This week: Glossier spends winter in the UK, John Lewis sells self-discovery, high fashion meets high culture, and two icons come together to break barriers.
Glossier comes to the UK
It may be winter, but London’s Floral Street was in full bloom this week as Glossier’s new pop-up shop took its residency in Covent Garden until February 9.
The skincare and beauty brand decided to set up shop in the capital after its UK consumers expressed a desire to spend more time with Glossier and CEO Emily Weiss - the woman, the brand, the legends - in real life.
Inspired by Britain’s classic but quaint social clubs, the shop is a clear nod to the bygone architecture and interiors of London. Hints of William Morris run through the eccentric carpets into even more eccentric walls, lined with paper hand-drawn by the in-house creative team. Does it make sense? Not entirely. But it works. From the secret doors to unexplored areas and comfortable seating for uncomfortable partners to the uplifting affirmations always within sight, it manages to celebrate the girl and the woman all at once.
All of the brand’s bestselling products are available to purchase in store, as well as a limited-edition umbrella that is the perfect accessory for a Glossier makeup routine. But the crown jewel, THE Instagram shot, is saved for last; a full-scale installation of a London rooftop, complete with branded curtains and a selfie mirror.
John Lewis pilots ‘experience playground’
Products sell, but self-discovery makes profit and, at a time when stores are being forced to innovate, John Lewis has taken time away from trying to own Christmas and transformed its Southampton department store into an experience playground.
Not quite as kinky as it sounds, unfortunately, it’s simply a place shoppers can try their hand at a number of different experiences; such as cooking classes, cocktail making, and rooftop farmers markets.
It follows in the well-trodden path of other retailers struggling in the retail environment, but has tried to cover its competitors’ footprints by capitalising on the transformative economy. Rather than just offer consumers an experience, it is encouraging them to learn and grow at the same time; albeit at a cost. Improving oneself the John Lewis way can set you back anything from a tenner, all the way up to £110.
“Our goal is to offer customers unrivalled access to expertise and impartial advice in a way that is uplifting and inspiring,” says Peter Cross, the store’s customer experience director. Spoken like a man who needs to justify his job title.
Louboutin teams up with The Royal Ballet
There are many collaborations we want, but there are few we need. Falling into the latter category is Louboutin and The Royal Ballet. That’s right, the face of high fashion has teamed up with the face of high culture. Both. Faces. Together.
They’ve joined forces to create a collection of shoes based on ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, a favourite in the dance company’s repertoire. The collection includes a ‘Sleeping Rose’ shoe, inspired by the ballet’s celebrated ‘Rose Adage’, in which four suitors try to seduce Aurora with a rose; as well as not one, but TWO shoes designed to resemble the ballerina’s famous pointe shoe, both of which, may we say, are on point.
It is a seemingly perfect pairing, and for Louboutin it was always in the making. “Dance has been central to my work. I was inspired by the magic of The Royal Ballet performances, and The Sleeping Beauty returning to The Royal Opera house seemed like the perfect occasion to encapsulate the world of fairytales in a shoe.”
The collection is a useful reminder that, just because brands have to move with the times, it doesn’t mean they have to forgot where they came from. (And we’re sure they’ll live happily ever after.)
The Glenlivet and Don C form rule-breaking partnership
The Glenlivet, an icon in Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (their words, not ours), and Don C, an icon in streetwear (our words, not his), have kicked off their partnership with a limited-edition sweater.
The pair have come together to break tradition, disrupt conversation and to change the conventions of their respective industries. The sweater is aimed to bridge the gap between the world of top dollar, luxury scotch and, well, the rest of us. The duo are hoping to open up the lifestyle of luxury to new, progressive audiences, thereby breaking away from the drink’s usual connotations of wealth, class, and old age.
“Together with Don C, The Glenlivet strives to break down barriers within our categories so premium fashion designs and Scotch whisky are more inclusive for all,” said Sona Bajaria, Vice President of Marketing for The Glenlivet, USA.
It is an admirable business move, except one thing. There are just ten limited-edition sweaters, which consumers have to try to win. So we have to ask, despite a rare product being a sure-fire way to increase hype, resale value and desirability, is this really the best way to break barriers?
WEEK has been compiled by Lauren Dorling.
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