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Michael Kiwanuka – You Ain’t The Problem #MichaelKiwanuka #newmusic

November 11, 2019

Michael Kiwankuk, Later with Jools Holland, You ain't the problem, new music, chalk farm, north london.jpg

Courtesy of: ‘The Thinker

The Sound of Christmas – D Double E – #BlukuBluku Words by @AustinDarbo

November 9, 2019

The Sound of Christmas, D Double E, IKEA, Christmas Song, Christmas Advert

The D Double E IKEA advert is so important because: –

Its using an MC that is very credible and not mainstream –

His lyrics/style haven’t been watered down. Not even by 1%

Its a great example of a brand understanding the nuances of culture.

Brilliant stuff – Austin Darbo

In other news click below…

D Double E, Where Do We Come From, IKES Ad, Grime

Courtesy of ‘The Thinker

#It’s a Pity #ZacPosen

November 5, 2019

“It’s a pity.” The fashion industry has repeatedly made tough decisions and has repeatedly lost talents.

The bankruptcy of the fast fashion brand Forever 21 has already rang a bell to the whole fashion and retail industry. According to the fashion business news, Zac Posen, a famous fashion designer who designed the red carpet dresses for the stars, officially announced on Instagram that Zac Posen, the eponymous brand founded in 2001, and the company House of Z under his name were closed. It is reported that although Zac Posen is famous for designing red carpet dresses for celebrities, his persistence in creative and high-end fabrics makes the profit of the money-making business insufficient to support brand operations.

According to the announcement, the brand’s latest release of the 2020 early spring collection will not be put into production, and the current e-commerce website has also been closed. The news caused shock in the industry.

Zac Posen said that in today’s tough retail environment, he and his partners have tried all possible methods within the limits of their ability They have been looking for solutions to keep the brand going and trying to find sales, but have not been able to find a suitable investor. So the board made a difficult decision to close the company and will dismiss 60 employees. He also posted a photo of the employees on his personal Instagram account to express his gratitude to the team.

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In fact, in April of this year, it was reported that Yucaipa Cos., an investment company of shareholder Ron Burkle, who has been holding Zac Posen for more than 15 years, hoped to sell the brand. Although there have been negotiations with several potential buyers, the negotiations have no endings.

It is worth noting that this is not a story of the failure of an independent designer. Although Zac Posen once sinned the media because of his arrogance which resulted in the decreased brand exposure, in recent years, Zac Posen has not been lacking in topicality and has served as a judge for the famous designer show “Project Runway.”

With the increasing attention of Met Gala, he designed the shining dress for Claire Danes for the 2016 Met Gala ball. He also designed the 3D printed flower dress for supermodel Jourdan Dunn and the 3D printed short dress for Nina Dobrev. For Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, he created the long green dress. All of these creations got a lot of discussion on social media platforms. In particular, he recently used a lot of high-tech technologies such as 3D printing to make his designs easier to catch people’s attention.

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Zac Posen has a good relationship with celebrities and unquestionable design skills. But all these are still not enough to support the development of the brand. This should be the problem that is the most worthy reflecting on in the fashion industry.

With Zac Posen’s ultimate pursuit of fashion techniques, the high-end fashion houses with more financial resources should be the best place for Zac Posen. High-end fashion houses often have a well-equipped team, a solid supply chain, global workshops and experienced craftsmen. Zac Posen’s dresses for stars to appear on red carpet need to be produced in hundreds of thousands of hours. This is an important challenge for the designer who set up the studio him/herself in terms of the structure of the core business and human resources. This makes Zac Posen unable to streamline the team and operate at a lower cost like other small designer brands, resulting in a situation where the whole business can’t make ends meet.

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Fashion commentator Pam Boy said on social media that Zac Posen was the best candidate for the 2011 Dior Women’s Creative Director in his heart.

From another perspective, although the industry feels sorry about the closure of his personal brand Zac Posen, it is not necessarily a bad thing for the designer’s own career development. Once Zac Posen has the opportunity to join luxury brands and high-end fashion houses, there is no longer a need to distract and support the company through a large number of meaningless collaborative series of income.

Opportunity still exists. Nevertheless, the challenge is that luxury brands are becoming more cautious about the choice of talented designers as market competition continues to intensify. They tend to choose designers who can prove their business value in response to the growing risks of the industry. Brands and Creative Directors are more like a gambling relationship. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current Creative Director of Dior Womenswear, despite many doubts, the good business performance after her taking office has made the brand and public confident in her. The breakup of Raf Simons and Calvin Klein proved the cruelty of the business.

Thoughts: As far as the talent of the designer is concerned, Zac Posen deserves it, without any doubt. But the #Designer does not equal the #DesignerBrand. From a brand management perspective, Zac Posen has never been a well-designed designer brand, because as a brand, the brand requires careful business planning and positioning. In consumer perception, Zac Posen is no different to the red carpet dress–they have no idea what the brand actually sells. Consumers don’t pay for a brand that doesn’t know what it stands for.

Investors and business strategic partners usually assess whether a business has benign assets. Although the talents of the brand’s soul person are also assessed, if the value created by the designer and the return on investment cannot be balanced, investors will choose to give up. Moreover, for investors, Zac Posen is not a historic brand like Chanel or Louise Vuitton, there is no brand story. For ZP, it is also difficult to launch a high-profit perfume line. The value of Zac Posen lies in the Haute Couture business, or more straightforwardly, in Zac Posen’s own talent. But investors don’t want to pay for the messy line and other edge businesses.

Do you have any thoughts on the close of Zac Posen? Leave your thoughts below!

 

Courtesy of ‘The Designer

#Bankruptcy #Forever21 #ThoughtsOnFastFashion

November 1, 2019

Although Forever 21’s sales reached $4 billion in 2014, they are now in the fate of bankruptcy.

Due to excessive expansion, the US fast fashion brand Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy and is going to close 350 stores worldwide, including up to 178 US stores. But they will continue to operate in Mexico and Latin America.

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Forever 21 have three stores in the UK and are currently undergoing a clearance sale of £30 million. Some analysts said that their biggest burden is the size of their huge physical stores. The brand closed more than 700 stores in the US in the first half of this year, more than the number of stores closed in 2018. All their stores in China have been closed. Moreover, their stores in Japan were all closed in October last month.

 

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Forever 21 Announcement on the Group’s Official Website

The industry did not feel much surprised that Forever 21 ended up in bankruptcy. Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail, said that the bankruptcy of Forever 21 was the result of both the changing clothing trends and tastes, and the mistakes of group decision-making. Faced with fierce competition from rivals such as Zara and H&M, the Forever 21, which has a price range between $4 and $20, lacks significant differentiation and originality. At the time when consumer perceptions are awakened, Forever 21’s low quality and cheap goods have faded out of the sight of major consumer groups.

In addition, Forever 21’s 15- to 25-year-old customer group has a very low loyalty to the brand. Once the products are not up to date and meet the consumer’s fresh needs, they will not hesitate to switch to another brand. Apart from Forever 21’s recent initiatives which include the addition of multi-brand beauty collection store Riley Rose and 21 Red comprehensive concept store, there is no other new activities to capture customers’ needs. Instead, the lawsuits of luxury fashion brands such as Puma, Gucci and Adidas have aroused much public attention but pushed the brand image to fall to the bottom of the public.

In the face of fierce market competition and rising operating costs, this fast fashion brand, which were founded by the Korean-born couple Zhang Dongwen and Zhang Jinshu in the United States in 1984, have been shrinking in size in recent years. Since 2016, they have withdrawn from Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and markets such as Japan and Australia. Most stores in North America have also shut down.

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After 2017, Forever21 began to gradually withdraw from the Chinese market, and successively shut down stores in Hong Kong, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, etc., and finally completely withdrew in May this year. Last week, the brand announced that it would withdraw from the Japanese market in October.

Some experts pointed out that the decline of Forever 21 is related to the structural transformation brought about by the inequality in the US domestic market. The middle class consumers that Forever 21 has relied on are characterized by high salaries and geographical dispersion. But problems such as de-industrialization and turmoil in the retail market have led to increased regional inequality and geographical concentration of high-income people. As a result, the purchasing power of middle-class consumers have also declined.

Thoughts: The bankruptcy of Forever 21 has sounded the alarm for the development of fashion enterprises. Behind the difficulties and transformations of fast fashion, the era of winning by quantity speed has passed. As the market becomes more saturated, consumer desires and expenditures in clothing are becoming less and less, while the pursuit of comfort and quality in clothing is getting higher and higher. Fashion brands need to reduce plagiarism and imitation in the future, and display more creative and competitive products to consumers.

When change becomes the norm in the apparel industry, whether it is Zara, H&M or Forever 21, the neglect of young consumers’ changing tastes and needs, will only lead to the elimination from the market.

 

Courtesy of ‘The Designer’

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