Selfridges at Manchester Pride

Celebrating its 21st Birthday, Manchester Pride has held the city centre in its grasp for a weekend of festival frivolity. 
I’m mid-Pride as I type and am lucky to be alive considering the amount of Vodka that has passed through my system.
Whilst watching the Parade yesterday I witnessed something rather amazing, Edward Lloyd-Davies, Special Projects Coordinator for Selfridges London Oxford Street was in a little yellow van surrounded by male models in knickers.

Yes. Hilarious. Happy Pride!



Sorry for being quiet for a while. Lots has been going on and such but here is a little posty-wosty about a cool campaign that has taken over Manchester’s retail districts. 

Post-riots (find out more about the riots in my When Twitter Backfires post) Manchester City Council and other organisations have embraced a campaign devised to get shoppers back into the city. We are a world of consumers… The campaign is an extension of the Visit Manchester initiative which prints ‘I (love heart) MCR’ on everything for tourists to buy a la New York. So, by popping a poster in your window, your shop participates. Easy peasey. What’s more is that the WHOLE Manchester Metro Link tram service network was FREE today for shoppers to commute with financial ease. Bonus.

I went into town to have a looksee. (on a free tram no-less)


VOGUE’s Online Fashion Week

I’m so into this. Remember Fashion’s Night Out… where Anna Wintour got us all to go out and spend to ensure there were still stores for her to have included in her magazine during the recession… see my blog on Manchester’s efforts here.
Well, then there came Fashion’s Night In where convinced VOGUE.COM to encourage people to stay in and shop ONLINE instead. It was huge. See my TFN report of the night’s shopping brilliance here 
Sarah Curran CEO and founder of Read about when I met her here
So, after the success of FNI, British VOGUE.COM decided to step it up once more and kick off Online Fashion Week.
Has anything ever sounded quite so cool. A Fashion week where you can attend in your PJs with a brew! I’m on board. + this is such a fantastic to way to truly signal that the online highstreet is as important as the brick-and-mortar stores in our towns, especially in the high end market!
The event kicks off on December 5th 2011 until the 9th and will revolve around the VOGUE.COM blog which acts as a sign-post for what’s hot online right that moment.
Retailer interested in getting on board? email:
Find out more here
I know a few stores/brand who are getting involved but I’m sworn to secrecy by penalty of death by stiletto.

Stay tuned!


When Twitter backfires

Riots, riots, riots. What a dramatic couple of days, one where Social Media has been used for good and for bad. 
I’m typing this from my living room whilst watching Twitter and the itv live blog update on the goings on as the riots hit my home town,. 
Right this second Miss Selfridges has gone up in flames in Manchester City Centre and Manchester Arndale has been broken into.

images from @mtattersallitv
Explosions have been reported and a Didsbury resident is being held over using Twitter to organise riots.
But you know all this. You’ve seen it on the news.
What I’m interested in is how Twitter has been used by fashion retailers during the chaos. TOPSHOP came under fire because their tweets seemed insensitive to some followers. TOPSHOP’s marketing division had undoubtedly scheduled their tweets in a few days prior, as most large organisations do. 
Their tweets read things like: ‘@TOPSHOP We’re busy busy over here with exciting things for AW11! What’s everybody else up to?’
Admittedly, this could seem sad to someone sat outside their burning shop, but can we expect retailers to alter their marketing strategies to suit the political mood of the moment? It would too seem sad to someone who had just been the victim of an unfortunate situation unrelated to the UK Riots.
A helicopter has just gone over my house….
Twitter is reactive, it is of the moment, but why do we care what retailers are tweeting when we’re worried about loved ones, some might even say that if retailers jumped on the PR carosel and tweeted #riot themed posts that they would also be insensitive.
Harvey Nichols in Manchester also came under fire, tweeting: ‘@HN_Manchester Our tweets today have been pre-scheduled. We’ve had to close. Apologies if we seemed insensitive.’
Personally, I think this is the least of the problems when retailers are having to close during the toughest month because of stupid scumbags not having anything to do.
Trams have been stopped to and from Manchester city centre and this man has just been arrested for trying to damage the stationary vehicle.
images from @mazherabidi
Perhaps this is the end of scheduled postings?
What do you think?

ADDED AT 20:05

Diesel just tweeted me after I included them in a list of attacked stores in the City. They are using Twitter to asertain the damage to their chain. Clever/sad that they have to.

 images from @mtattersallitv


Rockola Undies go Military

Remember my post on Luis and Juke? Yeah, where I got all naked. Well, the people (Rockola) behind that brand, have another too… Oiler and Boiler
Quite the newbie on the block Oiler and Boiler have caught my attention because I’ve been longing for nostalgia, for a time before time (well, the 80s). I recently bought a few 80s DVDs (Footloose, TopGun)  in the Blockbuster sale and was seen around Manchester and Cheshire today sporting a retro tape player whilst learning French for my impending Paris trip. Anywho, Oiler & Boiler have an antique feel. I’m into that right now.
These undies are called Navy and are modeled after that TopGun feel ‘The U.S. Wants You’ era. Think Saved By The Bell signs up. Not quite 80s but still “vintage” enough for me. 
Dog-tags, Dad’s from the Army.
Undies, Oiler & Boiler, Rockola
Shorts, Levis, COW Manchester

 Tan lines much?


Build Your Own Havaianas at Selfridges Manchester Trafford

On a few of my most recent trips to the famed Selfridges Manchester Trafford Centre I have spotted something rather exciting. Flipflops being made for people. Havaiana Flipflops to be precise (the Louboutin of the Flipflop world to those not in the toe-bar community)
I had to check it out.

Havaianas are a Brazilian brand of summer footwear and are the most comfortable Flipflops you’ll ever buy. Seriously. I purchased some from OiPolloi before my break away to Gran Canaria and I barely wore anything else the entire holiday. They’re comfortable, durable and go with anything (in the right colours) I even wore them out at night (for shame) and they looked the part because, if you’re going to dance in flipflops, they should at least be Havaianas!

So. I have some white OiPolloi Havaianas but Adam (the BF) doesn’t, thought I’d treat him and be all nice.

Upon arrival you’re teleported from the sleek shiny Selfridges ground floor to the insane world of multi-coloured foam footwear.

I loved the merchandising, it really played up the idea that we were mixing and matching our own creations, it also, oddly, made me hungry. The idea of customising your own footwear has got this corner of the department store a lot of attention, during hard times people want more for their money. So if retailers can go that extra mile (by not putting the shoes together in the first instance) they seem to be on for a winner!

Upon being introduced to Vanessa we began the Three Step customisation process…

We selected our desired sole (top or slim, slim being a more delicate cut), our desired strap and any glitzy additions, like these crystals below. (which we avoided, this time)
The lovely Havaiana Ladies then set to work putting our selections together. Adam opted for Avocado Green Top Sole and White Straps. 

There was a cool/lethal looking machine that punched the straps through the sole and, un, deux trois, we were done.

 As you can see by Vanessa’s co-worker’s hair, the work can get demanding….

Simply the best in flipflops. 
Exclusive to Manchester Trafford Centre Selfridges for the next few week of Summer, from £20.00.