona, designer; Sabrina Friebis Ruiz, design assistant.

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 05 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 06 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 07 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 08 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram 09 Shop Saks campaign by Pentagram

http://www.pentagram.com

JOAQUIN BERAO: Cosmic collection

El diseñador español de joyas presenta su colección “Deneb”, inspirada en una estrella del firmamento.

 La nueva colección Joaquín Berao nos acerca al cosmos, las estrellas y su firmamento. Capta las formas geométricas y dinámicas del universo en forma de piezas únicas tratadas con mimo y virtuosismo. “La naturaleza es la que te permite desarrollar los diseños más perfectos”, apunta Berao.

La colección “Deneb” emula fragmentos siderales moldeados sobre gargantillas, pendientes, anillos y colgantes. Cada una de las piezas está realizada en materiales nobles como oro, plata vermeil y plata oxidada. Diamantes y perlas aportan los detalles luminosos.

Joaquín Berao comenzó su andadura profesional en los años 70. En 1982 abrió su primer local en Madrid y actualmente tiene tiendas en Milán, Aoyama (Tokio) y en los prestigiosos almacenes Mitsukoshi, situados en el barrio de Ginza (Tokio). Y es que Berao fue precursor en el mercado japonés. Italia es otro de sus mercados más fuertes.

A principios de 2013, las intemporales creaciones de Joaquín Berao estrenaban escaparate en Madrid. Sin abandonar la exclusiva Milla de Oro, el diseñador trasladaba su tienda de Claudio Coello a Lagasca número 44.  El nuevo enclave capta la esencia del diseño Berao, logrando una armónica relación entre las joyas y el mobiliario que viste la tienda, creado también por el propio diseñador.

Source: fashion from Spain website

Hiphunters: Social network for fashion enthusiasts

Las cifras hablan por sí mismas. El sector de la moda online crece a un ritmo anual del 20 por ciento. Solo en Estados Unidos, este mercado generó 41.000 millones de dólares en 2012. La red se ha convertido en el gran prescriptor de tendencias y en uno de los principales canales de venta de ropa y complementos.

Alentados por este contexto favorable, se cuentan por miles las revistas digitales, blogs y webs de comercio electrónico que intentan hacerse un hueco. Una de ellas es hiphunters.com, una nueva red social de origen español donde se dan cita los tres principales actores en el sector de la moda: los que venden, los que recomiendan y los que compran.

Similar a Pinterest

Con un «look and feel» similar al de Pinterest, Hiphunters funciona de esta manera. Marcas, boutiques y diseñadores suben a la red su catálogo de productos, con un link que permite al usuario completar la compra si así lo desea. Por su parte, los líderes de opinión (bloggers, personal shoppers y periodistas de moda) aconsejan a los usuarios estilos y combinaciones de ropa y descubren la existencia de marcas «pequeñas pero muy especiales, como la holandesa Humanoid o la coruñesa Masscob».

De este modo, los usuarios que buscan inspiración tienen ante sí un enorme caudal de ideas y una vía directa para adquirir de forma sencilla prendas que no se encuentran en la calle a la primera de cambio. En una primera fase, Hiphunters solo actúa como mediador entre las marcas y los consumidores finales, pero en un futuro pretenden tener su propio stock y vender directamente como hacen Net-a-porter o Moda Operandi.

La cantera de Silicon Valley

Detrás de este proyecto encontramos a dos jóvenes emprendedoras valencianas. Una de ellas es Marta Ibáñez Nobell, una ingeniera apasionada por la moda y especialmente preparada en el mundo de las start-ups gracias a un MBA cursado en la Universidad de Stanford, la cantera de talentos de Silicon Valley.

«Siempre supe que quería montar mi propia empresa», afirma Marta, cuya trayectoria profesional se ha desarrollado en compañías como Repsol y Boston Consuting Group. Su socia, Susana Calabuig, es diseñadora y fundadora de la firma «No Solo Camisetas».

Ambas se han embarcado en este proyecto, cuya base de operaciones está ubicada en el barrio de Chamberí de Madrid. El equipo se completa con un director técnico, una maquetadora y varios becarios.

Como la mayoría de las start-ups, en Hiphunters se trabaja según el modelo «bootstrapping» (solo con recursos propios y sin percibir salario) mientras buscan inversores.

La plataforma se encuentra todavía en fase Alfa y cuenta ya con 15.000 visitas al mes, pero trabaja con el objetivo de alcanzar los diez millones a lo largo de 2013. La idea es consolidarse primero en el mercado europeo, para saltar posteriormente a Estados Unidos y Asia. Confían en sus posibilidades: «Sabemos que tenemos un producto muy bueno entre manos».

 

Source: ABC.es Valencia

Supergroup: Expansion strategy

SuperGroup, the owner of young fashion brand Superdry, is planning to launch in Turkey, South America and Singapore in the company’s latest wave of international expansion.

The group reported a 14.9% year-on-year rise in revenue to £360.4m in its annual financial results released yesterday (July 11), citing “investment in infrastructure” and the bolstering of the company’s management team as reasons behind the growth.

Julian Dunkerton, chief executive of SuperGroup told Drapers the company was “back in expansion mode” and targeting markets in Chile, Peru, Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore this year.

Within Europe Dunkerton said Germany, France, and Holland held “lots of opportunities” for the brand.

He added: “Everything in Europe is gently moving towards a standalone and department store concept. In relation to international territories franchise partners will be used. In Turkey for example we will be rolling out Superdry with a high calibre partner Demsa.”

The company also announced the acquisition of its Spanish partner, which Dunkerton confirmed was part of a larger European strategy to “buy out agencies” and “take back control”. He added the group is in talks to acquire its partner in Germany where Superdry has an existing network of 10 stores and more than 200 independent outlets.

SuperGroup increased its retail footprint in the UK and Europe by 13.8% this year, bringing the total to 536,000 sq ft. The business also opened 56 new franchise and licensed stores internationally, bringing the global total to 162 outlets.

The move comes following the appointment of Hans Scmitt as managing director of international and wholesale at Supergroup last month.

Dunkerton said the “bolstered” management team was “one for the future” and would “allow the brand to grow”.

 

Source:  Drapersonline