Collective + Bob Carlos Clarke Launch at 202 Westbourne Grove

Went to a bit of a do the other day at 202 in Notting Hill. Yes the Manc went southward for free booze, desperate times…
So, what was being launched? Collective make organic Tees and Bob Carlos Clarke used to make amazing images. Bob’s dead. But, his pieces are owned by The Little Black Gallery and Clarke’s Mrs and Tamara Beckwith (oddly) have let Collective print his prints on their Tees for girls and boys. Few, we got there.

I love this one. Her bum is beautiful.

Here are some flicks of the night….

Karla and I found a little bar where we drank coffee in the sunshine before the do. We also inevitably took photographs. We had visited the Museum of Brands which is AMAZING if you’re a media boffin like us.

Some pretty lady… and her mother, who is also pretty.

Amber, the PR.

We met Mark Cullum of A La Male. He’s lovely… and gets the Central Line.

We also took numerous photos.


Pure London and Stitch Menswear Trade Shows

I spent last Sunday at the opening of Pure London and Stitch Menswear A/W’11 trade shows. I saw so many brilliant brands hoping to make it this A/W, some from the past and some brand new. I’ll be posting some juicy look book scans soon from some of my favourite brands but first, a general round up of my day.
I got there at just before 11 and immediately set out to see who was on offer at Stitch Menswear (the UK’s only dedicated menswear trade show). I found LUKE, Peter Werth, Kappa and even La Coq Sportif! Anywho, more about the brands in coming posts. As well as sampling the merch from the brands on offer I attended some seminars and talks across the event held in both Earl’s Court and Olympia. In Earl’s Court I was among the hundreds that crowded around the Pure Spirit Inspiration Stage to witness the unveiling of Katie Price’s latest fashion label Day 22. I won’t bore you with a commentary of the clothing as you’ve no doubt heard about it already but what I will say is that Miss Price shouldn’t be underestimated. 
After closing the catwalk show Miss Price was interviewed by some journo along with her fellow business partner Lamis Khamis, the designer. Miss Price commented on how she had never been accepted in the fashion world, “ever!”, and looked out to the see of fashion journos and buyers, before she declared that by 14:00pm on their first day of pitching the brand had nearly sold out to buyers! Pretty good going when not one brand I visited that day had made a sale. Katie finished her little interview by calling out to the crowd, “thank you for letting me come to your fashion event”… In other words, she stuck two fingers up.
Straight after Katie was a talk entitled “10 Things I Wish I Knew” which saw Editor of industry magazine Drapers interview, owner of Drapers Award for Best Indie winner, Lewis Yates. But, the talk was a bit rubbish. Jessica interviewed Yates, which was fine, but no top ten tips for indies were ever divulged and Yates have obviously not prepared. I was a little disappointed.
One thing that was of interest was Yate’s hesitation to talk his successful boutique online. I was shocked when he shrugged his shoulders and said it was too much work but upon pondering the answer I suppose it is a lot to talk on if your team is small. OiPolloi of Manchester have a whole floor of their HQ dedicated to eCommerce alone..
Another talk I went to was at the contemporary stage in Pure at Olympia. Here two lovely techies talked through the best ways to use Video media to maximise your eCommerce business. Three types of video were played: the Dorothy Perkins Xmas Stock Shoot which was an example of ‘behind the scenes’. A moody musicy typically Jordan Scott for Prada piece for some indie brand and finally a MyTV interview from with stylist Grace Woodward. The three videos aimed to show examples of the ways you can engage a customer with your brand through video media output on your website. The boys talked about the best ways to go it on the cheap including, sourcing independent music from local bands etc. Using basic editing software but not making it obvious you have by keeping edits simple and graphics bold and standard.
I missed the rest because I had to dash for the tube.

Professional Blogger?

I popped down to the big smoke the other day to attend an event about monetising your blog (don’t worry there is a glossary at the bottom). The event was hosted in the rather fabulous Soho Sanctum Hotel (yes the one owned by Mark Fuller) and enabled brands and bloggers to meet with the people behind the Affiliate Marketing channels at House of Fraser and the Affiliate networks like Commission Junction and Affiliate Window.

So after bumping into the cast of The Only Way Is Essex and leading them to the wrong press-day at the Soho Hotel (woops) and a trip to UNIQLO it was time to get down to business!

I was rather shocked to learn that some bloggers are earning £5,000-£6,000 p/week from their advertising and affiliate strategies! I can assure you I am not one of those, but wow, what an invested interest in ecommerce marketing. Who can call it niche when £48bil p/annum is generated for etailers from Affiliates?

Among other less statistical outcomes of the night was the general consensus that Affiliate Marketing is tricky and can also, as Ross Carter from House of Fraser put it, “be debilitating to your business” if not done right. If you’re an etailer that has fewer than 10,000 unique visitors p/month then you may not generate enough additional sales from an Affiliate programme to justify the Merchant fees charged by the Networks. it was advised that brands blog about their brand and generate and income by becoming an Affiliate Publisher. These blogs, together with Social Media output, will help get the brand name imprinted in cyberspace and then an Affiliate Programme may be worth it! Also, if you’re a blogger or website owner that is a registered Publisher it can be tempting to use Affiliates to dictate your content and this jepodises the readability of your work, no one wants every blog to sound like LOOK magazine.

However, in my role at my Intership I hope to be able to use Affiliate marketing to help generate an income for the business and then maybe I’ll be able to apply this elsewhere… Now, what was a Deep Link again?

Glossary of terms I think I learnt:

Merchant: A brand that has an Affiliate Programme with and Affiliate Network and offers tracked links to  Publishers who write about their products

Publishers: Bloggers and website owners who are signed to Affiliate Networks and have partnerships with brands who have Affiliate Programmes.

Product feed: A catalogue of the brand’s products which includes images and tracked image HTML codes to be included on blogs and websites.

Affiliate Network: An online platform that enables Merchants to meet their Publishers and for both to make money. Affiliate Networks are free for Publishers to join but charge monthly fees to Merchants.

Deep Link: A Web address (URL) that once clicked takes the reader directly to a specific page or product rather than a basic URL that takes the viewer to a homepage.

Embedded Link: A HTML link that is included in a website or blog, also called a Hyperlink.

Monetise: to make money for your website or blog.

PPC: Pay Per Click. Advertising with Google which will ensure your brand appears at the top of the search.

Conversion Rate: the percentage of unique visitors that visit our site and subsequently purchase.