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September 2010

Boston Fashion Week/Launch 2010

Continuing with the Boston Fashion Week coverage, I attended Launch 2010 on Sunday, a collaboration between The Fashion Group International and the BCAE featuring a runway presentation from five new designers. Take a peek at the collections:

A soft, feminine, and wearable collection from Victoria Dominguez-Bagu (love this one):

A more structured and dark collection from Porntip ‘Aey’ Hotawaisaya:

Floor-skimming formal wear from Laura Kane (I love the plaid number):

High-energy textures and patterns from Sara Marhamo:

And wild use of leather/hides from Samira Vargas:

Visit the Launch Gallery to view more stylized photos of the collections by the five aspiring photographers who also participated in the event.


Manolo Blahnik

Yesterday I got an up-close glimpse of Manolo Blahnik, the Spanish fashion designer and creator of the eponymous line of shoes beloved by women all over the world.

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It was all part of a Hello Stiletto/Neiman Marcus trunk show where Blahnik devotees could sip champagne, view his latest collection, and wait in a painfully long line to meet the designer and have him autograph a pair of shoes (!). Buyers also receved a "My Man Manolo" organic shopping tote. 

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With the kickoff of Boston Fashion Week, there are lots of stylish events happening around town. Hope to see you at some of them!
  


Sons of Fashion

Mad Men grabbed all the headlines for influencing fall fashion, but those ladylike, tailored looks may soon give way to a new fashion muse: SAMCRO.

For the uninitiated, I'm referring to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original Charter, the subject of the excellent FX series, Sons of Anarchy (now in its third season; if you haven't seen it yet, do so now).

The rough-hewn threads of this close-knit group of outlaws are popping up on runways, in fashion mags, and catalogs alike. Sightings:

Opie is known for his slouchy knit hat; now you can be, too, with Hessnatur's version.

Opie Hessnatur

Pick up a cross pendant a la Gemma from Low Luv x Erin Wasson on Shopbop (cleavage not included!).

Gemma Cross pendant 

The entire crew wears motorcycle jackets and biker boots, of course; get yours from DKNY and JCrew, respectively.

Moto jacket Motorcycle boot
 
Even the 154-year-old classic, Burberry, has gotten in on the act, launching its "heritage biker" look during the recent London Fashion Week (great read).

Burberry-catwalk-006 

No sightings yet of Jax's rings, but my money's on Elizabeth and James or Jules Smith to come through for us.

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(And if you're just really into the TV show, you can get branded merchandise here.)


Boston Baked Beads

Picked up this charming owl necklace at the recent Art in the Park hosted by the Artists Group of Charlestown:

Boston baked beads 
It's the latest in a line of contemporary polymer clay jewelry and accessories created by Lisa Mackin of Boston Baked Beads.  Adorable!

Find more at her Etsy shop, here.


AddMirror

Another thing caught my eye on our recent trip to Toronto: the AddMirror.

It all started with a trip to the restroom at a downtown brunch spot. Take a look:

That's right - as you're standing in front of the mirror, words and phrases fade in and out, resolving into an ad. Brilliant! It's clever and attention getting, and certainly caters to a captive audience. 

According to AddMirror, there are about 1,500 mirror placements in the UK and over 3,000 worldwide, which have yielded impressive ad effectiveness measures:

RECALL 69% unaided recall of actual brands
WORD OF MOUTH 25% discussed the campaign with friends in the restaurant/bar
POST CAMPAIGN RECALL 45% recall…6 weeks after the campaign ran
AUDIENCE APPROVAL 84% rate AddMirror very good to excellent

Think of the fun you could have playing around with different executions - like including an SMS-based call to action, or even a QR code. And what about use in fitting rooms?

I haven't seen this anywhere in the States; have you?


The Buildings in Toronto

I'm back from all my travels (for now), which included:

It had been years since I'd been to Toronto, and I'd forgotten how beautiful the city is (as well as how great the restaurants are - we enjoyed some authentic Mexican at Hernando's Hideaway). What struck me most is the wonderful mixture of traditional and modern architecture - often on the same building. Here are a few shots:

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Even the McDonald's is aesthetically pleasing:

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Full photo set here.


Marketing, now that "The Web is Dead"

Hello, Readers,

I know, it's been awhile since I've posted. Life has been busy, and lots of travel (for both business + pleasure) has kept me from the keyboard.

For now, I'll share my latest post that just went live over on the PARTNERS+simons blog. Enjoy!

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The folks over at Wired Magazine created quite a controversy last week when they proclaimed, “The Web is Dead.

Throngs of bloggers, tech professionals, and media pundits weighed in with their thoughts on the subject. A co-worker of mine even framed the cover, preserving this day in pop culture history:

The Web is Dead
The Web is Dead

Why all the controversy, and why should marketers care? It has to do with the changing nature of media consumption and the role of your corporate website.

It should be noted that Wired makes a distinction between the Internet (the core infrastructure for transferring digital content) and the Web (the hypertext documents accessed over the Internet). In fact, the full article title is “The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet,” but the more provocative, truncated version surely sells more magazines.

We’ve seen a huge shift in recent years away from primarily Web-based browsing to platforms that use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display (e.g., email and instant messaging clients, mobile apps, networked games, iTunes). Wired points out that the HTML data delivered through the Web now comprises less than 25% of traffic on the Internet, and will continue to shrink as app adoption grows.

Why the Web is "Dead" (or Dying)
Why the Web is "Dead" (or Dying)

But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Web’s death has been greatly exaggerated.

To be sure, app usage will continue to grow, likely at the expense of browser usage. But marketers should consider apps as a complement to their marketing mix, and not necessarily a replacement of an existing channel. Just as the Web didn’t kill TV, and MP3s haven’t killed radio, apps have not killed the Web (yet, anyway). In fact, Wired’s attention-getting headline harkens back to the December 13, 2006 issue of Time Magazine, which predicted that user-generated content on sites like Wikipedia, Youtube and MySpace (yes, MySpace!) would “seize the reigns of the global media” and “beat the pros at their own game.” Of course consumer-generated content is now pervasive in modern media, but it has hardly “killed” more traditional outlets.

Time

Does your brand website still matter? Heck yes; the Web is still very much alive.

But its role is changing: in a fragmented media marketplace, your brand website forms the hub of all other activity. It is here that you formally articulate your product and service offering, your value proposition, and your market differentiators. It is here that you anchor all of your offline initiatives, allowing TV viewers, radio listeners, and print readers to find out more (and share it with friends). And it is from here that you syndicate content to all of the new media channels now at your disposal, be it mobile, social or app- based.

Nielsen’s Pete Blackshaw said it best in a recent column for AdAge:

At the end of the day, brands today live a decentralized, if not fragmented, existence. The brand "home" has line-extended itself into a network of smaller residences and rented apartments -- or what we might call "brand stands" -- all primed for meeting and interacting with the consumer at various stages in the purchase, loyalty or advocacy cycle...A smart website feeds and refreshes the brand stands. It anchors the brand database, arguably the most coveted asset, and sets the tone and standard for the brand's ethos and attitude about feedback, expression and service. Put another way, it establishes that first critical (often unforgettable) impression. A great website also smartly syndicates, re-circulates and curates social content from the brand stands. Importantly, if we're truly entering a POEM (paid, owned, earned) media mix model, brand websites are key. They anchor the owned, reinforce the paid and incubate the earned.”

So rather than thinking about scrapping your website and focusing on the latest marketing craze, rethink your distributed Web strategy so that your site will best support all of the innovation happening around it.

PARTNERS+simons can help.