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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…)



Buy it now: Sophie Hulme classic bags



Sophie Hulme tote bag

A quick heads up in case you’re in the market for a new work to weekend bag. The brand founder and handbag designer Sophie Hulme announced last year that she was closing her brand, not due to business failings but because of personal health issues. She sufferers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Kleine-Levin syndrome, two rare and debilitating illnesses that make it increasingly hard to be present running a business.

Hulme is an incredible product designer, her bags are so cleverly thought out and executed; remember when you couldn’t move for the Albion totes at Fashion Week? The Outnet is currently selling an edit of Sophie Hulme classic bags* at 30-50% off (more…)



Buy it now: Westman Atelier Lip Suede is here (updated)



Westman Atelier Lip Suede Deep Red

An update for my American followers Westman Atelier fans. Westman Atelier’s Lip Suede compact has landed; a beautiful lacquered clamshell filled with stripes of peptide-rich and marula oil-infused lip colour. It’s priced at $85, €91 or £78 and is available on the Westman Atelier website here. There’s a brush to come at the end of the month.

UPDATE: It’s now arrived in Europe – at Net-a-Porter HERE* or Niche Beauty HERE*. Net-a-Porter is also selling this ‘Shanghai Edition Box duo of the Lip Suede compact with the Eye Love You mascara* HERE.

I know from my stats that you love Gucci Westman’s other products, so I’m expecting these to be a hit. Original story here. Gucci’s red lip masterclass – here – is excellent too. (more…)



The new direct-to-consumer classics



Paravel luggage - direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand

No-fashion fashion; it seems the world is catching up with the ‘gentlewoman style’ set (according to the New York Times), who covet the best version of a thing that they can wear forever. This was the premise of my book, The New Garconne, which came out in 2016. The wardrobe building blocks featured in there have held up pretty well, although silhouettes have morphed slightly over time. But classics are classics, so I think we will always need a blazer, a tailored pant, a slim-heeled shoe and a decent tote.

Interestingly, some of today’s best classics don’t come from the heritage brands but from ‘direct-to-consumer’ (aka DTC) start-ups. (more…)