Tag Archives: shoes

I Got Nailed in Sweden

Swedish Hasbeens is a brand created in the 70’s. Sweden is the country of origin. Without a doubt, these fundamentals already tell (to us Finns at least), about an instant success.

The shoes became a real hit by the time Sarah Jessica Parker was seen wearing them. And the rest is history.

The funniest thing: I spent hours, hours and hours to get the shoe model and color I wanted. Sold out everywhere, especially the model I wanted. After hours, I finally gave up and lowered myself into checking the store info in the website. There it was: www.sisukas.net

An online store located in Espoo, Finland. About 10 km’s from where I live – and I truly had browsed through a mind-blowing amount of online stores all over. I registered into sisukas.net, found the perfect pair (amazing, the whole world was out of those shoes…) and got it delivered in couple of days. The Sisukas.net site really isn’t a crown jewel of web design or anything near that, but their customer service is brilliant, fast and reliable. What do you know.

Swedish Hasbeens has now launched their Winter/Autumn 2010 collection, looks good, of course.

Leave a comment

52 Luxury Brands Online, Checked

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.


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


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.


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.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!


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


Russian criminal tattoo goes Paul Smith

Paul Smith sent an email, offering me exclusively a book about Russian Criminal Tattoos. Encyclopaedia Volume III. There was 15 signed copies available. I got the email on 23rd October 2008 and saved it because I thought it was cool.

At the time, I had just watched the movie Eastern Promises. Fashion is kind of an interest (obsession I guess) for me, now also the russian criminal tattoos were – as kinky as it sounds. Tattoos have a significant role in the movie. If you haven’t seen Eastern Promises, watch it. It’s a violent, sad and totally miserable movie. But it’s a good one.

By using this particular book in marketing, Paul Smith added so much attitude into its brand that I can’t think of a better way to do it. With or without the movie. When searching “paul smith russian criminal tattoos” from Google, there’s loads of results.

The product range and the overall service of www.paulsmith.com is quite exceptional, for a global fashion brand. Paul Smith himself started the company and still works there as a designer and a chairman.

First of all it isn’t just clothing. Online it’s also a bookstore, a hilarious giftstore eg. Gorilla EraserLladro Sky Blue Cactus, Skis for Edelwiser, art store with Tara Darby prints, and last but not least even Paul Smith fine china. The only thing not up to date is the the Music co-op that has ended ca. 1 year ago in January 2008.

Leave a comment

Camper – The shoes I hate, the brand I love

I immediately knew I didn’t like their shoes. I will never buy and definitely never wear them. But goddamn, they know their marketing. I browse the site every now and then, get their newsletter and everything. I have told several friends of mine how much I like what they do (not with the shoes, with the marketing). Every detail, every tiny thing is thought through. I don’t know if this is even marketing, it’s branded entertainment I’d say. At least for me it is.

There’s always something surprising – there’s actually no logic at all. The quality: all the images are brilliant and the overall design concept is sharp. As it comes to usability, that’s an experience also: you basically know what you get, but there’s always a cherry on top of the cake. Either concept- or content wise, usually both.

The old Camper hit is Casa Camper in Barcelona (always fully booked) and the new hit is a shoe collection by the designer Hella Jongerius. I’m a fan of Jongerius (www.jongeriuslab.com). Alfredo Häberli, who is known also for his designs for Iittala, now also has a shoe collection. Way to go Hella and Alfredo.

Camper is all in all a bit more than you would expect. Positive surprises really create the happy experience, and that will always take me back to the shoes I don’t like. That’s magic.



Leave a comment

By Malene Birger and how simplicity works

This Danish brand is an old favorite of mine. I first got interested in the gorgeous designs and especially the accessories – even have managed to get myself quite a collection. The website www.bymalenebirger.com is what I call a masterpiece in its genre: simplicity and style. The core of the experience most definitely is the high-quality images and the show video. Chance to be able to look at every little detail of each item is also very much appreciated. Basically that’s all I want to do and enjoy it every time. If there’s something to add, a webstore would be it.

By Malene Birger