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china

Will The Selby Put Louis Vuitton Back on the Map in China?

Posted by Abe Sauer on July 6, 2012 12:14 PM

Paris to Shanghai, by train. The concept alone dredges up an atmosphere of yesteryear, when Orient Express-style train travel was the luxury way to travel. And what two cities summon that fabulous yesteryear better than Paris and Shanghai, a city once hailed as "Paris of the East?"

That nostalgic sentiment is what Louis Vuitton is tapping into for its new campaign, "Louis Vuitton Express" — which kicked off this week with a teaser video, "Paris to Shanghai by Train by The Selby," — as the digital extension of an event marketing campaign that's rolling online, on YouTube and on Facebook from the brand's French HQ to its new China HQ.

But who or what, you might ask, is "The Selby?" And will "The Selby" be enough to get Vuitton back in the good graces of Chinese luxury buyers who have recently come to treat the the brand kind of like locomotive travel — a relic of the past?Continue reading...

branding together

BMW and Toyota Collaboration More Than Just Sports Cars

Posted by Dale Buss on July 2, 2012 09:56 AM

The brand DNA of Toyota and BMW couldn't be more different — the first, the epitome of stodgy and reliable automotive transportation; the second, the Ultimate Driving Machine.

Even so, the two brands got together on Friday to announce that they will jointly develop sports cars, among other collaborations. The two companies, unveiling their plans at a press event in Munich, provided few details of the vehicles they expect to result. Industry observers predict the cars will be "high-performance, high-tech and green," as Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs put it.

"I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship," Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, said at the press conference. BMW Board Chairman Norbert Reithofer hinted at the bigger upside for the partnership — the development of low-carbon vehicle technology — with his statement, "I am the one most looking forward to a sports car that is environmentally friendly and truly excites car fans around the world."Continue reading...

brands under fire

Adidas Sparks Uproar With Shackled "Slavery Shoe" [Updated]

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 18, 2012 05:26 PM

adidas is under fire after posting a picture of its upcoming JS Roundhouse Mids on the adidas Originals Facebook page. JS is short for Jeremy Scott, the provocative designer who has had a longstanding association with adidas Originals, while the shoe is part of his upcoming Fall/Winter collection for the brand, which is slated for release in August.

Unlike the uproar over Nike's Black and Tan shoe back in March, it's not the colors or name that's offending, but the rubber shackles attached to them that remind some observers (such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson) of the ankle chains that imprisoned African American slaves. That the "adidas" name is also part of the "shackles" is raising hackles (and heckles).

Even so, the brand defended the design and the designer.

"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery," a spokesperson for the brand commented about the Facebook photo, which has been removed. "Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted ... Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful."

Scott, meanwhile, has deflected criticism of the so-called "slavery sneaker" on Twitter. Update: The designer later tweeted a link to a picture of "My Pet Monster," a plush toy wearing "magic cuffs" released by American Greetings in 1986 that spawned a one-season ABC cartoon series, as the inspiration for the shoe.

Nevertheless, despite initially defending the designer, adidas is pulling the shoe, stating: "We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace."

See Scott's Fall/Winter 2012 adidas Originals collection that included the shoe (along with a close-up) below, and let us know what you think in the comments.Continue reading...

branding together

H&M Taps Maison Martin Margiela for Unconventional Collaboration

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 12, 2012 01:13 PM

H&M has announced its latest designer collaboration: the French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela, which is sharing its "unconventional fashion framework" with H&M customers in selected stores worldwide on November 15th. The co-branded capsule collection includes a women's line and, below, menswear.Continue reading...

branding together

Nike's Air Yeezy II is Selling for $80K on eBay and It's Not Even Out

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2012 02:26 PM

Nike execs must think that they don’t have enough market share or aren’t known by enough consumers or need more clout with the digerati. Unthinkable, we know. Be that as it may, the sporting-goods maker announced at the E3 video-game conference this week a partnership with Microsoft to get into the video-game business together. 

“We’ve moved from being a product company to a services and product company,” commented Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of digital sport. "Nike+ Kinect Training’ gives everyone access to the same training we give professional athletes. It combines our unique understanding of the greatest athletes in the world with the amazing sensor technology of Kinect for Xbox 360.”

The new product, Nike+ Kinect Training, will hit store shelves before the 2012 holiday shopping season and will only be able to be played on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect. The new add-on, Bloomberg reports, will allow “users to receive feedback from on-screen personal trainers and have a workout designed for them."Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Banana Republic Aims to Maintain "Mad Men" Mojo with Trina Turk

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 29, 2012 04:29 PM

Gap Inc. credits its record first quarter results to Banana Republic's first designer collaboration: the two-time Mad Men collection created by the show's costumer, Janie Bryant. Now it's hoping lightning will strike twice, with its second collaboration also evoking the swinging sixties, thanks to designer Trina Turk.

Banana Republic’s North American same-store sales rose 5 percent in the three months ended April 28, the most in two years, while total revenue at the unit rose 7.4 percent to a first-quarter best of $622 million, according to Gap’s earnings reported on May 17th. 

As Mad Men grapples with the changing styles and mores of the 1960's, Banana Republic is continuing on the same path by signing Turk, known for her colorful, Palm Springs-inspired, 'cocktails by the pool' summer-ready capsule collection, including the strapless dress worn by model Coco Rocha (who's guest style editor for Target this month), above. (A selection of Turk's BR designs, arriving June 7th, will be available in a Gilt.com pre-sale at noon ET on Wednesday.)Continue reading...

auto motive

Toyota Plans All-Electric RAV4 EV for Summer Release

Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2012 04:02 PM

Toyota is going down the electric-vehicle trail once again, but it's not getting too charged up about it.

The automaker revealed an EV version of its popular RAV4 SUV this week at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. But unlike rivals Nissan and Chevrolet, who have backed their EVs with major marketing splurges and ambitions of quickly reaching 10,000 sales a year, Toyota is deliberately reining in both output and sales expectations for the RAV4 EV, which is expected to be available in the third quarter.Continue reading...

doing good

TOMS New Campaign Helps Kids' Charity FEED

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 6, 2012 03:03 PM

TOMS has partnered with FEED Projects to help children stay focused in school by providing meals. Every purchase of a pair of limited edition FEED 12 Classics gives one pair of new shoes and 12 school meals to children in need.

Founded in 2007 by model Lauren Bush Lauren, the presidential niece and granddaughter, FEED Projects sells FEED bags, sometimes in collaboration. (Remember the co-branded Gap faux pas?) A portion of each sale is donated to the United Nations World Food Program for children.

Bringing charity back home, TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie has partnered with Helen Keller International's ChildSight program to help provide prescription glasses to children living in impoverished U.S. communities.Continue reading...

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