As etailers increase their editorial content and editorial sites flirt with ecommerce, things are becoming very interesting for the consumer. For starters, I’m loving Mango’s how-to tutorials – beautifully shot, engaging and genuinely useful. But this post is about Mango’s Mix & Match tool.
We all appreciate playful tools like Polyvore and etailers are showing great innovation in making these styling toys work for customers in a way that translates to sales. The point of editorial content on etail sites is to keep customers coming back (and hopefully spending), so dress-up styling tools are a simple way to make that happen. Let me make this clear – they are completely addictive! And Mango’s has a ‘share’ button so you can spread the love, get a second opinion and get your friends addicted too.
I had a play and came up with this Chloe-meets-Luella equestrian affair in a palette of camel, inky denim and powder blue. Classic, unfussy and just-feminine-enough. Even better would be some tools to play with hair and make-up. Wouldn’t a scribble of YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Le Rouge lipstick have been the perfect beauty accessory?
How would you improve this outfit? More accessories? More colour? More pizzazz? Comment below…
Clever Claire’s has tapped into the haul vlogger trend with a shiny new website. One of the first fashion brands to harness the power of haul vloggers, the Claire’s team trawled the streets of America scouting for girls to video blog for the site. The strangely addictive Youtube craze whereby teen girls hit the malls then upload a ‘shop and tell’ video blog is a perfect fit for a youth-focused brand like Claire’s. The retailer’s three brand ambassadors blog and vlog on its site, (hopefully) building a cult following and doling out tips and advice to current and future customers. There’s also a chance for wannabe vloggers to nominate themselves as a future ‘Claire’s Curator’.
It makes total sense to me for retailers to engage with their customers by inviting them to say nice things about their products on their sites (I’m guessing these teens are paid, if not in cold, hard cash, then surely in clothes). Customers trust the opinion of other consumers and especially when the gushing comes in the form of an authentic, home-made looking video. It also doesn’t hurt that the products being raved about are also featured alongside the blog posts to instantly click and buy.
As young consumers tire of celebrities, it seems likely that a new type of ‘blog star’ might take over. The benefit of haul vlogging – a bit like QVC – is it brings the personality closer to the consumer, allowing for a more engaging user experience. With the news that Forever 21 is about to land in the UK, I wonder when we’ll start to see UK youth retailers utilising haul tactics on their websites.
I have written about the blurring of boundaries in menswear and womenswear before. Not being a curvy girl, I tend to prefer the cut and style of menswear – unfussy details, minimal surface decoration, utilitarian fabrics and military shapes are all what I gravitate towards. (I then get my girly kicks from Margiela dog-shaped handbags and mimsy charm jewels).
I’m noticing bolder steps being take with the unisexualisation of fashion. In the same week, I’ve been alerted to the new Pringle campaign (thanks 00o00) and the LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Cafe) concept store.
Pringle has used Tilda Swinton to front both its womenswear and menswear campaigns for AW10. If anyone can rock a mens suit it’s definitely Tilda so there’s no denying she looks wonderful in the clothes, but would a man want to buy them? Pringle has already shown itself to be an innovative brand by utilising both Swinton and art-photographer Ryan McGinley in its campaigns. This latest experiment with androgyny suggests Pringle is yet again giving us something to think about and discuss.
This week has also seen the PR campaign wheels turning for concept store LN-CC. Launching its East London space in October, the store will be a mixed bag of fashion, music and *licks lips* art books curated by book dealer Conor Donlon. Co owner John Skelton told Dazed Digital, “LN-CC was created just to please ourselves. We have been looking to progress and develop our feeling and concept for such a long time so this just felt like the natural thing to do. The concept is not just focused around a store, it’s more an overall feeling and lifestyle that we live and wanted to share with anyone who might be interested. This feeling has been spread over a number of different platforms from our product and e-commerce through to parties, exhibitions and installations.”
I love that they are thinking beyond product and making the retail experience more of an event. But I’m also loving that LN-CC will stock clothes based around a concept of unisex styling. As well as menswear lines from Rick Owens, Sasquatch and Unused, there will be forays into womenswear by menswear designers who scale down their ranges exclusively for LN-CC. As Skelton says, “I really wanted to offer the more turned on girls something in our more masculine flavour as opposed to the high heels and handbags that seem to dominate the premium end of womenswear.”
While the physical store doesn’t open for a couple of months, its online arm will launch later this month. I’ll report back…