Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ guest post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP, on the new editorial ‘hub’ from ShopStyle.
It seems like the whole *social-curation/discovery-commerce/influencer-marketing (*choose your term du jour) trend has been crystalised with a new collaboration between ShopStyle and American Express. After a soft launch in November, the Style Inspiration Hub will be live for six months and hosts a range of curated content from fashion and beauty bloggers, industry insiders and online retailers. Susie Bubble leads the charge, writing about her signature eclectic style.
Of course everything is instantly shoppable and there’s new ‘style influencers’ content every week. At the press launch, ShopStyle CEO Brian Sugar told me: “There’s an evolution happening with brands that want to tell their story through content curators instead of more traditional media. Brands are looking at native advertising to target the audiences they want to reach.”
In his presentation, Sugar described ShopStyle’s four key business priorities as mobile, global, discovery and personalisation, adding that shopping via the new ShopStyle app will be a whole lot more personal and social with initiatives such as ShopStyle.it (to make Instagram shoppable) and a video technology partnership with Taggled.
ASK ALISON: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Are we looking at a new era of synergy retail where mutually beneficial partnerships like this one work in tandem to reach new audiences? Well yes, ShopStyle has identified the way that consumers ‘snack’ on visual inspiration on their mobiles and made it instantly shoppable via a network of the industry’s top style influencers. At the same time, American Express is facilitating the platform and itself reaching a new audience – the younger, notoriously picky millennials – and doing it in a credible way. The challenge is to keep the content and contributors original and fresh so they don’t get lost in a vast sea of sameness.
Last week, I donned my beauty editor hat to try out the new Google Glass makeup lesson service at YSL Beauté in Selfridges. The service launched earlier this year in the US and has worked its way to London, exclusively at Selfridges.
HOW IT WORKS
You book an appointment which costs £30 (redeemable against purchase). I had my appointment with the charming Fred Letailleur, YSL’s head of make up for northern Europe, who is not only an expert make-up artist, but is now a master Google Glass user. Which is a considerable combination that needs extreme focus. Not only does the make-up artist have to concentrate on what they’re doing to your face, but they’re also operating a tiny camera (embedded inside the ‘glasses’) with discreet movements, and engaging with the customer – answering questions, making you feel at ease etc. Continue reading
You’ve got to hand it to Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, it has come up with a really smart way of using Google Glass. Back in September it introduced its hi-tech take-home tutorials to Bloomingdales (below), in which its make-up artist wielded his magic paints and brushes on customers, while simultaneously filming the one-to-one consultation using Google Glass. Continue reading
While here in the UK we’ve had an extremely mild autumn and stores grumble that they haven’t sold enough AW14 coats, the fashion-forward customer is onto other things. Namely, Cruise. The Cruise 2015 collections arrived in November and continue to sell all the way until June. It’s a well known fact now that Cruise (and pre-fall) collections sell more for stores than the more directional spring-summer and autumn-winter collections.
Last week I went to Louis Vuitton to check out the SS15 collection. The press day was help in the private ‘apartment’ on the top floor of the Bond Street Maison. Afterwards I went for a nose around the store as I haven’t been in since Ghesquiere took over from Jacobs. Although it wasn’t that busy customer-wise, the store staff were being very industrious keeping their regular clients up to date with new deliveries. As they explained to me, the Cruise collection had recently arrived and was flying out as soon as they informed their customers. Continue reading
As if Covent Garden (and this blog) couldn’t get any more beauty-fied, this happens…. From Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th December, get ready for Covent Garden Beauty Live, a celebration of all things beauty taking place in what the industry has dubbed the ‘Beauty Quarter‘ of London. Continue reading
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1) TIFFANY T PUSHES UP PROFITS
It’s not just me that’s crazy about Tiffany’s new ‘T’ line of minimalist T-motif jewellery. Created by design director Francesca Amfitheatrof, it has helped push up profits for the jeweller which reported a sales uptick of 5%. P.S, if you’re in the market for a new style crush, watch Amfitheatrof in the Google hangout above… Continue reading
It’s all about designer denim collaborations at the moment. Hot on the heels of J Brand X Simone Rocha comes this collection from OTHER X Lee. To celebrate 125 years of Lee Jeans, the brains behind OTHER Shop have created a ten-piece collection of dip-dyed, fray-edged, embroidered and scribble-printed denim and jersey-wear, affordably priced from £45 to £125. Continue reading