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Amazon moves further into fashion with ‘see now, buy now’ Nicopanda collaboration

Streetwear brand Nicopanda have joined forces with Amazon Fashion Europe on a ‘see now, buy now’ capsule collection, set to launch this September.

Nicopanda plans to showcase the six-piece, unisex collection at their Amazon sponsored, London Fashion Week debut this September 16. The Nicopanda show will be held at the ecommerce giant’s European Fashion Photography Studio in Hoxton, with the pieces launched on Amazon’s five European fashion sites immediately after the show.

Nicola Formichetti, Creative Director at Nicopanda and famous for his roles at Uniqlo and Diesel said "I am excited to have joined forces with Amazon Fashion as it is synonymous with fast delivery and great selection, a perfect choice for this exclusive capsule collection".

Made up of a hoodie, long sleeve tee, bomber jacket, oversized scarf, clutch bag and leggings, the capsule collection is "true to Nicopanda's DNA, unisex with an international street-culture aesthetic. Each piece includes signature Nicopanda graphic motifs and a bold colour palette," Formichetti explained.

Susan Saideman, Vice President for Amazon Fashion Europe said "Nicopanda's designs immediately turn heads, so we can see why it is a firm favourite with the likes of Rihanna and Lady Gaga. We're excited to bring such an exciting brand to our customers for the first time this September.”

‘Amazon Prime Now’ customers in London will be able to order and receive the collection within one hour of the show, for a charge of 6.99 pounds, or for free within two hours.

This announcement sees Amazon push further into the fashion retail sector, offering an alternative approach to ‘see now, buy now’ for brands.

Photo courtesy of Amazon Fashion

Potential ban on sale of luxury goods unsettles online retail

Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, already having a tough time with the sale of luxury articles, could soon face a sales ban on these items within the EU, should a general ban on luxury goods on Amazon and Ebay suggested by attorney general Nils Wahl at the European Union's Court of Justice be granted.

The debate was triggered by a lawsuit between the German luxury cosmetics provider Coty and German perfumery Akzente. Already in 2012, Coty prohibited the perfumery from offering its goods on Amazon, which include brands like Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Chloe. Akzente did not accept the new distribution agreement so that Coty was forced to sue. Now the European Court of Justice is expected to come out with a verdict in about six months time, which could set a precedent for the entire industry.

In the meantime, online retailers are feeling quite unsettled, as the fight over luxury goods has been going on for a decade. Plus, many luxury companies are skeptical about online sales in general or the sale of their products via online marketplaces. They fear losing control over pricing and, in case of low prices, loss of brand image. There is also the fear of counterfeiting, especially on the customer side, which is why many luxury customers prefer a store visit before making their decision.

Nils Wahl, attorney general to the European Court of Justice, is on the side of the luxury retailers, and said in the statement read on Wednesday that the sale of luxury goods via online service providers would only be permitted if manufacturers and brands were restricted by a so-called selective distribution system to safeguard their luxury image. This means that vendors can sell products only to dealers who meet certain previously defined criteria.

While marketing via "electronic shop windows" is permitted, selling via so-called mass trade platforms such as Ebay and Amazon is not. According to Wahl, luxury companies are "guarding against parasitism" and can prevent third parties from benefiting from the heavy investments made by luxury goods companies into the quality and reputation of their products. "A supplier of luxury goods may prohibit its authorized retailers from selling its products on third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay," he stated.

Should the judges share the views of the prosecutor's office, a general ban on the sale of luxury goods on online platforms like Amazon and Ebay could be the result. The German Federation for Online Retail (BVOH) fights against Wahl's appeal, pointing to the devastating effects for European online traders, should it be granted: "The statement is the proverbial slap in the face for free and fair trade and would come as a death sentence to thousands of small and medium-sized traders in Europe."

Whether a general ban on the of sale luxury items on online marketplaces would be meaningful at this point in time when even those luxury brands that until now had mainly banked on brick and mortal stores, finally come around to e-commerce - be it via their own website or third party online marketplaces- is questionable. Rather, better conditions should be negotiated for suppliers and customers in order to ensure optimal use of all distribution channels available.

Photo: Amazon UK
Supreme x Louis Vuitton doing Japan only restock

Did you miss your chance to get your hands on the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collaboration? Well all hope isn't lost, assuming you either live in Japan or want to book a last minute flight there.

For those of us in the United States who are awaiting to hear news about the cancelled pop-ups, it has been announced that three stores in Japan will be getting a restock this weekend.

The three stores that will be getting more product include the Osaka Hilton Plaza store, Nagoya Midland Square store and the Fukuoka store from Friday, July 28 until Sunday, July 30.

Three stores in Japan are getting a Louis Vuitton x Supreme restock

This time, there will be no camping out and mile long lines. Instead, customers who want a chance at the second drop must enter a lottery on Louis Vuitton's website which closes at 3 p.m. today.

Earlier this month, Louis Vuitton announced that this collection would no longer be sold in any stores or online. Only Los Angeles had the privilege of seeing a U.S. pop-up. Pop-up shops in other cities, including London, Sydney, Paris and Seoul all went underway without a hitch.

The planned Louis Vuitton x Supreme pop-up for New York ended up being killed by Manhattan Community Board No. 2 unanimously denying their proposal.

Worse comes to worse, there is always Grailed or eBay, but some pieces are going for double what they originally cost at retail on both of these sites.

photo: via louisvuitton.jpn
Independent Amsterdam: This Is The Shit, T.I.T.S

FashionUnited has brought together a selection of the best independent stores in the city to discuss, once a week - the place that self sustaining stores have found amongst the ever changing retail industry.

Starting in the Dutch capital, Independent Amsterdam will visit retailers, hearing from founders and employers about their inspiration and plans for the future.

This is the Shit, T.I.T.S is an eclectic concept store based in the west of Amsterdam, offering a large selection of modern fashion brands for women of all ages, as well as jewellery, footwear and home accessories. The store has a unique ambience, perfect for showcasing interesting, new brands that cannot be found anywhere else in Amsterdam.

Independent Amsterdam: This Is The Shit, T.I.T.S

‘A store for your daily inspiration. Full of happy stuff which makes you smile.’

Founded by Nathalie Zoeteweij and Mathilde Kamphuis in 2015 for want of a new place to shop, T.I.T.S stocks a large range of small independent brands including Mannish and Frisur alongside larger commercial brands like Stussy and Lazy Oaf.

“There are many nice shops here in Amsterdam but they seem to all sell the same brands - it’s boring. There are so many great brands and young creative people who have smaller niche brands, they deserve the exposure more.” Zoeteweij said in an interview with FashionUnited.

Independent Amsterdam: This Is The Shit, T.I.T.S

With styling, buying, and visual merchandising under their belts, Zoeteweij and Kamphuis started working on their concept and business plan, opening the T.I.T.S store in April 2015. The tongue-in-cheek name This is the Shit (T.I.T.S), Nathalie says was made with the aim to make people laugh and be happy, “we definitely succeeded at this part - people walk by and laugh at the name, whether they dare to wear our own designs or not”.

T.I.T.S is not just the name of the store, but is also the founders’ brand. They have designed t-shirts made from organic cotton and tote bags which connote positive feminist vibes, available in store and online. Though they sell their own small selection of designs on their website, Zoeteweij told FashionUnited that T.I.T.S is not interested in having an ecommerce site for the abundance of brands they stock. Instead, they feel it is important to offer a unique experience for visitors to the store, managing to entice a wide range of consumers whether that be locals of the area or tourists. Talking about the downfalls of e-commerce, Zoeteweij says “people are so quick to send back the items, they don’t care about them at all. We cannot compete with fast fashion retailers that stock the same brand we do, so why would we even try.”

Independent Amsterdam: This Is The Shit, T.I.T.S

The store offers a unique experience in the fact they have: “a style for every body, for everyday,” they accomplish this by stocking a range of brands that compliment eachother, and the founders’ own styles. “I don’t like to wear the same style every day - I like to wear black one day and prints another, I think lots of people have this same thought, so we like to provide lots of styles rather than just one.” The youthful brands that they stock are mostly in a higher price range than high street brands, and so Zoeteweij says that their customers are mostly a little older.

Zoeteweij discussed how sustainability will be a key focus for the future of the store, “we stock a lot of sustainable brands, and we really like them but they don’t always have the ‘funky’ feel that other brands have. For example, Lazy Oaf - it’s not sustainable, but it’s so fun.”

Independent Amsterdam: This Is The Shit, T.I.T.S

The duo work hard to keep the store on track with just the two of them employed, researching to find new brands on Instagram and Pinterest daily, choosing brand to feature in the store based on their own preferred style. They are also approached by many brands asking to be showcased in the store.

This year, T.I.T.S exhibited their own small selection of designs at Modefabriek, the largest trade fair in Benelux and are about to launch their T.I.T.S branded jewellery in the next two weeks.

For the future, they plan to stick with just one store for now as they continue to grow the business, planning to design more of their own brand pieces, and collaborate with people that they can learn from - “We will see what comes our way in the future” concluded Zoeteweij.

This Is The Shit, can be found at De Clercqstraat 78 in Amsterdam and online at tits-store.com.

Photos courtesy of This Is The Shit

Look out for the next piece in the Independent Amsterdam series, posted next Thursday August 3 on FashionUnited UK.

Amazon launched its express delivery service in Singapore on Thursday, the US online retail giant's first foray into Southeast Asia and a move that puts it in direct competition with China's Alibaba.

Prime Now allows online shoppers in the affluent city-state of five million people to order a wide range of goods from baby products to food, electronic items and beer. It marks Amazon's entry into a region of more than 600 million people, where many countries have a growing middle class, and which is seen as the next e-commerce battleground.

"Amazon's entry augurs well for shoppers in the region who will benefit from more choice, price competition and better delivery services," said Prem Shamdasani, an associate professor for marketing at the National University of Singapore Business School. Alibaba already has a headstart in the region with an 83-percent stake in Southeast Asia-focused online retailer Lazada.

The Chinese firm, founded by China's richest man Jack Ma, raised its stake in Lazada last month with a further 1 billion dollar investment. The Prime Now application was made available for download in Singapore on Google's Play store and Apple's iTunes. By just entering their postal zip code after opening the app on their devices, online shoppers can start placing their orders.

The service promises delivery of items within two hours. Business consultancy Frost & Sullivan projects online retail sales in Southeast Asia to more than quadruple to 71 billion dollars by 2021 from 16 billion dollars in 2016. The e-commerce sector made up 4.1 percent of the total retail market for the region last year but this share is set to rise to 11.5 percent by 2021, the consultancy said. But Shamdasani warned that it could be difficult market. Southeast Asia includes relatively wealthy countries such as Singapore, but also developing nations with poor infrastructure where it is harder to do business.

"While e-commerce is set to grow the market in Southeast Asia is relatively small and fragmented with narrow margins," he said. He said Amazon will "face increasing competition from many established store retailers who are embracing e-commerce and providing their customers with seamless omni-channel shopping experiences".

Mei Lee Quah, an analyst for telecoms and payments strategy at business consultancy Frost & Sullivan, said that while Amazon and Alibaba are rivals, their product offers are also complementary. "Their offerings will be slightly different because they (Amazon) bring products in the form of US inventory," Quah told AFP. "Lazada plays in a slightly different field. They are also of quality but the range is different, it caters more for the overall Asian market," she added. (AFP)

Boden to open flagship on King’s Road

Boden, the British, primarily online retailer is set to open their first brick-and-mortar store on Chelsea’s King’s Road this October.

The London flagship will open at 20-23 Duke of York Square, offering consumers Boden's adult ranges, Mini Boden for children age 0-16 and special collections such as Boden Icons. The store will join other brands such as COS, Whistles and Zara also situated on King’s Road.

The store opening supports Boden’s ongoing plans to bring it's unique style to the high street. “I’m so excited to be going into retail. This is a new chapter for Boden. At last our customers will be able to see the brand in all its glory. I would like the shop to feel like you’re walking into my home.” said Johnnie Boden, Founder and Creative Director.

Boden have also implemented five concessions in John Lewis’ across England this year, with plans to add more in 2018.

“Opening stores is a significant moment for Boden as we continue to grow our business”, said CEO Jill Easterbrook.

Boden currently have a store on Hanger Lane, West London which opened in 2004 and has recently undergone a refurbishment, with more styles available from all ranges and Click and Collect services.

Boden was founded in 1991 by Johnnie Boden. Initially launching with only eight menswear products, the company has grown to offer women's and childrenswear - offering ‘British fashion that’s the enemy of ordinary’.

Photo courtesy of Boden

Zakti Activewear to open first outlet store

Fitness brand Zakti Activewear, sister brand to outdoor retailer Mountain Warehouse, is to open its first outlet store in the UK at McArthurGlen Swindon this August.

The 1,700 square foot store, will mark the brand’s fifth store in the UK adding to existing full price stores in Islington, Chiswick, Reigate and Summertown in Oxford. It will house the brand’s womenswear, menswear and kidswear and has been designed to encapsulate a new concept with a fresh approach to activewear.

Zakti Activewear to open first outlet store

Shantelle Augier, buying and planning director for both Mountain Warehouse and Zakti said: “We launched Zakti in the UK in 2015 with womenswear in response to consumer demand. Since then the brand has been so successful that menswear and childrenswear have quickly followed plus the brand has expanded to the US and Canada.

Zakti Activewear to open first outlet store

“Our mission is to ensure that the whole family can have access to fitness through quality clothing at accessible price points. Our new retail store at MacArthurGlen will allow us to reach more consumers and deliver our brand message with a new innovative shopfit designed to inspire and empower shoppers.”

The shop has been designed by Beyond Communications and will mirror the personality of the brand using a #wearezakti feature wall with images of staff members and a ‘Leggings Bar’ with spotlight LEDs highlighting hero product.

Zakti Activewear to open first outlet store

Nigel Stern, managing director of Beyond Communications added: “The new Zakti Active retail concept provides a unique approach to athleisure. The interior graphics, lighting, materials and use of colour are welcoming, fresh and energetic offering an unintimidating yet exciting customer experience.”

Zakti Activewear launched in the UK in 2015 and offers a range of tops, leggings, shorts, jackets, ski wear and swimwear at affordable prices using technical and innovative fabrics, that have all been designed in London.

Images: courtesy of Zakti Activewear

Arcadia Group moves into childrenswear with Outfit Kids

London - The Arcadia Group is set to step foot into a new market category, namely childrenswear. This September sees the debut launch of Outfit Kids, a style driven childrenswear brand set to offer on trend fashion for girls and boys between 18 months and 12 years of age.

The range aims to offer quality, value and style “for the fashionistas of the future” at an accessible price range, between 7 and 45 pounds. Outfit Kids is set to be offered in selected stand alone Outfit stores, as well as a number of Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores. The new brand will also be sold online via Arcadia Group’s Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Burton websites.

Arcadia Group moves into childrenswear with Outfit Kids

Arcadia Group to launch Outfit Kids

Arcadia Group also aims to seek out new wholesale partners to offer the childrenswear brand around the world as well working with its current partners. "Launching a childrenswear range follows extensive customer research amongst families who shop across all the Arcadia brands, they told us that for their kids they wanted fun, stylish pieces that were good quality and that price was key. We listened, and delivered,” said Mitch Hughes, Buying Director in a statement.

The launch comes as the fashion retail group seeks to diversify its brand offering and reach a wider customer range as demand for stylish and affordable childrenswear apparel continues to rise in the UK. The childrenswear debut also sees Arcadia Group creating another additional revenue stream in boost its overall sales as consumers continue to shift their shopping habits.

Outfit Kids AW17 collection is set to launch early September, with a partywear collection to follow later in the season.

Photos: Arcadia Group

Flannels opens first store in Scotland

Luxury retailer Flannels is continuing its expansion plans with the opening of its first Scottish store in Glasgow to showcase its range of designer clothing, footwear and accessories for men and women.

The 8,137 square foot store in Silverburn, Glasgow, follows the retailers successful opening in Meadowhall in Yorkshire in May, and will carry a host of designer brands including Stone Island, C.P. Company, Kenzo, Hugo Boss, Y-3, Vivienne Westwood MAN, Versace Jeans, McQ Alexander McQueen, Moschino, Theory, and Coach.

Flannels opens first store in Scotland

A spokesperson for Flannels said: “With constant footfall and a strong reputation, Silverburn is the perfect place for our debut site in Scotland. We are excited to share our collection of fantastic designer brands and continue our success across the UK.”

David Pierotti, centre manager at Silverburn, added: “We are delighted to welcome another luxury brand to Silverburn. Flannels’ decision to open its first store in Scotland at the centre adds to the outstanding retail offer already available, and is reflective of Silverburn’s increasing appeal for premium brands.”

Flannels opens first store in Scotland

The opening follows the recent launch of luxury bath and body care specialists, Molton Brown, adjacent to Pandora and Swarovski, as well as British heritage inspired youth brand, Jack Wills, and beauty retailer, Kiko Milano, which both opened stores at Silverburn in the last 12 months.

Flannels opens first store in Scotland

Silverburn has over 120 retailers, including H&M, Debenhams, and River Island, as well as more than 20 restaurants and a cinema.

Images: courtesy of Silverburn and Flannels

Bravissimo plans US store debut

UPDATE London - Bravissimo is planning its physical store debut in the United States following the successful launch of its dedicated web shop earlier this year.

The UK lingerie firm, which specialised in larger sizes, is currently plotting its first store opening in the US. Bravissimo aims to open its debut store sometime next year on the east coast, according to the Evening Standard.

"We know that many big-boobed women in the US find it really difficult to get a good choice of bras in bigger cup sizes, and we’d love to be able to offer them a more positive shopping experience," added a company spokesperson.

The move comes as Bravissimo continues to expand across the UK, as it eyes to open additional stores in London and South East, adding to its 28 store portfolio.

Bravissimo first launched 22 years ago as a mail-order brand after its founder Sarah Tremellen was unable to find bras she liked above a D cup size during and after her pregnancy.

Photos: Bravissimo, Facebook