technology

Did blogs change the fashion industry?



blogs in Vogue

Sad but true, blogging is considered something of a retro curiosity. Now that everything 2000s is trending, we’re seeing quite a few nostalgic deep dives into the early days of fashion blogs, aka the grass roots movement that upended the publishing industry.

Vogue US has a podcast here, which uncovers the anonymous online identity years, the democratisation of fashion shows and early Fashion Week street style (throw back to that time Tommy Ton’s team mobbed my friend at LFW for a photo of a hole in his sleeve!).

But you can also go back to this live discussion between myself and then Vogue UK creative director Robin Derrick, which took place at the Apple Store in Covent Garden. Robin tweeted me in November 2010, asking me to co-host the event which would take place in February 2011 to mark the launch of the Vogue iPad app. I remember the Vogue PR team telling me it would be recorded for a podcast and having no idea what that was. I was also terrified, as I was still a Gossip Girl-style anony-blogger up until that point and this was going to be my coming out party!

I relistened to the podcast a few weeks ago and found it fascinating how right Robin was with all his predictions. One question that has seemingly been edited out of the Q&A at the end was from Lyst founder Chris Morton, challenging Robin on whether blogs were ‘going to eat you for lunch’. I guess Vogue didn’t much like that question, although I recall Robin answered it pretty well. Anyway, Vogue is still here and so are blogs, so it looks like there’s still room for us all.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE:Matthew Brookes /Vogue
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Ask Alison: How Browns Brook Street has recast itself as the new luxury omni-flagship



Browns Brook Street The Focus

There’s a new luxury retail destination in town and it’s a storied Mayfair townhouse that features a heady mix of culture, community and the latest personalised tech-led shopping services. DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON reports…

Apart from the appealing fact that visiting an actual store is somewhat of a novelty as we emerge post-pandemic, we are about to enter a new era of phygital retail. Phygital 2.0 plays to the strengths of being inside a physical boutique environment – all the trappings of tangible and joyous purchases plus social interaction – while having frictionless digital retail services at your fingertips.

Launching on 12 April, at a reinvented flagship location, Browns Brook Street is the manifestation of owner, Farfetch’s visionary ‘Store of the Future’ omnichannel strategy that we first heard about in 2017. (more…)



Are NFTs, digital currencies and ‘The Internet of Value’ really going to change modern life forever?



Beeple NFT art

This month I’ve not been able to move for news and hot takes (pay wall) on NFTs. I don’t know how long they’ve been around but like most media people, I got wind of them after the artist Beeple sold an NFT (essentially a one-off digital file) of a digital collage he had made (pay wall) for $69.3 million. Boom! Suddenly everyone was interested.

I read a succession of articles to get my head around them but I should have just waited. Because Professor Scott Galloway has the ultimate explainer on his recent podcast with smart futurist Raoul Pal. (more…)



TRP Travel Retail Style Index: January 2021



Helena Rubinstein gold leaf hand massage CDFG Sanya

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

As the first update of the New Year, we kick off with a brief look at the new laws for duty free here in the UK, as well as some positive retail news from China.


1/ SEE EU LATER.
This month, there will undoubtedly be much Brexsplaining going on as travellers come to terms with the cancellation of tax-free shopping refunds for luxury fashion purchases in the UK. As of 1 January, the government has abolished the VAT Refund Scheme for non-EU travellers in the UK, meaning that shoppers from overseas can no longer claim their tax back on luxury purchases when they return home, unless the goods are shipped separately from the traveller (cost prohibitive). Meanwhile, the good news is that duty-free shopping is back for travel between the UK and EU (for alchohol and tobacco only), which means a Brexit bonanza for fans of the booze cruise. (more…)