Archive: August 2010

Asos to cut kidswear

When most fashion businesses were struggling with the recession, internet phenomenon ASOS evolved from a company duplicating celebrity-inspired products to a trend-setting label bought by celebrities such as Rihanna and Kate Hudson. Effectively selling to its key demographic – a generation that expects a quick online experience, affordable prices and easy purchases as a matter of course – ASOS gained the ability to empty our bank accounts each month.

As Kate Carter put it: “At the current rate of growth, we will be living in the People’s Republic of Asos by 2020.”

However, news today has shown that even ASOS are not immune to the harsh business environment and have made the decision to cut its kidswear label – Little ASOS – at the end of the year. ASOS, which sold kidswear brands including Ralph Lauren and Little Joules alongside its own-label collection, said it would drop the category to allow them to focus on growing its adult business.

ASOS product and trading director Rob Bready confirmed to Drapers magazine: “As part of a continued focus on building the adult fashion area of the business, ASOS will cease trading its kidswear division at the end of 2010.

This will enable the company to focus its resources of both the team and infrastructure into the key growth areas – trend-led product for a fashion-driven customer between 18-34 years old.”

ASOS debuted kidswear on its site in 2008 but the branded market has since suffered declines at the expense of fast-growing own-label kidswear offers, particularly from the value sector and supermarkets.

Love for Love

For the fourth issue of Love magazine two covers a day are being released throughout this week on models.com, to reveal eight collectable covers. The highly anticipated issue will be on newsstands August 23, with the bonus treat of an iPad app available simultaneously to download for free.

Released so far: Alessandra Ambrosio (The Angel), Rosie Huntington Whiteley (The Siren), Gisele Bundchen (The Bombshell), Lauren Hutton (The Heroin), Agyness Deyn (The Rebel), Barbie aka Ms Perfect (who looks suspiciously like Gemma Ward: The Mannequin) and Kelly Brook (The Sweetheart), which was just released as I was writing this.

Images shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

New York Fashion Week to feature first plus-size only runway show

US website OneStopPlus.com, a web-mall for plus-size women, will produce the first ever plus-size only runway show during New York Fashion Week on 15 September.

To be staged at The Atrium in Frederick P Rose Hall at the Lincoln Centre, famed curvy models, such as Lizzie Miller, Tocarra Jones and Emme, will walk the runway in the brands Spring 2011 collection.

Stephanie Sobel, President of OneStopPlus.com said, “The recent confluence of events and energy within the plus-size movement makes this the perfect time for OneStopPlus.com to debut at New York Fashion Week. Top plus-size models like Crystal Renn and Lizzie Miller in Italian Vogue, French Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, and others, validate that this is the magic moment for plus sizes.”

OneStopPlus.com is a pioneer in the ever-changing fashion industry, proving that the 62% of American women who are plus-size can also experience the high-fashion lifestyle.

Zahir Babvani, VP of Design of OneStopPlus.com says, “This show is a collaborative effort to provide the extraordinary community of plus-size American women with the uncompromising style that they have always deserved but never received. It’s about inclusion and fashion democracy: fashion risk-taking and empowerment. No more seeing what you can’t have; this is a fashion party that invites and inspires everyone.”

The Future Imperfect

Promoting themselves as the newest trend blog, The Future Imperfect, run by Luis Rubí and Davinia Arias, see fashion as painting a blank canvas.

“Starting from there,” they say, “we have built this site, The Future Imperfect, where we are going to develop and explain, from the very beginning to the very end, our vision of future concepts, perceptions and ideas. Here you will find a place to understand and adapt to yourself, the canvas you paint every morning.”

While the trend predictions aren’t probably the most accurate – or closer to season then most forecasting sites – The Future Imperfect is actually a really cool styling blog. Personally, I think they should focus more on this as the couple clearly have a very unique, individual style, which has so-far seen plenty of layering and contrasting materials and patterns.

The Secret Arcade

A new concept in online shopping, The Secret Arcade showcases a selection of independent British e-tailers under one virtual roof.

Inspired by 19th century Parisian shopping arcades, mother and daughter team Samantha and Denise Allan – creators behind award-winning site The Shop Floor Project – have designed a new website based around how we shop in “real-life”. Designed to look like a virtual tour, seven passageways lead off from the main entrance, taking visitors past an array of shop windows, from antiques children’s furniture, a modern haberdashers and a row of perfumeries.

The website was created to make visible niche e-tailers who are generally lost in the vastness of the internet. The creators say, “The Secret Arcade is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on those special shops and offers online shoppers a unique experience to unearth hidden little gems without having to trawl through hundreds of soulless directories.”

Each week The Secret Arcade News section will focus on one of the shops and recent news regarding events running up to Christmas – you can sign up to the blog here or read the press catalogue

Cosmopolitan unveils 3D lenticular special edition cover

The UK edition of Cosmopolitan magazine has launched a special collectors’ edition of its September 2010 issue, featuring a 3D cover in conjunction with Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light.

With a print run of 50,000, television presenter Cat Deeley, the face of the hair brand, appears on the cover, which when tilted by the reader shows her “swishing” her hair from side to side, mirroring Pantene’s “Make a Swisssh” campaign.

The campaign is also supported within the magazine via a three-page Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light promotion and a Confidence Confessions feature from Cat Deeley. Also appearing online at Cosmopolitan.co.uk, visitors will be redirected to Pantene’s www.make-a-swish.com. Here they can upload their own best-captured “hair swish” to enter a monthly prize draw.

Justine Southall, publishing director at Cosmopolitan, said: “Cosmopolitan is focused on long-term innovation. As such, we’re always looking for fun and creative ways to engage our readers and work with clients. Our lenticular cover has enabled us to do this perfectly by bringing Pantene’s campaign to life and providing real standout on the newsstand.”

Consumer events will also be launching at Boots stores around the UK in September. The campaign activity will culminate with presence at the Clothes Show in Birmingham in December. The special edition issue is available exclusively in Tesco stores nationwide.

Store opening, Forever 21, Birmingham

American brand, Forever 21, is expanding into the UK market with the opening of the company’s flagship store in Birmingham. Surprisingly, the fast-fashion retailer has decided its British debut would not be in London and instead has saved money on rental costs by opening at Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre.

Probably on par with H&M, or a more expensive Primark, Forever 21 has over 480 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Korea and Japan selling women’s, men’s (21 Men) and children’s (HTG 81) clothing and accessories. Sub brands include Faith 21 – specializing in plus size – and Twelve by Twelve.

The brand plans to open its next UK store in London in Westfield Stratford shopping centre, due to open in 2011.

The images below are from the Forever 21 store in Times Square:

Goodwood vintage fashion festival

Celebrating five decades of style, the first annual Goodwood Vintage festival -opening today- is a fashion led fete of creative British cool from the 40s onwards.  Whether your thing is Swing, Rockabilly, Mod, Soul, Funk, Disco, Ska, Electro, Burlesque, Film, Art and Design, or you just want to dress up for a day, Vintage at Goodwood promises to be rich in British creative and cultural history.

The event, brainchild of designer Wayne Hemingway – who said he was “underwhelmed by the lack of glamour” at the festivals he attended – embraces music, film, art and design, with the primary focus on fashion.

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Italian Vogue’s BP inspired photoshoot controversy

The Vogue brand is renowned for its controversial editorials – well, apart from our own rather bland UK Vogue, come on Alexandra Shulman, pull your socks up – this month Italian Vogue have caused outrage from the US after their BP inspired photoshoot, “Water and Oil”.

The massive twenty-four page spread in the September issue features model Kristen McMenamy wearing soaked, black feather outfits, writhing on a tar-slicked beach spitting up oil. The images are taken by equally controversial, famed photographer Steven Meisel –who shoots the Prada campaigns and shot the images for Madonna’s 1992 book “Sex”.

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