Puma

Puma 150x140 Static
Puma 150x140 Static

Puma 150x140 Static

Puma 150x140 Static

Guess who I bumped into the other day? PUMA! I was walking back from Uni and I heard a lot of music coming from Bloom Street. Sure enough it was the PUMA Rewind to go Forward Exhibit that has been touring the North West.

The exhibit consists of a bespoke lorry which transforms a la Hot Wheels into a Pop-Out shop! Complete with seats, historic footwear displays, digital media and a lot of shoes!

People were invited to clamber around the set and answer a question, the answer to which was found within the exhibit, to be in with the chance on winning some trainers!

You can follow the progress of this exhibit at their Facebook, the lorry will pull off out of Manchester at 6pm TONIGHT!

Nothing Can Harm You Here: The PUMA Store

Making It: PR & Marketing

The two panelists, Amy Young and Jessica Lowe.

My attempt at explaining Affiliate Links!

I went to a little get-together the other day at The General Store on Deansgate in Manchester and got the chance to find out a little bit about the world of Fashion PR & Marketing.

Jessica Lowe from Harvey Nichols Manchester and Amy Young from Jacobson Group (Parent company of Gola et cetera) sat, nervously, in front of a sea of students, lecturers and people working within PR & Marketing to divulged a little bit about their careers, how they got to their level and what it is like being a PR in Fashion.

The event tackled questions like the current economic climate, whether Universities prepare student for the world of work, and began to sound a little bit like a BBC Radio 4 discussion being broadcast at 5:35am but needless to say the ladies were well prepared to answer any question and were generally a rather brilliant advert for the career choice!

The topic of conversation that I brought up was that of Affiliate Links as a marketing tool within the Online/Social Media sector. I addressed my question to Amy because her role demands national press relations where as Jessica’s concentrates on the customer catchment area for Harvey Nichols Manchester specific.

For those of you that don’t quite know what Affiliate Links are I’ll do my very best to tell you briefly, as I did to the audience that very night. Affiliate linking is a method of generating money for your website or blog based on HTML coding and Hyperlinks. If you own a website or blog and are signed up to an Affiliate scheme, you will be able to gain access to HTML codes from retailers that agree to engage in an Affiliate relationship with you and your website. These HTML Codes, when embedded within your web content as a Hyperlink, can let your chosen retailer know that a click to there website has come from yours. If this click then generates a sale (a process called Click Conversation) you can get a percentage of the transaction amount paid. If, however, you’re an experienced Affiliate linker you can engage in special deals with certain Affiliate providers that enable you to generate an income based solely on clicks, with no purchase necessary! Click here for more information (don’t worry I am not just saying that to get money :D)

After I explained all that Amy answered, “at the moment no, for Gola online at the moment we use a lot of PPC with Google … we’ve only been online for just over a year and it’s traditional PR & Marketing so you’re learning on the job with Online Media!” Which was such an interesting answer because it proves how new and progressive Online Media is. Even the PRs are having to catch up with the opportunities available to them!

Another topic discussed by both ladies was the idea of Networking as an important part of their job. Jessica said, “I get most things done just by knowing people”. When asked about starting out and getting those few first contacts Jessica answered “it is something that you build up slowly … get yourself on Twitter! I think it is amazing how many people you meet through Twitter … I only saw Jordan’s face for the first time last night but we’ve had many a conversation!”

And on that note I shall direct you to a recent Guest Blog post I wrote for The University of Manchester Fashion Blog which demands that Twitter become part of everyone’s life! End.

Harvey Nichols A/W ’10 Catwalk Show


I was lucky enough to nab a press pass to one of the most glamorous events on the North Western fashion calendar: the Harvey Nichols Autumn/Winter 2010 catwalk show hosted at Manchester Cathedral.

The event was spectacular and made fantastic use of the Gothic surroundings of the Cathedral. As one would expect of a Harvey Nichols event, the bright young things of the Northern Celebrity world were present including: fashion event veterans I see everywhere and Coronation Street stars Helen Flanagan, wearing Christian Louboutin studded heels, and Brooke Vincent, in an Alice & Olivia dress. Also Hollyoaks actress Melissa Walton and Emmerdale’s Kirsty Leigh Porter mingled close by sipping their Champagne.

After bumping into the lovely and gorgeously attired Sara Wilson of SeraLuxe blog and nabbing myself a glass of Champers it was off to the press pit to take my seat and giggle at the newspaper photographers elbowing each other out of the way. Whilst sat in my pew I got talking to Emma of WhatEmmaDid the Cosmopolitan Blog Award winner who seemed to share my enthusiasm for Twitter! I was also given a gift in the shape of a glossy from Rebecca of VIVA Magazine, my new favourite regional publication (after my blog, of course).

The show was fantastic, the styling was superb and I’m now running out of adjectives. The attention to menswear, as I told anyone who would listen, was SO brilliant. A real eye for the trends and general gentleman’s fashion was taken on board and showcased excellently.

Mine and Adam’s (as I told Sarah, ‘you’ve got to have a plus one’) favourite look was the comfy and easy-to-replicate-without-spending-the-entirety-of-my-Student-Loan look which saw Scandinavian knits from Moncler and McQueen layered under Nichole Farhi gilets, teamed with DSquared skinny jeans and mittens! They even had room for the D&G Ski Suit at £805 that was modeled recently over the HN_Manchester twitter feed by Personal Shopper, Tom.

Often tending to go for a military look over the winter months I’m looking forward to diving into the vintage stores looking for knits and wool hats and thankfully Harvey Nichols showed my just how to do it.

A big surprise of the night was the set themed around Equestrian clothing for men. I feel in love with a pair of beige Gucci jodhpurs which are on my Christmas list for sure, along with a D&G riding cap I think I might just be able to pull off!

Click here for a full report!

End.

Score Gola.


After getting the chance to hear Harvey Jacobson of the Jacobson Group talk at an event I recently attended, I want to get my hands on some Manchester Heritage. Yes, that means I want some Gola!

Harvey Jacobson’s company owns, among other brands, Gola. Gola is one of the UK’s oldest fashion brands and considers itself one of the major British Heritage brands in the sports/fashion sector. I couldn’t agree more. The look of Gola is typically Northern British, and this aesthetic has been reinforced by clever branding, marketing and undeniably the Gallagher brothers. When asked, at the event, who the most famous person he has ever met was, Jacobson retold the story of when Noel Gallagher called Jacobson Group and asked ‘can you get some trainers for me and our kid?’.

Harvey Jacobson and MFN’s Dale Hicks


Many of the event’s audience were made up of Importers/Exporters because Jacobson Group does not only own and supply its own brands but also makes and dis
tributes footwear for a vast number of shoe Retailers, Designers and Wholesalers. People in the audience were also interested in Jacobson’s brands and Harvey’s personal successes with branding. Of creating a brand, Harvey said: “It’s very hard to build a brand from nothing. All of the successful brands we own, we bought” his cut throat but brilliant advice continued throughout the night including when the question was asked about his recent Gola Caranby St store.

A member of the audience asked when would Manchester, the home of Gola, see a stand-alone store? Jacobson answered, much to the dismay of many in the audience: ‘I’m from Manchester and I’m proud of it, but business is business and I go where the business is … My number two store would be New York.” Harvey then went on to say that ‘Flagships aren’t supposed to make money, they’re supposed to sell a brand’. I totally agree with him, which is why I think Gola would benefit from a flagship in the brand’s home city. A brand so dedicated to British heritage and it’s Northern routes should capitalise on having a stand-alone flagship in the brand’s hometown. Still, I’m not Harvey Jacobson.

Moving on, top items on my Christmas list this year will be – obviously – the Harrier Trainer. Debuted in the late 1960s the shoe became the staple in any trendy lad’s wardrobe. The shoe was then the cutting edge of shoe design technology and remains today and example of craftsmanship and true quality.
I also want one of those Chavy-Chic tracksuit zip jackets. I used to have a Gola one as a kid that my Dad (a true Mancunian if ever there was one – living in Devon now, naturally) got my Brother and I.

If you’re going to step into the sports fashion market, having generally and rather publicly being opposed to it in the past, I think Gola, a brand with true heritage and gutsy focus for the future is a safe bet.

See my report on the topics Harvey covered here

Photography by the lovely Vicki Day, product images from Gola website.

End.

I heart PB, among other things.

I am sat in my car on a shopping park car park in the rain eating a roast chicken sandwich. I am at work and have brought my laptop with me to type my blog because I worry I shall have no time in which to do it and that wouldn’t be fair to you now would it?

SO, guess you I met on Saturday? Paul Slade. “Who?” I hear you ask, Paul Slade is the man behind the ghetto fabulous ladies accessories brand Paul’s Boutique!

Paul was at the Manchester Trafford Centre branch of BANK for a customisation day which allowed his best customers the chance to meet the designer and get a Hoodie customised by him personally. Brill!

Paul Slade and Womenswear buyer for BANK Fashion, Jemma Lane

After pushing past the queue of tweens sat on the floor outside the store I managed to get inside BANK where I met the lovely Suzy from BANK’s parent company JD Sports Fashion. Suzy was rushing around organising the event so I left her to it and perused the shop waiting for my slot with Mr Slade. The flagship store was in a total flurry of excitement as the guest of honour set up his workshop on the Mezzanine level. If you’re familiar with BANK you’ll know all about their attention to merchandising design and the ‘customer experience’ within their store. Antique armoires are cramped with studded hoodies, walls are piled high with edgy street fashion and the whole store has an exciting theme much akin to a theme park!

I eventually got the chance to pull Paul aside, before the stampede entered, to ask him a few questions. You can read a full interview with Paul at Manchester Fashion Network, however, I kept these two questions just for Fashion Rambler 😀

Fashion Rambler: After establishing your brand within the ladies accessories sector, and recently moving into clothing, does Paul’s Boutique have any plans to begin a menswear line in any form?

Paul Slade: We’re bringing out a menswear label, that’ll be coming out in February. It’ll be called Heritage, by Paul’s Boutique and will be quite preppy.

FR: Do you have a favourite bag?

PS: The Mollie bag.

After shaking Paul’s hand I skirted the crowd and exited pondering over the preppy Heritage offerings for early 2011.

End.

Fashion’s Night Out: Manchester

If there is a fashion event going on somewhere in the world, the chances are, Manchester is hosting its own version. British VOGUE’s Fashion’s Night Out London is no exception with Manchester being well represented by Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.


Fashion’s Night Out was created by American VOGUE Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour (as if you didn’t know) to help an upsurge in sales during the 2009 recession. One year on and the event is being hosted by representative VOGUEs in the US, UK, Germany, France, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Korea, Japan, China and Australia. Pretty good going if you ask me.


In Manchester however, whilst a crowd including Martine Alexander and Clare of tweet partied with Henry Holland to celebrate his Autumn/Winter collection launch in Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square, I partied next door with a bunch of tipsy ladies that lunchin Harvey Nichols! (See Martine’s blog about the night here)

The first floor of the palace of perfection was kitted out for the soiree with VOGUE covers, a drinks bar, DJ and pamper section overflowing with lotions, potions, tweezers and powders. Grabbing a drink I nabbed prime position for the second of the night’s three fashionshows, Denim Deluxe.


I’d missed the ‘More Cash than Dash’ show and would then go on to miss the ‘International Collections’ show because my party of fashionably inept gentlemen wanted pints in Castlefield instead! Sacre Bleu. Still, the show was intimate and simple and showcased some beautiful denim on some beautiful models.


Of the pampering section, Andrew Barn of Barnit salon represented, as did Yves Saint Laurent purfumes and Shu Uemura make up. It all got a bit Oestrogentastic for me so I swept back past the bar and headed out.

Well done Harvey’s, lets hope next year is even bigger!

End.

Operation Dockers, mission sabotaged!

As some of you will be aware, I set out on a treasure hunt last Thursday, almost convinced that I was going to solve the clues and win the prize. I had it all going for me, I know Manchester, I am THE BEST AND MOST OBSESSIVE Tweeter in the M post code AND I had a team of people sat in offices around the city following the clues on Twitter directing me and giving me ideas! (It’s not cheating, it’s team work!)

Clue One of Five released on Twitter and Facebook:
‘This wheel holds the key to your fortune!’
Answer: The Wheel of Manchester, Exchange Square
Clue Two: Find a Triangle far from Bermuda
Answer: The Triandle Shopping Centre, Exchange Square

Someone got there just five minutes before I did. I had spent my time searching for the prize in between the crevices of the Rocky Road water feature whilst being stared at by tourists sat in The Oyster Bar in Exchange Square. Epic fail.

Still, it wasn’t an epic fail for Draper’s Etailer of the Year 2010 winner my-wardrobe.com who were the brand behind the treasure hunt! To find out a little bit about where the idea behind the treasure hunt came from I asked the brand’s Director of PR, Lauren Stevenson (as you do).

Stevenson told Fashion Rambler: “[originally] we launched a social media campaign to launch our Denim Bar activity, which centred on a scavenger hunt concept. We were keen to create a similar campaign, which would extend the reach outside of the London area. Our buyers worked with Dockers to create an exclusive chino, which was supplied with a limited-edition WW2 metal box. It led to ideas to create a search for the key to the box to win the Chinos and a limited-edition T-shirt, which then led to a scavenger hunt. Manchester is a key region for us as it is for Dockers as a brand, so it was the perfect location to activate this campaign.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Operation Dockers you may find an interview conducted by me with Lauren here.

I’m off to sulk.

End.

What’s your shoe story?


I was scanning tweet and found something interesting.

Selfridges are hosting a yummy competition which will see one lucky winner win a year’s supply of Shoes and several win a pair! I was in there (kinda forgetting that it is probably only for women…pahh!)
My shoe story is:
They said it was silly. I knew it wasn’t. They said it was just a trend. I didn’t think so. They said I could get them at Topman. I knew they weren’t the same. They were KG by Kurt Geiger and I was in love. They’ve lasted all summer and still look perfect. They agree.
What’s yours?
Click here to enter.
End.

Operation Dockers MCR

Today is the day that I go on a treasure hunt! My-wardrobe.com are hosting treasure hunts in London and Manchester for men looking to win a pair of designer jeans!

To celebrate the launch of their exclusive World War II inspired collection from Dockers, the super etailer are hiding a key in each city which will open an authentic WWII ammunitions box containing a T and a pair of jeans from Dockers
.
I’m a little too excited and on my 15 minute lunch break I’ll be running around like I-don’t-know-what in an attempt to locate the key!
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Follow @mywardrobe on Twitter for clues, the tweets will carry the hashtag #OpDockersMAN and #OpDockersLDN or search for their Facebook.
End.