Archive for May, 2010

The Most Beautiful Bicycle is Pelago

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

If you’re looking for a bicycle for a lady (or a gentleman), or a hipster, or for anyone who enjoys and appreciates beautiful design, Pelago would be the brand.

Pelago Bicycles is based in Helsinki and their first bicycles were launched in 2009. Pelago aims to make bicycles that will last 40  years: that’s an impressing goal. The website is a compact package consisting of the basic info, the crown jewels being of course the products supported with a splendid logo. They’ve succeeded in creating a serene and relaxed feeling that communicates the Pelago spirit really well. Something old and traditional has been successfully transformed into modern everyday life. Splendid design in both the bicycles and the website. Latest news is found from their Facebook-page.

Almost Good Marimekko

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I bought my first Marimekko dress ca. 10 years ago when Unikko pattern was a massive hit. I still have the dress but will definitely not going to wear it anymore, like, ever. The pattern was systematically ruined with the overuse of it. This Spring, after 10 years, I’ve bought myself couple of new dresses by the ex-Marimekko designer Samu-Jussi Koski.

Look at their websites. Have a look at Marimekko. Have a look at Koski. Mr Koski has managed to create an online presence that is design-ish, stylish and totally convincing. Why does The Design Company of Finland look like a boring insurance company online? Well, maybe that will change soon, let’s all hope so.

The images in this post are from the Marimekko Summer News, a newspaper that was delivered with morning mail this Spring. I like their Summer News a lot. It gave an impressing review of their new collection, convincing enough to make me walk into their store – did some shopping too, surprise surprise.

52 Luxury Brands Online, Checked

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I got the inspiration to systematically browse through 52 luxury brand websites after reading a book about the art of selling high-end shoes in NYC, 5th Avenue. The book is written by a Finnish lady, Mirja Tervo. If you’re into shoes, just read it (available only in Finnish, though). The brands below are the ones sold in the salon Mrs Tervo worked in, prices varying from 500 to 2500 a pair. Very, very high-end. Below find my short brand review (brands listed masculine-feminine-neutral, as in the book).

Five (5) out of 52 brands have a website that I find interesting, entertaining and good, even fun. I know I will visit those sites again. In my opinion, two (2) out of 52 brands have been able to create a campaign that’s not just a print ad in Vogue (don’t get me wrong, I adore Vogue and good print advertising!). To be honest, this post was almost as amusing to compile as reading the book.

Derek Lam

Basic product website with print images.

Giorgio Armani

Nice fullscreen films throughout the site, but all the links take you out.

Oscar De La Renta

Cool compact site with smooth functionality and gorgeous images.

Moschino

They do have personality, it’s a shame that the site is so messy.. . What the duck?

Marc Jacobs

A good try but a bit restless experiment, a full screen film as a background for all the site content doesn’t work very well: marcjacobs.com

Valentino

A compact, stylish, thought through site. Nice details, well designed.

Christian Dior

I’m totally tired of country specific sites. This is one of the worst: why is it so important to choose a country/area/language to see what you have? If you just want to have a look? Anyways, “The New Lock” series of short films is beautiful, as most of the site content truly is. Generally, loads of good content but it’s quite hard to get a general view of the entity. Hard to remember where you’ve been, as funny as it sounds.

Stuart Weitzman

It is a website built from boxes. Grey and boring. Since the products are quite high-end, why isn’t the online presence?

Jonathan Kelsey

Weird black site with products packed in a tiny, tiny area.

Givenchy

Content stuffed into quite small boxes, otherwise grey toned – boring…

Salvatore Ferragamo

They’ve chosen one image to use on the background as fullscreen and they stick to it – brilliant. Super-simple with quality.

Dolce & Gabbana

Too much! Literally, loads of content. The biggest problem is that there’s no way of knowing where to start. Re-naming, re-arranging, re-shaping up the concent, I guess that would do the trick.

Bruno Frisoni

After a while the shoes appear and that’s it. The site includes just the obligatory information, which in most cases is all you need. Just to mention that you need that little extra to make the person come back.

Brian Atwood

In my opinion there’s basically all the needed content but the concept is missing. A big plus on using Donna Summer’s I Feel Love!

Azzedine Alaïa

It seems, there isn’t a dedicated brand site for the art of the iconic Mr Alaïa. Or I just wasn’t able to find it. Oh, what a pity.

Giuseppe Zanotti

Zanotti’s latest print campaign with a guy’s head and a high-heeled shoe stands out – unfortunately not online. The site is compact and very basic.

Alejandro Ingelmo

The site hasn’t been updated: latest collection being Spring/Summer 09. Simple, stylish but slow-ish.

Réne Caovilla

They have managed to create a relaxed but still luxurious atmosphere, excellent choice with music. Good experience.

Rupert Sanderson

Compact, stylish site. Includes shop.

Burberry

Burberry.com is a comprehensive webstore. Burberry’s latest campaign concentrated on their iconic trench coats: Art of the Trench is just brilliant, a simple concept with lovely music. It’s a huge image collection, consisting of professional quality images with user generated ones. The fun side is that you really can’t tell the difference. Each of the images is amazing: together they create quite an impressing piece of art. It’s a pity that just the campaign stands out…

Sergio Rossi

Basic site. The navigation is a bit tricky.

Gianvito Rossi

Basic content, but the site is a bit slow. The site is built so that every action you take first provides you with the loader… I know I’m impatient.

Michael Kors

Very American, heaps of content. Very basic.

Ralph Lauren

Very American, heaps of content. Very basic.

Roger Vivier

Goddamn, Roger! The site is totally surprising, top-quality, fun, entertaining, crazy. I love it. A good start to get into Vivier’s world is to get started with: Collections/Spring-Summer 2010/Film. Another must see is the Haute Couture section. It’s almost embarrassing how proud they are of being a French brand! Just go throught the whole site, everything, I did too. Viva Vivier!

Balenciaga

Latest print campaign images on the main page. There’s a (messy) webstore for US and UK. The nicest part of the site is: House of Balenciaga/Video.

Manolo Blahnik

Unfortunately could be a site of what-not. Very basic.

Yves Saint Laurent

The navigation is somewhat confusing – quite disorganized all in all. YSL’s Manifesto marketing concept is brilliant. Remember to check out the site archive, the films are divine. YSL actually prints a high-quality look book of the latest YSL look every year, it’s given out  in a campaign goodie bag in the fashion capitals worldwide (one day event). The package is really sought after, it’s become a collectible. This is a well-known way to promote the new collection: always for professionals, never for the actual buyer/consumer. No need to mention, that I’d desperately want to have my Manifesto bag some day. YSL has managed to create something really successful and unique. Well done.

Gucci

Personally I can’t stand these dirty shades of brown and gold that dominate the whole site… And unfortunately the chaotic navigation makes a mess out of this one, too.

Prada

Wow, those magnificent high quality images are awesome. The quality that the brand represents just stands out. Awesome. And works so, so smoothly and fast. The Fantasy Lookbook, The Fashion Show’s, they just start in a second you press the button. Great experience.

Jimmy Choo

The products stand out really well. Choo 24:7 collection has been promoted widely – they do it online, too. Beautiful site.

Studio Pollini

Makes me wonder they could do so much better. Very basic, not a single surprise, not to mention no “wow-effect”.

Courtney Crawford

No website. Amazing.

Christian Louboutin

He has a style of his own, totally. On the main page, there is a paragraph of text with the title “Warning”. Is he serious? Well, that’s it for me, even though I adore the shoes.

Taryn Rose

The site looks cheap. Even thought the shoes really are not.

Camilla Skovgaard

The site is really simple, the only content being the products. You can recognize Skovgaard’s shoes, they stand out – unfortunately her website doesn’t.

Chanel

The only thing to criticize is the totally disordered structure. There’s loads of interesting, high-quality content, unfortunately very well hidden. Since the content is so great, I will still rank Chanel quite high. If they would just organize it all…

Ann Demeulemeester

Dark, simple and very Demeulemeester’ish. I wish there would be something unique in her online presence – as there is in her fashion.

Nicole Brundage

Simple and stylish. Very plain.

Alexandra Neel

I’m not a big fan of this kind of box – in a box – in a box visuals. Why is all the content stuffed in the tiny area? The overall quality sucks big time. In the other hand it seems there’s nothing wrong with the products. Such a pity.

Donna Karan

It’s a total mess with a non-existant navigation and poor usability. And why do the views change via a black screen? Sloppy stylesheet coding?

Jill Sander

Simple, sleek and stylish. A bit boring?

Marni

They at least try to play and make the visitors play too, nice solution with the site structure.

Miu Miu

Brilliant – one of my favorites. Big, sharp, high-quality images with clear structure on good content. You’re able to see the products you want. There’s surprises. It’s branded entertainment and truly what I would call “eye candy”. Reminds me of Prada, of course.

Chloé

Good quality site – every view is a bit differently built. Nice but maybe not so nice that it would tempt me to come back.

6267

a) It doesn’t exist. b) I’m not able to find it.

Fendi

One of the ugliest, to be honest. The flash effect in the content page is just annoying.

Dsquared2

Well. They’ve succeeded perfectly in making their brand look like s**t. Pure torture.

Gunmetal

What would this be? It’s mentioned as a shoe brand in the book but the stuff I get from google just can’t be it.

Costume National

This site has character and individuality. At least I wanted to check it all out. I like the music a lot – goes really well with the overall design + naturally the brand (which I’m quite familiar with). Content: lot’s of material and info, but the structure is so interesting and well designed that it doesn’t feel too packed. Really interesting, rich brand experience.

Hogan

Well, this might have been a hit 10 years ago.

Tod’s

I’m not quite sure what the purpose of the film opening automatically on the main page is?  There’s also a “select your country” view, and one of the options is “world”. Oh, my. I chose the world, of course. Lounge music, lounge music, lounge music.

The conclusion:

Five (5) out of 52 brands have a website that I find interesting, entertaining and good, even fun. The brands are Roger Vivier, Prada, Chanel, Miu Miu and Costume National. Two (2) out of 52 brands have been able to create a really successful, worldwide known, iconic campaign concept: Burberry with Art of The Trench and Yves Saint Laurent with Manifesto. The reasons why can be found in the text above.

Beautiful Ssense

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

 


First impression: Ssense.com is a breathtakingly beautiful webstore. It looks like a high-end fashion or design magazine, the only difference being the lack of ads. Perfect, sleek, stylish. Well, I really enjoy aesthetics, in case I didn’t make myself clear already..
The News-section is surprisingly interesting, providing articles on Architecture & Design, Art & Culture, Collections (fashion collections available in Ssense.com)  and Film. There’s also a Lookbook, of course. Photographers is about incredible fashion photography – I enjoyed this the most. Publications leads you to awesome magazines, previews, books… I need to get that Industrie -magazine, at least.

Take the news -section as a warm-up, the real content is better. A webstore that is so simple that you can actually concentrate fully on shopping and checking out stuff, without wasting a second on trying to figure out how to find something, waiting something to load or thinking how this and that works. This is a rare experience, I tell you, and I surf the web (= fashion) a lot.

Highly recommended. BTW, don’t, in any circumstances, skip the sales-section. 


Making Of This And That

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
YouTube Preview Image

They all do it, even Dior. What? 

Films, where they show how they make an ad or a film. Well, it could be quite interesting, if there actually, seriously, would be something interesting to see. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s not worth making that making of, if the only reason to do it is that “it just pops out anyway”.

The most disappointing is, when you’re expecting something magnificent and superb, and it just turns out to be a damn making of (and at the same time, they still introduce a separate, official making of). Just give me the real thing, please!