Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, featuring the brands currently buzzing on on my radar…
1. PAULA GERBASE HEADS TO JOHN LOBB
This is rather exciting news for John Lobb. The British shoemaker, owned by Hermes, has appointed Paula Gerbase as artistic director. I don’t know the full story but I’m guessing the brand wants to expand beyond footwear (Berluti-style), and hiring a buzzy young luxury designer is a good way to do it. Her first collection will be unveiled for AW15 and she’ll carry on designing her own line, 1205.
2. PAUL SMITH X SWIM DEEP
I’m very much liking Paul Smith’s fashion-film-slash-pop-video featuring the guys from Swim Deep. Burberry likes to think it has the monopoly on Brit bands, although Hedi Slimane has muscled in too lately (actually, Hedi nabbed Swim Deep first, featuring Zachary in his Saint Laurent AW13 menswear show – get me with my pop music knowledge…!). But I think this suits Paul Smith’s classic-but-cool aesthetic and will help bring brand awareness to a younger market.
3. EBAY’S LATEST DESIGNER BID
eBay has dabbled quite a bit with high end designers lately. From exclusive collaborations with American designers, and live streaming London Fashion Week shows while selling limited-edition current season stock, it has had varying degrees of success. Its latest initiative, ‘Ebay Designer Collective‘ sees it working with a roster of US brands (including Billy Reid, Jack Spade and Calvin Klein), giving them control over their own ‘marketplace’. Soft launching now with a fuller launch in September, these full-price, current-season eBay stores will see ‘bloggers and influencers’ create content in a bid to help leverage brand awareness and lead to sales. eBay, like Amazon, suffers from an image problem in which, despite methods to evolve, people still see them as just one thing, in this case, an auction site. If this latest project is to succeed, it needs to work hard to present the brands in a way that mirrors their own codes and customer service.