It’s a bit of a retail focus on the DRG STYLE INDEX this week. Here’s the latest weekly ranking of the brands buzzing on my radar…
1. KENZO X H&M
Thoughts on Kenzo for H&M, the latest of H&M’s collabs, launching in November? I think it’s going to be one of their better collaborations. Kenzo’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are experts at retail and marketing after all, which are arguably as important as the design elements in these mega collaborations. I contributed to the H&M book, The First Ten Years (which came out in 2014), a celebration of ten years of H&M’s designer collabs. My research revealed just how huge the promotional budgets are for these things, with supermodel and super-photographer print campaigns, TV ad campaigns, extravagant launch parties and the rest. For Kenzo it’s a great move to engage the next gen Kenzo customer, although it’s interesting to see LVMH working with the high street so happily.
2. NOT JUST A LABEL’S AUTHENTIC RADICALISM
Loving everything about this version of experiential retail from e-com site Not Just A Label. On 31st May it’s hosting a panel discussion on ‘Authentic Radicalism’ at the fabulous Maison Assouline bookstore in Piccadilly. The line-up is great, including Fashion Revolution’s Orsola de Castro, The Future Laboratory’s Martin Raymond and fashion lawyer Hugh Devlin. So, not only is it an important debate into the creative new ways of working for the fashion industry, but it’s hosted in one of London’s most delightful retail establishments. It’s invite-only but it will be live streamed as well, meaning everyone can watch, even if they can’t be there.
3. APPLE’S NEXT GEN RETAIL STRATEGY
It’s not been terribly rosy for Apple of late, but there is some good news. The new retail concept looks and sounds freakin’ amazing. Just opened in Union Square, San Francisco, it’s the first taste of what the Apple stores of the future might look like. And where Apple leads, everyone else follows. So this could be what all bricks and mortar stores look one day.
A central feature is the ‘plaza,’ an outdoor gathering place for the community, with public Wi-Fi powered by renewable energy (which will be open 24 hours). Meanwhile, in store, creative artists – photographers, gamers, musicians, entrepreneurs – will make regular appearance to host talks and workshops to make the store a creative activity hub, not just a place to sell you stuff. As Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores says, “we are not just evolving our store design, but its purpose and greater role in the community as we educate and entertain visitors and serve our network of local entrepreneurs.”
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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