Online shopping

Stroll on – could city revamps be the passport to retail rebound?



It’s re-entry time! While the world’s flagship shopping cities have seen their fair share of retail casualties, they’re starting to pick themselves back up again. From London to Paris to New York and even Zürich, it’s clear the battle for tourist dollars is stronger than ever.

“La Samaritaine is like a really pleasant stroll. And when you’re strolling, there are surprises, you discover things, you feel good,” says Eleonore de Boysson, region president of Europe and Middle East at LVMH’s DFS Group. In case you blinked and missed it, La Samaritaine is LVMH’s recently reopened Paris department store, after some 16 years of renovation. Located on Rue de Rivoli and restored to its Nouveau and Deco splendour, the multi-building emporium also encompasses a Cheval Blanc boutique hotel and twelve restaurants. (more…)



Business of beauty: Chanel N°5 Factory Collection [updated]



Chanel No 5 The Body Oil - Chanel No 5 Factory Collection

[UPDATED: THE COLLECTION HAS NOW LANDED AT SELFRIDGES…]

If I could do a career switch, I would love to be a Chanel beauty-packaging designer. Every product I’ve ever interacted with, from the lipstick bullets to the Les Beiges bronzer compact has been the ultimate personal luxury experience. (Also, the products are the best of the best.)

Just launched is the Chanel N°5 Factory Collection*, a limited edition line that takes that idea to its logical conclusion. Chanel has taken its 100-year-old flagship product – Chanel N°5 – and turned it into a brand in itself. The Chanel N°5 Factory Collection is a capsule of 17 limited edition products, all scented with the smell of Chanel N°5. Genius.

The real genius part is the packaging. Functional-looking tubes of body cream*, individually wrapped bath tablets*, gouache-style body lotion tubes* and a body oil bottle that looks like it belongs in the garage (top). The collection is designed to mimic utilitarian products, giving Chanel N°5 a witty, youthful accessibility. (more…)



What’s going on at Gap?



Yeezy Gap

Kanye’s first Yeezy Gap jacket drooped last week, but is it any cop?

The single nylon puffer was the first piece from the much hyped ten-year project to appear as a pre-order on the U.S Gap website (to be shipped in the autumn). In bright blue, the voluminous $200 jacket wasn’t your average Gap fare. (Some memes compared it to a Smurf-coloured bin bag.)

Early reactions on fashion forums were mixed – 65/35 against I’d say. The 35% were quite emphatic in their enthusiasm, applauding Gap for giving so much trust and control to Team Yeezy. Gap even temporarily erased its entire Instagram feed save for one picture of the polarising item. At this stage, one could concede, what exactly does Gap have to lose? (more…)



Would you buy Charvet, L’Uniform, Charlotte Chesnais on Amazon?



L'Uniform bag at Amazon Luxury Stores

We have been debating the ‘can Amazon work as a luxury retailer’ question for almost as long as the ecom behemoth has been around. Funny really, because that’s about the the same length of time as Net-a-Porter and we now don’t question the idea of buying say, a £113,000 Cartier watch online. And yet Amazon has struggled with its high fashion offer despite numerous iterations.

Could things be changing?

The latest attempt is Amazon Luxury Stores*, an in-app experience (U.S only) that recently offered two mini edits by former Colette retail whisperer Sarah Andelman. The ‘pop-up’ edits included products from L’Uniform (above), Charvet, La Bouche Rouge and Charlotte Chesnais. (more…)