I was walking through Nottingham City Centre today and noticed Lush had a new campaign in the window. Where as most brands are decked out in Christmas gear this time of year Lush is using its influence to spread understanding on a much bigger, more important issue.
Lush have partnered up with Animal Protection group Humane Society International to draw attention to the horrid truth that consumers are unwillingly and unknowingly buying real fur labeled as fake fur. The Humane Society has done extensive research into this matter and it is now clear that items such as Pom Pom keyring made from Rabbit are being sold for £5 and knitted hats made with Marmot fur for as little as £3.50!As well as Parkers with fur hoods being sold for £35.
WHY IS THIS AN ISSUE?
Even though a huge 80% of the UK are unequivocally against the buying/selling of real fur there are still a small amount who are indifferent or uninterested in the subject. I belive that these people must just be uneducated on the subject as if they were educated on it they would not be able to ignore the facts. Animals ranging from Rabbits to stray dogs are kept in tiny metal cages, forced to live in their own mess and often become dis-formed due to lack of food and medical attention. There is absolutely no respect or mercy shown to these animals when they are skinned alive or electric shocked to death. This is why brands such as Lush are so key in shedding light on the situation and drawing us to whats important.
It is a common conception that real fur is more expensive than fake sure and therefore consumers presume what they are buying from the high street is fake due to the price. However the sad truth is that in the countries the fur is being produced in the animas are so accessible and easy to skin that they are most commonly than not less expensive than the production of faux fur.
HOW TO SPOT REAL FUR!!!
Although the farming of fur is illegal in the UK there is currently no law against the importing of fur however most brands are unaware when using real fur as there is also no law on labeling fur/faux fur correctly. So here are the two main ways of spotting the difference to save yourself from falling into the trap.
SPLIT THE FUR: By separating the fur into a parting you are able to see what it is attached to. Fake fur will be attached to a mesh like fabric that the strands are glued or sewn into. Real fur will be attached to a thin layer of the animals skin.
CHECK THE ENDS: Fake fur will be blunt on the ends from where the strands have been trimmed by the machine to reach the desired length where as real fur will taper to a point.
The key outcomes of this campaign are to educate the public on what they could possibly be buying and to also gain signatures on the petition to get the importation of fur into the uk to be banned. If you are interested in signing this petition click HERE. More information can be found HERE on the Lush website!
A recent assignment saw me being a street style photographer. Channeling my inner Bill Cunningham who i have recently see a documentary on at the Broadway cinema in Nottingham, i headed out onto the uni campus and around the city to find some people to capture .I was given a trend story to work on, mine was Active. We were asked to look into three areas of the trend story.
Historic references to the trend
visual merchendising around the trend story
“people” how is it being projected by the public? Who’s wearing it? When are they wearing it?
It was that last section which we simply called “people” that saw me taking some street style photography. I was looking for ways in which “active” has been turned from literally sports/ gym clothes into the trend which is most commonly known as “ath-leisure”. This A/W the sports lux style has became “body kind not body con” meaning we are leaning to a more comfort based look which draws its inspiration heavily from stereotypically male silhouettes. We are seeing a huge revival of 90s hip hop silhouettes and the re launch of fabrics such as velour and silks which gives a high end luxury almost boujy feel. These people are defiantly not about to go on a treadmill. There is a significant difference between sports wear and the active inspired ath-leisure I was looking for which I was very picky about when taking my pictures.
I really enjoyed this first snippet at street style and its extremely rewarding to go through the images after the event and notice the patterns linking the images.
!!!Disclaimer!!! the reason there are no males features is because as a group we split and i was focusing on female. Also I don’t claim to be a good photographer in the slightest.
Nearly a month as a FCP student at Nottingham Trent university now and assignment one is over and done with. To get our thinking heads on we were given a short two week brief to complete in which we would be given a colour and have to explore its “positive and negative” connotations. This would then progress into a further task.
I was given PINK!!!
What are the connotations that come along with the colour pink? I have created a mind map to outline some of the sections that come to mind for me.
By doing this I could see that Pink is not just a colour of clothing and that the negative and positive connotations were very clear. I decided the most prominent sides were…. 1) the barbie princess tacky grossness which i decided to called obvious because positive and negative were too subjective and 2) the political gender segregative side of the colour which i called “Not obvious”. Using these two contrasting sides of pink i went on to create two mood boards that hopefully showed the direction i was taking the research in!
Using the research on Pink i created the concept of a low-fi shoot focusing on the gender norms side of the colour. Taking the piss out of expectant parents who throw gender reveal parties i created this image and short video trying to get through that children are being surrounded by these “ideals” before they are even born.
The “FCP Beast” is the name my lecturers have given the mindset of an FCP student ( Fashion Communication and Promotion). Its a hypothetical beast who encompases all the traits of a FCP student. We were set the task of drawing the “FCP Beast” in groups in an attempt to harness what our aim/job is as a FCP student as a lot of our work is ideas and concepts and it would be nice to see a physical write up of what we are as a degree and what our morals and aims are.
We started by mind mapping words and phases we as individuals see our course as. Some of the popular and most common phrases were as follows.
“The bridge between the company and the Consumer”
“The ideas that are the frontage of a company/brand/product”
We then went on to think about what our jobs are as a FCP student and what traits the Beast would take from us. These are the “Beasts”
!!!DISCLAIMER!!! None of us claim to be artists hence why we are not designers! The drawings are laughable but they do the job of getting the point across.
As you can see on this particular Beast some of the main points highlighted are eyes and ears! As communication students we are constantly making sure we are aware of everything and noticing everything. Everything has a pattern and everything is a result of something so noticing new patterns not just in fashion but in lifestyle and so on is key to helping us understanding the world around us ,and therefore being able to advise people the best we can. We also know that listening is key ,as producing an idea or concept for a brands product for example is very difficult if you don’t have all the information. We listen ,think and then explain! A “fearless and risk taking mouth” is needed!
One particular part of this Beast that i love is the conveyer belt feet , they are “constantly moving”! Fashion literally means change and nobody will succeed in this industry if they won’t change and evolve with the the consumer and give them what they need at a given time! We as FCP students are supposed to be the knowledgable people available to brands/ people who are not so much themselves. We need our fingers in many pies! “pie fingers” as its called on this Beast.
I moved to Nottingham just over a week ago to study Fashion Communication and Promotion at Nottingham Trent University. (side note, “id rather be a polly than a C***” ). Needless to say its an amazing city in general but specifically for anyone studying within the arts. However i don’t think i would have known this if I hadn’t been set the labourious Freshers week task of a “Treasure Hunt” around the city. 45 locations May I add! After two days of walking around a city you get to know your peers and all the sights along the way, which means i now have an in-depth understanding of both . Which by the way are both amazing.
Along with my treasure hunt buddies we devised this mood board of all 45 of the most important spots for creative souls in the city. Ill break down a few of my favourites spots for you now.
Nottingham is an amazing City and I’m looking forward to exploring it more in the next three year that I live here!
60’s Cyber Streets is a shoot styled and directed by Myself and Ella O’Reilly ,as part of a brief for our BTech Diploma. This brief was to design and produce a Outerwear Garment which were styled by us during this shoot. We chose to play on the space age feel the fabrics gave off and went for a out-of-space with sports lux style due to the key trends at the time we shot this. Our locations were chosen on the idea of putting out of space/ high fashion in a casual down to earth environment. Models were Lucy Coles and Elli Partridge and my partner in the shoot was Ella O’Reilly. FOLLOW ELLA HERE!
It is not a secret that when a social media “influencer” gains a large amount of followers brands want to work with them. This is called a Brand deal. A brand deal is basically a virtual advertisement space that brands use to advertise their product. They take advantage of the platform a influencer has made for themselves by paying the youtube/blogger (whatever they may be) to feature the brands products in a Instagram post or review on a youtube channel. Some larger brands have in the past few years been making this one of their main ways of advertising and taking Bloggers/Instagramers/Youtubers on luxury holidays to meet brand Ambassadors and see the new products with the hope or in some cases agreement that they will document their time with the brand and share with their audiences.
Social Media influencers be it YouTubers or instagramers are a way company’s can reach larger audiences with their products on wider platforms than just their own, as the Influencers have gained a sort of celebrity culture of their own with some you tubers such as Zoella (lifestyle and Beauty Guru) gaining followings of 10k plus. Examples of where this has been very effective is with instagram influencer Tammy Hebrow, Tammy is a fitness enthusiast who has gained a huge 7 million audience on her Instagram account. Tammy is sponsored by companies such as ‘Woman’s Best’ to upload “content” which she will be paid for and allow her to make a living from being on Instagram, While Women’s Best get publicity from somebody who’s followers will buy the products from her review as they trust her judgement and strive to be just like her.
An example where this has been done a lot recently is with Reserved, a Polish company new to the UK this month. They have 1,700 stores in 18 Countries. On this 6th of September Reserved launched in the UK, opening up their new Flagship store in London on Oxford Street.In this few weeks leading up to this launch Reserved flew a selection of Bloggers/Youtubers to Poland to learn about the brand , via private jet. I think this was a very clever marketing tactic to get the name Reserved know in the UK . Many of the guests documented their time with Reserved on Instagram/ Blogs and Youtube which reached collectively millions of followers. Reserved then went on to invite some of the same Influencers to their Launch day to meet and greet followers. The guests included Kate Moss and Youtuber Tanya Burr who both brought huge amounts of customers keen to meet them and then d some shopping in the new store.
Brand Deals are without a doubt a brilliant way that companies can communicate with their audiences and continue to gain larger audiences. A large amount of the population like to buy products off the back of a review from somebody they trust and this can be found on Youtube and other social media platforms. I think that Brands using this type of advertisment are following the times and allowing themselves to grow with their Customers.
Betty Magazine is an independent Magazine and Blog. With the aim to “unify women with a youthful state of mind and a Nostalgic heart”. Established in 2010 by Editor Charlotte Jacklin. The team at Betty are aiming to reach women from all walks of life and allow them to indulge in all things Nostalgic and Beautiful , they realise that lot of consumers are stimulated by a more physical, hands on connection , such as magazines which is why a print version of their blog is available to order off their website. Another effective way Betty reaches its audiences and also a lot of companies use as an effective touchpoint is physically interacting with who you are trying to communicate with through meet ups. Betty have set up a club called the “Girls Club” where subscribers to their website can go and meet like-minded people at social events such as knitting clubs, scent making classes and cocktail classes. Betty also offer classes which they hope allow women to become business savvy and creative as they support small businesses and celebrate everything feminine and hand crafted.
The Girls Club allows Betty to connect directly with their readers and find out exactly what it is they are into/ what content they want to read which allows Betty’s writers to know what content to focus on and how to stay relevant to their readers. Betty is perfect example of how using meet ups as a communicative touchpoint is very effective as they have had a huge request for more Girls club meet ups and tickets sell fast! Check out the Betty Blog here!
In my opinion the people who are exploring fashion codes and messages in the most innovative way are the people that are changing with the times and updating their ways of thinking to fit with what the consumer is paying most attention to, which i think at this current time is social media. One example of a company who I believe is doing this very well and really playing on the tool that is social media is “Pretty little thing” who says their customer is the “online savvy shopping generation” The reason I think they are innovative is because they notice what is in pop culture and use it to their advantage. This past summer the popular TV shop “Love Island” grew a huge following with all ages but particularly with teens and young adults/20-somethings, viewers of this show became very attached to the contestants and “PLT” noticed this and have made contestant Montanna Brown a PLT ambassador as well as giving her her own line on the website , this means the reach Montana’s following on social media and gain respect and attention from the millions of viewers for noticing what they are into, other brands such as “BooHoo” have done similar with other contestants.
My ultimate Inspiration is Sophia Amoruso (the founder of Nasty Gal). Sophia started her career on Ebay. She was a broke young adult who had a passion for Vintage clothes. She set up a vintage Ebay shop just to pay the bills for a Hernia she had acquired, her shop gained followers very fast and she was selling faster than she could find. Sophia made the switch from Ebay store to her own Nasty Gal website and started the journey of creating an empire for herself hiring the best in the business to help her on her way up. I believe Sophia is a lady who is translating and projecting in an innovative way ,because she is promoting herself in so many different ways and connecting them all using one mentality which is “girlboss”. Sophia has had huge success creating her business and wrote a book due to high demand about making it in the business called “girl boss” Buy The Book Here .The book did extremely well and sophia says the book is the mentality of her brand nasty gal. Sophia has not just stopped there and has also reached further audiences and continues to inspire using her podcast where she interviews other “girl bosses” every week and hears their story and how they “made it”.Listen to Girlboss Radio here This allows her to promote both her book and brand and podcast all at the same time as she links them using the “girl boss” mantra it also allows her to keep very up to date with her customers.
Sophia story has now also been made into a fictional series which you can watch on Netflix, its a funny take on her story of making it in the business as her life leading up till now was not plain sailing. I found it highly inspirational as she really did come from nothing and worked her way up in the business with brutal hard work. Sophia is the original GIRLBOSS! shop Nasty Gal Here!