We Love Kate Spade
We’ve loved the Kate Spade brand for a long time. But, what we’re loving even more is the announcement of a new line, Kate Spade Saturday, targeting a younger demographic and at a lower price point. We’re excited about the news and looking forward to seeing what this means for the in-store environment. Kate Spade New York stores are known for the brand’s signature storytelling style and colorful brand personality, and we’re hoping “Saturday” will bring the same upbeat energy. Stay tuned; you know we’ll be watching.
Adding a social element to the retail environment creates an opportunity to develop a deeper, more personal relationship with consumers. One category that we’re seeing make great strides in this approach is the sports apparel and footwear category. We’ve watched brands evolve from just selling products to supporting a lifestyle. Lululemon, a pioneer in the yoga lifestyle category, has paved the way for many to follow.
Image via Reebok
Reebok recently made the move to capitalize on one of the hottest fittest trends of the moment, CrossFit. For those not familiar with CrossFit, it’s a high-intensity workout that incorporates such activities as weightlifting, powerlifting, kettlebells, medicine balls and box jumps. You can check out this Reebok CrossFit video to see more of what it’s all about.
Image via psfk.com
As the title sponsor for the annual CrossFit Games, it makes sense why Reebok would want to bring that energy into a retail space. The Reebok CrossFit store on Fifth Avenue combines the retail and gym experience. The main level, referred to as the “Fit Hub,” offers product for every skill level and expert staff to help you find the product right for you.
From Lanvin’s illustrative graphic cover to the classic Lady Dior quilted handbag, we’ve seen our fair share of retailers building excitement around soon-to-be open stores with creative, eye-catching shrouds. While there’s something to be said for this buzz-building introduction, some retailers are taking a different approach to generate new store excitement.
The Camper store on New York’s Fifth Avenue is an example of a retailer who believes that a work-in-progress is worth talking about. The footwear brand, based out of Spain, is known for their unique store designs and this location is no different – albeit for a different reason as I soon found out.
Images via designboom.com, dezeen.com
From nature-inspired environments like the Regent Street store in London and their bold, contemporary store in Via Montenapoleone, Milan, to a graphic illustration style in Lyon, France, each store has an individual style, and often a different designer.
The inspiration and creative passion that comes out of NYC’s annual A.R.E. Visual & Fixture Market each December is what makes my new year all the more exciting! One of my favorite finds was the love and precision that went into the mannequins, from the fashion windows to the showrooms.
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Goldsmith/Windows Mannequin France
Image property of Chute Gerdeman
Hello, gorgeous; hello, genius! With the sweep of a magnetic pen, luscious lips and dashing eyes can be interchanged within seconds, making this one of the most flexible and time-saving beauty tricks out today. An array of color and pattern, feathers and lashes means it’s possible to complement virtually any fashion statement.
New York’s neighborhood south of Houston is always getting new and exciting tenants, but none possibly as recognizable as Tiffany & Co. With awnings in their signature robin’s egg, or “Tiffany blue,” it catches your eye instantly. The new store at 97 Greene St. just opened in September, coinciding with Fashion’s Night Out. The store combines two spaces (97 Greene and 106 Wooster) for a grand total of 7,000 square feet. The brand employed local artists to add elegant and dramatic elements to the design, such as mother-of-pearl magnolias, backlit dragonfly-patterened walls and unique lighting.
Nokia Gift Machine, Louis Vuitton’s Spots, Nike House of Innovation, and Unique Partnerships
Editor’s Note: Once in awhile we come across something noteworthy and we want to share it with our readers. However, due to a variety of reasons (it’s too new to obtain research, it’s in a far-away land that we can’t quite reach, etc.) we don’t quite know what to do about it other than tell you, “Hey, this is amazing and you should know about it.” Show & Tell is a collection of those recent things.
1. Nokia Gift Machine
The Nokia Gift Machine is a total mash-up of high-tech and low-tech. Utilizing location-based social networking site, Foursquare, visitors can “check-in” on their mobile phone and receive a gift just for being there. The machine is manually filled with cylinder tubes containing everything from candy bars and movie tickets to the ultimate prize, a Nokia device. After approaching the vending machine and checking in on Foursquare, a cylinder tube is dispensed to unveil the prize. What a simple way to reward a customer and create a moment of surprise and delight! Check out a video of the Nokia Gift Machine at work.
Louis Vuitton has collaborated with Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. The newly released collection features Kusama’s signature polka dots on everything from dresses, shoes, suitcases, shoes and more. During the unveiling on July 11, the event included not only the product launch but an updated exterior façade and windows (emblazoned with dots of course) at LV’s Fifth Ave. store in NYC. We applaud this collaboration because it goes beyond just the product on the shelf and has made an impact on the exterior. What better way to let customers know something new is happening inside. Check out the Louis Vuitton website to read more and Racked for your chance to see the spots for yourself.
3. Nike House of Innovation at Selfridges
Coinciding with the much-anticipated Olympic Games, Nike is has unveiled cutting-edge technology and marked this “Summer of sport.” The athletic brand has has partnered with London retailer Selfridges to create the Nike House of Innovation. In Selfridges’ Ultralounge, the House of Innovation features five zones where customers can test and purchase the newest Nike products and attend events and seminars with sports stars and Nike designers. The shop is open daily through August 12th. Can’t make it there in person? You can still shop the innovative, new gear online.
4. Unique Partnerships
Recent announcements from Nordstrom and Target just go to show that unique partnerships are still thriving! Nordstrom announced that select locations nationwide will feature products from fast-fashion retailer, Topshop. The collection will feature favorite Topshop items, as well as limited edition, exclusive pieces. Check out The New York Times for more details on Nordstrom and Topshop.
Target’s latest collab is slated to be a partnership with Neiman Marcus and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Their holiday collection will feature products from 24 CFDA designers, including Marchesa, Tory Burch, Alice + Olivia, Marc Jacobs, Brian Atwood, Oscar de la Renta, and CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg. The collection will be sold in both Target and Neiman Marcus locations. And we thought Missoni was huge! Should we start lining up now? Check out this video to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what we can expect.
Several colleagues and I traveled to NYC for a quick trip this past week. Though we were constantly on the go, being the dutiful retail spies we are, we managed to spot a few goodies to share.
::: 1. SOUTHWEST PORCH | Bryant Park :::
Yes, that Southwest. As in Southwest Airlines. The Porch opened in 2009 to celebrate Southwest’s new service at Laguardia. It’s the perfect spot in the middle of the city to grab a bite, meet a friend, sip a drink or catch up on emails. Partnering with gourmet sandwich experts, ‘wichcraft, the food is actually very good. And yes, there’s alcohol. We love this out-of-the-box thinking from businesses. This unexpected venture from Southwest emphasizes how much they value their relationship with their customers.