GLAM expLores the seAson’s trends, And cAtches up with fAshion buyers for tips on how to incorporAte the

LAtest coLour fervor into your everydAy styLe.
By Debrina aliyah

42 / APRIL 2012

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ecessionista-fever is finally completely out of the window. It has been four years since the world economy suffered a blow and while the fashion industry commemorated with somber and subtle tones and clean silhouettes for a few seasons, it had never really shaken off the cautious vibe of another possible downturn. This season, however, the spring is back in our step as we bounce into very merry, colourful collections. Spring/Summer 2012 cannot be any more festive and celebratory with the return of every possible colour trends – from colour blocking to pastel pop-ups go hand-in-hand with feminine neutral shades. Seen on the runways of Peter Som, Rodarte and Marc Jacobs are key neon pieces that are perfect as the focus
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paradise. It is perhaps, the first time in a while that neon

APRIL 2012 / 43

points for building your new season’s wardrobe. Wear with clashing colour blocks to bring out the diva in you, or layer with neutral shades or the trusty black and white to bring a subtle glam to your look. Over at Prada and Chloe, it is an all pastel affair with dreamy drainpipe pants paired with flowing easy blouses and soft jackets. And if you are big fan of fussfree comfort-focused drapes, the new age pyjama contour from Richard Chai and Betsey Johnson is the perfect fit for you. Complementing the array of colour palette for this season are graphics and prints in equally vibrant motifs, from the classic symmetrical shapes on Caroline Herrera’s blouses and scarves to the sporty lines of Lacoste. If you have always been a little skeptical about the colour white, this season is the chance for you to jump on the bandwagon and explore this understated yet versatile shade. Get ready to hit the beach with an all-white ensemble, be it a classic bikini or a plunging neckline swimsuit from Aqua Di Lara, finished off with a stunning white kaftan with trimmings from Roberto Cavalli. The staple white dress for the season should be of a relaxed silhouette, easily paired with scarves and glittering accessories. Doo.Ri presented a luscious and soft white shirt dress while the very chic Olsen twins at The Row puts together all white ensembles of floaty see-through fabrics. Give your hobos and totes a rest this season as we welcome the new era of large clutches, shoulder bags, fold overs, and wrist-lets that are both chic and functional. Incorporating the season’s graphic and floral prints on to the clutches, brands including Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier sent oversized clutches down the runway with leather or chain straps. Perfect with the extra straps during the day to keep your hands free and detach it for the evening when you need a more dressy ensemble. Keep your wrist-lets small and decorative to serve as the statement piece of your outfits.



44 / APRIL 2012



JeAn nAkhLe
seNIor Buyer, uNIted FAshIoN CompANy
What are the hottest trends for Spring Summer 2012? SS 2012 is fun and very feminine. The pre-collections introduced pastel colours and light fabrics that expressed femininity at its best. The major influences overall were the 20’s and the 50’s and somehow a bit Charleston. The runway collection was full of exposed midriffs and cropped dresses splashed with bright colours and prints. The urban jungle print along with the floral were amongst the most obvious. And the colours? Celebrate the arrival of Spring in pastels, but make sure you spice up the summer in strong bold printed colors to complement your tan. When it comes to the print, go for Floral and Urban African print. They come in all colors, Yellow, Pink, Turquoise, Red and more. White is a must this summer, as it was featured almost on all runways. Do you have any favourite pieces from the brands? My personal favourites vary from one brand to another. In Ferragamo, for instance, we will be presenting an exclusive exotic line made out of crocodile leather, but the twist is the colour! Bright Fuchsia, Turquoise, and more, they are absolutely stunning. The season’s must-have? A retro square purse or clutch and a printed dress or top. Your style advice to update the wardrobe for Spring Summer 2012. Never go overboard, always look for the key items that can complement your wardrobe and reflect the trend of the season. Always focus on the right accessories, as they are the most important part of a look.

ALi totAyou
Buyer, ZAI - NBK FAshIoN
What are the hottest trends for Spring Summer 2012? Layers of lace, off shoulder, print dresses, pencil skirts and trousers, long tunic paired with trouser, stripes tops and skirts. And the colours? Caramel, Orange, Fuchsia, Yellow, Nude, Red, Blue, Black and White combination. Do you have any fave items? Zinas Fuchsia dress and Emma Cook ‘s horse printed Venexiana and amazing vivid dress. The season’s must-have? The off-the- shoulder and the pencil skirt are on trend, and also the vintage accessories, long boots and following with a long tunic. Share style advice on how to update your wardrobe for Spring Summer 2012? Sweaters, cardigans, striped tops, pencil skirt and trouser and long tunic. APRIL 2012 / 45

TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, The TwiTTer, language Book, TumBlr, insTagram, Face YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, Fashion TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, speaks YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr, YouTuBe, eBlogger, wordpress, insTagram, TwiTTer, insTagram, Face Book, TumBlr,
By Debrina aliyah

72 / APRIL 2012

he Internet. One allencompassing phrase. There is not one single infrastructure as comprehensive and compelling as the World Wide Web and like it or not, it has taken over our world. Mobile phones, tablets, computers, laptops and now even on in-flight entertainment units, the Internet is everywhere and social media tools are leading the revolution in the way we communicate with each other. But more importantly, it is also changing the way brands are communicating their ideas to us as consumers. In the fast-paced industry of fashion and beauty, brands are exuberantly embracing social media tools to engage with their markets resulting in exciting campaigns that transcend borders and time zones. Social media is the number one activity on the Internet and more than one and a half million pieces of content is shared daily on social platform Facebook. Twitter currently has over fifty million registered accounts, YouTube records an average of a billion views per day and 70% of Internet users read blogs that are hosted across various blogging platforms including Eblogger, Wordpress and Tumblr. These astounding statistics make the Internet a marketing paradise for brands because unlike traditional media channels, there are no sky-rocketing costs, no limitations of geography or language, no limitation of air-time or print space, and provides instant engagement with the target audience. A large number of fashion brands, especially highstreet names were the first to take advantage of this phenomenon by creating presence across all social platforms from Facebook to Tumblr. UK high-street retailer Asos, American Apparel, Victoria’s Secret and Topshop have successfully built influential online presence by combining their websites with interactive features like forums, instant live chat and daily style advice. American Apparel collaborated with allowing their fans to upload photos of themselves styled in the latest fashion, while Topshop was one of the first few brands to launch an iTunes app allowing Apple users to access its latest offerings at their fingertips. Currently, Victoria’s Secret has about 17 million fans on Facebook and is engaging over 250,000 users at any given time across all their social platforms. The highlight in the brand’s digital strategy is the live streaming and commentary on its legendary annual Angel’s Fashion Show. While mid-market brands embraced the movement, luxury brands were apprehensive at the onslaught of digital media as the notion of luxury has always been veiled with an air of inaccessibility and exclusivity. Burberry was the first luxury house to cross the bridge by adopting a comprehensive digital strategy which included the unprecedented move of streaming its fashion shows live on their website and allowing customers to buy pieces directly off-the-runway via its iTunes app. The brand then took on a new level when they partnered with Twitter Inc to ‘Tweetwalk’ during their last runway show in September 2011 where it shared ‘Twitpics’ of the looks backstage before the models hit the catwalk. The move broke records of Twitter’s mentions-per-minute records and the images


Freedom oF inFormaTion Flow

While traditional media channels like television, radio or newspapers have to adhere to broadcasting regulations in respective countries, digital media opens up the opportunity for brands to implement creative marketing strategies which may not have been allowed otherwise. In the recent years, we have seen the introduction of laws to curb copyright infringement via files sharing on the Internet, but the rest of the world wide web is one infrastructure that runs without guidelines and rules especially when it comes to creative work. In Qatar, where the Internet is a major player as a marketing and promotion tool, local fashion establishments are well-versed in implementing their own digital strategies which are far-reaching albeit small compared to international big brands. Fashion and beauty establishments including Impression, The Closet, Zai, Al Mana Luxury, and Glow American Salon maintain their Facebook and Twitter profiles to keep fans up-to-date with their promotions and services. While the local norm in this country is to peruse marketing materials that are respectful and culturally sensitive in the advertisements, whether via in-store or on traditional media channels, some brands have innovated by producing alternative advertisements on their social media tools. Among some strategies that have been seen includes promotion of Valentine’s Day offers online, Twitter-based contest (which would otherwise require a sales license in-store) as well as the use of provocative marketing materials from lingerie brands. This has become a complementary marketing strategy for the brands, being able to conform and respect local practices and yet at the same time, implement creative promotions to bring out the essence of their products.

social media is The numBer one acTiviTY on The inTerneT and more Than one and a halF million pieces oF conTenT is shared dailY on social plaTForm FaceBook.

received more than 50,000 views within half an hour of the show. But does online popularity and presence remain just that or does it actually work effectively as a revenue-generating marketing strategy? Burberry was struggling to keep its books in the green but after switching its marketing budget to digital channels, the brand reported a 29% increase in revenue. Luxury jewellers Tiffany & Co reported a 20% increase in sales after launching its online campaign, the What Makes Love True micro-site

and the Engagement Ring Finder mobile app. Fashion label Kate Spade – which was left in a limbo four years ago when founders of the brand Kate and Andy Spade left the company – adopted a multichannel approach with a heavy focus on online presence and distribution and turned the company around. The brand revamped its website to drive further engagement with their fans and uses almost all social platforms available including Instagram to really connect with the online audience. The company’s total comparable sales growth has increased by 74% and its e-commerce sector recorded triple-digit growth. Both Burberry and Kate Spade is ranked first and second respectively in a study released by luxury research and advisory firm L2 in its Digital IQ Index. The proven success of Burberry and Kate Spade has become the shining example for other luxury houses to follow. Gucci and Dior have both now surpassed the

APRIL 2012 / 73



Gucci - @gucci

BurBerry - @burberry



180,000++ coach, inc. Fashion Brands and 300,000++ Their TwiTTer Tory Burch handles 130,000++

KaTe Spade - @katespadeny

- @coach followers

@toryburch followers

dolce & GaBBana - @dolcegabbana



five million fans mark on Facebook and have launched marketing campaigns reaching a global audience. Chanel, Prada and Victoria Beckham are among luxury brands that have launched short online films to promote their new collections. These strategies take advantage of the viral effect on the Internet where fans and followers share the content with their friends who in turn would do the same to their friends. Instead of declining influence because of mass accessibility, social media tools have helped luxury brands increase sales by allowing potential customers to engage and learn about their products online which eventually leads to purchases. These are new markets of customers who previously would not even step into the stores of luxury brands because of the uppity atmosphere in the boutiques. The new online strategies also allowed brands to reach a worldwide audience and amass new influence in countries where they have no physical presence. “The growth of online marketing has shifted the way our consumers shop. This is especially prevalent in the travel, retail and automotive segments. Traditionally, travel agents and sales representatives are important in these industries to generate sales but with digital strategies, consumers no longer need somebody to tell them what to buy. They make their own decisions based on the information available online which also results in them shopping online rather than having to go to the physical storefront. This means that brands 74 / APRIL 2012 can market their products to a worldwide market,” explains Lola Chin, general manager of digital specialization media agency Tribal DDB which handles digital strategies for brands including Volkswagen and Tourism Australia. DKNY is another luxury brand that has capitalise on the Twitter platform with its cheeky online persona DKNY PR GIRL (@dkny) providing first-hand exclusives to videos, events and special offers to its followers. Twitter has become a powerful instant engagement tool for brands by providing personalised replies to customers as well as prompt answers to queries. Followers are able to participate in short conversations with the brand creating an atmosphere

where customers feel connected to the brands which helps in building brand loyalty and ultimately, resulting

chanel and vicToria Beckham are among Brands ThaT have launched online Films To promoTe Their new collecTions.

in revenue. “Content plays an important role in online marketing now. The consumer is savvy and would like to be fed with information that’s relevant to them and not just be bombarded with messaging. While we are ‘offline’, we are also constantly ‘online’ via our tablets or smart phones. Hence, information needs to be served to the consumer at the point that they need it,” says Chin. This resulted in the emergence of new innovative ways that brands use to engage their customers via social media. Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo launched a city-wide social media shoe hunt in London using the FourSquare platform. Followers had to follow the ‘check-ins’ of the Jimmy Choo account at different locations of London to win a pair of shoes from the brand. Marc Jacobs also launched an initiative with FourSquare to allow its followers to win tickets to New York Fashion Week. Diane Von Furstenberg paired up Facebook and Twitter on its campaign ‘Love, Diane’ by offering a monthly special on its signature wrap dress for Facebook fans only. Digital strategies have created convenience, interactivity and opportunities for us to research our fashion buys. For fashionistas around the world, how else can we survive if not through social media where we are fed fashion bites from the moment we wake up till the time we sleep, all at the reach of our fingers.

has become an annual do in locations all around the world during the respective racing seasons, and Qatar got its own share of headwear splendour during the exciting HH the Emir’s Sword and HH the Emir’s Trophy Cup race. While the gentlemen indulged in the excitement of the races, the ladies were out in full force showcasing their best hats and matching outfits at the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (QREC). The highlight for the women was the much-anticipated Hat Contest organised exclusively by Longines, the official timekeeper of the races. The contest was open to all women wearing 100 / APRIL 2012


day out at the horse races is never complete without the extravagant display of hats and fascinators, a tradition that has been ongoing since its inception at the Royal Ascot Racecourse in Kentucky, Derby. The glitzy affair ready-to-wear or custom-made hats and saw the participation of 87 ladies. The participants displayed a creative range of vibrant colours and designs, from nature inspired fascinators to classic interpretation of elegant hats. Along with the exciting hats, they also wore matching quintessential race outfits of A-line dresses and jackets. The Longines Hat Contest booth was a flurry of activities with the chitter-chatter of the participants, while renowned Parisian hat maker Sophie Papiernik was also present to showcase her collection of handmade hats from Maison Sophie Papiernik Paris. The hat maker was on hand to give style advice and recommendations to the ladies on the pairing of hats with outfits as well as the suitability of a variety of hats to the different face shapes. By the end of the race day, the winners of the hat contest were announced with Tjarda Van Den Broek Humphreis taking home the coveted first prize of a Longines DolceVita watch modeled in steel and gold and set with diamonds. Tjarda wore a maroon fascinator that was decorated


ArOunD TOwn

with a vibrantly colourful bird and a contrasting turquoise-layered chiffon dress. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, HH the Emir’s Sword and HH the Emir’s Trophy Cup race is one of the most-awaited events on the Qatar horse racing calendar. A thrilling affair, the event consisted of the Emir Sword, a 2400 mt race that carries a prize money of QR1 million and the H.H. the Emir’s Trophy presented by Longines with a prize money of QR800,000. The winner of the 2400 mt race for thoroughbreds is the horse Lancelot, owned by Umm Qarn, trained by Alban de Mieulle and ridden by French jockey Olivier Peslier. Longines’ passionate involvement in the arena of equestrian sports is further enriched with the line-up of events taking place at QREC. Longines and QREC embarked on a strong partnership that sees the Swiss watchmaker being the official timekeeper for all equestrian events occurring at the club as well as the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. APRIL 2012 / 101

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