Saturday, 23 January 2010
Every year there is an up stick of new labels wanting to squeeze their clothes into already saturated, but popular department stores. These ambitious labels are started by graduating students taking a long leap outside their comfort zone to face their long dreamt destiny of becoming designers. But the lingering road to brightly lit runways flanked by rows of journalists and fashion buyers is long and rough. For some, fashion week glory and presence come after years, if not decades of work – while for others, the dream forever remain exactly that, a dream.
Standing out in an industry dominated by strongly established cult brands possessing power, that compel perfectly rational people into parting ways with hard earned £338 for something basic as a t-shirt. Oblivion follows for lossmaking designer labels with unsold clothes sent off to the graveyard of failed luxury labels – vintage stores. Even distinguished creativity doesn’t guarantee survival. The fashion industry has never been confined to thinking inside the box. Some even think outside this galaxy, judging by the extra-terrestrial clothing available to buy in niche shops serving those who want make an unusual statement.
If creativity doesn’t guarantee success then what does? Giving a hard answer to that question would be like trying to explain quantum physics in one 140 character tweet – impossible. However, the spine of a profitable clothing brand is the businessman making the tough decisions. A business model can be stapling factor steering a fashion house to either bankruptcy or Fortune 500 listing. German born David Frederik von Rosen-von believes that his online approach to fashion retailing will resurrect exclusivity from demise. Besides only being available online, the brand, Vonrosen distinguish itself from the average clothing brand by adopting a closed door, by invitation only business model.
Fredrik von Rosen argues that choice should extend beyond customers freedom to purchase whatever they please, to the designer’s discretion to select who wear his designs. A privilege to buy Vonrosen clothing entail receiving a plush letter of invitation presented in true Bauhaus style: simple lettering, sedated colours and minimalistic design. The invitation is representative of the clothing line which currently comprise of Italian made luxury essentials ranging from men’s cashmere cardigans and fine cotton shirts to dresses and accessories for women – but will, as time progress, see additions of more adventurous executions.
Vonrosen is an interesting proposition to a world where luxury is a global accessibility for whoever is quickest to draw their credit out of the back pocket and hand it over to a sales assistant. With money as a strong motivator, few companies would willingly repel customers in order to preserve exclusivity. Neither does buying clothing generally require you to undergo a subjective and scrutinizing application process – then again who said that exclusivity and fairness go hand in hand?
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, is defying high unemployment by being offered yet another advisory role at a leading firm. It has been reported that, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, the parent company to a catalogue of the world’s most prestigious luxury brand, is in the last stages of concluding an agreement to add the 56 year old to their roster of senior advisers.
Blair’s political legacy is stained with controversy. Even today, two and a half years after leaving Downing Street No.10, the war in Iraq is still a hot topic of debate in the House of Commons. Despite a bitter end to his career as PM, Blair’s resignation has been followed by a fairy tale of extraordinary job offers. Most noted is his short career in the educational sector, teaching globalisation and faith at Yale University earning him an impressive $250,000 per lecture. Along with writing memoirs, holding expensive speeches is a widely common occupation for ex-prime ministers and presidents.
But Tony Blair’s resume extends further than lecturing university students and top executives. An advisory role at JP Morgan exploit Blair’s bank of experience in leadership, taxation, finance and legislation, rewarding £2.5 million in financial compensation. Contrary to leaders in numerous countries around the world who simultaneously enjoy dual careers as politicians and millionaire business men, UK prime ministers serve the public and are prohibited from having other occupations, which could possibly conflict with their interest for what’s best for the country.
At present the annual salary for the prime minister is just under £200,000 which is rather disproportionate to the mental weight and emotional stress of holding such a powerful post. Consequently, Tony Blair is not shy about making the most out of the black book of phone numbers he filled up during his three mandates – one of the names in that book being a close friend, namely Bernard Arnault, the chief executive officer of LVMH. At the firm Blair’s role will not involve sketching limited edition Louis Vuitton bathrobes or dog accessories -- but lending his influential voice in facilitating the French luxury conglomerate’s invasion of new markets with luxury goods. Perhaps, appropriately, General Motor have Gordon Brown queued up for post to further sustain the firm’s lack of profitability.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
The curtains have now been drawn for the deputy editor to present himself by giving soft answers to hard questions about the war online media has declared print media, and to reveal himself as a shoe collector unafraid of standing up against anyone who challenge him to a game of tennis.
Why have you joined Berkley Magazine?
Despite the plethora of men related blogs that can be discovered through a quick search on Google, Berkley Magazine has throughout the years managed to, with finesse and diligence, play a distinct role in leading the evolution of fashion blogs aimed at men. On board the team I hope to further assist in innovating fashion blogging but also talk Hassan – nicknamed Hair Man by one of our lecturers – into trimming his afro for the benefit of fellow classmates whose sight is occasionally blocked by the hedge of hair growing on his head.
How do you take the edge off life?
Whenever gaps in mine and my friends’ schedules are aligned like the sun and moon during a solar eclipse, we summon at a tennis court where the victorious player of the day will return home with a headband soaked in sweat and a licence to boast until his ego inflate his head to the size of a beach ball.
How will the landscape of consumer media broaden this year?
2010 will be a pivotal year. E-book readers will co-exist with internet tablets and both will, along with blogs and magazines be subjected to the natural selection of me, you and everyone who enjoys reading. The fragmentation of media will at the end of the year have been reduced to a few strong players, eliminating any redundant electronic medium. Innovation will give birth to winners while losers who’s precious money have been put into the wrong pot, will see their financial misery of year 2009 extend an additional 12 months.
Tell us about an obsession of yours.
Men are commonly content with two pairs of shoes – some can even live happily with just one lone pair on the shoe shelf. I however, have recently come to the realisation that my fast growing, and frankly unhealthy, obsession with loafers need to stop at the three pairs I have acquired in a short time span of 3 months. Until the rubber studs under the soles have been eroded to near extermination, all London retailers selling loafers should ban me.
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
At several times in our lives we reach a stage when we are fully content with our range of carefully chosen clothes in the wardrobe. In there are sneakers, brogues, loafers and shoes for every possible occasions – and suspended above them are shirts in our favourite colours, dark jeans, light jeans and even track suit bottoms for casual stay-at-home-Sundays. All of which fit us to perfection but leave hollowness echoing in the bedroom created by the lack of materialistic cravings. We simply have all the clothes we want and need – nothing more and nothing less.
Nevertheless, in the closet, to the far left, is a vacant wooden hanger dangling, waiting to be stroked by the shoulders of an exquisite jacket or sweater. Exotic and unusual items are often imposed on us when we allow ourselves to become victims of impulsive shopping on days when we go to do an innocent browse of our favourite shops. Merciless to consumers voluntarily check- in to department stores for retail therapy, luxury brands do an impeccable job displaying products that will instantaneously infatuate us.
Sunday, 3 January 2010
This weekend of introduction continues with the second instalment – A short question and answer session with the founder and editor in chief of Berkley Magazine to shed some light on the man who’s favourite inventions include the snooze button and Irish cream.
“Berkley Magazine”? Isn’t “Berkley blog” more applicable?
Stability comforts me and I am not the type of change my kitchen curtains to match holidays like Easter and Christmas. Therefore strategic decision making had to be in place in choosing a name that would firmly stand through the future alterations the website will undergo. Down the road, the blog will slowly transform into a publication house.
What is your occupation outside the world of blogging?
My daytime duties are academic – sitting in front of a desk with a highlighter in hand, reading intently for a Marketing BA degree.
Who is your favourite designers?
This is no easier to answer than a question about what my favourite red meat, vegetable or source or source of slow carbohydrates is. To a certain degree, there are no bad foods or designers, all there is are bad chefs and stylists lacking flair. What a designer hangs on the racks of marble-floored boutiques is of less significance than the styling capabilities of the wearer. Seeking comfort and security in pristine outfits seen in look-books and glossy advertisements is following fashion. Puzzle a diverse selection of clothes together with creativity of your own and the result can be the beginning of everlasting style and strengthened personal identity.
Sitting away from the computer screen, what reading material tingle your brain cells?
My primary choice of literature is currently George Orwell’s fictitious 1984 novel which is, at an increasing pace, becoming a reality in the modern society of electronic surveillance. Amongst my side pieces are single issues of Tatler and Harper’s bazaar which successful satisfy my monthly craving for insightful fashion articles and mesmerizing editorials.
Tell us about your biggest weakness
Keeping papers organized. Putting me in charge of administration is like trying to push an 15 inch anchovies pizza into a letterbox. It will end in unimaginable disaster
As a London resident, why would you discourage anyone to move there?
Mayfair and Belgravia are animated affluent areas highly representative of London extravaganza. Although I’m very grateful for the euphoric explosions of flavours I’ve enjoyed eating Roast deer fillet with and blackcurrant fondue, the exuberant living costs of London makes can make money evaporate like an ice sculpture in an Hungarian sauna.
While we are on the subject of food. Which vegetable most strongly resembles you?
Cabbage. If stood in the same spot for too long I oxidise out of boredom.
Finally, what is your outlook on the UK general election of 2010?
Gordon, Gordon, Gordon. As a prime minister who spent previous 10 years superintending economic and financial policies, you of all leaders should have been the fortune-teller predicting the financial apocalypse of 2008. But no, your country remains as one of the few nations yet to re-emerge out of the recession. Failing to successed in areas of your expertise speak no volumes of yourr prime ministerial abilities in mending the tarnished image British foreign affairs. Military withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq have not been given a date stamp, and thus the conflict in the middle east perpetuate into the next mandate period. The sand in the hourglass has run out Labour, the public is disgruntled and it is time the pass the job of running Great Britain to another party. David Chameron is my new Prime Minister.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
Welcome to the year 2010 and a refreshing new blog! 2009 was inarguably an eventful and rocky year. The entertainment industry lost the highly lucrative and amazingly talented Michael Jackson, and an aspiring terrorist lost body tissue in his private areas during a failed attempt to blow a passenger filled Airbus A330 to pieces. Those we should mourn are the thousands of magazines dear to our hearts which had to fold in the midst of the recession. But I’m not about to review and highlight the highs and lows of the previous year because your quota for 2009 flashbacks have most likely been exceeded.
Recovering from a two years and 9 month long blogging-hangover I have taken pleasure in a much needed timeout. However, the recent weeks have included endless of pondering, brainstorming and reflections over the blog should progress. With all my senses gathered in creative union, I have framed a new voice and image for the blog – just like humans, blogs occasionally need to be revitalised with a new appearance. Long-term readers shall not fear change as the layout and also editorial philosophy of “I Luw Fashion” have been preserved – an evolutionary update.
Navigation will now be more user-friendly thanks to a search bar for finding posts in the haystack of posts and a thumbnail of the most recent 5 posts which should particularly benefit readers using mobile devices such as the iPhone. In the back-office the blog is now better equipped for the road ahead. A powerful new camera and high-tech cellphone will be used to produce quality photographs and candid pictures for the blog and the new twitter page. Once again, thank you all for tuning during the recess and welcome to what was once “I Luw Fashion”. Visit the blog weekly for an update of the top products that enhance the modern man.