Tag Archives: retail concepts
As the multi-brand etail market continues to evolve, the originators have their work cut out. How to keep attracting new customers in the face of increased competition? How to tackle the issues of fit and returns? How to differentiate from all the copycats out there? And how to deliver an outstanding service to keep customers coming back?
My-wardrobe.com has a new service that aims to tackle some of these concerns and I was asked to try it out.* As I’m easily put off online shopping by time consuming returns processes, this one had instant appeal.
The service is called my-dressing room and is offered to My-wardrobe’s Silver, Gold and Black tier members. It’s a try-before-you-buy idea which lets you order a number of items, have them shipped to you free of charge, and only once you have decided what to keep do you get billed. You receive an email a couple of days later asking what you’re keeping and the remainder gets picked up by courier, also free of charge.
I know that a lot of people choose online shopping so they can try things on in the comfort of their own home, with their own things. They will frequently order six dresses, knowing they’ll only keep one. Or they’ll order the same item in several sizes so they can settle on the best fitting one. So forking out £500 when you only plan to spend £100 can be a pain, especially when you factor in the time it sometimes takes to get refunded.
To test the Black tier service, I’d planned to pick out a few statement pieces from my-wardrobe’s London Lab designers. But much as I admire J.W. Anderson, Meadham Kirchhoff et al, I don’t have much use for crystal hairslides and origami dresses right now.
So back to my comfort zone I went, adding white shirts, cashmere knits and chunky boots to my ‘dressing room’. I chose two types of Acne boot, a black Pistol boot (always fancied a pair) and a higher Colt boot in a lush oxblood shade (exclusive to My-Wardrobe). I also fell for a pair of salmon pink Paul Smith brogues – a beautiful summer shoe to wear with slim cream Joseph trousers (which I also ordered). Well, I guess I’d wear them if I lived somewhere reliably sunny like Tuscany, but in rainy west London, my common sense got the better of me. (Clearly however, some disagreed…)
Also in my dressing room went a Helmut Lang snake-print leather sweatshirt and a 3.1 Phillip Lim grey marl cropped sweatshirt. Of those two the Lim was perfect in every way except the cut was just a tad too boxy for my frame. A Carven white shirt was also on the roomy side and I decided I could live without the Carven cuff and Maria Francesca Pepe set of rings…for now.
So what did I keep? I was utterly thrilled with the Acne Colt boots. I know I’ll wear them to death as they’ll take a few knocks without looking too shabby too soon. At 100cm, the heel is high (for me) but chunky enough not to teeter and the cut hugs the ankle so you feel supported. My other keep was an Equipment bottle green cashmere crew neck. This is a classic cut in a rich colour which for some reason is never easy to find. Like my Equipment shirts, if I’m happy with this I’ll be repeat buying.
After mulling over my choices overnight I boxed up my returns and emailed My-wardrobe who gave me a time slot for my courier pickup. My credit card will only be charged for the items I kept and the overall experience is one of being thoroughly pampered. But while this service is certainly useful for customers, it’s not all altruism on the part of my-wardrobe. Do I detect some clever psychology at play? Once you have something desirable in your possession, it can be very hard to let it go, so although I’d been allotted a budget, I naturally found myself going over it. I mean, the goods are here, they’re super useful, they fit perfectly, I may as well keep them, right? And if I, the cautious, virgoan, methodical shopper can be seduced that easily then anyone can.
All things considered, I’d say that giving customers a free pass to play dress up with more items than they might really need is a canny move from My-wardrobe. But as a service, my-dresing room is a great reward for time-poor My-wardrobe loyalists who want a convenient way to shop online with all the tedious elements taken care of.
For more information on My-wardrobe’s my-dressing room, click here.
*Discosure: For the purpose of this review, I was given a budget to shop with by My-wardrobe
Just launched: Seek No Further, a new premium fashion line from the heritage utility brand, Fruit Of The Loom. I love these offbeat campaign images from the brand (shot by Colin Dodgson), which is said to harness a pioneering spirit, “inspired by yesterday’s visionaries, today’s trailblazers and tomorrow’s innovators”. Although we’ve all heard that before so the proof will be in the pudding… Continue reading
Love books? Love Bowie? Love Vuitton? Here’s a treat for you then. Louis Vuitton has tapped David Bowie as its latest guest curator for its Curated Bookshelf. A secret gem in itself, the ‘Librarie’ can be found in the Louis Vuitton Maison in London’s New Bond Street, one of a number of Vuitton book stores that reflect different themes. Continue reading
I’m a bit late with this but I’m assured it’s not all sold out. L.A. brand Joyrich has collaborated with creative polymath, Maripol on an exclusive line of kit that’s on sale at Machine A in London.
Maripol is well known for her era-defining Polaroids of Madonna, Keith Haring & co (I must get around to buying her brilliant book) as well as styling Madonna in the early days. (Yeah, Madonna had a stylist all along. I feel cheated.) Continue reading
The fashionisation of beauty is rolling along at a jolly pace isn’t it? Following both Chanel and Dior with their standalone luxury beauty stores comes Burberry and its all-singing-all-dancing Beauty Box. The store opened yesterday in Covent Garden’s King Street selling make-up, perfume and accessories.
From the entry-level nail polishes and perfumes plus associated sunnies, scarves and bags, it’s but a short jump to the coveted trench or coat. And thus (the mega-brands hope) a loyal customer for life.
Naturally, a Burberry store isn’t a Burberry store without some digital wizardry at play. So if you haven’t time for a mini mani, try the Digital Runway Nail Bar instead. This ‘playful virtual experience’ lets you try the latest Burberry runway shades by placing the polish onto a radio-frequency identification-enabled platform to match your skin tone to the required colour.
OK, I’m not actually sure what a radio-frequency identification-enabled platform is but it sounds sufficiently snazzy enough for me to seek it out next time I’m in WC2…
Andrew Bunney has done the seemingly impossible. That is, take a corporate, uncool brand, (albeit with a killer heritage) and turn out a highly desirable line of product. The result is Roundel, a collaboration with the London Underground, that presents T-shirts, jackets, shirts and even trainers as graphic product that will be as at home on the backs of tourists and cityproud Londoners as design-conscious youth. Bravo Mr Bunney! Continue reading
Is this the ultimate in upcycling? For the next eight days, you might get a shock if you amble into Hermes’ New Bond Street store for a silk tie or scarf. The entire ground floor has been hijacked by ‘Petit h’, the luxe, upcycling arm of Hermes, for a unique selling exhibition. Continue reading
It’s finally here and DRG contributor Alison Bishop has given it a thorough going over. Here’s the verdict on J Crew, London-style…
It’s hard to find a brand that does classic preppy style with an insouciant mix of androgyny better than J Crew. And now it’s finally arrived in London with a trio of ‘flagship’ or ‘jewel box’ stores.
We first heard the news that J Crew had settled on Regent Street for its all-singing-all-dancing London debut about a year ago (what’s good enough for Burberry is good enough for J Crew, as the latter snapped up the former’s old home on London’s hottest tourist retail hotspot). Continue reading
Back in February, I ran a piece on the newly-launched Winser London. An online-to-offline fashion start-up founded by Kim Winser (former CEO of Pringle Of Scotland and Aquascutum), it specialises in luxed-up working wardrobe essentials at a friendlier price point than you’d expect. Supplementing the online offer are pop-up shops, so far in Gerrards Cross and Harvey Nichols. Nine months on, I caught up with Winser to find out how the first year of trading is going, what the challenges have been and what’s next for the brand… Continue reading