Harmonie's Look on Fashion

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A nice discovery today with this artist that redefine modern jewellery and mix accessories and gardening to create green growing jewellery!

It is one of several projects led by HAF by Hafsteinn Juliusson, a Iceland-based company that intends to offer alternative lifestyle design products. In his designs, Hafsteinn Juliusson always keeps in mind society and ecology while avoiding mass production. He likes to consider life as simple and find innovative solutions which have a rich and strong concept.

Other projects are as interesting as this nice viewpoint on jewellery.

Starting with the conclusion that junk food consumption was more a habit and social ritual that interrupt routine than a hunger impulse, HAF created SLIM Chips, a chip made from edible paper and organical taste. Launched with the slogan: “Don’t get fat, just eat nothing”, slim chips are available in mint flavor, blueberry, cheddar and wasabi.

If you are interested in a simple, affordable and fun stool, why won’t you consider this funstackable stool:

If you are looking for an easy-to-carry cushion AND you are a laptop owner, you might want to consider this laptop bag (the Napbook):

With only a few month of existence, this company is really offering interesting concepts and products! Let’s keep an eye on it!

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One of the numerous brands I got to know at The Brandery is the French brand Faguo.

It is a brand of responsible sneaker shoes. Its concept is to plant a tree for each pair of shoes sold in order to offset the carbon footprint caused by the business of producing and transporting the shoes.

The company was created only two years ago by two French business graduates who met while studying abroad in China. Their passion for China and fashion encouraged them to create their brand. Faguo actually means France in Chinese.

The shoes are manufactured in China and one employee is there on a daily basis to check the quality of the products as well as the working conditions of the people producing the shoes.

Transportation from China to France is done by ship to reduce CO2 emissions and final transportation in France from the port to the warehouse is by boat too. Those concerns for the environment are symbolized by the coconut botton placed on the side of the shoes.

Warehousing, packing and shippind is outsourced to an association that focuses on profesional rehabilitation.

The brand is extremely sucessful and is already sold in France, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Norway and Canada. Faguo is rapidly expanding its distribution network from the current 150 points of sale.

At the product level, Faguo is reinforcing its range with new references added each season.

For spring 2011, limited edition shoes were created through collaborations with four French bloggers as well as special edition made of Liberty of London fabrics (I am in love with those !!!) only to be sold in selected retail points.

A child line has been introduced lately as well. For fall, the brand will be offering some of its products in leather (black, brown and grey).

I love the vintage look and the stripped inside!

To me Faguo is a great alternative to sneakers’ giants like Converse. At least, when buying the shoes you know that you try to reduce the impact of the purchase. Of course, it is not as if the shoes were manufactured in your own country or using recycled materials but it’s still one step to respecting our environment.

I think that their product development is wise. Bloggers do have an increasing influence on product purchase for the general public and it is a good idea to have bloggers participate in the product development process to enhance creativity. The same concept was used about a year ago by André (a large French shoes manufacturer) with its collection “Quand les bloggeuses s’en mêlent” (When bloggers are a part of it) where 6 bloggers designed custom shoes for the brand based on their own aesthetic.

Internet and social medias prove once again to be fundamental when shaping your business.

Last week was the winter edition of The Brandery, a professional trade show for urban brands based in Barcelona. During three days, the 147 brands featured were presenting their new collections for A/W 2011-12.

Recinto de Montjuïc, Palacio 8

Final for American Vintage catwalk.

One of the most awaited show, was the international launch of Custo Line, the new more affordable line from Custo Barcelona. This line keeps the overall aesthetics of Custo Barcelona while offering colorful looks for a younger target segment.

http://premsa.firabcn.es

http://premsa.firabcn.es

http://premsa.firabcn.es

This collection is the first from Custo to ever include jeans. But not your regular pair of jeans. At Custo, jeans are printed or dyed with specific treatments to ensure a special effect. The collection also focus on miniskirts, leggings and printed loose-fitting tee-shirts.

Once again, flashy colors are a key point in the collection but the new palette also includes some soft neutral tones. Main materials are cotton, polyester and viscose.

If you want to see more, watch the video of the show.

How do you like this new line? Would you wear it?

I will be back soon with other interesting brands! Stay tuned!

Yesterday evening I was really inspired and created a new pair of earrings.

The weather was cold (yes, it happens in Barcelona too) and I enjoyed creating those while drinking a cup of tea!

Gathering material…

Composing and glueing…

Final result!

I must say I love the girly Marie Antoinette look! Perfect for all the spring nude outfits, right?

Apart from that, I am planning my visit at The Brandery. I am really excited to see the Catwalk of Custo Line as The Brandery will forcast the international launch of Custo Barcelona‘s second line! Conferences look very appealing too with subjects like “Fashion Brands and Social Media“, “A/W 2011/2012 Trends” by WGSN Spain and Portugal, “Social Shopping” by the general manager of Privalia Spain (the online private sale website competing with venteprivee or ruelala)…

Stay tuned! I will be posting about The Brandery really soon!

If I have to mention the name of one favorite French fashion designer it will be Christian Lacroix. I absolutely love his work, his universe as well as the colors and materials he uses. Born in 1951, Lacroix opened his Couture house in 1987 and began a ready-to-wear line one year later.

A/W 2002-2003 Collection – http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/luxe/0706-lacroix/4.shtml

A/W 2008-2009 Collection – http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/luxe/haute-couture/selection/le-meilleur-des-collections-haute-couture-automne-hiver-2008-2009/christian-lacroix-cote-sombre.shtml

Throughout the years, he has been involved in many diffusion lines (perfume, children’s line, lingerie, bridal) and worked hand-in-hand with other brands to take part in the designing step. Remember the limited edition he created for Evian in 2008?

In 2005, Lacroix designed a new uniform for Air France 36,000 staff members.

http://www.disenoenvitrina.com/dv/noticias/9-noticias/96-alta-moda-en-el-cielo-las-aerolineas-mejor-vestidas?tmpl=component&print=1&page=

In 2007, he redesigned the interior of the French high speed train TGV.

The same year, he also collaborated with the mail and online French retailer LA REDOUTE to present an exclusive collection.

From those examples, I think we can say that Christian Lacroix is designing for people, real people and wants his creations to be accessible to as many person as possible.

To me, it really makes sense that Lacroix and Desigual worked together on this 30-piece collection for automn/winter 2011-2012. I remember writing in this blog that Desigual was dressing personalities and that products are colorful, fun, optimistic… I feel like this could as well be Christian Lacroix’s motto. Both the brand and the designer are attracted by ethnicity and multiculturalism and I am sure that design ideas came fast in the work room when designing this collection. This collection runs under the name of “Dream” and the collaboration is supposed to continue for summer 2012 with a larger number of product involved.

For Desigual, this first ever collaboration brings fresh blood to its products. With the brand expanding really quickly, it was urgent to renew the appeal of the products and reinforce the garments’ offer.

For Christian Lacroix, this collaboration is another opportunity to have his vision turned into products. The Christian Lacroix company was put under a procedure of voluntary liquidation in 2009, the company has been bought in the meantime and now runs mostly through royalties from licenses. The designer himself is no longer part of the company.

http://blog.desigual.com/desigual-lacroix/?lang=es

http://blog.desigual.com/desigual-lacroix/?lang=es

I am sure you can recognize Lacroix’s esthetics into this new collection from Desigual! I am excited to actually see the garments soon!

Last thing, I have been invited as a blogger by The Brandery to visit their fashion trade show next week. I am thrilled and I am sure I will learn a lot. Of course, I will take tons of notes and pictures and I will share those with you! Stay tuned!

Crowdsourcing is a word used to define creative concepts and processes where people outside the company are in charge of the design of the products of a given company. The trend consulting company Nelly Rodi even mentioned Crowdsourcing as one of the main trend of 2010.

Let’s take the example of Threadless t-shirts, a company that use crowdsourcing to get designs to print on tee shirts but also totes, reusable water bottles and all kind of diverse products.

The concept of Threadless is to get designs from people everywhere in the world. Those designs are submitted to votes through their website and the best designs are printed on the company’s products.

http://www.threadless.com/submit

1: Design submission.

They manage to make it very easy to submit a design. A template is provided as well as clear explanations of expectations, printing techniques available and reasons for decline. There is an appealing range of techniques that can be included in the design: glow-in-the-dark ink, suede ink, metallic ink, embroidery…

This is definitely exciting for every designers to be! Even if you don’t feel like designing a print, you can submit a slogan/title that may inspire a design and from which you could be remunerated too.

2: Design score.

Designs are reviewed by the Threadless team and then submitted to score by the Threadless community during 7 days. Best designs can be scored by more than 800 people and designs with lower than 2.5 out of 5 are not likely to be printed. Scores and comments help the Threadless team to choose which designs to print.

3: The printed designers are remunerated:

The designers whose ideas are selected will receive $2000 in cash + $500 in gift certificate + $500 each time the design is reprinted.

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

http://www.threadless.com/product

This is more or less the concept of Threadless Tshirts.

Now let’s see this implications of crowdsourcing on a creative and business standpoints.

On a creative standpoint, crowdsourcing is a way to get a huge pool of designs from everywhere in the world. Design is no longer taken care of by a single design department. It is quite easy to get infinite aesthetic standpoints and revitalization is continuous. The bigger the community, the higher the chance to attract talented designers that would submit awesome designs. Design selection is not only done by one of the company’s department but also by people from the community (potential tee shirt buyers) who will score and comment the design.

On a business standpoint, crowdsourcing enables a company to be sure that its products will sell well and therefore limit risks. Indeed you let your customers decide which products they want to buy from you! It could also be easier to plan quantities based on feedback from people in the community. Customer loyalty is enhanced since customer themselves can take part in the design/scoring phase. Lastly, this methodology is a less expensive and much more variable way of getting designs than having a whole design department working together all year long. The advantages of free-lance without having to rely on only a couple of free-lance designers.

As a general rule, letting customer participates in the design of its products is becoming more and more popular with the example of crowdsourcing but also new levels of customization as for instance with the company Shoes of Prey where customers can personalize their shoes on many different aspects. Customer participation is definitely a trend for 2011.

I am curious to see if anyone of you knows other examples of crowdsourcing or some insights to share about customer participation. Please leave a comment!

Hi there! I hope you still have some space for fashion speech between Christmas presents and dinner menu!

Today, I would like to share some thoughts about an interesting/surprising/colorful company named… Desigual. I am sure that many of you may be familiar with this brand, which is exploding in many international markets.

On Thursday, Desigual was rewarded with the 11th Prix Pyrénées by the French Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona (1). This award celebrates the huge expansion of Desigual into the French market, France being the first exportation market of the brand. Desigual’s presence in France largely increased in the past months notably with the opening of a 12.000 sq. foot store located Rue de Rivoli in Paris as well as other boutiques in French cities like Lyon, Bordeaux and Nice. 17% of the brand’s €450 million sales is done in France and the Catalan brand estimates that the French market can support 120 more stores in the years to come (2).

Let’s try to see in details what’s behind Desigual and what makes it so successful.

The company was created in 1984 by the Swiss Thomas Meyer. In the early eighties, the 20-year old Meyer was working on his own as a fashion salesman on Ibiza Island. Sales were low and he had lots of unsold pants that he needed to get rid of. He then had the best idea of cuting and combining the different materials to create new patchwork clothes.

Thomas Meyer in 1984 with the first Desigual garment (jean jacket) – world.desigual.com

Although international success was not around the corner yet, the concept of Desigual was born and the company was created a few years later (3). Breaking aesthetics, prints and patchwork mix and match are the foundation of Desigual’s designs.

Positioning:

Desigual’s target is not to dress bodies but real persons with their personalities (women, men and children) from 0 to 100 years old.

It wants its products to be fun, colorful, lively, comfortable and optimistic.

Products:

Desigual’s products do not look alike any other products on the market. It’s refreshing, creatively interesting, with many unexpected details.


Thomas Meyer leads a team of 40 designers, who all work together on the collections. Each year a theme is defined and each collection derives from this theme. “La vida es chula” (Life is great), “Better and better” and “Me and you” are some themes used in the past.

Distribution:

Desigual is a company surfing on many diverse distribution channels.

Desigual owns a few of its stores in key locations. It then relies on franchises to open its other stores.

Desigual also sells through corners in department stores (Corte Inglés, Macy’s, Galerie Lafayette…) and multi-brand retailers.

Lastly, the online store was launched in September in France, Spain, U.K., Germany and the Netherlands. If the logistics test is positive, the online store will be expanded to additional countries.

As of today, Desigual is sold in around 8000 locations in more than 70 countries.

Communication:

Desigual relies on many communication tools and is a specialist in unexpected events whether it is the worldwide Kiss Tour Party (where participants are asked to kiss each other’s cheeks wearing Desigual tee-shirt) or the “come in your underwear, get a free outfit” event (where half naked people are queuing from dawn to get free clothes).

world.desigual.com

http://blog.desigual.com/

http://blog.desigual.com/

http://blog.desigual.com/

What a new way to communicate on your brand and products, isn’t it?

Feel free to let us know what you think about this unequal brand, I am curious!

Enjoy the holidays!

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(1), (2) http://www.lavanguardia.es/economia/20101217/54090725502/premio-prix-pyrenees-para-desigual.html

(3) http://www.emprendedores.es/empresa/empresas_de_exito/empresa_moda_desigual