Eye on style
Bricks-and-mortar stores may not be crammed with customers these days, but that's because so much is going on in the fashion world online.
In the US, online stores are cropping up and they aren't just dedicated to luxury fashion. The latest are websites promoting young, talented designers who offer chic and affordable fashion that can't be found elsewhere.
The timing couldn't be better. In the aftermath of the recession, shoppers are looking for unique items, and new-generation labels fit the bill as they are limited in distribution and reasonably priced.
Launching in September is New York-based site styletrek.com, which focuses on emerging fashion talent. Set up by former e-commerce guru Cecilia Pagkalinawan, the site will list about 50 designers and feature clothing and accessories.
Designers must meet certain criteria before being approved (they need to submit a review and be in business for at least three seasons). The shortlist has yet to be revealed but it should be worth the wait.
The Trade Development Council has joined forces with mainland auction site Taobao.com to promote local designers in the Chinese market.
Online shopping is exploding on the mainland with sales worth 250 billion yuan (HK$286 billion) last year. The online store (www.hongkongdg.com) opens today and will carry ready-to-wear, accessories, homeware and lifestyle products from 50 local brands.
Highlights include quirky handmade totes and pouches made from leftover scraps from designer Prudence Mak, who runs a jewellery boutique in SoHo called Chocolate Rain. For guys, L'Homme Branche by Gabriel Choi offers a selection of ties (above) that are limited to 100 pieces per style, per colour. Sam Chan offers a punk-inspired accessories collection called Llazy Bonez featuring skulls and other rock'n'roll embellishments on necklaces and bracelets for men.
Luxury brands are trying to capture their own share of the online market. Burberry was one of the first brands to tap into online social media and is making waves again with the launch of its interactive advertising campaign online featuring 14 images (example below) and six interactive videos. Users select and control the view and perspective of the campaign, cast and products. Motion responsive images and videos can be clicked, rotated, paused and dragged 180 degrees. The campaign launches worldwide tomorrow at www.burberry.com.