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.

END

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 mywardrobe.com 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.
END.
END.