American Apparel Death of the hipsterAm I premature or too late, but does the closure of American Apparel signal the beginning of the end of the hipster?

Left - American Apparel is disappearing from British high-streets

This Terry Richardson-type wank fantasy of sports socks and short shorts, with a dash of the ethically made, didn’t quite make it. It had potential. It rode that early wave of ethical consumerism and sold items people need and use in volume. Basics.

Death of the hipster socks american apparelIt shoulda/coulda been a Gap for hipsters, but thought itself too cool for that and in the process shot themselves in the foot. If you didn’t wear gold meggings and a towelling headband you weren’t going to quite cut it in an average branch of American Apparel. 

Right - Ironic? Were you cool enough to wear these?

You can aim for hipsters, but, ultimately, you want everybody, something that Uniqlo seems to have mastered. And, if you're charging a premium you need to remind consumers what the extra is for, in this case, it was made in the USA. Selling basics is a tough job, these days, as it is so price sensitive. Retailers, like Gap, are struggling to reinvent themselves in this post-hipster market. Maybe they should adopt the best bits of American Apparel and add some contemporary sex appeal to their image.

American Apparel was like one of those scowling cool kids who doesn’t say much, looks the part, but you realise, quite quickly, they have nothing to say.

The end of the social media space raceTo quote the supermarkets, the space race is over. Much like the frenetic expansion we saw in the food sector with supermarkets opening store after store in a saturated market, which didn’t increase sales and just cannibalised those they already had, the same could be said for social media. 

We’ve seen a huge appetite for volume since its inception. Followers, subscribers, likes etc., brands and companies have spent lots of time, effort and money on growing their social following to as big as possible and, for many, continues to be the main focus of their attention. This isn’t sustainable.

Twitter has stalled in its growth of users at around the 300 million mark and Instagram, which just passed its 500 million users threshold, will no doubt start to slow or stall. There are only so many people in the world, after all. 

This October, Condé Nast International’s chief digital officer, Wolfgang Blau, said, “You can’t win a race for reach,” at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Nice. He said that Vogue does not have to be gigantic to be very influential. For too long, too many were “drunk on reach” and forgot to focus instead on deeply understanding their readers.

This is a change in language and tactic from the one of the world's main digital publishers and a welcome one.

What is an 'acceptable' number of followers? Many people/brands look to others for this competitive and, sometimes not honest, number. It’s never enough.

The new age of social media will be healthy niches influencing people and rippling out into the wider population. Engagement will become key and producing content that is original, clever and contemporary will be the way to stand out. They'll be new ways to monitor engagement which don't require as much effort from the recipient.

What’s that inspirational quote about Jesus only having 12 followers?  Okay, one did unfollow him! But, the space race is over and big isn’t always best.

Monday, 07 November 2016 14:31

Jaeger’s New London Store #Sponsored

Jaeger new Marylebone store menswear The Chic GeekTheChicGeek says ‘YAY!’ to Jaeger’s new home on Marylebone High Street. Situated on one of the smartest shopping streets in London, the new two-storey Jaeger store stocks the full menswear collection.

Left - TheChicGeek wearing Milano Knit Cardigan, Organic Cotton T-shirt & Lou Dalton Cargo Trousers all from Jaeger Marylebone High Street

Menswear knitwear navy orange The Chic Geek Jaeger OOTDJaeger asked TheChicGeek to pick his favourite pieces from the new store and their latest AW16 collection.

Right - A palette of navy, with highlights of orange, show Jaeger's expertise in knitwear and ease of dressing with a comfortable buttoned cardigan and large pocketed cargo trousers

TheChicGeek took to the streets of Marylebone to showcase his new look featuring a pair of Lou Dalton X Jaeger wool cargo trousers, a ginger coloured T-shirt (Obvs!) and soft wool cardigan.

It seems ginger and navy are the colours of the season as he bumped into his doppelgänger over at the Chiltern Firehouse! Twinning is most definitely winning.

Find out more here

Open now - 12 Marylebone High Street

Get involved #JaegerStyle

Ginger twins men males marylebone chiltern firehouse doormanLeft - Twinning is winning when TheChicGeek met the doorman at Marylebone local, Chiltern Firehouse

 

 

Below - TheChicGeek doing his best Gene Kelly impression - minus the rain - in new season Jaeger menswear

Singing in the rain geek Jaeger

Sunday, 06 November 2016 20:55

Film Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals Tom Ford Film The Chic GeekYou know times are tough when you have to sell your Jeff Koons dog. This is the predicament Amy Adams, the lead in Tom Ford’s latest film, Nocturnal Animals, finds herself in as her relationship falls apart.

Left - How many redheads can Tom Ford get into one film?! The lead, Amy Adams

An art dealer, this perfect redhead lives in her perfect Neutra-style house with her perfect looking husband (Armie Hammer). All very 'Tom Ford' so far.

I was never a big fan of Tom Ford’s first film, A Single Man. While it looked beautiful, I didn’t really care about the characters and, ultimately, that’s what a good storyteller will make you do. The film was more a long commercial, while Nocturnal Animals has less fashion, isn’t so design obsessed and is divided into two opposite parts: a warm, violent, poor, rural Texan story and a cold, harsh, rich and clinically urban story and leaves you wanting more.

There are three main storylines running throughout the film albeit with a slightly confusing timeline, but Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal hold it all together.

jake gyllenhaal michael shannon Nocturnal AnimalsRight - Michael Shannon as the police officer & Jake Gyllenhaal as the witness

For somebody with Tom Ford’s taste you’d think he’d exercise more subtly. The art is big-hitters like Koons or Damien Hirst, the Republican mum has Margaret Thatcher hair and one of the main jarring moments, a wanky art gallery assistant is wearing something that felt more Ab. Fab 'fashion' than believable and her flippant attitude really rammed home the vacuous point. None of these things really add anything. But, these are minor points. What the film majors in is suspense, in spades. It’s the suspense that draws you in and nervously keeps you there. The Texan bulk of the film is of the raw Steinbeck variety that is scary in its lawlessness, but doesn’t romanticise it. There are the big Texan vistas, but it is for more a sense of place than a cinematography award.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the ringleader of a gang who bullies, rapes and murders. Michael Shannon is great as the police officer and Armie Hammer is the ice-cold husband. The soundtrack is great and the shaky film style adds to the thrill. There are a couple of Tom Ford fashion and beauty moments, but it feels like decoration, which it should, rather than the main gist of the film.

This is good. I’m not sure if it's a great film, I’d have to see it again to decide that, but, I’d definitely give it the chance.

 

Friday, 04 November 2016 15:10

Hot List The Cycle Jumper

cycle jumper Ted Baker House of Fraser Chic GeekAs menswear has become more streamlined, fitted and influenced by sports it was inevitable, particularly with its rise in popularity, that cycling would start to play its part off the track.

Designer, Paul Smith, is a renowned cycling fan and references always appear on his catwalk or collections. The zipped funnel neck, fitted cycle-inspired knit is a key piece this season and has been appearing all over menswear, both designer and the high-street.

Paul Smith cycle top AW16 menswearLeft - Paul Smith AW16

This example by Ted Baker from House of Fraser is the perfect thickness for winter and can be worn easily under tailored jackets or coats. A rich, deep grey, it will dress down a suit or dress up a pair of jeans or tailored sports trousers. Comfortable, sporty and always a winner, it's the Bradley Wiggins of knitwear!

Far Left & Below -  Ted Baker 'Pinball' Funnel Neck Jumper - £109 from House of Fraser funnel neck grey jumper Ted Baker