Matchesfashion.com may be upping their London game this summer with a new townhouse retail space there, but the e-tailer hit New York last night to test drive the concept. On Thursday night, Matchesfashion.com hosted a cocktail party-cum-fashion presentation to showcase some of their best fall 2018 merchandise — a sort of synthesized version of what the London store at 5 Carlos Place will have to offer.
Editors circled the forty models scattered across the space. The models were staged in one of five vignettes, each reflecting one of the floors of the London townhouse store. We caught up with Natalie Kingham, Fashion & Buying Director, and Damien Paul, Men’s Buying Director who co-styled the presentation.
This is exciting! Tell me a little bit about the format.
DP: We’re doing a very different presentation format with 40 models set over five vignettes. They’re featuring some of the best names in mens and womenswear.
NK: There are 40 looks in total, 20 womenswear and 20 menswear. We have over 80 international designers represented. For menswear we highlighted key product and for womenswear we’ve highlighted new names for fall-winter 2018 and also our muses for the season.
You co-styled this presentation. What was your approach?
NK: The models are residing in five vignettes which reflect the five floors of the totally new retail concept, 5 Carlos Place — an experiential retail space that will include private shopping events and live broadcasting, launching in summer 2018. Therefore for womenswear we focused on highlighting the exclusive 5 Carlos Place collaborations, as well as some of the key new brands for the season; Richard Quinn, Summa, Colville, Germainer, Edward Crutchley, Giuliva Heritage and Batsheva.
DP: For menswear we have over 40 new designers for the season. I always look for emerging design talent that has its own unique point of view, and balance this ‘magic’ with the logic of knowing our customer, their shopping habits, and the trends in what they find engaging.
What trend stories do you want to tell for this season?
DP: We’ve broken out our story into 20 looks each featuring a ‘hero’ product such fleece, velvet, the padded coat, printed shirt and wide trouser. This has allowed us to tell the story for the season through product we have depth in.
NK: The live presentation showcases the six muses that we consider when buying for the season and for fall 2018 we have evolved this to include how each of these women dress from day to night. These women we speak of include The Fashion Pioneer, The Purist, The Androgyne, The Curator, The Warrior and The Romantic.
Why are you doing this new format?
NK: We always strive to make our presentations innovative to present the fashion point of view in our edit but also relevant and we just felt that doing this on models brings the storytelling to life, which is very much part of our DNA. We are also ensuring that we generate a lot of content that we will use across social, editorial look-book and on site in our weekly online magazine, The Style Report.
NK: We feel that we need to give our customer a sense of discovery through an experience, which is what we have created with this live presentation in New York.
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