Zara continues its #Joinlife campaign

Unfortunately, in the world we live in, fast fashion is inevitable. There is a huge business solely based on advertising such products to increase sales and make businesses progress forward. Luckily, some companies, such as Zara, are ready to reverse this damage. Despite some saying this is too late, it is important that as fashion lovers we try to change what we have all contributed too.

Zara’s donation system is set up within store. Making it accessible to pretty much everyone. The clothes will be recycled, donated or sold through The Red Cross channels to fund their social projects. Also, with it being based in store, it means you can browse the store guilt free.

Many may think this is a gimmick. However, it is proving successful as within Huffington posts sustainability results, Inditex was positioned within the top three companies with a 76-100% sustainability rating. The other two companies were H&M, who have been renowned many of times for their recyclability ideas. As well as this, Levis. Which is very important as denim is one of the worse fabrics to manufacture. As the dyes damage the water systems.

Hopefully, this is a fashion revolution as on Zaras’ website, they have produced a whole section underneath the Join Life hashtag. Including, products which have been produced from this system.

Alongside this, Zara ships their orders in 100% recycled cardboard boxes. Which reduces their C02 emissions by 1.680 tonnes a year. Saving 21.840 trees. Reinforcing the idea that fashion can be guilt free.

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How fashion repeats itself

We are products of the past in every way; the way we live and think is vastly affected by what came before us, and this is no different in the world of fashion. There is no doubt that in our current climate, we are all decided that the days of our parents’ and even our grandparents’ youth was a cooler time, displayed in the way they lived their lives and in the way they dressed. Sometimes we don’t even realise we are wearing what was popular before the turn of the century, we didn’t go through those trends the first time around so everything seems new to us. The inspiration for designers has to come from somewhere and the past is a great place to look to reinvent and reintroduce some classic looks.

 

The reinvention of style can come in many forms, for example, brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry have reinvented their old styles to ensure their relevance and to bring their names back to the top of the industry. Similarly, classic names and styles such as Levi’s, double denim and Macs surpass the years and reoccur in our wardrobes time and time again.

 

There are different theories arguing how long the cycle of fashion takes to come back around but it, of course, can vary depending on multiple factors, seasonal changes or what a key influential designer decides to push at that time. Modern designers are now referencing the past so often that the cycle theory may have collapsed and maybe all styles from any era are continuously in and out of fashion.

 

We know that popular old-school styles from the 1970’s to the 1990’s are often repeated; the question of why is quite simple. Media has injected this era into our lives for years. We grew up watching ‘Austin Powers’, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘That 70’s show’. Our parents show us pictures of their youth and we hear stories of a better time before technology took over our lives. Once decided something is cool and desirable, we try to recreate it. The most obvious and relevant example of this is the hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders. The undeniably cool style (and haircuts) of the Peaky clan has affected men’s style unequivocally, bringing back a classic look from as far back as the 1920’s. This slightly oversized charcoal grey piece from Private White’s A/W 2017 Menswear collection (below, Vogue) showcases this perfectly.

Some other key trends that have been repeated include 70’s bellbottoms. They were reimagined in the 90’s as flares, which is what we know and love them as today when they returned triumphant (again) in 2015. This cropped pair from Louis Vuitton (below, Vogue) showcases an elegant and very ‘in’ way to rock them now.

Of course, you can’t mention iconic fashion repeats without the beloved choker. Britney Spears, an icon to many, blessed 90’s teens and kids with the inspiration. Now, they’re still going strong after being back for what feels like a lifetime. Chokers may be a trend that rears its head for decades to come. They can be dated back to the 90’s, the 40’s, the 20’s and further on to Ancient times.

 

Old school fashion was designed to show off the human body. Fitted shirts and trousers with eclectic patterns and designs are a trademark of the past that young people have not experienced and wish they could, trying to reclaim a past that never belonged to them and that only brings with it the good memories from those days. In a world so torn apart and beaten down by politics and technology, a glance at the past reminds us of a seemingly cheerier and simpler time, personified by their excellent fashion.

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How social media influences what we buy

Social media and the fashion industry have almost become dependant on each other to maximise engagement and profit. When we immediately think of social platforms and fashion, Instagram is, of course, the biggest and the best. Its unchallenged engagement levels mean that brands can reach their customers faster and to a greater extent. Though Instagram started off as a platform from which individuals could share personal photos; it has now evolved into a key component of brands and organisations’ marketing strategies, and one that is taken very seriously.

 

Other strategies and platform options do exist other than the way brands boost their own following on Instagram through their own posts or via an influencer. Though I believe, as a prime example of who these marketing technics are trying to hit, that none are as effective, personal and as non-invasive as Instagram. As a quick example, you may have noticed that if you search for something anywhere online, the site will follow you around the web; shoving adverts in the form of cookies onto your feed of Facebook, Instagram or any other site you visit that has space for personalised ads; usually always for the item you nearly bought or similar like it. The idea is to retarget you to the site to hopefully spend some money. This is all done anonymously so it is less creepy than we all thought. This technic along with Google Ads, certainly ensures the item or brand is kept firmly in our minds, and might even convince us after days or re-seeing it, that we, in fact, need to shop from the site, thereby influencing our purchase and boosting revenue for the brand. The strategy can, of course, be seen as an annoyance. Just because I searched for an item once, does not mean I should have it shoved down my throat on social media until I buy it.

 

A strategy that I believe massively help brands reach their customers through social media is to address them via someone they already know, trust and follow. This way, they may shop from a brand because they have chosen to, not because they have been force fed the information. They willingly clicked on their favourite influencer’s latest Instagram post or YouTube video because they wanted to know more. Two of my most favourite and trusted influencers, SunBeamsJess and Lissy Roddy are shown below in an example of how they and the brands they work with utilise their Instagram feeds and followers to create engagement and profit. They tag the brand and use hashtags to maximise engagement, whilst styling the pieces in their own way, which their followers already know, and love.

 

Of course, it massively helps if the brand itself already has a strong following, making engagement with them a natural move from browsing influencers’ feeds for fashion tips. At a recent Digital Fashion Futures event, I attended, Mark Leach, head of e-commerce for Missguided highlighted this importance. (Missguided’s following shown below)

Because social media influences what we buy so greatly, we want the relationship between brands and social to stay positive and real. The issue of authenticity is a barrier that needs to be overcome if the marketing strategy is to continue to work. Whether you trust the influencers you follow or not is something you have to decide for yourself. Influencers are under no obligation to divulge the details of their brand deals with their followers. Brands may give them affiliate links to use on their social accounts from which they receive money for every purchase from that link. Or they might sponsor videos where the brand is reviewed. This has the potential to corrupt how truthful their reviews of the items sent to them may be, and therefore lead us in false hope to buying an item they actually do not believe is that great.

 

In a world where social really commands what we buy online, we must be savvy to those who really are only about the brand deals, so that those brands and the likes of Instagram and YouTube can become more aware of the problem and dismiss it. It is now possible to buy Instagram followers to make it seem like your support and online attention is huge; and so brands want to work with you when in actuality their genuine following is very low and brands get nothing from the deals. Australian YouTube sensation Chloe Morello posted a recent video outlining how you can spot fake followers, which you can find here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0aNjpaN5cE

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Forever Unique Manchester Pop Up Shop

Forever Unique, the well knwon luxury fashion brand, opened their pop up shop next to The Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester on Thursday, and we love it!

Upon arrival to this fully kitted out pop up shop, guests were treated to drinks and canapes, while being entertained by a DJ and fascinated by girls on stilts! It looked incredible, and stepping inside really did make you feel like you’d stepped into a glam A-list party!

Passers-by walking down Deansgate were all enticed into the shop by the hypnotising window displays, and sparkles for days. The Forever Unique pop up store was packed from start to finish, and the stars of The Real Housewives of Cheshire even turned up for the evening, all of them looking as glam as ever rocking their own items from the Forever Unique Collection.

But what exactly was inside the Forever Unique Pop Up Shop? Well, inside you were treated to dresses, tops, skirts, coats, bags, shoes – you name it, it was in there. With glitter, studs, strips and sequins taking over the streets of Manchester, and with an incredibly generous 30% off all purchases, you would be crazy to miss the opportunity to head over to Forever Unique and grab yourself a bargain ready for those Christmas Parties!

Don’t worry if you can’t get down, head over to the Forever Unique website and have a browse at all of their collections.

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MCR Streetstyle: November

MCR STREETSTYLE FASHION: November

Manchester is a city known for being different, a city known for it’s iconic contribution to legendary music, a city known for community spirit, but most of all, a city known for a pride in fashion. The streets of Manchester are often the place to head to if you’re looking for inspiration for your next outfit purchase, or even just for ways to vamp up your existing pieces in your wardrobe.

Diversity is throughout the city, with everyone having their own unique twist on the outfits that they wear, this giving us the BEST inspiration for our own outfits. In a city, so fashion dominated you can walk through the streets at 8 am and see people in full glam outfits or people in the most casual (yet still completely on trend) outfits – there is so much diversity spreading its way through the city and we love it!

With such a fashion-conscious population living in Manchester, we thought what better thing to do than showcase this and show off true Manchester street style to mcrfashionindustry.com

Our photographer Miriam Sabbah hit the streets of Manchester to see exactly what fashion you lot were wearing this month! Take a look at our gallery below and be sure to keep a lookout for our street team snapping around the city in the weeks to come, and you never know, YOU could be on here next time!

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Wrap Up Manchester This Winter

As you head to work this week you might want to take an extra coat.
The Wrap Up Manchester campaign is aimed at helping those in need this winter.

If you have a spare coat then a charity is considering donating it so it can go to homeless shelters, refugee centres, elderly organisations, women’s refuges and children’s centres.

The Human Appeal, which delivers aid to the impoverished nations, has partnered with Hands on London to bring this year’s winter campaign to Greater Manchester.

Once all the spare coats have been collected, they will be taken to warehouses, sorted and graded before being sent to organisations across our region that help a range of people in desperate need.

Organisers are also calling for volunteers to help sort the donations.

“We need the coats in the back of your wardrobe that you no longer wear,” a message on the appeal website reads.

“If a coat doesn’t fit you or suit you any more, please donate it! We’ll take any colour, style or size. We want them all, to help keep Greater Manchester warm this year.”

We Need Your Spare Coats

Do you have an old winter coat you no longer wear? Do you want to free up some space in your wardrobe? Well, now is your chance to hand it over to someone who really needs it.

Wrap Up Manchester is a heart-warming, award-winning winter campaign where we ask people like you to donate your winter coat so we can re-home it through our homeless shelters and refuges. Simple. We take any size, colour, and style. We’re into one thing only – doing something good to keep people warm.

Manchester – Out In The Cold

Sadly, homelessness has soared by more than 30% in the past year across Greater Manchester. The latest overall statistics show that 4,428 people in the region – that’s one in every 633 people – no longer have a permanent roof over their heads. Of these, 4,239 are living in temporary accommodation, while 189are sleeping rough. This trend doesn’t look like it’s going to reverse any time soon and many Manchester people are going to suffer over the coming winter months.

Give Your Old Coat A New Life

We need men’s, women’s, and children’s coats – especially men’s coats – so we can help keep Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow warm. Please note, that we are unable to accept fur or any other donated items other than warm coats for Wrap Up Manchester. Please scroll down for details on where and when to hand over your unwanted coat.

Exceeding expectations would be nothing new for the charity who aimed to collect 700 coats as they kicked off the scheme in Manchester last year but instead 1,500 items were received.

They are teaming up with Network Rail to use Manchester Piccadilly station as a donation site between November 13 and 15 while SafeStore centres across the north-west city, Glasgow and Birmingham will be available to drop off coats throughout the fortnight.

Othman Moqbel, Human Appeal’s chief executive said: “The winter months can be unforgiving for those sleeping rough or unable to afford a winter coat.

“We, in Human Appeal, want to not only offer a hand to those in desperate need of humanitarian aid, but to wrap an arm around those in desperate need of warmth.

“We aim to help people in need all across the world regardless of their race or religion or gender or location. Whether it’s someone in need in Mosul or Manchester, Human Appeal aims to help in every humanitarian crisis.”

Samra Said, Human Appeal’s UK domestic programmes manager who is leading on the Wrap Up Campaign, added: “The numbers of rough sleepers in the UK has risen by 133 per cent over five years. In the harsh winter months, Human Appeal empower all communities to come together through Wrap Up Manchester to help those most in need.

“Warm someone’s body with a coat and warm their heart by letting them know you care.”

Commuters and shoppers can drop off their coats at nine Safestore locations across Greater Manchester.

They can also be donated at one of the participating Safestore self-storage centres, or at CollectPlus shops.

Wrap Up Manchester has made donating your coat easy. Simply hand your coat over to one of the drop off points below in November and we’ll re-home it in December.

You can donate your old coats at any of the venues listed below between the 13th – 24th November 2017. If you prefer, you can also send your coats via CollectPlus. This year they will also be helping to wrap up the cities of Birmingham and Glasgow – please see all coat collection places and times below.

#WRAPUPMCR

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ASOS X Hello Kitty Collab

As a grown up, those days are quite possibly behind you, but ASOS has just brought back Hello Kitty in a totally wearable way, and I’m loving it. ASOS have a knack for strong collaborations and there latest adventure see’s a beautifully designed 40 piece collection in with Hello Kitty.

 The collection, comprises of street-wear inspired pieces and preppy pieces.

There are cool sweatshirts and hoodies which can be worn with ripped jeans or a pleated skirt with kitten heels for a more polished look, and chic Breton tops with a miniature Kitty on the chest, best worn with straight jeans and biker boots.

 

For those nights out, there is a pair of heels with removable Hello Kitty badges in case you fancy a more paired down look.

Check out my favourite pieces from the collection below.

Hello Kitty heeled shoes with removable badges

Hello Kitty X Asos shirt with embroidery detail 

 

Asos X Hello Kitty sequin sweater

 

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MCR STREETSTYLE FASHION: OCTOBER

From oversized slogan tees, through to the latest trainer collab, the streets of Manchester are often the best place to source your wardrobe inspiration. Heel height, the size of your tote bag, whether or not to get a fringe haircut, there’s a lot to be keeping an eye out for.

You’ll be likely to find extreme and diverse underground tribes that this cultural hub has always been famed for, but there are still style factions present—and many that we draw great inspiration from. Manchester has become a place where you can wear your wackiest outfit to breakfast and no one will bat an eyelid.

However, it’s also a place where you can be ultra chic and businesslike one day and trend-led the next. Your style can be whatever it wants to be, at any given time—and the girls and guys of the North West really do give good outfits 24/7!

That’s why we’re bringing a new installment this Autumn/Winter 2017, to showcase and show off true Manchester street style to mcrfashionindustry.com

Our photographer Miriam Sabbah hit the streets to see what the city had to offer. Take a look at our gallery below and make lookout for our street team snapping around the city in the weeks to come!

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Manchester Set To Be Wowed By Outdoor Halloween Gothic Show

Manchester city centre will be transformed into an extravagant Gothic catwalk for a unique fashion show just before Halloween.

The Gothic Styles Street / Fashion Show will take over Exchange Square on Sunday 29th October (6pm) as a fitting finale for the 2017 Gothic Manchester Festival, hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, which this year is all about Gothic style.

Real-life goths, punks, steampunks and other assorted ‘weirdo mosher freaks’ will strut, stomp and parade their individual dress sense for the public of Manchester.

Interspersed with the street style will be fashion looks from students and alumni of Manchester Metropolitan University and other local colleges and universities, showing the pervasive influence of goth sensibilities in traditional and contemporary haute couture.

Underpinning the show is a message of tolerance of how people express themselves in their style, and it will be supporting the Manchester Evening News’ #westandtogether campaign.

Sylvia Lancaster OBE, chief executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation said: “We are looking forward to joining everyone at the catwalk where together we will celebrate individuality through fashion.

“Self-expression through fashion and make-up is a hugely important part of who you are – come along and show us who you are!”

Gothic resurgence

The show’s intention is also to bring public attention to the exploration of the Gothic mode within fashion. The show includes “real” Goths celebrating their own original style and a range of young designers’ work.

Jennifer Richards, Lecturer in Fashion Promotion at Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, and curator of the fashion show, said: “Audiences can expect to see a celebration of Gothic modes within fashion, ranging from street style to haute couture. The show will also include performance, music and a grand finale.

“With the emergence of derivatives of the Gothic via a range of New Goths – Health, Ninja, Pop, Lolita, Glam and Victoriana trends, there currently seems to be a resurgence in the fascination with all things Gothic. The exploration of Gothic themes in fashion has been apparent within the industry for a number of years, but has steadily gained momentum from collections by designers including Rodarte and Thom Browne.

“These new facets of the Gothic mode reflect its resilience and ability to adapt over the subsequent years and decades. These adaptations strengthen its core and stay true to the Gothic’s origins.

“The show includes a range of young designers work who are studying at local colleges, local designers who have studied at a range of universities in the Manchester area and the North West, and recent graduates and alumni from national universities including the University of Westminster in London”.

“With the emergence of derivatives of the Gothic via a range of New Goths – Health, Ninja, Pop, Lolita, Glam and Victoriana trends, there currently seems to be a resurgence in the fascination with all things Gothic.

Sound tracked by goth music, introduced by two queens of goth-dom – Rosie Lugosi – The Vampire Queen and Manchester’s monochrome drag par excellence Liquorice Black – this will be a catwalk to remember and a brilliant way to round off your Halloween weekend in the city.

A fashion shoot offering a sneak preview of the stunning creations which audiences will be treated to during the show was conducted at the neo-Gothic John Rylands Library, longstanding supporters of the Gothic Manchester Festival.

The Gothic Styles Street / Fashion Show is part of the Halloween in the City programme of events, produced by Manchester BID.

Free tickets to the show are available now via the Gothic Manchester Festival website, where you can also find the full jam-packed itinerary of this year’s festival.

Other events include body-beautiful horror in a film screening of The Neon Demon, discussions on the cultural function of contemporary Gothic style, a new exhibition from the Manchester Gothic Art Group, and a guided tour of Manchester’s Gothic architecture that reveals the history of death and despair that writhes just below the city’s glossy surface.

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The Couture Club Launches First Retail Store At intu Trafford Centre

Launched in 2015, men’s fashion and lifestyle brand, The Couture Club (TCC) was born out of a love for street style and for its home city, Manchester. With a focus on individuality and finesse, The Couture Club has created an original and signature brand which has gathered a cult following. As an in-tune and innovative brand, the company leads with engaging social media campaigns and marketing awareness.

Created by business partners Scott Shashua & Ross Worswick, The Couture Club has seen exponential growth, not only in products offered but also in brand visibility. If you haven’t yet bought anything from the company, you’ve no doubt seen countless campaign images adorning billboards across the city or posters slapped on black cab taxi’s speeding around town.

The beginnings of the brand saw owner Ross, a popular reality tv star make a plan to be more than just a media face.

“I wanted to set up a business because there’s no point being given a platform in effect without doing anything with it.” The 28-year-old cleverly set up his own clothing brand after years of modeling clothes on social media and not making anything from it. “Being sent free clothes used to be exciting but I was making other brands loads of money and the clothes weren’t even that great quality.” Ross and fellow co-founder Scott Shashua, decided that if they worked hard, they could do a better job and created The Couture Club, where their designs are modeled by Ross and friends.

Directors Scott Shashua & Ross Worswick outside The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

2017, is proving to be a momentous year for the owners, The Couture Club has appeared on our very own SS17 MCR Fashion Industry catwalk and continued to rise beyond expectations since then.

Continuing it’s ‘brand-domination’ across the city, TCC’S next stroke of genius is an exciting presence in the form of a pop-up store located at the intu Trafford Centre, perfectly targeted towards the company’s demographic and also allowing old and new customers to shop in one of the North West’s most famous retail locations and experience the brand in person.

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

The adage “Here today, gone tomorrow” usually hints nostalgically at something that’s disappeared too soon. But when it comes to the increasingly common “pop-up” stores now dotting the retail landscape, the phrase describes something exciting, innovative and optimistic. For emerging brands, in particular, setting up shop in the short term, rather than settling in for the long haul, is a bona fide business strategy that creates and provides an opportunity to build further brand awareness, secure customer loyalty, and even test-market products or services with key consumers in real life.

Shopping is more than consumerism. It may involve the opportunity to spend the afternoon with friends, to temporarily alter the way one perceives himself/herself by changing physical appearance or surrounding oneself with the company they strive to keep. Despite the popularity of buying online, these highly emotional aspects of shopping maintain the appeal of buying in person.

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

Given the well-documented uptick in e-commerce sales, it might seem counterintuitive for companies to invest in a physical presence, but this isn’t the truth. Pop-up stores represent a strategic opportunity that emerging or pure-play e-commerce brands, in particular, may want to embrace in order to deepen their relationship with current and prospective consumers. In many ways, pop-up stores are a perfect retail solution to the Millennial shopper’s preference for “doing” rather than “owning.”

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

In today’s uber-competitive retail environment, it pays for brands to branch out in new and innovative ways to better understand and meet customers’ preferences. A carefully curated, strategically located, a well-executed pop-up store can help retailers build their brand while forging a deeper relationship with consumers now, and in the future.

For you fashionable male of ‘Generation Y & Z’ emerged in social media and the online world, many feel the shopping experience is no longer valued or more correctly, is undervalued. Whilst you can sit at behind a screen and order piles of products to your heart’s content, nothing can compare to the experience of walking into a store, taking in the atmosphere and being transported into a retail realm.

That’s exactly what The Couture Club does so well here, from the moment you walk in, you feel the brand and everything it stands for. It’s young, cool, edgy and ultra stylish. This is the brand you want to be seen in and feel like you should be wearing. It’s the brand your mates are talking about, backed by many popular tv & media personalities, it’s hard not to take notice.

The store has been meticulously planned, on arrival you are created with the freshest new music coming through the speakers, latest TCC campaign images brightly adorning the walls, eye-catching neon signs, and artwork all showing inspirations behind the collections.

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

It’s not all about reality tv stars and influencers, where other brands lack in quality, TCC shines through. These are solid wearable pieces that could fit into any boy or man’s wardrobe. Graphic tees, bomber & biker jackets, jeans, tracksuits, caps, shoes, all the essentials are here. From starting out with just 3 printed t-shirts the brand has now designed and released over 350 menswear products and fills the store space with ease alongside some popular ‘friends’ brands including Cali UK, Puma, Champion and Cortica footwear located on a huge shoe wall.

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

Don’t think this is all a one-man team, perhaps taking a step behind the limelight is shrewd businessman  Scott Shashua, with countless successful ventures including a football agency, supplement company, Selfie Sticks and Air Runners all to his name. The list is endless.

For Scott Shashua this is a real statement of intent for the brand, he told us “This is us turning dreams into reality, we never had any doubt in our mind that this could be achieved and now we’re happy for all to see.” “We’ve made a real conscious effort to give shoppers an experience, you can come into this store instantly feel our brand, what makes us different and what makes us special. It’s been a long road but all worth it.”

The Couture Club Store, Trafford Centre

The store offers street style with premium quality and like store managers, Joe & Lewie told us ” This is a space you can come into and enjoy shopping, you’ll struggle to come here and leave empty-handed. It’s so easy to put an outfit together, everything is under one roof.”

The statement rings true, with a barbershop even included in the store, catering to all your male grooming needs.

 

The Couture Club store is certainly a welcome and refreshing addition to menswear and is set to take the Trafford Centre by storm, the brand’s mantra ‘Create Your Own Identity’ really speaks volumes for this new exciting project.  Make sure you visit to see it all for yourself.

The Couture Club Store is now open at The intu Trafford Centre,
Trafford Blvd, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA
#COUTURESTORE
Instagram: thecouture_club
www.thecoutureclub.co.uk

 

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