Shot by photographer Terry Tsiolis in New York City, this year’s autumn/winter advertising campaign for fashion retailer Aigner features business-woman and interior designer Iris Apfel alongside models Jason Morgan and Toni Garrn.
Defined as ‘a German brand with an Italian soul,’ by founder Etienne, a statement attributable to the proximity of their Munich headquarters and the desire to provide consumers with a slice of La Dolce Vita, Aigner were one of the first fashion brands to use experiential marketing to their advantage in the 1960s and ‘70s with the launch of their racing days. These events became a fixture of Munich society and created positive associations with the prestigious brand for those who attended the events.
In recent years, as a result of audience fragmentation, brands needed to appeal to a number of different audiences. White identifies that, “to do this, it is necessary to develop a brand which appeals to diverse consumer groups.” Utilising integrated marketing communications techniques and individual’s synonymous with style in their promotional materials, accessories label Aigner can appeal to a variety of demographics by enhancing positive associations created in earlier advertising campaigns with the inclusion of returning models Jason Morgan and Toni Garrn, representative of the young professional market whom Aigner have been targeting since 2013 with a move towards more fashion-forward merchandise in addition to refreshing the brand’s creative identity via a new website, brand logo, packaging and in-store layout by multi-disciplinary agency YARD.
Throughout a variety of media Aigner display a core proposition: their commitment to unique craftsmanship, quality, tradition, and perfection in every detail. Each of their carefully-chosen communications channels complements and reinforces the core brand proposition, and subsequently, conveys added value and clear positioning to their target market. A brand for modern people who love tradition but who live innovation.
In an interview with Dazed Digital, Comme des Garçons designer Junya Watanabe stated that his collections are “deliberately stateless”. They link the past, present and future in a constant state of flux. With the launch of his autumn/winter 2016 men’s collection, Watanabe collaborates with German shoe manufacturer Heinrich Dinkelacker, a heritage brand founded in 1879. Located in Bietigheim-Bissingen, the town is home to a variety of men’s fashion manufacturers, some of whom have been covered on Scott & Croft, previously.
For this first collaboration, Watanabe chose an existing shape, the Rio Glatt, and to use Heinrich Dinkelacker’s signature nailed sole, offering consumers the choice of brown or black leather. The result is a distinctive, sophisticated, long-lasting product created by skilled craftsmen who utilise up to 300 steps in the construction of a pair of shoes.
Heinrich Dinkelacker can be visited at Facebook.
Recently, a multitude of pop-up shops began to proliferate Britain’s high streets with a number of successful ventures transitioning into established retailers. For example, men’s fashion retailer The Dandy Lab began as a 6-week pop-up shop in December 2014 and until recently was located in Spitalfields with the aim “to provide not just a platform for British makers to sell their products, but also for retail technology companies and start-ups to showcase their technologies and test them in a real customer-facing environment,” says co-founder and knitwear designer Julia Bainiaksinaite in conversation with Helen Hoddinott of Marketing magazine.
Another scheme developed in collaboration between Pop-Up Britain and Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre in early 2014 provided almost 100 entrepreneurs with the opportunity to reach thousands of potential consumers with their products, in a unit that these new retail start-ups would not have, individually, been able to afford. Sophie Giblin, founder of art gallery, Kollektiv, says, “It’s not just about the money. Pop-up stores enable us to interact with our customers, as well as helping the high street and local community.” Additional advantages of pop-up shops are that as the shops are temporary, they offer those behind the businesses the chance to provide an experience to current and potential consumers. Then, if the brand delivers consistently on their promise, meeting or exceeding consumer expectations, in doing so they reinforce their positioning and credibility. As Fill writes, “This allows entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop positive brand associations through to the point of purchase,” while showing the brand in a new, positive light that may not have been readily apparent to consumers prior to the creation of the pop-up shop, particularly in the case of retailers which are predominantly online-only.
A brand in east London who recently opened a pop-up shop, due to their permanent boutique being renovated, are Hostem. As Knas writes, the temporary outlet is “inspired by the works of artist Oscar Tuazon and the space features site-specific oak wood structures that serve as the basis of the display. With women’s and men’s ready-to-wear on show, artworks by Graham Collins, Lucien Smith and Hungarian artist Kika Karadi are decorating the store, creating a gallery-like feeling. Complemented by everything white and concrete, the pop-up is a crossroads for fashion, design and art.” The sparse design and clear layout of the Hostem pop-up shop allows the brand to showcase their brand identity. An identity which focuses on delivering exceptional products and outstanding customer service. Hostem state that, “Our discreet and omnipresent team remains on hand to offer the same personal and private Hostem experience, with an evolving emphasis on our collaborative spirit as a holistic destination for fashion, art, and design in the heart of east London.”
Of the pieces stocked, several established names are nestled alongside up-and-coming brands, such as Cherevichkiotvichki, Comme des Garçons, Heikki Salonen, Raf Simons, Thom Browne, Yohji Yamamoto and the second collaborative collection between British brand Mackintosh and Japanese retailer Hyke, amongst others.
The Hostem pop-up shop is located at 28 Old Nichol Street, London E2 7HR. Opening hours are: Monday – Saturday 11:00am – 19:00pm and Sunday 11:00am – 17:00pm.
Selected items can be purchased online at Farfetch.
A product which began as a surprise find in Hong Kong by merchandiser Susan Kilgore in 1985, subsequently became a worldwide phenomenon upon its launch in San Francisco, California, in 1986. This phenomenon peaked in 1996 when sales of Dockers-branded apparel exceeded $7.1 billion. As Hogan writes, “In 1999, Fortune Magazine estimated that 75 percent of men over the age of 25 owned a pair of Dockers.” The brand even appeared, albeit briefly, on ‘90s sitcom Seinfeld. However, Dockers began to fall out of favour in the mid-2000s. This can be attributed to changing fashion trends, the economic climate of the time and those behind Dockers constructing a brand with such an identifiable personality that the demographic they were now attempting to target perceived Dockers as a brand offering products they associated with their parents’ generation. Adrienne Lofton, Chief Marketing Officer of Dockers, recognises that the brand “must identify avenues to get into the consideration set of a young guy who sees us today as a dad’s brand. This is no easy task, but with the product we have—it absolutely can be done.” Lofton continues, “We are always looking for ways to break into culture in a way that makes us part of the fabric and conversation—it’s incredibly daunting, but thrilling.”
Recent efforts to combat this perception have been somewhat successful. For example, experiential marketing, social media and branding agency MKG were instructed to shift the idea of Dockers as the uniform of office workers, to one that is as varied and dynamic as the modern man himself. To accomplish this, MKG built engaging experiential and social activation’s that got men in the products and generated a renewed interest in the Dockers brand.
In 2011, Vanity Fair magazine identified Dockers’ Alpha Khaki line as their “it” product for autumn. The Alpha collection was developed as a result of listening to their target demographic and noticing the then-developing trend for products with a slimmer silhouette as opposed to the more relaxed fit, which Dockers launched, and was successful with, in 1986. Also, Dockers collaborated with GQ in their Best New Menswear Designer in America competition. In this competition, six design houses produced their own take on the Dockers classic khaki design including Riviera Club, Miller’s Oath, Warriors of Radness, Patrick Ervell, Michael Bastian and the winning designer Alexander Wang. The products were available for purchase in Bloomingdale’s stores and online at Dockers.com. This collaboration enabled Dockers to slightly modify their brand personality, subsequently altering the way in which their brand is perceived by their target demographic by demonstrating that Dockers’ products are stylish, high quality and offer an appropriate alternative for younger consumers while still maintaining their core ethos of ‘well-crafted comfort to help conquer the day.’
In February 2016, Dockers launched their 30th anniversary capsule collection. The collection consists of four looks, incorporating items such as lace-up boots and leather-trimmed weekenders to two-piece suits and military-inspired field coats. The great thing about the collection is its versatility and classic styling. For example, an individual can utilise many of the products either in their workplace or for a weekend getaway. In conversation with WWD at Dockers’ 30th anniversary party during New York Fashion Week: Mens, brand president Lisa Collier said, “Thirty years, that’s hard to believe. We want to take a moment and celebrate what the brand has stood for and its path forward.”
Located 20km northwest of Stuttgart, in Bietigheim-Bissingen, are the headquarters of German fashion retailer, OLYMP. Established in 1951 by Eugen Bezner, 65 years later OLYMP maintains their status as an owner-operated family enterprise. 2016 sees an innovative addition to the German fashion brand with the launch of the OLYMP No. 6 super slim shirt. The product is designed with athletic individuals in mind and anchors the SS16 collection, as seen in this season’s lookbook.
The No. 6 super slim shirt is a natural progression from OLYMP’s youthful Level Five range and fits seamlessly into the OLYMP product portfolio. CEO Mark Bezner states, “The introduction of the OLYMP Level Five body fit several years ago was already a decisive step taken in order to meet in an optimum manner the changing needs of the market towards slim fit garments.” Bezner continues, “There is an ever-increasing demand at home and abroad for the quality and comfort of our premium products. Distinctive design, fashionable styles and exceptional wear and care benefits are becoming increasingly appealing to the customers. With the OLYMP No. 6 super slim we want to capture a further consumer target group and a new sales segment.”
Those behind this season’s lookbook and subsequent advertising campaign state that the OLYMP man is successful. However, success is not only defined by individual abilities – it is also a question of image. The brand identity which OLYMP projects is one of quality, luxury, versatility and excellent value for money and these characteristics are in abundance in the SS16 collection. Selected images from the SS16 lookbook are shown below.