Archive | September 2012

5 things you wouldn’t expect from luxury brands – feat. Karl Lagerfeld, a bathtub, and André the Giant.

‘When he was a child growing up in Grenoble, France, acromegalic wrestler André the Giant had Samuel Beckett for a neighbor. And since young Andre was too huge to take the regular bus to school, Beckett would drive him there in a van he probably bought with royalties from Waiting for Godot.’

(from the Chicago Reader)

This sure is a rather unusual mix of circumstances, and a very uncommon combination of antithetical characters: a wrestler and a Nobel Prize winner.
Apparently, they used to talk about cricket.

5 things you wouldn’t expect from luxury brands.

1. Montegrappa / Sylvester Stallone

Montegrappa is the oldest Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments.

Sylvester Stallone is known mostly for beating up people in movies, or defeating entire armies dressed in a jute bag. Read More…

Brands & social media: time to sell experiences, not “stuff” – feat. VOSS Water, the coolest water in the world.

This is Voss, Hordaland, Norway.

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The place is pretty pristine, the air fresh and the water pure; Scandinavians do it better, we know that, and a couple of friends decided, a few years ago, to sell the aforementioned pure water, in über-cool design bottles, with a different concept: sell the experience, not the liquid. Read More…

The gentle (and tricky) art of asking questions on Facebook – NME GOOD, Pepsi BAD, Samsung CATACLYSMIC.

‘A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.’

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was a wise man and a legend, but obviously didn’t know much about Facebook. Because in the no man’s land of the Internet, even the most harmless question can trigger a painful backfire.

Brands on Facebook have to talk to users, whether they like it or not; moreover, they want to understand how things go, what people like or dislike about them, what is going on around them. Therefore, following the Bible’s words – “Ask, and ye shall receive” – they come up all the time with questions for the community; It’s not rocket science, of course, but the whole thing shouldn’t be taken too lightly, as they could get unexpected and/or unwanted answers.

Furthermore, sometimes even the most innocent question can be misread.

For instance, we asked the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary “What is marriage?” and the answer was: ‘The state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>’

If my grandfather was asked the same question, he would say “marriage is a situation in which you don’t want to find yourself for more than two weeks, it is like war, but in this case you sleep with the enemy, it is the worst invention after German stand-up comedy, it is…” and so on and so forth.

Anyway, the point is: questions are a great tool to get free feedback from the community, and engage with users and followers, but they can also prove to be a sharp double-edged sword.

Here are a few examples of brands asking questions on Facebook; sometimes they get it right, sometimes things get messed up really bad. Read More…

Paul Smith / Spring 2013 RTW – A beautiful show (although a few people were rather uninpressed).

I was part of the in crowd, yesterday, watching Sir Paul Smith turn Central Saint Martins into an Apollonial temple filled with beauty and elegance.

His Spring 2013 RTW is simply stunning.

That’s how Vogue described the atmosphere: ‘The light-filled space was a great setting for Smith’s colorful spring collection, and a vibrant combination of seafoam, mustard yellow, and flame reds on blouses and button-downs reflected the optimism you would expect to find in a creative ideas factory like this.’

Here it is.

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Tattoos, marketing, and social media / Marc Jacobs GOOD, Chris Brown BAD.

“Tattoos are like stories – they’re symbolic of the important moments in your life. Sitting down, talking about where you got each tattoo and what it symbolizes, is really beautiful.”

Pamela Anderson, actress, model, thinker.

Back in the day, tattoos were for nameless sailors, Polish jailbrids and Millwall fans. Now they don’t scare old ladies anymore, and are taking over the stage, catwalks and Vogue’s cover.

Tattoos sell. As usual, some do things the right way, others just make everybody go “WTF?” Read More…

Fixed gear bicycles and luxury brands / $500k for a bike? Yep. And you have to change the tubes yourself.

Mods, punks, rude boys, skinheads, casuals, b-boys, skaters and bike messengers have something in common: they are part of structured subcultures that originated from the street, then became visible and ostracised by society, and eventually ended up on the catwalk, to be finally absorbed into the mainstream culture. Read More…

VOGUE’s Fashion Night Out 2012 / A personal voyage. Feat. Michael Kors, luxury junk food and scary bearded men

Last night I went to VOGUE’s 2012 Fashion’s Night Out, in Mayfair.

I like fashion – from a sociological point of view and as a fascinating manipulation and adaptation of quasi-art, which suddenly becomes a wearable object, useful and aesthetically appealing at the same time – but I tend to avoid fashion-related events.
It’s like when you enjoy the aesthetics, passion and poetry of football, but you don’t want to join a horde of drunk, testosterone-driven thugs at Boleyn Ground. Read More…

Instagram and fashion / 3 cool things happening RIGHT NOW – feat. NYFW, Marc Jacobs, and Tod’s

‘I have nothing to say/ and I am saying it/ and that is poetry/ as I need it.’
John Cage, “Lecture on Nothing” (1949)

Today, John Cage would have been a hundred years old.
The sun is up in London, and the Thames here in Fulham reminds me of Baja California – if you remove from the picture ANNIE’S JACKET POTATOES truck that stands in between my eyes and the river – and here’s three things happening RIGHT NOW that you can follow on Instagram, the hottest social network around.

Indeed, it is a special day. Read More…