Find me on Google+ So says Lu...: The Leeds Trip

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Leeds Trip

OK, so today I can hardly move, (stupid hips), so now is as good a time as any to tell you about our trip around Leeds yesterday.
The aim of the trip was to analyse the trends in all types of clothing and accessories, and we will put this information together to make a 'book' of the current trends of the season; this will be used to aid us in making our e-newsletters, (one of the four projects we are completing this term; I will do a post outlining the four projects next).
My group, of Demi, Ella and I, were set the task of discovering the 4 key trends of the season in general.
We went in many different high street stores, such as H&M, River Island and Topshop, to see what the biggest 'stories' were, and what were the most obvious trends. These were normally found at the front of house.
Overall, we found that sequins and embellishments are the biggest trend of the season, being found anywhere and everywhere, and for all ages, (even M&S had many sequins on ranges aimed at the older generation).
Structure is the second most dominant trend of the season. Stores like Zara emphasised this with dedicated point of sale and with the front of house being packed with large shoulder pads and body con dresses, all of which with a relatively high price point, but beautiful tactile fabrics that were cleverly chosen.
Tribal and folk is a trend which we have seen through summer, but is being carried on into winter with big chunky, tribal patterned knits, and big tribal prints on long t-shirts. Leather is also being spotted in this trend, with worn leather jackets that look quite 'cowboys and Indians'.
Different leather and prints are also being seen in the final trend; punk rock. There is much 80's influence in this trend, but with some modern twists. T-shirts with punky prints and leather trousers were spotted while researching this trend.

Sometimes it was difficult to separate the trends as many overlap; especially sequins and embellishments, which can be found incorporated into all the other trends listed above.

While we were researching the trends, we took note of how different stores emphasise different parts of their marketing strategy.
For example, Topshop has clever and interesting point of sale all over the store, with big displays naming each section of the shop floor, e.g. knitwear. However, the swing tags are relatively plain and are the same on most, if not all garments, (excluding the Kate Moss for Topshop collection).
In comparison, River Island pays more attention to their swing tags, having different, elaborate and intricate designs for each 'story' or type of garment. The store is very clean cut and has a funky edge, but there are not many displays on the walls, as it is clear that the attention to detail of the swing tags is the major tool in their branding campaign.
Marks and Spencer's have another approach. The swing tags for each collection are different, but are still relatively simple, but the biggest emphasis is on the mannequin displays dotted around the shop, and the large pictures and mission statements on the walls.
Maybe this is different because the target customer of Marks and Spencer's is generally of a higher age bracket than the previously mentioned stores, but it is interesting how different clothing retailers tackle marketing and point of sale.

Overall I found this trip very interesting and educational and it has given me many ideas for the projects I am undertaking. I will probably take some more time to carry out further research on my own, as I will need more information about Marks and Spencer's in particular, as they are going to be a key part to one of my projects.
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