Selfridges is the undisputed leader of innovation when it comes to London’s department stores. While Liberty may be the go-to for a great edit and unexpected finds, Harrods for ultimate luxury and Harvey Nichols for the newest labels, Selfridges is the retail risk-taker and rule-breaker.
This summer’s big takeover has been all about denim, from the newly-opened £6 million Denim Studios on the third floor, to the fantastic windows depicting the nuances of every denim tribe you can think of. Here’s what I learnt from the personal shoppers and alterations team at my recent Disneyrollergirl Denim Workshop. Continue reading
Mobile gadgets are booming and so is the trade in fancy cases to carry them. Obviously the buzz is building around the iWatch and its ilk, but as they still haven’t quite hit the market yet, it’s still all about the tablet. Continue reading
One for the maximalists, this OTT £76,500 smartphone has just gone on sale in the jewellery rooms at Printemps and Harrods. Aimed at wealthy women, the Savelli ‘Black Insane’ white gold phone boasts white pave diamond buttons and a black alligator case with ringtones developed by French DJ Stéphane Pompougnac. I think I’ll stick with my Blackberry thanks… Continue reading
Guest contributor LSN Global retail editor ALISON BISHOP reports on how Nike’s ‘Making’ app puts sustainable design front of mind for fashion and sportswear creatives…
Ever the innovator, Nike is building on its sustainable product design credentials by sharing its in-house Materials Sustainability Index for anyone to learn from and use – in the form of its new Making app. After collaborating with students at London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, the new app helps designers and product creators make more informed decisions about the environmental impacts of the materials they choose. It works by ranking textiles and other materials used for product design based on four environmental concern areas: water, chemistry, energy and waste. For example who knew that the manufacture of silk uses 50% less water than cotton?
“It’s the start of a conversation,” Lee Holman, Nike’s vice-president of global apparel design told me. “Innovation is in Nike’s DNA, and sustainability is an integral part of Nike’s design process. We’ve created the Making app to empower any designer around the world to make better materials choices in the early stages of the design process. Ultimately everyone wants to create products that are better for the planet, and we want to be able to facilitate that idea.”
It’s quite a statement from the sports giant, especially considering it’s not a selling tool and it’s not connected directly to any Nike product. It’s just for the good of the planet. We call it ‘Brandstanding’ at LS:N Global. Sustainability is the new battleground for brands that want to resonate with disillusioned Millennial consumers (25-35 years old) and brands with cast iron credentials will win the vote. Now I might even design myself a version of Nike’s Flyknit trainers…
Anyone for a retro mobile? Polaroids and Fujifilm Instax cameras are having a moment, and mobile phones could be next. I remember reading about the Motorola StarTAC in US Vogue in the mid-90s and being desperate for one – at the time they retailed for £1400. Fast forward a couple of decades and they’re all but extinct thanks to the all-singing-all-dancing beasts from Apple and Samsung. Continue reading
For Burberry Prorsum’s SS14 menswear show in its new London home we were treated to a collection called Writers and Painters. A gentle mashup of Alan Bennett boyish shapes and a Hockney colour palette (primary brights expertly layered by Burberry stylist Elliot Smedley), it was certainly commercial but thoroughly eye pleasing.
Styling is so important for a show like this in which the pieces don’t reinvent the wheel and you can’t inspect the quality up close. The outfits were accessorised with soft leather drawstring duffles and polka dot ‘Wave’ sunglasses. Continue reading
“It takes two years to make and two minutes to buy!” So says Kamel Hamadou, the affable communications manager of Hermès silk, hosting a rare tour of the company’s silk printing facilities in Lyon. Two weeks ago I was invited on a whirlwind trip to learn the many meticulous stages of making one of those familiar silk ‘carrés’ of which I’m the proud owner of a few, neatly folded and stored in their equally familiar flat orange boxes.
My most astonishing discovery? The utter complexity of printing involved in a silk scarf of many colours. The average scarf has around 30 colours, of which each shade has its own precise mixing process. The printing itself has to be seen to be believed, but next week, you’ll have the chance to see it all when Hermès’ Festival Des Metiers lands on the London leg of its world tour. Continue reading