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Omnichannel Glam: Q&A with Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss

Posted by Brittany Waterson on September 12, 2014 12:14 PM

A week after opening its first permanent brick-and-mortar store in its hometown of New York, Rent the Runway’s newest venture is already a huge success and it's clear that the start-up, which allows customers to “rent” designer dresses and accessories online, is at the height of its fashion game. 

Incorporating lessons learned from its previous pop-up boutiques at Henri Bendel New York and the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, foot traffic at its new flagship has been steady since the day it opened (20 minutes ahead of schedule to accommodate fans waiting at the door).

Located just off Fifth Avenue in Manhattan's Flatiron District, the store is the first physical embodiment of its recently refreshed logo and new navy and blush color palette. There are now plans in the works to follow up with a store near Washington, D.C., with more locations under consideration.

brandchannel chatted with Jenny Fleiss, co-founder of Rent the Runway, at RTR's Fashion Week celebration at its new Flatiron District store to discuss bringing a digital brand to life, what customers really want in an omnichannel retail experience and what's next.Continue reading...

fashion week

Tech Takes the Runway as Brands Differentiate with Digital Displays

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 10, 2014 07:28 PM

The real star of Fashion Week 2014 is digital innovation. 

Ralph Lauren showcased his Spring 2015 collection, including his Polo line for women, with a water-screen projection above Manhattan’s Central Park, along with a film celebrating New York City. And while the theatrical display may have made the designs and the models wearing them secondary, RL's feat was an impressive entrant into a fashion celebration that has turned its attention to tech

Elsewhere in New York, Samsung used its sponsored backstage lounge to showcase its latest mobile and wearable tech innovations, including the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge and Gear VR, while Burberry created interactive billboards in New York, London and Paris that allowed smartphone users to see their initials inscribed on a digital bottle of the brand's new My Burberry perfume.

Around the world, adidas used Berlin Fashion Week to launch footwear selfies using its newest customization app that lets fans adorn the brand’s ZX FLUX sneakers with personal photos.Continue reading...

fashion week

Upstart Shows Take Their Cue as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Falters

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2014 10:49 AM

Beyond the glitz and the glamour and past the sky-high heels, New York's iconic Fashion Week is changing. For the dozens of high-fashion veterans, it's for the worse. The semi-annual display at New York's Lincoln Center has been overly commercialized, designers say, and is no longer an intimate or exclusive event, but more like a media circus. 

And so this year, it wasn't a surprise to find out that major designers like Vera Wang, Diane Von Furstenberg and Michael Kors went their own route, hosting their shows away from the iconic white tents so they could "more easily control the crowd and better refine their marketing vision," Bloomberg Businessweek notes. “The epicenter of Fashion Week, that bastion of aspirational luxury and pretty clothes, has become un-chic.” 

That's not good for the longevity of IMG, which has owned the festivities since 2001. But more problematic than outsourcing designers are the many pop-up shows and Fashion Week off-shoots that are firmly establishing a presence of their own. 

Take MADE, the 5-year-old fashion show event from the Creative Artist Agency, which hosts its shows downtown at Milk Studios. While MADE may not see itself as a direct competitor to NYFW, it certainly could be considered "cooler."Continue reading...

fashion week

Marc Jacobs' NYFW Pop-Up Employs Power of Social Currency

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 7, 2014 02:47 PM

Pop-up shops are nothing new, but Marc Jacobs‘ fragrance division is using Fashion Week to launch its Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop with a twist—social currency only, please.

Located in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, a tweet, Instagram or Facebook post tagged #MJDaisyChain can be exchanged for goods including fragrances and accessories at the store, while the best Instagram photo of the day wins a coveted handbag.

"Over the years, the Daisy brand has built a considerable following in social media, and to us, the whole undertaking is a way to say a big thank you to the people who love Daisy and are constantly finding creative ways to show their affection for the brand," said Lori Singer, VP marketing for Marc Jacobs. 

"Marc Jacobs is really active on social media and Daisy is one of the fragrance brands that triggers the highest engagement among fans," she added. "We have seen people creating drawings and stage mood shots featuring the iconic bottle, so engagement of the fans is already there."Continue reading...

fashion week

Coach Makes Fashion Week Debut as Brand Tries to Rekindle Luxury Past

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 6, 2014 06:21 PM

Despite brand extensions and spin-offs in the past year, the venerable Coach brand is still fighting an uphill battle to move away from its roots. It's a common lament of legacy brands. In this case, how does a 73-year old brand inextricably linked to its leather-bound past, mired in what some might consider stodginess, become a relevant luxury fashion brand again?

The latest gambit for Coach in its image makeover is to make a splash at the influential Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week that runs now through Feb. 13. In an invitation-only series of presentations, newly appointed executive creative director Stuart Vevers showcased today a line that includes the requisite handbags and shoes, but is likely to highlight the other side of Coach—its ready-to-wear lifestyle fashions and accessories for both women and men. Vevers personally invited around 500 guests, including friends of the brand and the press, according to Fashion Times.

Vevers, whose fashion credentials include stints at Mulberry and Loewe, took over creative duties at Coach from Reed Krakoff, who announced last April that, after 16 years with the company, he was striking out on his own. Actually starting as a Coach property, the Reed Krakoff label is something of an anomaly in a business populated by "real" fashion designers. New York retail consultant Robert Burke told the New York Times, "His timing took guts. The expertise and the needs in luxury fashion require a different skill set." Still, Krakoff is not without his fans, some of whom have a very high profile; Michelle Obama, for example, sported a Krakoff design at the 2012 inauguration of her husband, and wore another to have her official portrait done last year.Continue reading...

luxury watch

Luxury Auto Brands Increasingly Turn to Designers to Fashion Lifestyle Brands

Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 25, 2013 03:52 PM

Luxury auto brands are well aware that their target audience is the upscale, discriminating buyer with disposable income—the same buyer, in fact, who is attracted to the high-end fashion world and who wants an increasingly personalized, exclusive retail experience.

That's why the latest trend has luxury auto brands expanding into retail—even putting their brand names on non-automotive luxury products.

Bugatti, for example, unveiled an exclusive apparel and accessories collection last week at Milan Fashion Week consisting of two lines, "Ettore Bugatti," carrying an "EB" monogram, and "Extreme Performance," carrying the Bugatti logo. Included in the collection is an exclusive blue crocodile skin handbag for women, the shape of which is said to be inspired by the Bugatti's front grille. Bugatti will open as many as 35 exclusive boutiques around the globe in the next five years to sell its collection. In addition, Bugatti introduced "Tailor Made/Bespoke" for customers only—an exclusive program in which custom-made branded products are created to a customer's specifications.Continue reading...

fashion week

Motorola Will Have Its Moment in the Spotlight with Moto X Fashion Week Appearance

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2013 08:12 PM

Other smartphones can play up all the technical details of how fast they are and how much data they can hold, but Motorola’s Moto X seems to prefer to sell itself as a fashion accessory. 

New York Fashion Week begins today, and besides fashion's top design houses, the Google-owned brand will also make its debut on the runway—in the hands of models. The brand has sponsored four designers—Hood by Air, Telfar, En Noir, and Rochambeau—that will show their newest spring lines on Sunday, and at least one of those shows will include an appearance by the Moto X, Ad Age reports

Another Google device, Glass, has made it into the September issue of Vogue, but there's no word yet if the futuristic spectacles will appear on the runway.Continue reading...

fashion week

Is Social Media Making Fashion Week Less Relevant?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 5, 2013 04:58 PM

Front row seats at New York Fashion Week may be in less demand now that the world-famous fashion displays have been turned into a second-screen experience of sorts as more brands take their collections digital. 

Designer Rebecca Minkoff is setting the pace with plans to debut photos of her new looks on social photo app Snapchat moments before the models strut their stuff on the runway at Lincoln Center in New York City. Given the 10-second life of the app, users must request to connect to Minkoff for the brief preview. 

"There's been a lot of debate this year about fashion shows and the circus around it; some people are cutting back," said Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff and Ms. Minkoff’s brother, according to Mashable. "We believe in a different approach. We believe the consumer is part of [fashion week], and that their inclusion is going to grow. The consumer has a voice and say in [our] brand, they should get special perks even if they can't attend the show."

This year's shows will be live-streamed online on Mercedes-Benz's dedicated Fashion Week website, making it even less necessary for fashionistas to attend the shows in-person.Continue reading...

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