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Raf Simons, Reese Witherspoon honoured as WSJ Magazine Innovators

Filed by Lucire staff/November 2, 2017/10.56

News Corporation’s WSJ Magazine honoured Raf Simons (fashion), Reese Witherspoon (entertainment), Roman and Williams (design), Ryan Heffington (performing arts), Musical.ly (technology), Mark Bradford (art), and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture) at an awards’ ceremony for its November ‘Innovators’ issue at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Wednesday. The 2011 design winner, Joris Laarman, designed the award each winner received.
   Cartier, Flexjet and Autograph Collection sponsored the event. Naomi Campbell, Karlie Kloss, Maddie Ziegler, Constance Jablonski and Martha Hunt were among the VIPs in the 200-strong audience.
   It is the seventh year of the awards. The issue goes on sale November 4 in the US, and internationally on November 5. Each recipient is profiled at the magazine’s website.
   Witherspoon, who won her award for her acting, production franchise, and lifestyle brand, received her award from Diane von Fürstenberg. Marc Jacobs presented the fashion award to Raf Simons, honoured for his ‘thought-provoking yet lyrical work,’ while Gwyneth Paltrow presented to Roman and Williams’ Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch for their design work, which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a client. Maddie Ziegler presented the performing arts’ award to Ryan Heffington, who choreographed The OA, Baby Driver, and Sia’s ‘Chandelier’ video. Chinese social media site Musical.ly, founded by Luyu Yang and Alex Zhu, sees millions of teenagers post videos—Joe Jonas presented the technology award to them. Mark Bradford, who presented at the 57th Biennale di Venezia and is preparing to exhibit a 400 ft painting, received his art award from Glenn Lowry, while Roni Horn presented the architecture award to Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the New York firm led by Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin.

 


When corporate brands and personal brands trade places: Kate Moss was there before Kendall Jenner

Filed by Jack Yan/October 14, 2017/13.46


Above: Brand Kate Moss was probably seen by more people when the model collaborated with Topshop.

In 1999, the late Wally Olins, the famous brand consultant, sent me his book, Trading Identities: Why Countries and Companies are Taking on Each Other’s Roles, a fine read published by the Foreign Policy Centre that argued that countries were trying to look more corporate, adopting the practices of corporate branding. Conversely, as corporations gained more power and their need to practise social responsibility increased, they were adopting the ideas from nation branding. There was an increasing amount of this swapping taking place, and the 21st century has seen the trend continue: more countries have finely tuned nation brands and guidelines on how to use them, while many corporations are trying to look like good corporate citizens—Dilmah and Patagonia come to mind with their work in building communities and advocacy.
   We’ve been discussing at our firm another area where a similar switch has been taking place: that of corporate brands and personal brands. Personal branding is a relatively new development, with (in my opinion) Managing Brand Me the best work on the subject, authored by the late Thomas Gad with his wife Annette Rosencreutz, dating from 2002. (Thomas, of course, founded Medinge Group, the Swedish think-tank on humanistic branding.) Managing Brand Me features an excellent break-down of the four dimensions involved (functional, social, mental, spiritual) in any good personal brand that still hold true today. They were well ahead of their time given that they had written their book long before selfies became the norm, and before people were being hired by companies as ambassadors based on their Instagram or Twitter followings.
   Those spokespeople are practising their brands almost haphazardly, where some are getting to the point that they cannot be sustained. Others are balancing authenticity with commercial demands: we know that Kendall Jenner probably doesn’t drink Pepsi, and no one wants to be seen to sell out their values. Nevertheless, there is a group of people mindful about their personal brand, and it’s only a matter of time before more begin taking on the trappings of corporate brands: inter alia, guidelines on how theirs is to be used; what products can be endorsed by that brand; how it can be differentiated against others’. Kate Moss may well be one example with a recognizable logotype that appears on products that have her seal of approval. (If I can be slightly macabre, the estates of Elvis Presley, Steve McQueen and Audrey Hepburn all think carefully on how each celebrity can be used to endorse products today; while lacking symbols or logotypes, their faces themselves are more than a substitute. With technology democratizing, it is no surprise that living and less iconic people might adopt similar ideas.)
   What of companies? Many now find themselves on an equal footing, or even a disadvantage, to personal accounts. The biggest companies have to fight for attention on social networks just like some of the top personal accounts in the world, and they cannot succeed without speaking to the audience in a personal fashion. A corporate account that reposts publicity photographs would gain little traction except from fans who are already sold on the brand through non-social media; and there is some wisdom in assuming that millennials do not possess the same level of brand loyalty as earlier generations. They’re on the hunt for the best product or service for the price and adopt a more meritorious approach, and among the things that will draw them in will be the values and societal roles of the company. Therefore, there has to be a “personality” behind the account, aware of each of Thomas and Annette’s Brand Me dimensions.
   It has not escaped me that both Lucire’s fashion editor Sopheak Seng and I do better than the magazine when it comes to social media interaction—getting likes and comments—because we’re prepared to put our personalities on the line. The automated way Lucire shares articles on Twitter, for instance, hasn’t helped build its brand there, something which we’re remedying by having team members around the world post to Instagram for starters, giving people a glimpse of our individual experiences. The images might not all look polished as a result, but it is a step toward fulfilling the four dimensions. It is a quest to find a personal voice.
   In the wider media game, this is now more vital as news has become commodified, a trend that was first expressed in the 1990s, too. Perhaps those authors saw that most media outlets would be getting their news from a more concentrated base of sources, and demand on journalists to be first and fastest—something not helped by a society where speed is valued over accuracy—meant that whomever controlled the sources could determine what the world talked about. Global companies want everyone to see when they’re involved in an event that a good chunk of the planet is likely to see; in L’Oréal Paris’s case it’s the Festival de Cannes. If every fashion publication has its eyes on Cannes, then what differentiates that coverage? What stamp does the media outlet’s brand place on that coverage? Is there a voice, a commentary, something that relates to the outlet’s role in society? Should it communicate with its best supporters on social networks?
   Lucire does reasonably well each year at Cannes with its coverage, probably because it does communicate with fans on social networks and alerts them to exclusive content. The rest of the time, it doesn’t do as well because as a smaller publication, it’s relying on those same sources. In 1998 we would have been the only English-language online publication specializing in fashion that talked about each H&M launch; in 2017 many fashion publications are doing it and our share of the pie is that much smaller. Individuals themselves are sharing on their social networks, too. This is not a bad thing: others should have the means to express themselves and indulge their passion of writing and communicating. Exclusivity means traffic, which is why we do better when we cover something few others do.
   However, I recently blogged that Google News has shifted to favouring larger media players, disincentivizing the independents from breaking news. It comes back to needing a distinctive voice, a personal brand, and while we still need to rely on Google News to a degree, that voice could help build up new surfing habits. The most successful bloggers of the last decade, such as Elin Kling, have done this.
   These are the thoughts milling around as Lucire heads into its 20th anniversary this month, and we reevaluate just what made us special when the publication launched in 1997. Those values need to be adapted and brought into 2017 and beyond. But there are wider lessons, too, on just where corporate branding and personal branding are heading; this post did not set out to discuss fashion media. It’s not a bad place to start our inquiry, since fashion (and automobiles) are where a lot of brand competition takes place.
   Indeed, it signals to me that in the late 2010s, companies need to do well as corporate citizens and have a personal voice on social media, ideas that build on my 2013 paper for the début issue of Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing (where I discussed brands in the age of social media and put forward a model of how to manage them) as well as Thomas and Annette’s earlier research. It’s the next stage of where branding practice could go, and we’re prepared to let those thoughts loose on Lucire.—Jack Yan, Publisher

A version of this editorial appeared in Jack Yan’s personal blog.

 


Supermodel Kate Moss to be the face of Dutch label Nikkie from autumn ’17

Filed by Lucire staff/December 14, 2016/10.47

Dutch label Nikkie, founded by Nikkie Plessen in 2011, has scored a coup by securing supermodel Kate Moss as its brand ambassador.
   Moss will make her début for Nikkie for its autumn–winter 2017–18 collection.
   Plessen announced the news during her spring–summer 2017 collection presentation in Amsterdam, attended by Moss.
   In a release, Plessen said, ‘I am incredibly proud of the fact that supermodel Kate is the new face of Nikkie. Kate Moss personifies precisely what I want to express through my fashion label: she is strong and tough but at the same time also feminine and sexy. The fact that she wishes to represent Nikkie as its muse is of course fantastic. For me personally, Kate has also always been the ultimate embodiment of style. Seeing how we immediately got on so well with one other during our first meeting, and knowing that she will now become the face of Nikkie, is a dream come true.’
   Nikkie is represented in 15 of its own stores, and is available at Galeries Lafayette, Takashimaya, Robinsons and Le Marais. The label ‘plugs the gap between high-end and high-street fashion labels,’ in its own words, and has been worn by Natasha Poly, Tyra Banks, Kristina Bazan and Raline Shah.

 


Topshop’s halo untarnished as it opens new stores while Sir Philip Green risks losing his knighthood

Filed by Lucire staff/November 2, 2016/11.10


CNN

As Topshop opens its doors in Wellington today, its second store in New Zealand, and in the wake of an announcement of a new flagship store in Dublin, Sir Philip Green, who chairs its parent Arcadia Group, has been under assault by British politicians.
   The most recent controversy surrounds Sir Philip’s knighthood, which was awarded to him for services to retail. However, a damning report published in July 2016 concluded that British Home Stores, which had been bought by Sir Philip in 2000 for £200 million and was formerly part of Arcadia, had been plundered, leaving BHS on life support. The mood in the Commons in October was that Sir Philip should be stripped of his knighthood, passing the amendment, ‘[This House] noting that Philip Green received his knighthood for his services for the retail industry, believes his actions raise the question of whether he should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour and calls on the honours forfeiture committee to recommend his knighthood be cancelled and annulled.’
   None of Sir Philip’s supporters were present at the debate, where MPs launched into attacks on the multi-millionaire whilst under parliamentary privilege.
   Also ignored as attacks were launched against Sir Philip was that, for a considerable period between 2000 and 2015, BHS employed thousands and the British establishment fêted the businessman. There were talks of a business venture with Simon Cowell, involving Cheryl Cole; supermodel Kate Moss created a line sold through Topshop. Even in the US, Sir Philip enjoyed a glowing reputation, winning a National Retail Federation’s Retailer of the Year Award. Between 2002 and 2009 BHS had paid £167 million of corporation tax, and capital expenditure had been £421 million while it was under Sir Philip’s control, according to Taveta Investments, his holding company. However, The Guardian believes that £580 million in dividends, rents and interest had been extracted by the Green family.
   While the motion does not mean Sir Philip will lose his knighthood, it will be difficult for the honours’ forfeiture committee, which considers the matter, to ignore.
   Sir Philip sold BHS for £1 in 2015 to investors led by Dominic Chappell—someone whom he now considers to be ‘categorically’ the wrong buyer; by April 2016 it had gone into administration, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a £571 million pension scheme deficit. Sixteen years before the fund had been in a £5 million surplus.
   By July, the work and pensions’ select committee and the business, innovation and skills (BIS) committee issued a report which placed the blame of BHS’s collapse at Sir Philip’s feet. They accused him and others of extracting hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, enriching himself and his family, and that he showed little business acumen. The committees further labelled the ‘systematic plunder’ of BHS ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’, a term once linked to the Lonrho conglomerate in the 1970s and its chief executive Tiny Rowland. The committees also concluded that Sir Philip failed to invest in the business and that he was ultimately responsible for the pension fund’s deficit.
   BHS’s overseas franchises and its website were sold to Al Mana Group, under which they have thrived.
   Earlier in October, it is believed that Prime Minister Theresa May’s reference at the Conservative Party conference to business people who ‘take out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bust’ was about Sir Philip.
   The man who chaired the work and pensions’ committee, the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, launched into a further attack on Sir Philip on Channel 4 News on October 18, forcing Taveta to counter the statements. Field said that Sir Philip was now running Arcadia ‘into the ground like BHS,’ and warned that Arcadia staff should be concerned for their pension fund.
   The same week, Sir Philip pledged to find a solution to the pension deficit in an interview with ITV and was ‘very sorry’ for those affected by the collapse. He claimed that he was in discussions with the Pensions’ Regulator to find a solution, though the Regulator stated that it was yet to receive a ‘comprehensive and credible’ proposal.
   On ITV, Sir Philip defended the years during which a dividend was taken out, stating that BHS was profitable at the time, though the committees concluded that those profits were made by cost-cutting and squeezing suppliers. He believes that the support he and his company gave to BHS from 2005 was closer to £850 million.
   Chappell, meanwhile, facing criticisms from Sir Philip, supported the stripping of Sir Philip’s knighthood.
   There is an ongoing investigation into the failure by the Insolvency Service while the Serious Fraud Office has begun looking into the matter.

 


Kate Moss and Rimmel celebrate 15 years with new lipstick and nail polish collection launched in London

Filed by Lucire staff/June 22, 2016/17.02




David M. Benett

Kate Moss and Rimmel London have released their latest collaboration celebrating the supermodel’s 15-year relationship with the beauty brand.
   The Kate Moss Rimmel 15th Anniversary Collection comprises Moss’s favourite nude and red lip and nail shades.
   Journalists, bloggers and other guests were invited to a London house where Moss modelled two outfits, initially a black Equipment shirt with red hearts, and a green jacket over a sheer black top.
   Guests were treated to manicures using Rimmel’s new Supergel nail polish shades by manicurist Adam Slee, before a lipstick master-class by make-up artist Kirstin Piggott.
   Stylist Zoë Bedeaux and Scott Wimsett hosted a session where Moss talked of her 15-year association and how her fashion outfits inspired the Collection. Guests then could inspect those outfits and discussed how they inspired the nude and red shades.
   In a release, Moss said, ‘I’m incredibly proud of my 15-year relationship with Rimmel. It’s a brand very close to my heart; my first ever lipstick was Rimmel Heather Shimmer. The partnership has strengthened and evolved over the years, with me taking an actively creative role. The new anniversary collection echoes some of my favourite London looks from the last decade and a half. I’ve focused on reds and nudes because they’re the colours I love to wear—each shade reflects a different side of me.’
   In the collection, the Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate comes in six shades and can last eight hours, numbered 51 through 56; and the Super Gel Nail Polish by Kate gives a shine that lasts for 14 days, and comes in four shades (nos. 15, 42, 44 and 71).











































David M. Benett

 


From supermodels to film: celebrating the work of Peter Lindbergh at Kunsthal Rotterdam

Filed by Lucire staff/June 16, 2016/13.41




Top: An image that kicked off the 1990s, with supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford in New York, appearing on the cover of British Vogue in January 1990. Copyright ©1990 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Centre: Wild at Heart, with Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder and Stephanie Seymour, Brooklyn, 1991, appearing in Vogue. Copyright ©1991 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery). Above: Kate Moss, Paris, 2015, wearing Giorgio Armani, spring–summer 2015. Copyright ©2015 by Peter Lindbergh (courtesy of Peter Lindbergh, Paris/Gagosian Gallery).

An exhibition on Polish-born, French-based photographer Peter Lindbergh, entitled Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, opens at the Kunsthal Rotterdam on September 10 at 5.30 p.m., running through February 12, 2017. It marks the first Dutch exhibition of Lindbergh’s work.
   Some of the most iconic fashion images of the past generation have been shot by Lindbergh, whose work is regularly seen in various editions of Vogue, and in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, Visionaire, Interview and W. Exhibitions of his work have been held around the world beginning with the V&A in 1985. Lindbergh’s black-and-white 1990 Vogue photograph of Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford was one that helped cement the reputation of the supermodels, if not arguably kicking off the era itself. Lindbergh’s work gave a sense of reality about his subjects, with his humanist, documentary approach.
   Said Lindbergh in an Art Forum interview earlier this year, ‘A fashion photographer should contribute to defining the image of the contemporary woman or man in their time, to reflect a certain social or human reality. How surrealistic is today’s commercial agenda to retouch all signs of life and of experience, to retouch the very personal truth of the face itself?’
   The exhibition features over 220 photographs and includes exclusive and previously unseen material, including personal notes, Polaroids, storyboards, films and prints. It is divided into nine different sections, representing the different themes in Lindbergh’s creative development: Supermodels, Couturiers, Zeitgeist, Dance, the Darkroom, the Unknown, Silver Screen, Icons, and an exclusive Rotterdam Gallery. This final section contains Lindbergh’s work for the October 2015 issue of Vogue Nederland, with Lara Stone and Elise Hupkes at the Port of Rotterdam.
   Lindbergh’s critically acclaimed Models: the Film (1991) will be screened, along with interviews with Grace Coddington, Nicole Kidman, Mads Mikkelsen, Cindy Crawford and Nadja Auermann.
   Guest curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot points out that the exhibition is not chronological, but a narrative about the photographer.
   The Kunsthal Rotterdam noted, ‘Peter Lindbergh introduced a new realism into photography. His timeless images redefine the norms of beauty. Lindbergh’s visual idiom is influenced by the language of film and by playing with the type of the strong, self-willed woman, from the femme fatale to the heroine, but also the female dancer and the actress. His œuvre is characterized by portraits that radiate a certain lack of inhibition and physical grace.’
   The exhibition is accompanied by a hardcover monograph, Peter Lindbergh: a Different Vision on Fashion Photography, retailing for €59,99 (link at Amazon.de), US$69·99 (link at Amazon.com) or £44·99 (link at Amazon UK), curated by Loriot, designed by Paprika of Montréal, and published by Taschen. The introduction has been authored by Kunsthal director Emily Ansenk, while the book features an essay on Lindbergh’s work by Loriot with commentaries from, inter alia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nicole Kidman, Grace Coddington, Cindy Crawford and Anna Wintour.

 


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