© image by: smokeghost
Now that the 2012 Olympics have shone a light on several new sporting heroes who’ve been embraced immediately by the British public, I wonder if we’ll see a backlash against the money-hungry megastars of the Premiership? It’s more a hope than an expectation.
Choupette’s cousin ‘Poubelle’ - If you’re going to be a fashion cat, you’d better hope your owner knows something about ‘style’
If you’re tired of looking at cats in sinks, meet Choupette (translation ‘Sweetie’). ‘Fashion’s favourite feline’ (really?) is showcased alongside her owner, Karl Lagerfeld in the American edition of Harper’s Bazaar.
Tired of hearing about Facebook’s flailing stock price? I’m not. I tell people at every opportunity. Having ditched the site about 8 months ago, the feeling of liberation still lingers. Finally, I’m free. Free from being stalked by people I don’t remember from high school, free from being invited to silly parties I don’t want to go to, and free from everyone and their uncle knowing where I went to dinner last night.
As Olympics fever boils over the UK right now it seems like the stereotypical British reserve and stiff upper lip are fast becoming outdated typecasts. We’re officially the biggest blubbers on the podium (but they could be tears of relief at not having to put up with the punishing training schedules for a while at least) and have seen moving displays of emotion and excitement surrounding every nearly every event (not to mention the hilarity of HRH making her slick entrance).
With all the attention on the Brits right now is it time for the rest of the world (and ourselves) to update the perceptions of our national psyche?
To celebrate the haul of gold medals being won by Team GB at the London Olympics right now, the Royal Mail have taken to painting postboxes gold in the home towns of the winning athletes.
It’s a great example of brand responsiveness and one that’s made even better for tapping into the national mood and the underlying Britishness of it all, even the PM thinks they’re a good idea.
Tramp stamps didn’t inspire me to write this post – living underneath the Heathrow flight path did. I get to watch plane after plane come into land, and to the uninitiated, most of them look the same – white, two engines, four engines or the massive A380. Gazing into the sky one afternoon I was genuinely excited to see that Emirates have found a way to cut through generic plane aesthetics.
Damien Hirst has been involved in some really exciting creative collaborations. In 2003 with the help of the European Mars Express, he tried to be the first human to place a work of art on another planet. He created a ‘dot’ painting to help calibrate the lander camera of the Beagle 2 – a module sent to monitor the surface of Mars. Alas, the Beagle 2 didn’t land in one piece.
It’s a simple concept but so many places still get it horribly wrong: if you want to make and keep customers, you need to think about the whole experience - your environment, your service, your product - because as Kristen Stewart may be about to find out, second chances can be hard to come by.
Pierre de Coubertin, the man responsible for the modern day revival of the Olympic Games famously said “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part”. It’s a quote that has gone on to to epitomise the Olympic spirit and quite frankly we couldn’t agree more. Even Sir Martin Sorrell got in on the act in his Olympic jim-jams carrying the giant cigarette lighter through London.
Hedi Slimane, the recently appointed creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, has changed the name of the 50-year-old label in a move to mark a new direction for the French fashion house. As of spring/summer 2013 the ready-to-wear collection will carry the label Saint Laurent Paris (SLP). ‘No more YSL??!’ I hear you gasp. I too was deeply shocked and confused when I was made aware of this cruel truth. The audacity of the man, axing the founder’s first name only a few years after his death - surely Yves will be turning in his grave.
Madonna’s done it again, made headlines for controversy, this time at her Paris concert where she superimposed a swastika on the head of French Front National leader Marine Le Pen. She’s now being sued by the political party.
At some point or the other, we’ve all acknowledged that Madonna has created a brand that’s relevant, differentiating, ownable and flexible – it’s the kind of stuff corporate brands would wet their pants for. But rarely do people ever talk about the golden thread that ties all her work together. Most would say it lies in her ability to re-invent herself. But while constant controversy and change may be a tactic, it is not strategic bedrock.
Browsing the rails in Liberty’s I happened upon a too-expensive-for-me Alexander McQueen shirt. I’ve always been a fan of the brand for all it’s impeccable tailoring, refreshing inventiveness and fervent British flavour. Founded by a half-Scottish Londoner, trained on Saville Row, a design studio right in the heart of London’s creative East End (just round the corner from our Farringdon offices in fact) and an enviable endorsement by none other than a Royal Princess it couldn’t be more British if it tried. So I have to admit I was a little disappointed to look inside the shirt and read ‘Made in Romania’ stitched there right on the tag.
With the imminent arrival of the London Olympics putting a blazing spotlight on Britain, how we portray ourselves to the rest of the world is more important than ever.
The trend-sters at Stylus.com have identified, ‘Sun, sea and safari’ as a key trend this season for both high fashion and high street designers. Shoppers are being transported to the jungle, with Mulberry and Banana Republic embracing the animalistic theme, adorning their window displays with Zebra’s and monkeys.