Australian activewear brand Lorna Jane has beaten some of the country's best retailers to take the number one spot for the Retail Fashion category in the Social Pulse 2014 report that analyses Australia's most engaging social media networks. Inside Retail reports that the top ranking is because of the brand's Facebook page engagement.
Although the always-growing Facebook page is just short of one million "likes," it still comes in at number 14 for the most amount of fans on an Australian retailer's page. But it is because of the engagement with its audience that Lorna Jane beat top brands like Bonds, Sass & Bide, Nike, Country Road and General Pants Co in this year's report.
With the highest engagement rate of 1.65%, and a share engagement of 14.05%, it is clear that the Lorna Jane brand voice is being heard loud and clear. The brand's social media performance also translates into online sales, with the e-commerce site receiving sales equal to that of 16 stores.
Advocates for more diversity in the fashion industry will be pleased to see Balmain's latest campaign for Fall 2014, through which creative director Olivier Rousteing wanted to showcase "the beauty of different ethnicities." Since the Spring 2014 season, when Bethann Hardison's Diversity Coalition called out top designers in New York, London, Milan and Paris for not using enough models of color on their runways, there seems to be a heightened awareness in the industry and greater commitment to representing more forms of beauty.
And it seems Rousteing is one of the designers who heard the call. For this campaign, he cast Jourdan Dunn, Cara Delevingne, Binx Walton, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott — an extremely diverse group of models — to pose for Mario Sorrenti. The sextet is pictured lounging in the label's studded leather and animal-print offerings for the Fall 2014 season, styled by Katie Grand.
As a "black boy in a really important French house," Rousteing felt it was important to take the lead and cast a campaign that featured more than one token minority model — and we're loving it. This is the picture of what fashion ads could look like if designers, modeling agencies and casting professionals actually made a commitment to showcasing diversity.
As if we needed any more proof that there is beauty in women of all ethnicities.
French-born, London-based designer Roland Mouret has joined forces with The Woolmark Company for an eight-piece capsule collection. The range features brightly-coloured tops, pants and dresses that embody Mouret's popular draping technique, all made from Australian Merino wool.
For Mouret, his signature style and Aussie wool served as the perfect combination. “I have always loved working with Australian Merino wool because it has an amazing quality that allows it to drape and hang beautifully," he explained to Woolmark. "The capsule collection, for me, was about how to introducewool to the red carpet and to everyday life. It’s about brightness, it’s about colour therapy, and it’s about shaping the body."
The ready-to-wear collection also tapped Australian fashion blogger Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper to front the campaign. Warne, who is a proud wearer of red lipstick and known for her eye-catching colour combinations, couldn't be more fitting for the brand's aesthetic. "It's an absolute honour to finally share with you all the new @roland_mouret campaign we've kept secret for nearly 4 months!" Warne shared on her Instagram.
In addition to being the best airline ever, Virgin Atlantic now has the best-dressed flight attendants in the game, thanks to Vivienne Westwood, who was tapped to design the uniforms for the airline's esteemed fleet. The designer unveiled the new looks at London's Village Underground last night, with special guest Debbie Harry, who performed in the new, bright red uniform jacket with standing collar Westwood designed.
Including the blazer (also available in gray), ladies have the option of a sculptural white or burgundy cowl neck blouse, red pencil skirt, leather bag and sensible heels. In cold climates, they can keep warm with a red coat with an asymmetric closure and oversized collar. The look for male attendants features a deep burgundy or gray three-piece suit with a white shirt and a red tie.
Net-a-Porter will launch a new high-end athleticwear site called Net-a-Sporter. [WWD]
Sales of plus-sized clothing increased 5% this year…hopefully this means more clothing options for full-figured gals in the near future! [Fashionista]
Dov Charney is more than just a creepy pervert…he's got some redeeming qualities, too. [The Atlantic]
Headed to the beach this weekend? Here are some tips on how to get your bod bikini-ready before you hit the waves–no crunches required. [PopSugar Beauty]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is holding its first fall exhibit in seven years and the theme is a little morbid. The Costume Institute's latest will be called "Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire," displaying a selection of dresses worn by mourning women between 1815 and 1915. [WWD]
Balenciaga and Nicolas Ghesquière have their day in court. [The Fashion Law]
STOP THE PRESSES. Kate Middleton wore that eyelet Zimmerman dress again to Wimbledon. She first rocked it on her Australian tour, and guess what y'all, it's still white and made of eyelet. [PopSugar Fashion]
This March, it was announced that e-mail newsletter DailyCandy would be shutting down. The news was greeted with a lot of disappointment from longtime fans who had looked to the email for over a decade to give them the lowdown on cool things to check out in food, fashion, entertainment and more. The newsletter had been active since 2000, and in 2008, founder Dany Levy began the hunt to look for a firm to buy her company. Comcast stepped up to the plate, scooping up the brand for $125 million just before Lehman Brothers fell and the recession began.
In a video interview with Inc., Levy says that the financial landscape quickly caused Comcast to change its tune about DailyCandy. It was enthusiastic at first, but soon began to scramble for ideas to make the newsletter more profitable. "I think Comcast felt as if they were sold a false bill of goods," Levy says. "Nobody knew the market was going to crash, so Comcast was like, WTF? These numbers are not gonna happen." It was then, she said, that they started to look to other e-business models like Gilt and Groupon to see which methods they could borrow in order to beef up the revenue DailyCandy was bringing in. "It became this desperate clamoring to find something that was going to make money, where you were getting potentially 8 emails a day. So, to be frank with you, I unsubscribed. I couldn't watch it."
"From my perspective, I watched them destroy a brand," Levy says, although she admits she understands why they nixed her company. "We were such a rounding error." By 2011 when Comcast had merged with NBCUniversal, DailyCandy seemed to be just a huge speck in an enormous company. "I get it. To them, in their mind, they tried. And they did try…I think what they didn't try is maintaining the integrity of the brand."
Levy does have a point, but structural changes are pretty much part and parcel of merging with a larger brand. DailyCandy was loved by millions, but perhaps it was a combination of Comcast's off-brand ideas and DailyCandy's dated email model that made the company take a turn for the worse. There are significantly more ways to share information, particularly with the advent of social media, that didn't really begin to pick up in a major way until after 2006. By the time the recession happened, Facebook and Twitter were all the rage–DailyCandy could have rebuilt its business model to really get the most use out of those platforms.
Watch Levy tell the saga of what happened to DailyCandy after the Comcast buyout in the video above.