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business Editor's pick

Man Repeller trolled Zappos’ customer service team, and it’s hilarious

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If this isn’t the best ad for the customer service reps at online shoe retailer Zappos, then we don’t know what is.

Haley Nahman, a writer for fashion blog Man Repeller, decided to test out the company’s mandate that essentially says its team will answer any question you throw at them. And she did so in the most entertaining way possible.

First she started by asking questions related to fashion and which shoes she should wear. Straight-forward. Next, she adds in that she can’t quite find what she wants on Zappos and do they have any other suggestions – she kindly gets some Amazon links back (Zappos’ parent company), as well as some amusing details on the customer service reps name and fashion perspective.

From here on out, things start heading a little left field… from opinions on manicures, to a back-and-forth about cats vs dogs, and suggestions for artichoke dip recipes. “OMG. THIS TEAM WILL DO ANYTHING,” Nahman exclaims as she walks away with a delicious dish to try, noting simultaneously how her karma levels are slowly falling wayward.

Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug - as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations
Man Repeller writer Haley Nahman and her cat, Bug – as referenced in the Zappos customer service conversations

On a scale of tasks related to being a Zappos rep, things only get wilder from there: Nahman heads into neediness territory, gets some killer Harry Potter quotes back (seriously), and brings in some heavy personal family matters that still manage to get the most considered of responses.

“Did I mention she thanked me for taking time out of my busy day to get in touch? I am a horrible person who doesn’t deserve nice things,” Nahman writes. “Zappos will indeed answer any question thrown at them, I no longer deserve my membership in the Former Customer Service Worker Club and I am spending my discretionary income at Zappos for the next ten years in a meager attempt at restitution for my wrongdoings.”

What a win for Zappos, who has of course based its entire business on the quality of its customer service team. “Seriously, the goodness of these people nearly drove me to poetry,” Nahman adds. Now there’s a testimony.

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Editor's pick social media

Snapchat ruled social media at #NYFW this season – here’s a look at the best of it

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Influencers, brands and models alike have taken to Snapchat during this season’s New York Fashion Week in droves. Providing real-time insights into what happens behind-the-scenes, it’s been the best version yet of immediate access to what happens around the runway shows.

Brands including Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs (still to show this evening) are just a few that have launched new accounts this season, while Snapchat itself has featured two relevant live stories throughout the week. “New York Fashion Week” and “This Is Fashion”, are a curation of snaps from others attending the shows – it pulls in the best of each event, with overlaid info about which collection it’s about to screen.

From Marchesa to Public School and Michael Kors, both stories have provided a well-rounded view of each day. They’ve also, inevitably, been a go-to place to spot the famous faces in attendance, including Kate Bosworth at the Rebecca Minkoff show, Kylie Jenner at Alexander Wang, Emily Ratajkowski sitting front row at Altuzarra, and Anna Wintour at DKNY. Particularly interesting on the “This Is Fashion” story otherwise, was the integrated advertising from ASOS too. (See below screenshots)

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As we know, many brands are adjusting to a see now/buy now consumer-driven strategy for fashion week. Where once Snapchat may have been used as an additional storytelling tool; the future has it as a relevant channel to drive immediate interest and ultimately conversions.

Tommy Hilfiger’s announcement for a direct-to-consumer shift for example, was accompanied by the launch of its Snapchat in collaboration with new global brand ambassador Gigi Hadid. These “takeovers”, where a celebrity or influencer is given full reign of a brand’s Snapchat, are becoming increasingly commonplace.

Gigi shared snippets of the rehearsal, an inside peek into the make-up for the show and mini interviews with some of the other models also walking for the brand. Her perspective, no doubt, was a smart move by the designer in terms of driving interest and follower acquisition; something it will be able to capitalise on in the long run once its capsule collection with the supermodel launches in real-time this September.

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Following a wide variety of Snapchat accounts over NYFW provided a broad additional view on activities taking place. Tips, tricks and trends for make-up enthusiasts were shown by @Maybelline New York, as well as @SephoraSnaps.

Meanwhile, @Houseofherrera’s story was a star-studded one with the likes of Olivia Palermo and Karlie Kloss making an appearance. And @Louboutinlive gave a great behind-the-scenes preview of Naeem Khan’s show all the while showcasing some of its heels being worn by the models.

If that wasn’t enough, influencers such as Chriselle Lim and Man Repeller even had their own Snapchat filters created, with their name, company and a life-like cartoon of themselves featuring across their Snaps during the week.

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Next up: London, where we know @MullberryEngland is one-to-watch, having already started snapping for the first time with new creative director Johnny Coca.

Check out some more (cheeky) screenshots of all the Snapchat action during NYFW below:

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Categories
Blocks Comment social media

Seven ways big-time bloggers are changing

Chiara Ferragni The Blonde Salad

It goes without saying that the digital landscape and where fashion brands fit into it, is evolving around us. Simultaneously, so are the influencers that are increasingly helping those stories get told and products get seen.

Here are seven predictions from Morgan Kaye, VP of community at Bloglovin’, about what all is happening, and what to expect from some of the biggest names this fashion week season:

Bloggers launching more brands than ever before

As bloggers become even more influential, they evolve as entrepreneurs. Emily Weiss’ GlossierJulie Sarinana’s Sincerely Jules Clothing Line and Michelle Phan’s ipsy are just a few examples of bloggers who have successfully launched their own brand. We’ll likely see more fashion bloggers announce their own brands and lines at shows and events during this year’s fashion week! For more on this trend, check out Bloglovin’s recent post: 8 girl bosses killing it in the fashion industry.

Emily Weiss Glossier

Big-time bloggers shifting their focus

Many of us have watched bloggers go through personal milestones from brand launches and website redesigns, to engagements and babies. With that said, many of our them are also shifting gears and branching out either to new categories and/or focusing their attention on being lifestyle experts. Lindsey Calla and Hannah Bronfman are just two girls leaving their fashion and lifestyle posts behind to rebrand themselves as fitness experts. This fashion week, we’ll see their expertise called on more than ever before as athleisure continues as a key trend.

Real time content and pulling the curtain back

While precisely planned and staged content still holds worth, the move for real-time/behind-the-scenes content is gaining momentum and receives unprecedented engagement. With the rise of Snapchat and Periscope, our favourite bloggers are lifting the hood to allow their audience to see them in real-time and real life. These platforms will be huge during this fashion week season. As we saw Tommy Hilfiger and Vera Wang embrace its use in September, we can only expect more fashion designers and bloggers to hop on the bandwagon. Behind-the-scenes fashion week content, outtakes, and personal experiences are superseding perfectly planned outfit posts.

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Call me an influencer

The debate continues – how do bloggers want to be identified? It seems we have landed on the term “Influencer” for the time being, which is a much broader term than blogger or content creator and that’s why it works. During fashion week season, we’ll see a TON of influencers – such as twins Cailli & Sam Beckerman of Beckerman Blog, Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor and Courtney Trop of Always Judging – in attendance at the hottest shows.  As Influencers grow their businesses and grow their audiences on different platforms, it’s important to associate them with a name that can evolve and expand as quickly as this industry itself.

Mid-form content with embedded media

This fashion week, it’s all about words AND images. Bloggers are gearing back toward mid-form and longer form content – even Twitter is getting on board with additional character counts. The key to making their content super engaging is including embedded media. No fashion week post will be complete without a photo, video or gif.

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Time for an upgrade

Have you noticed everyone’s shiny new websites? Everyone is stepping up their game this year. Blog formats are a thing of the past and new website designs with a magazine feel are taking over – ultimately raising the bar for new and emerging influencers. Specifically, we love what our friends at Man Repeller and MiniMode have done with their sites. These new layouts coincide with the trend for more diverse content and revenue opportunities such as influencer shops popping up.

Audience is everywhere

Now is a perfect time to get discovered. Never before has there been such a well-rounded variety of platforms to discover content and new influencers. Bloglovin’, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Vine and YouTube allow people of all demographics to engage digitally and discover new influencers and inspiration. Influencers now find it easier than ever to gain new audiences. This fashion week, we’ll see influencers engage their audiences via a combination of all these platforms. Although these audiences may be fragmented, the ability to reach engaged consumers online is highly accessible.

Categories
digital snippets social media

Digital snippets: Michael Kors, Rebecca Minkoff, Vivienne Tam, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen

From New York to London, and everything in between, here’s a mega round-up of all the latest stories surrounding fashion and tech…

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  • Rebecca Minkoff gives inside look at fashion week with Keek app [Mashable]
  • Vivienne Tam’s WeChat partnership delivers NYFW front-row access [Jing Daily]
  • Marc Jacobs opens fashion week pop-up that accepts Tweets as payment (as pictured) [Fashionista]
  • Zac Posen curated a Spotify playlist for his new lookbook [Styleite]
  • Alexander Wang showed colour-changing clothes during fashion week [Technical.ly]
  • Warby Parker tops list of top 10 retail innovators [Fast Company]
  • London Fashion Week: Nokia and Fyodor Golan create ‘world’s first’ smart skirt [Marketing]
  • Net-a-Porter puts its fashion sense on paper in new print magazine [BrandChannel]
  • Miu Miu unveils ‘Spark and Light’ short film [WWD]
  • Sass & Bide launches 360-degree shoppable ad [PSFK]
  • Bloomingdale’s hosts live-styling event on Instagram to drive interaction [Luxury Daily]
  • The new Moda Operandi app is like Tinder for designer clothes [NY Observer]
  • Instagram is shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool [Forbes]
  • Seven ways retailers are embracing tech, from body scanning to digital wallets [AdAge]
  • What’s so alluring about a woman known as Man Repeller? [NY Mag]
Categories
social media Uncategorized

Vine scores big with #NYFW crowd

If there’s one thing to note this New York Fashion Week it’s the enormous number of posts being shared on Twitter’s new video-sharing app, Vine.

Brands, media houses and industry personalities alike are getting into the habit, capturing six-second scenes from around the venues, backstage at the shows and of the collections on the catwalks themselves. Some of the big names include Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, DKNY, Bergdorf Goodman, the CFDA, KCD, Glamour, Lucky, Elizabeth Holmes of the WSJ, Nina Garcia, Coco Rocha, Man Repeller and the list goes on…

It’s an obvious move for an industry that trades predominantly on visuals. Both Instagram and animated GIFs have been huge for exactly that reason, but the former was static and the latter too complicated to quickly create. Add them roughly together however and the result is something that shows fashion in all its glory – with movement and in real, raw detail. Better yet of course with Vine, in an instantly shareable format too.

“Vine is a big idea, yet it is a simple one—the two basic ingredients for a successful emerging technology recipe,” Raman Kia, Condé Nast Media’s executive director of digital strategy told Fashionista. “It is no wonder that some brands are quick to jump in and experiment with it. This is especially true of fashion brands which have often been amongst the first to experiment with emerging social media platforms.”

On Twitter, Amy Odell of Buzzfeed asked at the beginning of fashion week: “Are runway photos even worth tweeting anymore?? (Kimberly Ovitz) #nyfw pic.twitter.com/VS1wLOfv.” Model Coco Rocha replied: “@amyodell the only worthwhile means of sharing the runway this season is Vine.”

It’s still early days however, with certain refinements including sound, zoom and drafts needed on the platform. There are likely developments to come on what people opt to post too – the endless finale shots from fashion week have become somewhat repetitive for instance, albeit successful when from a good angle. (Note my attempt at better quality by cheating with the live-stream of marc by Marc Jacobs above).

Either way, expect to see a lot more in this space. In the meantime, here are a handful of the highlight Vines from #NYFW so far:

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce film Uncategorized

Digital snippets: Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Burberry, Carine Roitfeld, Nicole Miller, Benetton

Some more great stories from around the web surrounding all things fashion and digital over the past week:

 

  • Louis Vuitton pays tribute to Muhammad Ali in branded entertainment foray (as above) [BrandChannel]
  • Neiman Marcus spotlights jewellery with shoppable music video [Mashable]
  • Burberry livestreams weather alerts to billboards around the world, partners with Weather Channel [Creative Review]
  • Carine Roitfeld to launch her own Tumblr before fashion week [Fashionista]
  • Nicole Miller becomes first fashion designer on Vyou [Mashable]
  • Benetton to launch European e-commerce site [Marketing]
  • New York Magazine’s revamped ‘The Cut’ blog will take on the fashion glossies [Business Insider]
  • The business of blogging: The Man Repeller [BoF]
Categories
e-commerce technology Uncategorized

Start-up Material Wrld partners with New Yorkers on first online pop-up shop

Material Wrld, a peer-to-peer marketplace due in beta this spring, launched an online pop-up shop to drive awareness of its new concept last week.

The start-up partnered with New Yorkers including Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller and stylist Chelsa Skees; enabling consumers to raid some of the items from within their stylish closets.

One happy customer tweeted: “Shop the very cool closets of very cool people.” Meanwhile, the tagline of the site itself refers to them as “your favorite tastemakers”.

Eventually users will be able to create their own shop, tell the stories behind each piece they’re selling and follow other people they find of interest. Co-founder Jie Zheng, explains the concept as “a prettier and friendlier eBay with social features”, reports BetaBeat.

Further tastemaker pop-up sales are set to follow during April – and this time on a global scale – while the launch of the full site will include “100 hand-selected sellers and slowly scale up to preserve the quality of our community and content.” The aim is to do so through a referral system.

“We’ll have strict guidelines around types of product that can be sold. So no fast fashion (Zara, H&M, Forever 21),” says Zheng.

Zheng’s partner is Rie Yano, a former digital media marketer for Coach (Zheng comes from J. Crew). “Rie and I have been bouncing around ideas since graduating from b-school,” she explained.

“Last summer, two of our ideas converged during a trip to Montauk. My idea was a P2P marketplace for pre-owned fashion with community elements (like Etsy but not just vintage/handmade) and Rie’s idea was a platform to allow self-expression (e.g. uploading fav items and outfits).”