for what it’s worth

stories and stimulus from a consumer insight consultant

Mary Queen of Shops brings fashion to BBC


BBC have created a new fashion programme that brings the sucess of the home improvement formula to small businesses. The series, called ‘Mary Queen of Shops’ will show former Harvey Nichols creative director Mary Portas as she aims to help improve the fortunes of ailing independent retailers with her industry experience, fashion expertise and array of top contacts.

In the words of the production company- “Mary Portas, retail expert, branding and marketing supremo, will help the shop owners rediscover their spirit, enthusiasm and sense
of style. She’ll show them where they’re going wrong and how to improve – from window dressing to the right clothing, from the shop name to shop dummies. Along the way Mary shows us the secrets behind the science of shopping and what goes to make a great shopping experience and what makes us want to walk straight back out of the door!”

The four-part series is accompanied by a book entitled ‘How to Shop with Mary Queen of Shops’ which covers shopping from the consumers point of view, or as Amazon describes it “When to hit the sales, how to read a shop window, who you are as a shopper in the eyes of the retail trade, how to transform arrogant shop assistants into willing slaves…how to get the most out of shops”.

The programmes are due to air this spring, although the dates are as yet unknown. The book however will be available on Amazon from 3 May.

via catwalkqueen

Filed under: entertainment

Don’t you liketotallyloveit?!


Taking the idea of Digg and creating a social shopping site where users can publish any interesting finds that they want to share, was founded by four students in Germany who wanted to create a community-based website for cool product recommendations. Quoting Paris Hilton may not make for the most eloquent name, yet it’s a perfect way to to describe this great new site where every user can upload short reviews of their chosen items, vote on other people’s postings and comment on products shown, which vary from iPod alarm clocks to gold cassette belt buckles, plus of course a wide array of cool t-shirts.

Products are grouped in areas- accessories, art, entertainment, fashion, food, furniture, gadgets, personal care and toys- and can also be searched by price range, with the added bonus that every item has a direct link to an online shop where it can be bought. Having only launched at the beginning of the year and still in beta mode, users have already uploaded an array of products from all over the world- with more being added at an increasing rate. Although it may well get targeted as a free advertising exercise by many small designers/ manufacturers, ultimately only the best designs will achieve front-page accolade.

Filed under: life online

Coco Ribbon Neutral

picture-113Coco Ribbon, the boudoir boutique in Notting Hill where fashionistas stock up on lingerie, soft furnishings, candles et al, are adding another range to their store- your clothes! Wanting to do their bit to help the environment, the company’s founders came up with a unique way to shop and recycle at the same time. The new scheme, called Coco Ribbon Neutral, aims to get customers to bring in unwanted designer clothes and swap them for shopping vouchers to spend in the store. Fifty per cent of the sale price of your garment will come back to you in the form of Coco Ribbon pounds, alongside the knowledge that you are doing a good deed- thus alleviating your guilt and allowing you to buy more!

Coco Ribbon Neutral launches next month,

Filed under: clever promotion, products with a purpose

Issey Miyake wins Kyoto prize

Issey Miyake has become the first fashion designer to win the prestigious Kyoto Prize, awarded annually for advances in science, culture and human spirit. Wired has a fascinating article with interviews from both the amazingly talented designer and the founder of the Kyoto Prize, Kazuo Inamori.

‘Wired News: Why is recognizing the advances of the human spirit, side-by-side with science, so important?

Kazuo Inamori: Today people are enjoying a very
rich lifestyle, but many people were sacrificed for that goal. Today’s
human civilization was created at the expense of the planet.

The spirituality of human beings must be treasured and preserved
even at the expense of the advance of material civilization. I believe
the advent of human civilization alone will not make people happy.’

‘Wired News: Your current designs seem to suggest that the designer is less important than the wearer to challenge the wearer.

Issey Miyake: We are looking to people, not the fashion
(community) and we are fascinated by technology. People have become
consumers; they forgot the ways they can participate in their clothing.
A-POC does that. It is important people participate in making their own
clothing. Many of my clothes, I find people wearing very surprisingly. I am pleased to see what people do with them.’

read the full article at wired

Filed under: arts & culture, search this out

Toptipsforgirls- online help for sticky situations offers advice from a range of women in the know on how to survive any situation modern society may throw at you. Launched only two weeks ago, according to the site is already receiving over 2,500 visitors a day wanting tips on how to deal with everything from how to get dressed for a date to how to get chewing-gum out of hair!

‘Top Tips For Girls is the ever-expanding bible of genuine advice,
combining modern tips with the remembered fragments of our
grandmothers’ wisdom. All about the sisterhood, this is for women who
actually like other women. Users are asked not just to take, but to
leave something handy behind.’

Set up by journalist Kate Reardon, the site aims to utilise the knowledge of all the wise women out there to create an amazing practical and useful online resource, or as she explains it- “it’s like being in the bathroom at a party with millions of women, all
of whom want to give you advice”.

check out

Filed under: collaborative working, life online, ,

GPS enabled feet!

GpstrainersGPS has been a lifesaver for many lost drivers, so why has it taken so long for someone to create a wearable option? Embedded with Quantum Satellite Technology, Isaac Daniel trainers will make sure you can always find your way. The company sells a range of technologically advanced GPS-enabled athletic footwear that not only give the safety assurance of a satellite tracking system, but also include monitoring capabilities that can measure the wearer’s heart rate, speed and body temperature. The shoes even come equipped with bluetooth technology and an internal microphone and speaker so that the wearer can call for help should it be needed.

An incredibly useful, potentially life-saving device for children, military personnel and active outdoor types, the newly-launched trainers offer ‘ultimate performance, comfort and unmatched safety’, delivered through the company’s 24-hour monitoring service which, for $19.95 per month, will track the wearer and locate them anywhere in the world.

USA Today has an interesting article with the founder Isaac Daniel who came up with the idea after being told (incorrectly) that his 8-year old son had gone missing. Read the full article here or get yourself a pair at fele online

Filed under: for the children, technology

Gold by Giles Deacon sparkles at New Look

NewlookgoldGiles Deacon’s impressive line for New Look hits shops today- so expect crowds of screaming fashionistas at stores around town. The advertising on the New Look website shows the collection in a glamorous photoshoot with the face of the ‘Gold by Giles Deacon’ range Drew Barrymore, pics of all the accessories laid out individually with accompanying prices, an interview with the designer himself and an accompanying video- all impressively packaged as an online magazine.

check it out here

Filed under: clever promotion

BHV Homme: Men-only shopping in Paris

men's shopping

Manchic has some pics of BHV Homme, an impressive newly-opened menswear emporium in Paris. The concept store stocks over 150 menswear labels, offering everything from shoes to shirts from both established names and up-and-coming designers. At 4 floors and 43,000sq ft, BHV Homme aims to be the one-stop shop for mens fashion- the question is, will this be attractive or intimidating to male shoppers?

BHV Homme
via Manchic

Filed under: stuff, ,

Weinstein buys All-American Brand Halston

Harvey Weinstein has bought the iconic American brand Halston, reports WWD. Making perfectly clear that the venture has nothing to do with the Marchesa brand designed by his girlfriend Georgina Chapman, Weinstein claims that he has been looking for a brand to invest in as the next move for his company for a while and “In Halston, we found that brand that relates to the kind of movies that we make”.

With Tamara Mellon on board to help turn the ailing company around, they aim to restore the brand to the success of its glory times when the namesake designer was at the helm. “We plan to really respect the DNA of the brand and bring it forward,” she said, adding “that’s really where everybody has gone wrong with Halston over the years”.

It was Mellon who brought the brand to Weinstein’s attention, explaining she felt attracted to Halston because “the history of the brand is so incredible. He was one of the greatest American designers of the last century. His clothes are still modern today. And everything that surrounded his life was so glamorous”. Weinstein apparently thinks so highly of the designer that he plans to turn the Halston story into a documentary- i’m sure timed perfectly to coincide with the big brand relaunch. “I find his life incredible. I don’t think people know the extent of how talented and way ahead of his time he was and there is great drama on the business of the story, too, and a lesson about how people lose things”. An interesting move for a movie mogul, I for one am expecting big things from this pairing and look forward to seeing what they can do for the future of the Halston label.

Filed under: creative ideas, industry news,

Adidas End-to-End project


Not wanting to be outdone by all the Nike celebrations going on, Adidas (alongside Foot Locker stores) have got together with seven of the world’s best graffiti artists to produce a collection known as the End-to-End project. The idea was to take graffiti artwork ‘from the sketchbook to the streets’, and to achieve this the artists were given free reign of a warehouse in Spitalfields for three days, with the resulting creations used to decorate a range of trainers and clothing.


Cameras were set up throughout the warehouse to capture the whole design process, videos and photos of which can be seen at the highly impressive End-to-End website alongside information on the artists and the project, and images of the collection. The result is a stylishly cool range featuring individual and collaborative designs from Smart, Skore, Can2, Atom, Scien, Siloette and Rime.


The range is due for release this Friday, 16th March, available exclusively in Foot Locker stores, whilst the artwork produced is due to be showcased on a bus that will tour Europe later this month.


Filed under: arts & culture, brand extensions, collaborative working,