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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An Accessory to Murder

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Fashion Films form an integral constituent of customer engagement strategies for luxury brands these days. These films can be viewed as an alchemy of education and entertainment. The main objective of making fashion films is to educate the customers about the latest collection, showcase the exquisite craftsmanship behind the iconic pieces of these prestigious brands or glorify the brand’s history and heritage . However the interesting part is, that fashion films takes the customer on a beautiful and entertaining journey with the brand that has a far long lasting impact than a brand advertisement.

Here, I am going to talk about the British luxury brand Charlotte Olympia, who has taken the trend of fashion films to another level by showcasing her Autumn Winter 2017 collection in the London Fashion Week through a short murder mystery themed fashion film named “An Accessory to Murder”.

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Charlotte Olympia’s fascination for the Old Hollywood style of the 1940’s and 50’s is well reflected in her designs and can be seen in the 12 minute black and white fashion movie ‘An Accessory to Murder’.

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The brand has brilliantly presented and promoted it’s latest collection through a murder mystery which keeps the audience engaged not only in the story line but also the characters who are not just dressed glamorously but also accentuate the importance of high heels for women. The movie keeps one engaged and in a way kindles the deep down fetish for killer heels. The dialogues have been very strategically included in the movie giving immense limelight to the high heel culture and spur a strong desire to own the ‘Accessory to Murder’

” A beautiful woman with a pair of heels is too hard to resist”

“Some fashion is really to die for, especially when you share the same shoe size”

“Murder weapon? A Stiletto!!!”

“When your hair is set and you are wearing fabulous shoes, you can get away with anything”

“Looks like a 37, Italian”

“Only I can heel your soul”

“Real beauty, six inch heels, pink, set in pearls, real classy…… Sounds like she was handmade in Italy”

“What I needed was a motive and a pair of killer heels”

“I was starting to loose my mind and possibly develop a shoe fetish at the same time”

“I think i am being followed….. What makes you say that ? … Umm , just a pair of killer heels”

” A beautiful woman with a pair of heels is too hard to resist” 

“Some fashion is really to die for, especially when you share the same shoe size”

“Murder weapon? A Stiletto!!!”

“When your hair is set and you are wearing fabulous shoes, you can get away with anything”

“Looks like a 37, Italian”

“Only I can heel your soul”

“Real beauty, six inch heels, pink, set in pearls, real classy…… Sounds like she was handmade in Italy”

“What I needed was a motive and a pair of killer heels”

“I was starting to loose my mind and possibly develop a shoe fetish at the same time”

“I think i am being followed….. What makes you say that ? … Umm , just a pair of killer heels”

 “The higher the heel, the better you feel”

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The movie can be deemed as celebration for strong women with strong heels and here is what generates an insatiable desire for the real stars of this fashion film –  The Charlotte Olympia Autumn Winter Collection 2017.

An Accessory to Murder is not merely a fashion film but a powerful marketing weapon for Charlotte Olympia in breaking through the competition from more established brand names like Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik and  Yves Saint Laurent to name a few. This movie asserts the class, fine Italian craftsmanship, glamour and style of Charlotte Olympia collection besides ensuring that these brand associations last longer in the mind of the customer than a regular fashion show or a brand commercial. The customer is th0roughly engaged in the short movie and subconsciously starts desiring to be a part of this high fashion murder mystery.

No wonder, Charlotte Olympia manages to earn many buyers for its latest collection who in a way start aspiring to own these deadly weapons of destruction. Lastly, I take this liberty to say that An Accessory to Murder is Charlotte Olympia’s ticket to the aristocracy in luxury industry.

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.