Spring- Summer 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Ballet dancer Robert Lodge
Make Your Mark - insight into the tattoo culture
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead
Dealing with your own cultural irrelvance
Interior designer Elaine Jackson
Spring- Summer 2013
Writer Edith Zimmerman Interior designer Elaine Jackson Online Visual Merchandiser Lucy Roberts Saatchi Gallery Writer Sue Grainger Ballet Dancer Robert Lodge
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
The Archetype is a conceptual publication that explores the art form of photography whilst celebrating the individual and the cultural environment. This inspirational journal is something to be treated with the up most respect, put it in your archive to inspire your creative juices. Have your say on the issues covered and discussed on our twitter page @ArchetypeLive. Enjoy, Becky Grainger (Editor in Chief)
robert lodge Not your typical ballet dancer, Beyonce idoliser, fridge magnet stealer, 8am wine drinker and scotch egg lover. Robert Lodge is not exactly what you think of when you hear the words top Royal Academy of Dance student. Prime example that we need to shake up the stereotypes and be a little more young wild and free.
MAKE YOUR MARK
For the early Indians semi permanent body painting was a form of expression and cultural symbols. The downtrodden Indian certainly knew about the psychology of colour and used body art to express emotions, if they were going to war it was visibly apparent on their bodies as well as in their facial expressions. Fast forward to the early 20th century when tattoos acquired their low cultural status. The unskilled workers, in particular sailors and prisoners, who readily displayed their ‘badge of honour’ for the world to see. What they lacked in vocabulary was compensated for by the intricate art design proudly presented upon their outer layer. Largely carried out illegally in prisons, using handmade equipment, it is creditable the detail and design of the tattoos. Certainly tattoos at this stage, other than the odd exception, remain the domain of men. In the 1950’s as gang culture developed, bikers who wanted a shared identity acquired more artistic forms of tattoos. The uniforms of black leather and symbols of violence, guns, knives and of course mother adorned the upper part of their anatomy as they sat on top
of a throbbing motorbike. I wonder how many ‘mums’ knew their adoring sons loved them. Tattoos remained a fixed in the masculine arena – if you could stand the pain of the tattoo you were a true man. In modern day society the status of tattoos has shifted to become part of popular culture and is continuing its rise up the cultural class system. Gone is the association to bottom end ideals and it has been replaced by the notion of intrigue and respect. Body art of this nature is shared by men and women and represents an art form and actually in a way is an oxymoron in the technological age. We can’t escape our heritage although we are surrounded by newsfeeds, materialism and jet set travel our Neolithic brother set the scene for a physical display of art on ourselves. Tattoos have become an extension to our identity they offer an insight into our thoughts and convictions. There are experts and there are frauds, the road to your first and perhaps your only tattoo is one that has to be tread carefully. The tattoo will be enduring for the whole of your life but will your boyfriend? Yes Ryan, Ashley or Robert
maybe the love of your life now but how do you explain that to your children in the future when their father is called Harry. Why emblazon someone’s name on your body in a world of shifting relationships. Yes one can revert to laser surgery to remove the offending image or partners name but that defeats the whole purpose. What is beauty? Its that elusive something that each individual defines in their own way. My style is different to that of others what I deem to be beautiful may be ugly to someone else. In the world of tattoos the days of dragons, snakes and guns have become passé. Nature with its enduring qualities remains a dominant source of images: birds, flowers are frequent choices for both men and women. Additionally places and symbols are frequently selected to remind the wearer and inform the observer of the individual’s life story. The whole body now serves as a blank canvas. The first step is the first tattoo and from there, for many people it has developed into a physical art gallery. That first perhaps small discreet image can become that platform for self-expression that is visible. Some psychologists link this to personality disorders such as OCD. The question I ask is, is it more extreme then my pursuit of the perfect handbag?
Tattooing is not a poor man’s game the back street tattooist should be avoided at your peril. It is horrifying to note that tattoo equipment can be bought, without a license, on eBay – is this a new cottage industry? It is not simply about hygiene and infection or necessarily about outdated equipment it is about ART. A skilled tattooist is a creative artist who can and will transpose your ideas into a beautiful art form that becomes part of your identity. My problem has nothing to do with other people’s view and opinions it is about the choice of what represents me now in the short term and what will hold steady in the future and would be appropriate for the emotional cycle of life.
Margaret Thatcher Born in 1925, Lincolnshire, England Lived and worked in London, England
Good Morning Mrs Thatcher I hope you are feeling rested…..
What were your feelings on the night you became Prime Minister?
people needed help to get onto the housing ladder and they were given it during my time.
I had never swayed from the belief that I wouldn’t win and there is always the immediate sense of surprise and, of course, great joy. I stayed up long after others had gone to bed allowing the sense of achievement sink in to my mind.
Interestingly, after my death some of the critics were standing at the garden gates of their 450k value houses which they managed to buy from the council during my period of office.
Did you see yourself as a role model for women? I felt that I was a role model for both men and women I was never focused on gender divisions. My view was that many things are possible with focus and determination. However, looking back I wish that I had brought more women into the Cabinet although in truth there were few great achievers at the time. But I could have looked closely at this and I admit I didn’t. What was your personal greatest achievement? My view is that life is made up of many achievements and these shift as one goes through the cycle of life. Certainly my marriage to Dennis was the source of my greatest personal happiness. Obviously my children brought me joy but Mark had a few misdemeanours and dear Carole never did find the right man and such matters are a huge sadness for a parent. Do you feel you left the UK in a better place than when you first became Prime Minister? Certainly I did. I left a legion of new homeowners which ensured that people took a pride in home ownership. I opened the floodgates to education which removed class distinctions and I believe that I raised standards financially, domestically and intellectually. My mantra was that you create your own pathway in life – some
Did you have regrets in your life? One can’t dwell on regrets otherwise it sours the good parts of life but certainly that Dennis was not with me in the latter years of my life. Was your marriage to Dennis really perfect? Really perfect…. That is an impossible question to answer. However, without Dennis’ support, guidance and the odd push I would never have achieved what I did – he was a very good man.
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead Why I won’t be singing along!
I was 14 when Margaret Thatcher became the first female leader of the Conservative Party, a time in my life when going out and having a good time plus school life, studying for O’levels, captaining the netball team but also getting caught for smoking in the school field and receiving the cane across my hand from the deputy headmistress, my goodness she would be in prison now doing hard labour for child abuse, in this ridiculous politically correct world! So Thatcher’s rise to power was a world away from mine and I would have paid more attention had I known the impact this would have had on my life. In 1979, after years of hard campaigning, Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister. At 18 I could have voted, but hey! Politics was not top of my list of things to do. Work, in what was then, the Midland Bank, gave me the independence to buy lots of clothes, my first mini and rent a flat. My parents had finally got themselves on the property ladder and Dad, by now, was buying, renovating and selling houses. And so the start of the ‘loads a money’ culture of the eighties began. Margaret was busy running the country and advocated the privatisation of state owned industries and utilities, reforming the trade unions, lowering taxes and reducing social expenditure across the board. Victory in the Falklands war in 1982 and a divided opposition helped Thatcher win a landslide victory in 1983 general Election. She began to cultivate a close political and personal relationship with US president Ronald Reagan. She also warmly welcomed the rise of reformist Soviet, Mikhail Gorbachev and became known by the Soviets as ‘The Iron Lady’ 1987 saw Thatcher win an unprecedented 3rd term in office but controversial policies, including the Poll tax, led to a division in the Conservative party and a leadership challenge led to her resignation in 1990. She continued her legacy and founded the Thatcher Foundation, which aims to advance the cause of political and economic freedom, particularly in the newly liberated countries of Central and Eastern Europe. In 1995 she became a member of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of Knighthood in England. She will be missed as a formidable leader of our country, from someone who now has a beautiful home, money in the bank, a wonderful family and a successful business, a sense of gratitude has to be given. If she only knew that I am thwarted at every turn; tribunals – did you know an employee has 78 rights from the day they start! Health and Safety rules & regulations that I am automatically guilty of even if I didn’t know the rules! I have to tick every box in this claim culture world we now live in. Margaret Thatcher didn’t just change a country or give people hope; she helped alter the course of history and we owe her a tribute equal to her legacy. Written by Sue Grainger
Edith Zimmerman Born in 1985, Massachusetts, America Lives and works in Brooklyn, America
Edith Zimmerman, founding editor of The Hairpin and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. She’s also written for GQ, Elle, The Awl, and This American Life.
When did the hair-pin brand first begin and where did the initial inspiration come from?
blogs daily, and acts as the Books Editor, too. She’s great.
It started in October of 2010 -- I was tasked with making it a women’s site, but I wanted to make it a general interest women’s site that almost anyone could enjoy. To have it be fun, and relaxed, and weird.
How does social media aid/affect your business? Where do you see the hair-pin in five years time? Social media has been crucial for us. I have no idea where we’d be without Facebook “likes” and Twitter retweets. Our successes have relied hugely on social media spreading, as I imagine most other internet-based successes have.
How has the brand evolved since then? Sometimes it’s skewed a little more traditionally “women’s site-ish,” and different writers have come and gone, but otherwise I think it’s stayed pretty true to its starting ethos. Maybe. Hopefully. Sometimes I feel like I’m so close to it I have no idea. How do you select which articles will feature on the site? Pretty much whatever comes to my inbox that I enjoy reading! Do you recruit writer for specific articles or do you have a base of writers that you use all the time? This is all over the place -- there are a number of writers whose write regularly for the site, but lots more who’ve just written once or twice. Or who draw for us, or make videos. Usually they submit, although occasionally I’ll reach out to people who I think would be a great fit. If any how many team members do you have and what are their roles? I have one full-time writer -- Nicole Cliffe. She
How does it feel to work remotely? It can be great but it can also be really isolating -- like I can laser in on my work and sit wherever I like for as long as I like, and make whatever hours I’d like, but then sometimes it’ll be the evening and I won’t have left my ... well, room, essentially, since I live in a studio apartment, or spoken to anyone, and it can be a little lonely. But it’s also kind of addictive. I love it and I hate it but mostly I love it. What inspires you on a day to day basis? The hilarious pitches I get, the funny writers. The genius commenters. Weirdo stuff I come across. Unexpected things. People who seem to be enjoying their time alive. I love that. Little moments.
Dealing With Your Own Cultural Irrelevance (at Age 28) By Edith Zimmerman
Many years ago, my grandmother took me to McDonald’s for lunch, and the toy that came with the Happy Meal was a cricket that chirped when you spun its wings. (A “Mulan”-related toy, if that matters.) “What do you mean it chirps?” my grandmother asked me. “Wait, what do you mean?” I asked. “It’s chirping right now!” Then there were about 30 seconds of me grinding its wings and holding it out as she tilted her head and listened. “It’s not chirping,” she said. “Yes it is!” I said. We were both confused. What’s happening? But then she decided that I wasn’t making it up and that it was just one of those high-pitched noises that her ears couldn’t hear anymore. Speaking of high-pitched noises that people get too old to hear, I came across a video online earlier this year that felt like a cricket that someone was holding out to me. “It’s chirping,” they were saying. “Can’t you hear it?” And I couldn’t hear it! And it killed me. Until now I’ve “heard” everything. For the past three or four years my job has been, in some capacity or another, to stay on top of Internet trends and viral videos and memes and other nerdy and non-nerdy things that take up all my time and energy and days and nights and dreams and thoughts. And I usually feel pretty good about my ability to do so — to be a decent judge of what’ll be popular, which videos will do well, blah, blah, blah, it’s not all that interesting or important, but in any case it’s my job, and I enjoy it. It’s like taking a hike along the Internet’s trail, picking up pretty rocks as I go along and sharing the rocks with others like me. Funny video of a cute British man in the hospital who superglued a tiny hat to his head? Got it. Older gentleman holding reins and wearing a papier mâché skirt with legs attached, so when he walks it looks like he’s riding a giant spider? Check. Pretty Swedish girls singing an a capella pop song while rhythmically banging empty plastic cottage cheese containers against a kitchen table? Things like that. And then all of a sudden I’m “hiking” along, and I come across this technicolor alien orb pulsing among the usual pebbles (to be stupidly hyperbolic about what I will now reveal to be a kid’s YouTube video). The space rock in question was a rap video for a song called “Gucci Gucci,” performed by a skinny white girl from the Bay Area with tattoos, heavy eyeliner and gaudily overdone (but stylish) clothes. Her name is Kreayshawn. You may have seen or heard of Kreayshawn by now (pronounced “CRAY-shawn”), who has an irrationally annoying (and sloppily spelled) name that might make you (or, at least, me) envision a high-school dropout who’s lazily dangling a cluster of grapes into her mouth with one hand while giving you (or, at least, me) the finger with the other. “Spell your name right! Or at least spell it shorter!” I wanted to shout at her, and then I felt sad, because even just the spelling of her name was turning me into a shrieky nerd. Her real name is Natassia Zolot, by the way; she’s 22; and she looks like a mix between Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift. Since “Gucci Gucci” landed on the Internet this summer, Kreayshawn’s face, her song and her name — that name! Ooh, I want to crush that name flat between two good, old, important books — have been everywhere, including at the MTV Video Music Awards, where she was nominated as best new artist; on the cover of Complex magazine; and on the payroll of Sony Records, where she signed a deal for an album due out early 2012. (For a million dollars! A figure no one will confirm!) She was even recently on NPR. “The rapper describes L.A. as overly materialistic,” reads NPR’s adorably NPR-ish online description of its interview, “where dress and possessions divide people.”
Which makes it all the more painful that, at the time — way back in May when I watched the video, wherein Kreayshawn brags about smoking weed and not wearing clothes made by fancy brands (for example, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi) — it seemed like nothing new in rap as far as lyrical content went. Her voice was annoying, thin and smug. So I turned it off. Just some random stupid video that no one needs to know about. Case closed! (Brushes hands, moves on.) Fast-forward to the following weekend, when all these pretty young people — who are starting to scare me with their prettiness and their youngness and their senses of humor that will soon be better and sharper than mine — were all over Facebook and Twitter, Facebooking and Twittering about how awesome and hilarious Kreayshawn is. And I thought, Wait. Wait! So I went back to the Kreayshawn video I’d dismissed as ugly and stupid, determined to like it, sort of in the way a suburban dad flashes peace signs at his children to be hip. (I’m with it! Hip-hop!) And, quietly, alone in my apartment, I watched the video again, as if I were unwrapping a package I was afraid of. I watched it wanting to like it, I guess. And hey! Do you know what? I decided I did. I decided the video is actually pretty cool! The young people were right! (I’m 28, by the way.) I mean, Kreayshawn’s kind of infuriating, and parts of the video are ridiculous, but maybe she realizes that, too. She gets it! Right? That the video is ridiculous? Is it ridiculous on purpose? Oh, my God, wait! What? But then also there’s something else I realized about this video in particular, which is so tightly edited and visually lush, with all its spinning lights, colorful tattoos and glittery Minnie Mouse headbands, that it seems to suck a little life from the viewer. You can’t help thinking, These tiny gorgeous young people with their costumes and their cars and their crazy parties versus me in my gray T-shirt sweating alone in my apartment, not having spoken to anyone (in verbal words) in more than 24 hours, watching her bop around on YouTube. Which is not a fair fight. And as I had that thought, there was this dusty feeling in my mouth. As if she was so young and vibrant that I could feel myself withering. I guess this may all just be a roundabout way of saying, “I saw something that made me feel old, isn’t that crazy?” To which you say, “No,” and also maybe, “That song sounds terrible.” Then again, the Internet is a new kind of barometer for keeping track of exactly how old you feel: how many things you don’t get, how many mini-Internet worlds you can’t find the door to; exactly how many crickets in the world you can no longer hear chirping. Unlike in generations past, when (I imagine) you just kept doing what you and your same-aged friends did, and aged into obscurity in comfort on a cloud of your own tastes and generational inclinations, until you died either thinking you all were still the coolest or not caring anymore about being cool, these days the Internet exists in part to introduce you to all these things you didn’t know about, but in part to remind you how much there is out there that you’ll never know about. The Internet is basically like being at a house party and trying to find the bathroom and opening up a door to a room where a bunch of kids are playing a game or doing a drug or having an orgy (metaphorically) or something and you get all flustered and say, “Oh, my God, I’m sorry!” and they all look at you like, “You pervert,” and you quickly slam the door shut. Everywhere you go on the Internet there are rooms you don’t understand, people playing games you don’t know the rules to, teenagers doing drugs you’ve never heard of and can’t even pronounce. And you just walk through the halls of this house party, aging in fast forward, until you open the one last door at the end of the hallway and it’s Death. Ha, ha.
Again, this may be just a truly long-winded way of saying I saw a video that made me feel old. But I was determined to cheat Internet death. I would open the wrong door at the party but then confidently stride into the room, peace signs flashing. So I wrote about Kreayshawn for The Hairpin, the Web site I edit. And I called her equally awesome and annoying — the awesome part coming mostly because I saw the young people liking her and I wanted to like her, and I tried to like her, and finally I think I did like her? But that was May, and this is November, and the media dust and Facebook frenzies have settled, revealing Kreayshawn to be a very photogenic and hypnotically confident if not particularly likable young woman with a droning voice and uninspired lyrics. She released another song, the painful “Rich Whores” (“I love my hoes, hoes in the secondhand clothes/ who use their dollar bill to put the powder in they nose/rich whore, rich whore, spending at the thrift store/line it up, line it up, sniff more, sniff more”), and it basically sounds like what someone who hates rap might imagine all rap music sounds like, or the tune they would present to a judge as Exhibit A in the case of The World v. Music. So I was both right and wrong. The cricket was both chirping and not chirping. The “Gucci Gucci” video was great, and I didn’t pick up on that, but Kreayshawn isn’t going to be the next Jay-Z. Not that that’s necessarily her goal, and if she’s reading this, she’s probably rolling her eyes and saying something so cool that if I could hear it would ruin my month. But I also realized that the Internet isn’t like a house party at all. It’s like the mirror in “Snow White,” except instead of answering the question “Who’s the fairest of them all?” it answers the question “Am I old?”
And one day I asked it that question and it said yes. R.I.P.
Phoebe Day, Fashion Student
Army Jacket Jo Presly
Bruce Davidson born in1933, illinois, America Lives and works in New York City, America
Documentary photography is a beautiful art form that showcases raw situations, that add more life and soul to an image. Creating real perceptions whether the captured image is of a woman in labour or a simple bus on the side of the road, the image should tell an intriguing story. Bruce Davidson the pioneer of documentary photography has famously explored the ‘Brooklyn Gang’ and ‘East 100th Street.’ As a member of Magnum photos agency since 1958 Davidson’s work has been widely exhibited and has been awarded with an Outstanding Contribution to Photography award 2011. With new technology in digital photography constantly being updated it has become accessible for everybody to release their inner photographer. The prevalence of digital photography has encouraged many photographers to revert back to using film. The unedited and rawness is something that could never be achieved using digital. Being able to collect your images or even develop them yourself gives a sense of anticipation, excitement and achievement and in this technological world the physical form of printing pictures is a dying tradition.
nothing is real but you
Joe + Megan, 2013
Jenny + James, 2013
waster There’s no disputing that the Z Boys revolutionized the skateboarding culture, using the same core muscles and the extreme balance skills the transition from the sea to the roads was inevitable. Considered a recreational activity, an art form, a profession, or a method of transportation, its safe to say that skateboarding has become a worldwide sensation. The ‘hoody’ generation has infiltrated our public parks, streets, car parks and any area that allows for a smooth skate. The baggy clothes and the typically moody teenagers, forms a publically negative image of skateboarders. But at the end of the day nothing pleases the public. Credit is deserved for the influence and inspiration the ‘moody teenagers’ have on the world in particular the fashion industry. Endless number of brands have started out been worn by skaters either for functional reasons or create personal style, only to be copied by every average Joe. I personally think the skaters need to be praised for constantly putting up with every edgy individual copying their style. The competitiveness, be it against yourself or others and the deep desire to improve, has categorized skateboarding as a male sport. The swags (skating wives and girlfriends) have adopted the ‘skater boi’ look that Avril Lavigne would be proud of. With Vans and Supreme now being a popular choice by people trying that little bit to hard to achieve the ‘waster look.’ These so called wasters need recognition, at least there actually outside engaging with the world and society, more than a lot of today’s youths. I vote we get rid of the no skateboarding signs. The majority of sports people compete at national and international levels but at this stage skateboarding for all its expertise remains a poor relation. This is due in the main to the ‘uselessness’ of its participants and until this label is removed it will remain fixed in the streets and public parks. There are some, but very few, skateboarders who earn hundreds and thousands of dollars but it lacks icons and until somebody like Coca Cola decides to sponsor a skateboarding competition its going to stay firmly on the pavements.
Written by Becky Grainger
Retail Park , Knaresborough
a well-spent day brings happy sleep.
In the modern day this is no longer the case, we live in a global village 24/7 and the natural order of life is constantly disrupted by information overload and our desire to socially network with members of this community, our facebook friends, our twitter cohort and our frenzy for newsfeeds and online shopping. The state of sleeplessness that overtakes us in the wee small hours of the morning when we were haunted by our demons of failure, our financial worries and our errors the past. Too often it is the final hour before the alarm clock rings that we have been able to sleep. All too often many people find themselves waking up with a non-alcoholic hangover caused by lack of sleep. Currently men and women find themselves in the state of financial insecurity, not due to overspending but rather the precarious nature of modern employment. What used to be secure careers now lack the stability that our recent ancestors had, the days of a job for life have disappeared and have been replaced by short term contracts and competitive pressure. The legal profession long renowned for its highly skilled, highly educated employees is now a fragile occupation the ‘Americanization’ of junior employees and trainee solicitors has been eroded by the internship. A grand name for those who work for free. . As to the masses earning the minimum wage per hour, the only way to make a minimum living is to work forty five to sixty hours a week. Is it legal? Well… on an hourly paid contract it certainly flouts the law. The pressures that we face in the modern world-is it any wonder that natural sleep is often difficult to accomplish. We assume that people sleeping on the pavements are the homeless rejects of society. Well dressed exhausted business men and women are now grabbing a few moments of sleep during wherever and whenever they can just to cope with the working day. At the root of our busy modern society. We just don’t have enough time to get everything done.
HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUN
ELAINE JACKSON Born in 1959, Madrid Spain Lives and works in Yorkshire, England
STAY SIMPLE AND CLASSY ALWAYS
Elaine Jackson, founder of interior affair, lives in North Yorkshire with her husband, businessman and chairman of the Prince’s Trust, Richard Jackson MBE. How did you get into interior design? Well that’s a bit of a long story, I was designing wedding dresses for a French bridal manufacturer and travelling around Europe modeling, designing and selling them. I then decided I was getting too old for modeling and travelling and thought the next best thing would be was to design curtains which I could do till I was 90. Who is your inspiration? I don’t have a designer I have a look, which is probably an Italian, Portuguese and Spanish feel, very European. I like glamour and diversity. What is your greatest achievement? Surviving in the worst recession the country has known. What are your basic design rules? Stay simple and classic always. What do you think are the similarities between the interior anfashion world
Style isn’t something that money can buy your born with the ability to style and whether its fashion or interiors you either can or you cant. If you could design anybodies house whose would it be? I don’t think there is anybody specific, maybe Kate and Wills that would be quite an achievement. Do you have a particular era of inspiration? I don’t like particularly like retro or 60’s or floral or the 20’s, in fact I don’t like eras at all. Always look forward never backwards. Do you find your business involves you in charity work? Yes massively I’m an ambassador for the Princes Trust and a number of local hospices where I have undergone refurbishments within them. I don’t think my business really benefits from it but it’s the giving back. Your blessed when you can work whilst supporting very worthwhile charities. Giving back is something that is very rewarding. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like playing tennis, walking my dogs, drinking good wine, emphasis on the good.
THE LAW OF
Notting Hill, London
Do you think people realise how diverse fashion careers can be? The growth of the internet with relation to e-commerce and fashion has created a diverse range of job opportunities, especially for graduates. Fashion degrees have become more varied in the skills and theories they teach making graduates more attractive for roles in e-commerce. It may not be apparent to people who don’t study fashion or work in fashion just how many career opportunities there are available. What would your average day involve? My mornings consist of merchandising the product and brand category pages on the website, I usually organise the product pages by colour swapping the colours around regularly to ensure the website always looks fresh and interesting and the brand pages are merchandised by outfit, to help customers envisage how the garments fit together. It is also important to take into consideration which brands or products the buyers have bought into heavily then featuring those key pieces. I also upload new products to the website every day, making sure we reach or exceed a daily target as well as organising a weekly photo shoot with a model. Shooting products on a model as well as having a flat-shot is integral for maintaining continuity and sales because it gives customers an extra understanding of the garments. What is the importance of e-commerce to a fashion brand? A lot of people now shop online, be it due to time constraints or preference. This means that a lot of shops now have e-commerce capabilities for customers to buy online and also engage with the brand. E-commerce also means that companies can connect with customers on an international basis. The most important thing about e-commerce is that the website reflects the in store brand ethos, ensuring continuity across the company. Many companies are based solely online like Net-a-Porter which is the premium online retailer. As customers become more tech-savvy, they have more power than ever to price-match their favourite brands online easily and quickly. E-commerce is an exciting development for many companies, one which I am sure will continue to grow and strengthen. Do you find it difficult to engage with customers online? In my role, I engage with customers through the merchandising. Understanding each brand and each brand’s demographic is my way of connecting with customers. For example, the Helmut Lang customer is extremely different from the Crea Concept customer. I merchandise the Helmut Lang page to feature key looks from the collection and merchandise the Crea Concept page into laid-back luxurious knitwear outfits. When shooting these brands on a model, the styling is integral because it helps customers relate to the brand as well as the
company. Social media also helps the company engage with customers on a more personal level, thus making the company seem more accessible and personable. Do you think online visual merchandising will become as recognised as in-store merchandising? I hope so! Online merchandising is just as challenging and important as in-store merchandising and is the first thing the online customers see when they visit a website. I know when I shop online now if the merchandising isn’t considered or clearly laid out the brand instantly becomes less desirable. Online sales are increasingly outstripping in store sales meaning the merchandising is one of the most essential things to maintain daily. Tell me an interesting fact about yourself? I am completely hopeless with computers and technology and have no idea how I was offered a job in e-commerce. How important is online activity to the Jules B brand? It’s completely crucial. E-commerce is a huge part of the Jules B business and the online team works incredibly hard to maintain our success. Every minute detail you see on the website has been carefully considered and planned to ensure brand continuity across all channels and platforms. Social media activity like Facebook and Twitter is managed daily, and a series of blogs are written every week by members of the team to engage with as many online customers as possible. The business side of e-commerce is constantly being developed and strengthened as well as the creative side. Describe the best part of your job? The part I enjoy the most are the weekly model shoots. It’s very rewarding to plan a shoot from start to finish and I’ve always loved styling. Working with fabulous designer clothes, shoes and accessories is definitely a perk! I also love writing blog posts for the Stylefile every week, I feel very lucky to have such a varied job role with so many components and responsibilities. When styling model shoots do you have a personal style ethos? My personal style is quite understated and classic, I love new season trends but my favourite pieces tend to be wardrobe staples of blue jeans, blazers, white shirts, that kind of thing. When styling model shoots I combine my own style preferences with influences from different brands. It’s so much fun to be creative with model shoots, for example when we’re shooting Vivienne Westwood clothes the styling can be as daring as you like because it’s in keeping with the brand. Of course it’s important to be varied, otherwise all online stockists would be styling the same looks the same way and that would be incredibly boring.
Albert the pug
Rally racing, West Yorkshire
During the conception of this publication I have acted as Editor, producer, director, photographer and coffee maker. There have been moments when the challenge became an obstacle and the notion of building a metaphorical bridge and getting over it seemed too onerous to be possible. However, as I put ‘my baby’ to bed it is with a sense of deep accomplishment and pride in that what began as blank pages has become a concrete publication covering wide ranging themes and incorporating my visions into a modern textual document. This ‘note’ is not the conventional I want to express my thanks to this one that one and the other one. Rather it is a testament to my personal development, understanding and recognition that my journey in the world of fashion world is just beginning. Becky Grainger
Aaron Wells, 22