My weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranks the brand stories that have most resonated with me, in order of interest. This week, Céline goes east and Grazia goes into etail…
1. CELINE’S BEIJING STRATEGY
So the small, discreet, exclusivity rule doesn’t count when it comes to China. Hello Céline fashion show in Beijing! Céline staged a big-ass fashion show in a celeb-packed venue in Beijing’s art district last week to showcase its AW14 collection. The likes of pop star Faye Wong (above) arrived properly attired the Céline way with mannish coat robed over the shoulders. Why the fanfare from this usually reserved brand? Quite simply, China is an important market for Céline, where CEO Marco Gobbetti has taken the unusual step of closing stores rather than opening more, to up the rarity factor of the esteemed brand. Gobbetti believes that tastes have evolved and Asian customers are starting to appreciate the quieter luxury of Céline. “A few years back they were just approaching the market, and now they are the real experts,” he said. Oh to have been one of the lucky invitees to receive one of these in the post…
2. KORS AND EFFECT
Three years ago, I wrote about the Michael Kors watch phenomenon and it’s still one of my most read posts. Last week, The Guardian shone the spotlight on another Kors phenomenon, those unmistakable £345 ‘Sophie’ bags (as carried by the likes of Girls’ Generation’s Seohyun, above). The secret to its success appears to be the minimalist, structured shape (with a nod to Céline and Hermes) combined with the entry-level price. A power combo of affordable and aspirational, it’s an imagined access to the glamorous life that every Michael Michael Kors bag-swinger wants. A bit like those watches I guess.
3. GRAZIA THE ETAILER
So news just in last week: Grazia magazine is teaming up with London-boutiques.com to create Grazia, the online shop. I’m not sure what that will entail but I know that the team comprises former members of Coggles who will lead the charge. The etail landscape is a crowded one but Grazia is a popular magazine with an engaged readership who loves to shop. Should be a winner if they can make the content and customer experience different enough to what’s out there already.
4. GLOBE-TROTTER’S NEW DESTINATION STORE
Albemarle Street, parallel to Dover Street, just got a lovely new resident. Globe-Trotter, the old school vulcanised fibreboard luggage brand moved in last week, bringing a few choice archive pieces to decorate the 2-storey store. If you geek out over such things as a case stamped with letters spelling ‘The Queen’ (yep one belongs to the Queen, and there’s a replica in store), then you will love the heritage vibes here. But the store itself is thoroughly modern, right down to it’s new departure into sleek women’s leather handbags.