Harmonie's Look on Fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Communication

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.

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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!

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

Christmas Holidays and New Year are often a prosperous time for limited edition items.

Evian takes its chance every year and offers a limited edition of its bottle of water. Not a long ago was launched the 2011 edition which features an exclusive design by the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake.

It is not the first time that Evian collaborates with a famous fashion designer. Indeed, the four last Holiday editions where redesigned by reknown designers: Paul Smith for 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier for the 2009 edition,

or Christian Lacroix in 2008

Evian is not the only brand to work in collaboration with fashion designers for limited/special editions.

The French brand Perrier worked with Agnès B for a special can of its carbonated water…

…with Dita Von Teese for a sexier version

…or with Custo Barcelona for a colorful summery edition.


Coca Cola is also a specialist in terms of customization and packaging (I guess that’s a good tool to newness for a 120-year old brand !)

Last to date, the Karl Lagerfeld version of the Coca-Cola Light Glass Bottle… It even makes more sense when we know that Karl Lagerfeld is an absolute fan of the beverage!

A stripped version by Sonia and Natalie Rykiel, of course!

A feline and jet set version by the Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli

Or a chic version by the Spanish shoes designer Manolo Blahnik:

On the business side, this trend is called “masstige“, the combinaison of mass market and prestige, or co-branding, which is applicable in many industries and for many products.

The idea is to put together two powerful brands and create new things to talk about. It is helpful to rejuvenate old brands or promote new versions of a product that has been on the market for a long time.

For fashion designers, it creates yet another support for the expression of their aesthetic and a tool to expand the scope of their name/brand.

Convinced? Tell us which designer you are gonna drink from today or which is your favorite!

Today it is time to speak a little bit about Mango, the world’s second Spanish fashion retailer (1). Even though Mango and Zara may have the same target market, their business model and strategy are somehow different.

Mango was founded in 1984 with the opening of a first store in the Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona. The founding brothers, Isaak y Natham Andic, currently keep the control of the company which is 100% family-owned. Although it would enlarge the company financial base, there is no plan of selling shares in the stock market so far.

(http://www.mango.com/oi/index.html)

The franchising strategy:

Indeed the franchising strategy allows Mango to achieve worldwide presence without baring the costs of store ownership. The international expansion started in 1992 with the opening of two stores in Portugal. In 1997, already half of the revenue came from out-of-Spain stores. This figure reached 77% in 2008 (2). Today, the brands has over 1700 points of sale in 100 countries. (3)

(http://www.citizensound.net/2008/03/29/sonic-retail-rant-3-is-mango-the-westlife-of-fashion-stores/)

Zero manufacturing:

Unlike Zara, Mango does not manufacture any of its pieces of clothes. The company relies on “more than 140 suppliers around the world, and each region specializes in one type of clothing that it can manufacture at a competitive price”(4). With such a range of suppliers and sales in 90 countries, we can imagine that Mango’s supply chain and information system are powerful and well-designed to support current success and future expansion.

Communication focus:

Mango’s target segment is precisely defined and composed of women who love fashion and want the latest fashion trends. Enric Casi, Mango’s CEO believes that 30% of the people passing by a store is actually in the target segment. That way the essence of the brand is not deluted and the target segment is very focused (5).

Unlike Zara, Mango is actively focusing on Image, Communication Campaign, PR, Events and Celebrities to support its fashion positioning and promote its brand.

Celebrities are the core of each communication campaign. From Penelope and Monica Cruz to Scarlet Johansson and the newcomer Olivia Palermo from MTV’s show The City, celebrities are the best persons to embody the brand essence.

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1119322/First-look-Penelope-Cruz-sister-Monica-flirty-LBDs-new-ad-campaign.html)

(http://empresasycreacion.blogspot.com/2010/10/trendencias-scarlett-johansson-anticipa.html)

(http://www.trendencias.com/marcas/lookbook-olivia-palermo-para-mango-otono-invierno-20102011-todas-las-imagenes-y-tendencias)

Mango is also using events like the Mango Fashion Awards to settle its fashion sense (6). Jean Paul Gaultier was the Chairman of the third edition which showcased young designers from different parts of the world competing in a fashion design contest. This kind of initiative is interesting in the sense that it builds the frame for the future of ready-to-wear fashion design and paves the way for the emergence of young designers.

(http://www.condenast-profesional.es/articulos/nueva-edicion-del-boton-de-mango/644)

Mango also uses its blog Keep the Beat to keep in touch with its customers and grab every opportunities to promote the brand. Last event to date: Barcelona’s Shopping Night Out early december.

As a conclusion, we can say that Mango has a distinctive positioning and strategy that is supported by a supply chain that needs to be as lean and fast as possible.

Next time, we will cover a surprising brand well depicted by the slogan “this is not the same“: Desigual. Stay tune!

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References:

(1), (2) Dossier economico: http://www.mango.com/oi/index.html

(3) Detras de la marca : http://www.mango.com/oi/index.html

(4), (5) http://www.wharton.universia.net/index.cfm?fa=viewfeature&id=1532&language=english

(6) http://www.mangofashionawards.com