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“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” ― Frida Kahlo

Month: September, 2015

Brand Ambassadors | Models

model brand ambassador

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By Margretta Sowah


In the temperamental and seductive world of brands there are layers of complexities, and elements of surprise that bring an aspirational concept to life. There is no denying the increase in consumer curiosity for this evolving trade; wanting to know the ‘hows’ and the ‘wheres’. Many companies have risen and fallen under the pressure of satisfying designer [x]’s creative urges with practical needs of the consumer. These purchasing decisions are aided by fashion trends that spark a dialogue globally. Having the right brand ambassador, influencing potential customers, can spell billion dollar revenue. Hey, if the shoe fits…

Kate Upton x EXPRESS

model brand ambassador

What do Kate Upton and your favourite pair of EXPRESS denim jeans has in common? All. American. Charm. Say what you will about Miss Upton, she knows how to stir a crowd. EXPRESS, a Columbus-based specialty apparel and accessories retailer for the young adult demographic (ages 20 to 30), appointed Kate as their brand ambassador and spokesperson.

We know Miss Upton is a model. A Sports Illustrated model. Kate represents their target market – the “true American girl.” In their own words: ‘She’s fresh, she’s sexy, and she’s iconic.’ Kate’s love of EXPRESS in her youth sparked their 2014 denim collection, inspired by her favourite pair of jeans – the perfect fit for the two parties, Kate and EXPRESS.

model brand ambassador

 

Shu Pei Qin x Maybelline

Shu Pei Qui is representing the Chinese market in a fresh new way. In her most lucrative cosmetics contract with Maybelline, Shu Pei will join other bombshells at Maybelline with her own print campaign. Shu has been quoted saying, “When I shopped for Maybelline’s mascara in drugstores I used to dream how wonderful it would be to become a Maybelline girl one day!”

The need for ethnic diversity in fashion will always be at the forefront of the consumer’s path to purchase. Particularly when it comes to cosmetics contracts, an honour for any wide –eyed and style conscious woman. Estee Lauder had its first Asian face for the brand in Lui Wen and now Miss Qui is following in her steps. After all, the Asian market is becoming one of the largest commercial forces in fashion – influencing every aspect from Runway to shop front.

Maybelline’s CEO said: “Shu Pei not only looks outstanding, but she also has inner fire. Her dazzling image and style and unique temperament in the fashion world […] We are convinced that signing with Shu Pei internationally for our team in Asia injects fresh energy.” The Asian-Chinese market needs to be represented in American beauty culture just as much as African, Spanish or Indian – or any other nation.

Joan Smalls x Estee Lauder

model brand ambassador

Joan Smalls is a style icon to many. Her Puerto Rican heritage makes Smalls a vibrant (27 is still young by any stretch of the imagination) and sultry force in the modelling arena. Smalls was chosen to be the Spokesmodel for Estee Lauder in 2014. Their fairytale meeting? According to Vogue.com, Joan was prepping for the Costume Institute Gala when… “I knew my dress was going to be a simple tan gown by Vera Wang, and I was just sort of like, ‘This needs something – I love how matte lipsticks don’t look too overpowering or in-your-face, even if the colour is bright.”

Joan is in love with the ‘chic and sophisticated’ effect of a mattey pout. According to Small’s interview with Estee Lauder.com she says, “I’ve always liked how the colours in the Pure Color Lipstick line read on first swipe, without having to apply layer upon layer—which is a problem I often have, especially with my skin tone—so I asked, ‘Can we do this formula, but make it more matte?’”

Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick was Smalls’ first creative collaboration with the brand. The video campaign for the collection follows Joan as she goes about her day; from waking up (choosing her lipstick shade) and wandering around the city streets before falling into bed – at the end of a long (but productive) day… probably in gifted Victoria’s Secret sleepwear. Some women have all the fun.

Rihanna x Dior

model brand ambassador

“A presence looms in a nighttime Versailles. Captured by Steven Klein’s camera, Rihanna passes through the sumptuous salons and the Hall of Mirrors. Enigmatic and enchanting, the singer heads to the palace gardens, where their box hedges, clipped to spell the House’s emblematic initials, convey a fairytale air. As the only light, the glow of candles and moonbeams highlight the details of the Esprit Dior Tokyo collection: the metallic closure and cannage of the Diorama bag, the silvered spangles of a dress, the finely-crafted metal of the Tribale earrings, the sequins sprinkling a nose veil.” – Dior.com

Rihanna is no stranger to controversy. The Rated R songstress is a veteran in the Fashion industry. Having her own show (Style to Rock) on the StyleNetwork, to her many successful fragrances to her collection for River Island – and then proves she gets paid by dropping a track called “Bitch Better Have My Money (BBHMM). BadGirlRiRi is a creative supernova. Rihanna latest shoot for Christian Dior is all about Decadence – something the Barbadian artist is no doubt well versed in. “Pour it up. Pour it up […] Still got my money.”

Shot by Craig McDean for Dior Mag, Rihanna has official reached new heights of stardom. Cultivating strong business relationships with some of the fashion heavyweights – this campaign for Christian Dior began in 2013; announcing she would be the house’s new representative. A first for the French fashion house as our RiRi is the first black woman offered the role of brand representative. And more on decadency… the film and print campaign was shot by Steven Klein in the Palace of Versailles.

“It feels fantastic […] it is such a big deal for me, for my culture, for a lot of young girls of any colour. I think to be acknowledged by Dior means a lot, as a woman, to feel beautiful – to feel elegant and timeless.” Phresh out the runway.

model brand ambassador

 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan x Longines

model brand ambassadors

If you have ever watched a Bollywood movie, there is a good chance you would have seen a bewitching woman by the name of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Her list of credentials includes: modelling, a degree in architecture, a Miss World title, a philanthropist (she has her own charity foundation that aims to help disadvantage children in India – on a private jet somewhere Oprah is laughing, a Cannes Film Festival winner and subsequently a one-time festival panellist. She even branched into American films with Pride and Prejudice in 2004 – that was 11 years ago!

The most noted kudos in her toolkit to this day (besides being the Princess of Bollywood) is her contract as a spokesperson for the luxury Swiss watch brand, Longines.

‘The Indian Beauty’, as said by Longines.com, ‘has superbly embodied the Longines slogan “Elegance is an attitude” for more than ten years.’ Representing the romantic and luxury aspect of India, Aishwarya is setting an example for young women in her home country; reminding them that everyone , no matter where you are from or how old you are, can be elegant.

Now that is timeless advice.
model brand ambassadors

This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste..She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/models-as-brand-ambassadors/#ixzz3mjaaU26A

Brand Storytelling | Being social about commerce {shameless work-plug)

Photo by: Jean Lakosnyk via Unsplash

Photo by: Jean Lakosnyk via Unsplash

This post is written by our fabulous intern Margretta Sowah. Margretta works with our sister company, Thread Publishing. She is a gifted writer, with a passion to hone her craft and a willingness to use her skills to help others. She is a complete angel to work with and we are delighted to work with her!

Most people want to communicate with like-minded people daily; perhaps even by the minute on social media. And business is no different. With the right implementation of above-the-line tactics, brands can achieve substantial revenue and omni-channel reach.

The rise of social media and social commerce are synonymous with customer satisfaction, with consumers at the forefront of e-commerce. Where once the employee was the bridge between a customer’s initial need for a product or service, and their path to purchase, now the barriers are down thanks to e-commerce and the social media opportunities it delivers.

Brands should be social about commerce.  This personal and transparent approach offers opportunities to supply strong customer insights. This is your best tool for future growth: market research gained through real-time feedback.

The power of the story

Storytelling is not just for kids. As consumers experiencing the full scope of a business without even leaving our homes; and as the digital revolution continues to evolve, e-tailing (electronic retailing – to sell online) allows consumers to access a company’s products or services when convenient.

Marketing, strong brand stories and digital prowess are a vital part of this pursuit of revenue. By applying the right social tactics to commercial objectives, brands are forced to refocus on the most important part of the supply chain – the conscious consumer.

Consumers step into the story

It is easy to be mystified by all this digital energy. Where is it going and what else can be achieved?

Digital Relief allows for offline marketing and real-time, real-life experiences to balance a brand’s relationship with its audience online. This enhances the brand story and return on investment. There are many ways Digital Relief can help a business to push revenue forward.  Social media has proved consumers more often than not; want to become a part of a brand’s story.

As an example, Signature Prints – a premium and bespoke print and interiors company – provides a home to the work of eminent wallpaper artist, the late Florence Broadhurst. Their archive is a national treasure as they keep and restore the art of the Australian screen dynasty.

Signature Prints opens up the dialogue to create tactile brand experiences – workshops, collaborations and hosted events with influencers, aiding in brand recall. Florence’s story has strengthened the brand identity around Signature Prints both locally and internationally, partly due to the offline intimacy Signature Prints evokes in an otherwise noisy market.

So how do brands stand tall? The distribution of real-time benefits for real-time problems promotes immediate brand trust within the market. The brands that engage in memorable and relevant experiences along these lines have more to offer their audience and a far greater follow through.

All rights reserved to:

The Writers Group.

@insidethegroup

@threadquarters

ThrowbackThursday | The Eye of Guy Bourdin

I love Guy Bourdin. He is a fashion photographer and, dare I say it – a conceptual artist with the sensibility (and moxie) of a poet. I did not write this article. All rights go to The Business of Fashion. Enjoy #TBT

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BY COLIN MCDOWELL DECEMBER 3, 2014 09:00

On the occasion of “Guy Bourdin: Image Maker,” currently on view at London’s Somerset House, Colin McDowell remembers the enigmatic photographer who revolutionised fashion imagery.

http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/colins-column/colins-column-eye-guy-bourdin

Maybe She’s…

maybe shes born with it feature image

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By Margretta Sowah


Beauty blogger Em Ford is a beautiful woman. Though the British beauty guru has severe facial acne issues, her YouTube page ‘My Pale Skin’ has over 300k followers. Em’s page shows others how to conceal sensitive skin issues by enhancing features. Being a self-taught “makeup tutorialist”, Miss Ford has been in this Vlogging game for a while now. The more followers you have on YouTube the more payment you receive for driving traffic to their site. With great attention, however, comes an even greater need for protection. Statements, opinions, and ideas can cause unsolicited fire on an unsuspecting person through the lens of the desktop/mobile experience.

With the blogging sphere rising up to new and exciting landing pages of mass promotion, we are swamped with the noise of content typing for attention. Vlogging (Video Blogging) is a huge part of the market – YouTube, Vines and apps like Snapchat create an avenue for relating to users through different interests. Apps like this fall under the DIY sensation that has taken over in almost all facets of our daily lives.

Internet “trolls” and cyber-bullies are everywhere – belittling and bullying others with their comments and opinions. This is what Em Ford faced when she decided to post pictures on her social sites of before and after – with make-up and without; a daunting experience for someone with visible facial acne. I know what you are thinking: why would a beauty blogger go without makeup and put herself in that position for haters and fabricators to pounce? The simple answer: because she CAN. Make-up is not her life. It is an ENHANCEMENT. An added feature. A tool to play with. It’s fun, it’s frivolous and keeps your unique look fresh.

Does her social position as a video beauty blogger (a different side of Celebrity) give us, as her viewer’s, permission to give an honest opinion – as we would with a model being underweight (or overweight – let’s not forget Tess Holiday and her #EffYourBeautyStandards), or an actor on the Red Carpet? Em Ford provides make-up tutorials, so we should be able to comment on her make-up – or lack thereof, right? I suppose the reality of opening your interests to the World Wide Web is you may be playing Russian Roulette with your self-esteem… BUT that by no means warrants us to be opinionated hooligans. There is a difference between criticism and constructive criticism. One is for the benefit of growth and the other isn’t. It is quite simple.

The response on her site was overwhelming. Over 10,000 comments (and counting) on her appearance; some naughty, some nice and some just downright brutal – mostly shade. Remarks such as “You look disgusting!” and “I can’t even look at you!” are sadly not surprising in this age of Social Media.

Freedom of speech is a wonderful and powerful privilege. We are free to do and say (for the most part) whatever we want but we are not free from the consequences of those choices. There have been plenty of examples showing the aftermath of bullying, with some students taking their own lives – or taking someone else’s. Most tragedies like this can definitely be avoided. Whatever the situation is we all need to be aware of the very real repercussions.

The price of fame has always been a real issue for those seasoned to the reality of breaking it big. Most of us are waiting for that moment to shine – to ‘break the glass ceiling’ and enter the realm of success. Deciding to place ourselves out there for commercial reasons opens a platform for change. The internet offers us ‘normal people’ a place of refuge (ironically) for our unique interests and talents. This should be celebrated not disregarded as we ‘sign into’ another year.

The one thing people like Em Ford have that make them successful is the real X factor – Relatability. Miss Ford is able to illicit such a response because she has real concerns people share – acne. Without her alleged ‘handicap’ she would not be able to do what she does. Cindy Crawford once said;“Isn’t it ironic that the very thing that made me most insecure [her infamous mole] turned out to be my trademark?” I agree 100% with what Cindy SuperModel Crawford is saying. We all have flaws that we believe bring us down and turn us in. When you are able to not only embrace but to elevate those flaws to your benefit, you’ve won the battle with yourself – the biggest and baddest critic.

Em Ford’s video showcasing the different reactions went viral, with this discussion still at large. She is truly brave. Placing your vulnerabilities in the world’s lap is not a spanking anyone would look forward to – even if you are that way inclined (wink wink, nudge nudge). The strength she showed will no doubt empower her audience… and maybe even her haters.

Would you want the world to comment on your face, if it meant addressing an issue? Let’s be real; make-up is just another paint to add on your canvas. Carry on contouring, I say.

This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste.  She also likes to spin yarn from time to time. Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/maybe-shes-born-with-it/#ixzz3l6EFivVF

Style & It’s Hidden Truths

Style & It's Hidden Truths featureimage

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By Margretta Sowah


Instagram, much like the Fashion Industry, loves people with style.

Our culture is obsessed with seeing seemingly ordinary people mix & match genres and subcultures, injecting their own personal handwriting into Couture and Ready-to-Wear collections. This is why the street-style trend has skyrocketed. Many quotes are devoted to the importance of Style; reminding us that Fashion and Style are not mutually exclusive. Scrolling through Pinterest for visual inspiration (and yet another secret board to add) I stumbled on this quote by Edna Woolman Chase: “Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” Therein lies the enigma. Fashion is clothing; it is runway shows, editorials, collections and campaigns – the whole shebang. Style is an internal signature you can’t escape once stood with truth. This proves that we are who we are – we may improve (or not) but we can’t change the essence of ourselves. Philosophical? Yes, in the most fashionable way.

There are plenty of Fashion lovers who can name all the highbrow labels but find it difficult to find their own style within those brands. And by style I mean Taste. That is what Style is – a particular way you do things. Fashion is a commercial enterprise that has several different components to it. There is no stock-standard formula (despite what the glossy pages of ELLE, Harpers Bazaar and the like feed us in bite size canapés) for achieving your personal preference.

At a retail business seminar a few weeks ago one of the speakers (shout-out to brand expert Richard Saurman – his clients list includes Coca Cola, Microsoft, Toyota and Levi’s to name a few. In short, we call him The Brand Guy) made a very interesting point; “Tools are as good as the people who use it.”Big agencies have been known to scout for model’s almost anywhere. Jourdan Dunn was discovered at Primark in London while shopping with a friend. Though some might think it is serendipity to find a model in a clothing store that is not an indication of a fashionable person, let alone someone with great style – no offense Miss Dunn.

Regrettably most of us are not born with Vogue-esqe chic. We go through periods of trial and error. As we mature in knowing ourselves more authentically we mould non-verbal signals to communicate with the world around us. To the outside world, this could be called Body Language. In Fashion, we call it Style. Brands hire Stylists because they are sort of like the surgeons of the Fashion Industry – astute in their practices, their aim to highlight the positive and reduce the negative. A Stylist has to be cut-throat and merciless in their editing process.

We have been told from a young age that Less is More. If Less is More where does it leave room to be yourself and to not feel the restrictions or pressure of the minimalist Post-Post Modern mentality? Is Style not about being unequivocally and unapologetically yourself? Much like a writer or any other creative, one must learn to cut the unnecessary to reach hearts and heads of readers, this is not an easy task. You could say a model can be seen as a blank canvas in which a Stylist “Jackson Pollock’s” on them (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?).

It is easy, in this world of social distraction, to compartmentalise things – to put them in categories and then generalise those categorises; good/bad, black/white and so forth. The problem with generalising is we are individuals with the propensity to change and evolve. That which was once this can turn into that, and vice versa (think Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender transformation).

The pre-requisite to Style is knowing yourself – what you like, don’t like and why it works for you. Then, like my Mother always told me: try, try and try some more. You will not know the practicality of something unless you get into it. Walk proud in your choices.

Diana Von Furstenberg has said she can handle bad taste, but no taste? That is something the world needs less of. We can afford to get Fashion wrong. Not everything is for everyone and brands target specific audiences which may not always include your taste (e.g. Jeremy Scott for Moschino, though I love his point of view). That is why style is so important. The world can cater for everything, but not everyone can eat the way you do.

My advice? Enjoy licking your plate clean and be brave enough to go for seconds – but hey, that’s just my style.

This article is written by Margretta Sowah; a freelance writer and Fashion Marketer based in Sydney. All opinions expressed are her own. She cannot be held liable for bad taste.  She also likes to spin yarn from time to time.
Read more: http://www.allmyfriendsaremodels.com/style-and-its-hidden-truths/#ixzz3l2bl8Rvm

Mood Inspired By Pantone’s Marsala

Marsala, Marsala… Mmmm…

Eiseman Color Blog

July 2, 2015

I love this beautiful Marsala, Pantone Color of the Year collage, that my friend and colleague, Bridget Frizzie, created for Kehoe Designs.

Pantone Color of the Year 2015BOND with LOGO

Thank you for sharing this wonderful Marsala compilation with us.

What are some of your favorite Marsala moments?

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