News

Workwear and the new normal



Brittany Bathgate Birkenstocks

Who is winning the WFH wardrobe wars so far? According to my Insta feed, it looks like Birkenstocks are in the lead. No surprise there as they straddle wellness wear and fashion rather nicely.

For Instagram’s minimalist set, the default uniform is Birkenstocks*, socks, (cashmere) joggers and an elevated knit or sweat. M Magazine’s Suzanne Koller (below) has been proudly sporting her Raey cashmere PJs and Birkenstocks combo on Insta, while Brittany Bathgate (above) is no stranger to a sweats and Birks uniform. (more…)



For the new caring consumer: Hiki and Arfa



Hiki body care sweat set

Pity any new brand launching right now.

I just received a box of Beauty Pie samples (there are new additions* to the Japanfusion line), extolling its new pop-up at Harvey Nichols, which obviously won’t be experienced now for a while.

But worse is Arfa, a US-based direct-to-consumer holding company, whose first brand is Hiki, a bold bodycare line for ‘everyday sweat needs’ (read: deodorant).

Three things of interest here. Acknowledging the mood of the moment, Hiki decided to give its products for free to hospital and medical workers (they just have to pay for part of the shipping), and to everyone else in exchange for a compassionate message on social to reinforce its brand value of ‘kindness’. It’s a way to make the best of a bad situation and bake that situation into its narrative of body care. (more…)



At LVMH, all hands on deck turning scent into sanitiser



LVMH hand sanitiser by Financial Times

I love this feelgood story on how LVMH (granted, France’s biggest company) leapt into action switching its perfume factory into a hand sanitiser production facility during the coronavirus crisis. In a couple of days, the hand sanitisers were available to start distributing to 39 hospitals in Paris (with more to come).

How? It’s all down to quick decision making at the top, plus common business sense. (more…)



On working from home, self-care and post-consumerism life



Better Things, 1973, Ed Ruscha

How is everyone doing? It’s a weird week in London with what feel like the first stages of grief as the C-word-that-must-not-be-spoken takes hold. Denial, anger and bargaining as we try to navigate rather contradictory recommendations from our government, health officials and employers. Trying to make sure we have the required essentials should we wake up one day with a dry cough and fever and can’t leave the house for seven days (or is it 14?). Yet not panic buying as that makes things worse for those who are less able or affluent. (more…)