tech style

Fashion Tech: Intel, Opening Ceremony and CFDA Unveil MICA Wearable

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 17, 2014 09:09 PM

After being teased at New York Fashion Week, Intel, the CFDA and indie boutique/fashion brand Opening Ceremony today unveiled MICA, their wearable tech jewelry line that will be sold exclusively at Barneys New York and OC's boutiques in New York and Los Angeles starting next month.

Short for My Intelligent Communications Accessory, the price has been lowered to $495 (from the original "up to $1,000" price point). And despite the photo posted on Intel's Instagam feed from the press event at Dia:Chelsea, it doesn't require a smartphone to work thanks to a tie-in with AT&T.Continue reading...

retail

Frenzy for Alexander Wang Proves H&M's Mastery of Co-Branding

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2014 06:02 PM

The day has finally arrived: Alexander Wang's collection for H&M is now in stores. Wang, creative director of Kering SA’s Balenciaga brand, is the first American to design a guest collection for H&M, and today's debut marks 10 years of designer collaborations for the world's second-biggest apparel retailer after Zara owner Inditex.

After an orchestrated series of sneak peeks—first on Instagram, followed by Rihanna at New York Fashion Week, and then a mention in Vogue Netherlands—as well as a striking video teaser (below) and a New York runway show—the collection has now hit 240 H&M stores worldwide and its network of websites, with select pieces also for sale on the official Alexander Wang website.

As we noted earlier, the collaboration not only crashed H&M's local websites worldwide, but instantly hit eBay, with items priced up to $2,000.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

H&M x Alexander Wang is Now on eBay; $2,000 Backpack, Anyone?

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 6, 2014 11:54 AM

The Alexander Wang collection launch at H&M today saw fans line up around the block around the world, sparking crowd control issues as its local websites crashed, although they're starting to come back online.

Some fans were snapping up $5,000 worth of the New York-based designer's apparel at a time, with the menswear reportedly selling out quicker than the women's collection. No surprise, items are already popping up on eBay for up to $2,000 by one seller. Continue reading...

tech style

Athos, Ralph Lauren Up the Ante on Wearable Technology

Posted by Tom Shanahan on October 24, 2014 02:12 PM

Wearables, wearables, wearables.

They’re everywhere, yes. And now that Apple’s jumped on board and wearable tech was a all the rage at last month's New York Fashion Week, it’s certain the craze will continue, and perhaps morph from a craze to a way of life.

Technology companies are now expected to build products that seamlessly fit into our lives: make them smaller, give them straps, attach them to faces and so on. But what if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing technology? What if you want the technology, but not at the expense of style?

Luckily, there are a few brands leading the charge, not by building technology first, then thinking of a way to wear it, but about design a great piece of clothing, then creating the technology to go with.Continue reading...

brand partners

Heineken Picks Artisanal American Brands for #Heineken100 Products

Posted by Dale Buss on October 16, 2014 04:02 PM

Heineken continues to press its advantages as a premier premium beer brand (#95 on Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report) in a world where volume brews continue to fade.

New Heineken US initiatives range from an extension of its #Heineken100 partnerships with American luxury goods designers, to a new long-term deal with US Major League Soccer and greater use of contextualized "native" advertising on mobile.

The #Heineken100 initiative is the most upper-crust by far. The brewer recruited Chris Gibbs, onwer of pioneering retail outpost Union Los Angeles, to identify and work with other tastemakers, defined artisans and creators who "not only embody Heineken's aspirational and metropolitan essence, but are on the cusp of becoming innovators in their industries," said Belen Pamukoff, Heineken's brand director of marketing, in a press release.

For the fifth year of #Heineken100, the three new brand partners are Parabellum, a premium bison leather goods brand; high-end eyewear label GLCO (Garrett Leight California Optical); and RTH, a Los Angeles-based purveyor of re-engineered American surplus apparel, handcrafted housewares, leather portage and Native American jewelry.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Louis Vuitton: Punching Out Its Logo and Taking a Swing at its Brand

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2014 03:03 PM

Louis Vuitton just took the top luxury brand spot in Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands report, coming in at No. 19. The next highest luxury brand is Gucci at No. 41. Part of the reason Interbrand, which owns brandchannel, put Vuitton so high was because the company has "repositioned to protect and elevate" itself after years of being one of the most counterfeited brands in the world.

But it's not resting on its laurels—or its logo. Under the banner "Six Iconoclasts. One Icon" the brand invited a few friends to update its image and breathe some life into its logo-laden luxury items with some previously unthinkable designs.

Invited to take a swing: fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, red-soled shoemaker Christian Louboutin and architect Frank Gehry, along with artist Cindy Sherman, industrial designer Marc Newson, and fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, all of whom took the 118-year-old logo and gave it a a shakeup in a new collection of bags and trunks that's being promoted as #CelebratingMonogram.

The only guidance the six were given, according to the Wall Street Journal, was to “use the brand’s famous … brown-and-gold ‘LV’ symbol in a new way.”Continue reading...

branding together

U2unes Download: Apple and U2 Announce Next Big Gift to Music

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 18, 2014 03:24 PM

After exclusively launching U2’s new Songs of Innocence album to 500 million iTunes accounts this past week, Apple is delivering something else in response to customer demand. And true to Apple form, it’s an intuitive, easy-to-use and simple piece of technology—a delete button

A case study in how not to show customer appreciation, the unwanted gift of U2 music to all iTunes customers, whether they were fans of the Irish rockers or not, was hyped as the largest album release ever, and a "shrewd" marketing partnership (to the reported tune of $100 million) to celebrate the roots of the brand's longstanding tie-in with the band.

It turns out that the U2 album giveaway was a teaser for a bigger gift to come—and not only to music lovers but to musicians and the music industry as a whole. As TIME reveals in an exclusive cover story today, Apple is working with U2 on a bigger "secret project": a new digital music format designed to delight and excite customers to buy not only individual tracks but whole albums-as-experiences, and in so doing, "save the music industry."Continue reading...

retail

Target CEO Vows Return to "Tarjay" While Home Depot Battles Data Breach

Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2014 03:17 PM

Target's new CEO, Brian Cornell, has decided to go back to the future to retool the retailing brand while Home Depot CEO Frank Blake has to hope that he can see something other than Target in the crystal ball for his own brand, as Home Depot deals with a potentially mammoth data breach.

Target suffered a debilitating customer-data breach nearly a year ago, but the brand clearly was having problems before that. The biggest: Former CEO Gregg Steinhafel had allowed Target to drift away from a distinct identity as the au courant mass merchandiser whose chic apparel and homewear designs elevated it above price-first rivals such as Walmart and dollar stores. Steinhafel instead added a greater variety of goods and focused on grocery expansion.

Now, with Steinhafel gone, PepsiCo veteran Cornell is only a month into his job but told the Wall Street Journal that he has one major strategy planned: return to the narrower range of categories where the chain originally made its reputation as "Tarjay," including fashion and furniture, as well as expand fast-growing other segments including organic foods and children's wear.Continue reading...

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