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I don’t know how much thought goes into the choice of opening designer but Lalesso’s resort wear for me was the perfect choice of the “new” Cape Town Fashion Week. This is probably closer to what overseas audiences would expect from Cape Town design (many see the city as the Miami or Rio of Africa): laidback beach wear with a subtle African feel (from the use of Kenyan fabrics). Surprisingly there just aren’t that many labels like this in Cape Town – maybe the freezing shark infested waters and gale force summer winds put the local designers off the whole beach fashion vibe? What I liked about Lalesso, and some of the other designers on day 1, is there is a very strong sense that they know their audience: in this case well scrubbed heiresses with boyfriends called Charles, Sebastian or Pablo and plenty of trust fund rands. My next door neighbour at their show, the very knowledgeable Emma Jordan, mentioned that they have a concession in Top Shop, which is great work and I can see this going down with London’s Chelsea/Fulham girls (for their Bermuda jaunts with daddy and step mama).
And my parents thought my generation (the rapidly greying MTV generation that is) had hopeless A.D.D. We supposedly have an attention span of about 3.5 minutes (that being the average length of time of a video on MTV). I’m rapidly becoming aware of the Twitter generation who have an attention span of 3.5 seconds (if that) before requiring further stimulation and are multitasking constantly (who do you think came up with the tabs on new internet browsers?) You can see the results particularly in the fashion world where the old spring/summer and autumn/winter seasons are dying off rapidly. Think the Twitter kids are going to wait around a whole six months for the next bunch of trends? With catwalk trends just a google away and fast fashion companies poised at the ready to take them onto the high street, the kids hardly need to wait for the next season to come round after fashion week. I would also point to the celeb collections rolled out by the likes of H&M, Topshop and New Look in the UK which are ridiculously popular and then over in nanoseconds.
Topshop add an extra brownie badge to their fashion 2.0 credentials with their Topshop Fashion Fix application for Facebook. Topshop are the first retailer i’ve come across to create a Facebook app and it currently attracts just under 1000 users a day (this stat is taken from Facebook).
It’s suitably simple (given it’s aimed at the Twitter generation and they have an attention span of nano seconds) with 8 items chosen by buyers loaded up each week. Users get to vote on whether they like or loathe the item and can compare notes with their buddies that also have the application.