EDGY IS THE NEW ELEGANT – TIFFANY & Co HARDWEAR COLLECTION

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Tiffany & Co. has been synonymous with elegance over the years. Perhaps the strongest brand connection people have about Tiffany’s was created through the 1961 classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ where the female protagonist, Audrey Hepburn was in total awe of the jewellery brand and the movie started with the scene where Audrey was having her breakfast outside the Tiffany store and admiring the collection on display from the window.

Hepburn-breakfast-at-tiffanysThe movie projected Tiffany & Co. as an integral aspect of the New York life and an emblem of elegance and indulgence. Indeed, it is remarkable to note that Tiffany & Co has managed to stay strong in the luxury sector given the fact that luxury jewellery sector  has been primarily dominated by French brands like Cartier, Van Cleef  and Arpels, Bucheron or the Italian brands like Bvlgari, Damiani and Buccilati.

Since ages, Tiffany & Co. has been on the top list of women looking for  engagement rings, wedding bands and high jewellery not only in North America but all over the world. The brand communication had been  primarily centered around the whole idea of sealing in your special moments of love with a ring from Tiffany & Co.d262891c5ec8bf508780f7c9ee8fe59e

Tiffany & Co. continued to play around with its brand image of love and elegance through its collections like the Tiffany T , Return to Tiffany, Tiffany 1837, Tiffany Infinity, The Atlas Collection and Tiffany Celebration Rings.

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These collections were a breath of fresh air from the traditional Tiffany designs and connected well with a younger and contemporary consumer with an evolved taste and aesthetics. The Tiffany women were elegant, classic, young, independent and very much in love. The collections were contemporary and traditional in their own way which was reflected in the heart shaped designs, the infinity ribbons. love bands etc. signifying the circle of love, the circle of life.

But the question was “Is the Tiffany lady just about love and elegance? Can’t she be beyond the mundane manifestations of elegance, class, youth, independence and compassion? Can’t she be eclectic and hard- headed? Will it make her less elegant? Can’t edgy be elegant???”

And then, the Spring/ Summer 2017 came when Tiffany & Co. launched its Hardware Collection to celebrate the Edgy Lady- The one who redefines elegance in its own way and does not restrict it within a limited vocabulary of words. She is different,she is bold, she is confident,  she is rebellious, she is independent, she is hard and she makes the world go GAGA over her with the edgy elegance she personifies.

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Who else could be a better choice of being the face of the Hardware collection other than Lady Gaga who is EDGY-ELEGANT in every way. The collection stays true to its roots by drawing inspiration from the architecture of New York like its previous collections and also taking cues from its 1971 unisex bracelet which is my personal favourite  from the entire assortment, no.5 in the image below.

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Its been over an year since the launch of this collection and now its available in diamonds also apart from gold and sterling silver providing a wide variety of options for the edgy ladies. The brand is yet to come up with a newer collection than the hardware but for now it is indeed doing wonders for the brand image of Tiffany & Co. and helping the brand getting newer customers who don’t subscribe to cliched elegance.

 

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Redefining Customer Experience: Burberry Flagship Store, Regent Street

Burberry is a British luxury fashion brand established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry. The brand, famous for its iconic trench coat is headquartered in London and has been defining the British way of life since 160 years. Few years back the brand launched its website called the Burberry World Live which not only showcased the brand’s merchandise but also featured the upcoming music artists in Britain. This website has three main components: The Art of the Trench, specifically focusing on the iconic trench coat; Burberry Bespoke, the high end products from the brands and Burberry Acoustic, videos of new and upcoming acoustic guitar artists from England.

Burberry World Live became very popular with consumers all over the world and boosted the sales and brand recognition of Burberry even more as many music lovers also browsed through the sites to check Burberry Acoustic and later started liking the brand too.

Keeping in mind the success of Burberry World Live, the brand decided to come up with a brick and mortar store which will a physical manifestation of its online website but at the same time reflects the heritage of the brand. Finally, on 12th September, 2012 Burberry opened a new flagship store in Regent Street, London.

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The store was housed in a heritage property originally built for Prince Regent in 1820 and it took two years of extensive renovations involving the best technicians and traditional British craftsmen to make this ‘heritage’ meets ‘high-tech’ store come alive.

At present Burberry Regent Street store is the most technologically advanced retail store in the world but at the same time it has managed to restore its vintage appeal. One can find bespoke blackened bronze lanterns, furniture, plaster work, timber paneling and flooring, traditional glass signage and self-supporting stone staircase. England’s finest craftsmen – from stone masons to cabinet makers have worked hard for over two years to enhance the building’s vintage charm.

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Apart from maintain  the historic appeal of the store, Burberry has used modern technology to pamper the customers with unique shopping experience often termed as ‘Retail Theatre Concept’.

The store has around 500 speakers and 100 screens including the tallest indoor retail screen in the world which is used to engage the customers through emotive brand content.

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Ramp shows at various fashion weeks are also presented live on the screen.

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There is a digitally enabled gallery and digital signage in all the floors. Apart from this the 44, 000 square foot space in the store has a hydraulic stage where music artists perform live every week.

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Since Burberry is famous for its trench coat, a dress worn usually during rains and  to give this monsoon  feel to the customers there often occurs sporadic digital rains in the store accompanied with thunderstorms supported by high quality speakers.

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The clothes in the stores are woven with microchips so whenever a customer tries on the merchandise the mirrors in the fitting room turn into screens to show how that particular piece was worn on the ramp show or how it was made by the craftsman. This engages the customer even more and is possible due the use of advanced RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology.

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In the kids wear section, low level tables are equipped with iPads loaded having drawing applications to engage the children. The sales staff in the store is equipped with iPads carrying applications which provide them a history about the customer buying history and preferences. This helps in providing a more tailored service to the customers and enhances customer service experience in a big way.

The Regent Street flagship store is the largest Burberry brand experience in the world set against a historical backdrop, the store is a pioneer in digital innovation and experimentation. Part event space, part innovation hub, part store, Burberry Regent Street creates a dynamic and luxurious new brand environment, with exclusive products, services and experiences.

 

 

 

 

The Luxury Prescription – JUST SAY MOSCHINO

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What happens when an Italian luxury brands gets an American creative director – confluence of two cultures or controversy ?

Well ,the latter is happening with the latest capsule collection by Moschino. This infamous collection has been a subject of protest by social activists who believe that the capsule collection is endorsing the habit of drug addiction and showing insensitivity to the issue of deaths resulting from drug abuse. Owing to the pressure and protest all over the world fashion retailer Nordstrom has stopped selling this collection. Although the Capsule collection is still available at Saks Fifth Avenue and Moschino stores. Jeremy Scott has denied endorsing drug addiction through this collection and explains that Capsule collection is just another manifestation of his creativity as reflected in the Moschino Barbie Collection,  Moschino Super Mario Collection or the Moschino Mc Donald’s Collection.

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Moschino Barbie Collection

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Moschino Super Mario Collection

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Moschino Mc Donald’s Collection

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Moschino Capsule Collection

Moschino Capsule collection is quite unconventional and different from the previous themes as it lacks the cuteness but is a high dose of creativity and unconventionality. Unfortunately, it is facing much criticism and people are being judgemental about the concept rather than appreciating the creativity behind it.

Jeremy Scott is a creative genius and he deserves the respect and the freedom for his creative expression. He has revived Moschino into a quirky brand with a strong youth appeal. The target consumers of the brand are young free spirits, rebellious and unique in their own ways. Keeping their psychology in mind I believe that all this controversy is going to add up to the popularity and demand of this collection.  After all what Moschino sells is fashion not drugs, then why are the activists spending so much energy on denouncing the brand rather than focussing on addressing the problem of drug addiction.

 

 

 

Capucine Part- II – C’s forCapucine

Wondering why I am stressing so much on the letter C !! Well , ask Louis Vuitton how much this letter C had bothered them at one point with the  rise of Counterfeit Canvas Bags and fall of brand sales and brand prestige. This mounted the grave need on the part of Louis Vuitton to revive the brand’s image in the luxury handbag market.

So, in the summer of 2013, Louis Vuitton launched its new range of handbags and named them Capucine inspired by  the street where Sir Louis Vuitton opened his first shop in Paris. Louis Vuitton had set high hopes on the Capucine bag and left no stone unturned to ensure that Capucine helps in bringing back the lost brand prestige and value. The brand focussed on four main aspects of Capucine: Craftsmanship, Collection, Campaign and Class (four C’s).

Craftsmanship

Luxury brands justify their high prices and brand value through the high quality, rare and exclusive material they use in making a product. Furthermore, skilled craftsmen spend days and months to transform a regular product into a luxury masterpiece.

Louis Vuitton maintains the quality of leather which goes into making a Capucine bag. The brand sources high quality leather from France, Spain, Italy and Northern Europe. A seasoned leather controller minutely checks the thickness, texture and color of the leather before approving it for the Capucine bag.

Capucine bag is handmade in an exclusive workshop located in  Saras (countryside close to Paris) where a handful of skilled craftsmen work together to make the Capucine bag. It takes a week for them to make a single bag.

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Design- wise the Capucine is a real treat for the consumer as it can be worn in two ways: without the flap or with the flap. If one tucks the flap inside the bag then the LV initials adorn the brand. If the flap is fastened across the bag then an elegant LV monogram sits on the flap. Another interesting feature of the bag are the jeweled rings attached to the bag which connect the handle with the body. These rings look extremely aesthetic and at the same time makes the handle more flexible and strong.

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Collection

The Capucine bag was initially launched in two sizes i.e. GM (15.7” W x 10.6” H x 6.3” D) and MM (14.2” W x 9.1” H x 5.5” D). Later on, a new size called BB was introduced in the collection, it had a long strap which could be worn across the body during the day and in the night the bag could be worn with the handle, doubling up as a perfect evening bag.

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Rare Python Capucine

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Rare Fur Capucine

The bags are available in a wide range of colors and  Louis Vuitton comes up with a fresh color palette for every season.  Initially the bag were available in Taurillon (Calfskin leather) but now Capucines are available in Crocodile leather, Ostrich leather, Python leather and even exotic fur and suede (soft leather).

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Ostrich Leather Capucine

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Floral Print Suede Capucine

This exhaustive collection of colors and materials makes sure that Louis Vuitton has a Capucine for every consumer who can afford the high price. Since consumer taste and preference vary, non availability of a desired color or material should not stop them from owning a Capucine. This also works positively for enhancing the brand image because everytime a potential consumers thinks of buying a particular design of Capucine, she finds a more interesting design variant when she is to make the final purchase and it creates a positive impression about the creativity and innovation  aspect of the brand.

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Crocodile Leather Capucine 

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Taurillon Leather Capucine 

Campaign

The face of Louis Vuitton Capucine bag campaigns is popular Hollywood actress Michelle Williams who has made a name for herself in the industry for her performance. She has essayed the role of iconic Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe in the movie ‘My week with Marilyn’ and was applauded for her performance and old world charm.

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Louis Vuitton had the same conception about Capucines, they wanted to position the bags as something vintage and prestigious but still very relevant for the classy modern woman. The bag is elegant and has enough space to put in all the essential utilities like an iPad , phone, lipstick, keys, mascara etc. So, it can be worn to the office and at the same time used as an evening bag because of its looks and class.

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Michelle Williams is captured in different moods, carrying different designs of Capucines just to emphasize that there is a Capucine for every occasion and personality.

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Class

The canvas bag was a big lesson for Louis Vuitton and  made sure it doesn’t repeat the same blunder with Capucine bag. The brand ensured that the bag has high aspirational value and customers actually pine for a Capucine bag.

Soon after its launch, the royalty, international celebrities and models were seen flaunting the Capucine bag. This heightened the consumer interest in the Capucine bag as they also wanted to a part of that league. However the price of Capucine bag was much higher than the canvas bag which can come for a minimum of say $ 800. The starting price point for a Capucine bag is approximately $ 4, 400 for the BB size, $ 5,600 for the MM size and $ 6,050 for the GM size. The prices scale up depending on the material and color of the bag.

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Princess Charlene of Monaco

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Chiara Ferragini and Marina di Guardo

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Miranda Kerr

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Angelina Jolie

Louis Vuitton also made a point that there is no oversupply of the bag in the market. Usually Louis Vuitton shops have a single display piece of Capucine bag which is not for sale and the customers need to order for their desired piece and wait for some time to possess their desired piece.Thus, even when the customer has the money to buy a Capucine, its limited availability makes them want the Capucine bag even more and due to this they form a strong perception of exclusivity and rarity for the bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capucine Part I – The Birth of Louis Vuitton Capucine Bag

The brand name, Louis Vuitton is synonymous with the trendy canvas bags which have flooded the female handbag market worldwide. Very often, one can often spot ladies flaunting a Louis Vuitton monogram canvas bag in different sizes and shapes.

Louis Vuitton Canvas Bag

The LV canvas bag has become a popular trend especially amongst young females and in a way this soaring craze for the tan and brown coloured canvas bag have flushed in a lot of counterfeits in the market who promise the consumer the pleasure of owning a budget friendly LV styled canvas bag. However, this Craze for Canvas and rise of Counterfeiting have been a Cause of major Concern for the french luxury brand Louis Vuitton mainly for two reasons. First one being a loss of sales revenue due to the prominence of counterfeits in the market and the second, a more grave issue is the increasing trend for the canvas bag which is a threat to the exclusivity aspect which is critical to enhancing and maintaining a luxury brand image. Louis Vuitton could foresee the potential damage to its  brand image owing to the rising demand for the canvas bag which in a way was pushing the brand from exclusive class to more of a mass appeal.

Louis Vuitton addressed to this potential threat in a very aesthetic and beautiful way by launching its line of Capucine handbags in the market. The bag got its name from the street where the legendary Louis Vuitton had opened his first shop in 1854, thereby adding a vintage appeal to the brand. Furthermore the Capucine bag is highly priced, far more than what the canvas bag costs, just to ensure that very few people can afford them. This helped in increasing the aspirational value for the handbag and the brand. Apart from this Louis Vuitton made sure that the distribution of bags in the stores is very limited and customers have to patiently wait for some time to finally posses their much desired Capucine Bag. Lastly, Louis Vuitton ensured that the bag is made from exclusive high quality leather (full- grain Taurillon leather) and a semi rigid handle secured by jewel- like rings with a spacious and functional shape offering two inside compartments. Its distinctive flap can be worn two ways: outside to reveal the outline of a Monogram flower, or inside to show the LV initials. Thus the bag is a treat to the consumer expectation in terms of style, class and aesthetics.

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Louis Vuitton Capucine Bag