TK Maxx Gives Up Clothes for Good

The other week I was whisked off down south to that there London town to meet with some blogger-types and chat fashion.


TK Maxx love a good blogger and so I was rather humbled and excited when they contacted me and asked me to join them for Dinner in none other than the Red Room Paramount Restaurant on Oxford Street. Oosh.


The view from the table!



It was like blogspot.com had vomited in central London. All those bloggers that I’ve read for years were there, including some newbies to add to my Bloglovin’ list! It was lovely to FINALLY meet Leroy of Diary of a Clothes Horse after around two years of Twitter giggles. Amy from Wolf Whistle was there too and it was great to meet Pearl of Fashion Pearls of Wisdom, Becca of Fashion Train and the rest of the motley crew. This was my first ever ‘blogger event’ and the first time that I’ve been truly requested to attend a do as a blogger and not a journalist or Champagne guzzler. It’s nice to know someone is reading fashionrambler.com!


Anywho, we were brought together for drinks, dinner and chatter to mark the unveiling of the new TK Maxx charity push, Give Up Clothes For Good. The campaign asks TK Maxx shoppers to clear out their wardrobe of unwanted clothes, fill a bag and send it off to Cancer Research UK so they can sell them in their Charity Shops! Perfect.


Watch this video and see if you spot me and what I gave up for the cause!





ALSO! If you also wish you were Made in Chelsea, lived at Downton Abbey or were just TOWIE trash then watch this video and see some of your favourite shlebs backing the charity drive too!





Watch this space for a bit more on TK Maxx. If, like me, you steer clear of their stores. I’ve got news for you. We’ve been missing out! I never new TK was so on the ball, I’ll be visiting my local TODAY to see what’s what and reporting my findings next week!


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Fashion Rambler meets Charlie MIller (again)

The other week British Grazia’s Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor was in Manchester to launch Raoul to Manchester based UK independent chain, Flannels.





I met Charlie on her last visit to Manchester, launching Selfridges SS11 collections at the Trafford Centre, and quizzed her about her role in fashion [see the interview here]


It was nice to catch up again and to chat about fashion from a wholly different economical stand-point. 


READ MY INTERVIEW WITH CHARLIE HERE!


It was also great to see Joy Yaffe again. Joy is the Global branding consultant for Raoul and has been in Manchester quite a bit recently, bringing Raoul to Selfridges and Flannels. Joy was born and brought up in Manchester and despite her now fabulous existence in Milan, hasn’t forgotten her roots.


She’s also quite the force to be reckoned with and is dubbed one of the top 25 most important fashion figures by The Times for her brand building work! 


Should you be extremely interested in Raoul you can find out more about the brand from my interview with Harper’s Bazaar’s Kim Hersov or…. go shopping!


READ MY INTERVIEW WITH KIM HERSOV HERE!


Shop Raoul fashion and accessories at Flannels here


Shop Raoul accessories at Selfridges here


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BBC Radio Manchester’s Retail Therapy – Listen Again 24/03/12

Last Saturday I popped to Manchester Arndale to chat ecommerce with Becky Want for Retail Therapy on BBC Radio Manchester.


I walked Becky though the sites that are perfect for online first-timers and sites that answer a few problems I come across when meeting people who are scared of online!


LISTEN AGAIN HERE, I come on 20 minutes in!


The sites I discussed were, firstly, meemee.com

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This brand new Mancunian site offers shoppers the chance to dress a virtual model with their clothing to make sure you know exactly what looks great before you purchase! 


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Shopstyle.com is another fun site which allows you to browse most of the internet’s shops, all in one place. By hovering over you favourite item and ‘favoiuriting’ it you can create a collage of your desired look and share with friends on Facebook before making your purchase!


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TKMaxx.com, did you know it existed? I didn’t either! This site is perfect for high-end bargain hunters because rather than rummaging through the TKMaxx rails, you can search your desired brand and all those fabulous discounted buys pop up on your screen!


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Other bargain hunting websites of note include FashionBloodHound.com for second hand high-end!


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Missguided.co.uk offer shopping by way of celebrity looks! Choose your favourite starlet and get her look at missguided.co.uk!


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Other celebrity style sites of note are very.com, which include collections compiles by the likes of Fearne Cotton and Coleen Rooney. Boohoo.com also offers celebrity style buys.


LISTEN TO THE SEGMENT ONLINE NOW, I come on at around 20 minutes in.

Boohoo welcomes Menswear!

Fast-fashion Mancunian etailer, Boohoo.com, have taken one giant leap for mankind and stepped into Menswear! 


I’ve just seen range, which launched just yesterday, and I’ve been whisked back to my youth. I remember a holiday where and gang of my mates and I jumped into our cars and popped to Newquay for the Run To The Sun Festival! Everything I wore was colourful and ’90s inspired (and cheap) and I loved it! 


Here are my favourites from the range!

Chambray Grandad Shirt, £25.00, click to view


Mint Twisted Leg Chinos, £20.00, click to view


Chambray Hooded Jacket, £25.00, click to view


I can almost smell summer!


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Amici di Peroni Manchester

It’s not everyday you get invited to dinner by a Beer brand is it? Well, it’s not everyday Peroni are in Manchester either.

Italian stallion of posh lager brands, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, (now being served at a fashion show near you) hosted a fash-bash at the iconic Manchester Art Gallery the other night. Guest of honour was Gianluca Longo, stylist to the stars and former Style Director for the Evening Standard. Quite the occasion.

This is me and a like-minded PR discussing the significance of STEPS to 1990’s British Pop
As is the Italian way, the meal was both spectacular and intimate. Set in the eerie but cool surroundings of the Gallery Exhibition space we ate under a chandelier, whilst Gianluca swapped seats and met the whole crowd.
It was interesting to be able to explain the northern fashion and media industry to Londoners, that barely knew what the M60 was:

Londonder: “So, Manchester Confidential is a blog?”

Mancunian: “No, an online magazine.”

Londoner: “So, Do you have Vogue?”

Mancunian: “Yes, Vogue is not exclusive to London.”

Confidential’s Commercial Director, Helen Ramsbottom, explaining the difference between the Tube and the Metro

Londoner: “Is Salford a horrible place? Everyone says that the BBC is there and it’s horrible.”

Mancunian: “Define horrible.”

Londoner: “How do Manchester-people get their information? How do they know what’s going on in art, fashion, culture?”

Mancunian: “How everyone else does.”

Londoner: “Where are we in relation to Coronation Street?”

Mancunian: “About an acre from Emmerdale Farm. Where’s the beer?”

Perhaps I’ve embellished but it was nevertheless an interesting dinner with a multi-cultural element both Italian meets British and London meets Manchester!

Why to Department Stores hate men? Body Confidential investigates!

I should be a busy bee working away but I’ve just got to pop on here to direct you to a saving grace for menswear retail!

Debenhams Manchester Market Street

Selfridges Manchester Exchange Square

House of Fraser/Kendals, Manchester Deansgate

Harvay Nichols, Manchester



David McCourt, retail reviewer and all round shopoholic for online fash-mag Body Confidential, has been out and about to score Department Stores on their approach to a male clientele.


Go read (click here)!

Harvey Nichols SS12 Catwalk Show

 Here comes Spring!


You know what that means, it was time for Harvey Nichols Manchester to host their Spring/Summer Catwalk Show. WAGS, the Cheshire massive, the Didsbury Dudes and myself all gathered at the impressive Campfield Market Arcade, tucked away just off Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. It was a huge space, where Bjork hosted her Manchester International Festival performance, and (despite the cold) was the perfect venue for the occasion. 


My night went like this: 


Arrive, Champagne, meet people, Mwah Mwah, talk to people, forget their names, feel bad, find out their names, feel better, Champagne, lose +1, Champagne, find +1, gossip with Lynda (Body Confidential Editor), gossip with everyone, find seats and see this…..




Jacob wears McQ Polo shirt (£80), DSquared2 Jacket (£1440), McQ Jeans (£285), Dior Shoes (£660)

I wasn’t sure about this theme, ‘London Punk’… It kind of reminds me of the guys that stand around smoking outside the fetish clubs (that I don’t frequent!)


Will wears: D and G t-shirt (£155), Pal Zileri jacket (£485), D&G scarf (£195), ALexander McQueen (£300), Jimmy Choo shoes (£475)

Rather taken in by this look (and the model) fine prints may make a splash in my SS12 wardrobe. Especially if they can be like these incredible trousers I found on Simone Marchetti!

BEAUTIFUL!


Lanie wears: Tulle Dress, Philip Armstrong (£2400), exclusive to Harvey Nichols Manchester
One for the girls!
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The future of the High Street

At the end of 2011 I posted a review of my year. As you do. The Portas Review had been published and Government were (and still are) considering their response. Since then Barratts has collapsed, Peacocks nearly went under and the high street is still gripped by the effects of recession. 


from ‘Taking the Credit?’



Whilst the Portas Review had some very interesting things to say about High Streets, the majority of fashion independents didn’t think allocating ‘Town Teams’ and ‘National Market Day’ would necessarily help nudge British high streets into the right direction. Why? Because one fundamental issue was missed out of this report: Credit Insurance Terms.



from ‘Taking the Credit?’

Many small independent fashion businesses in the UK are being strangled by changes to their supplier’s Credit Insurance Terms. What does this mean? Well, let Caroline Nodder, Editor-In-Chief of Drapers Magazine, explain:

This ‘enormous pressure’ loosely translates as indie businesses having to use Credit Cards and personal overdrafts to fund the purchase of new stock months before the stock even lands in store. Cash flow is the life-blood of any business and fashion independents are being drained of their supplies to fund next season’s buy.

North Western Independent retailer, Paul Turner-Mitchell of 25 Ten Boutique teamed up with his local MP in Rochdale and Drapers Magazine to produce a document urging the Government to speed up their response to the Portas Review and to consider Credit Insurance Terms as a fundamental aspect of fashion retail.


One other aspect I would like to add to this is that suppliers may not be directly responsible for  moving the goal posts in terms of Credit Insurance Terms BUT they are responsible for other failings.


Brands and retails need to work together for a better working relationship and a prosperous 2012. Refusing to consider stock-swaps, knowingly over-stocking start-ups, threatening stores with black-listing should they cancel orders they can’t fulfil are all practises that infringe on the productivity of the fashion sector.


Business is business, true, but how can we go on when all we do is fight against one another?


PR support, staff training, POS and Merchandising material, offers on ‘sale or return’ for new lines and collections, exclusivity agreements are all small things that go a long way in fashion independent business.

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