Menswear Buyer Article For July


At last, the heatwave is over. What is it with us Brits? Whatever the weather, we moan. It’s in our national psyche, like the gene for queuing. My Mayfair shop is always roasting in the summer and then we have to burn the furniture to stay warm in winter.

It was on the second hottest day of the year that Tom Daley came in for his suit fitting. He wanted to wear Simon Carter for his couple of days round London Men’s Fashion Week, and I was glad to oblige. As we sweltered and sweated, Tom strolled around in his undies, that being his normal amount of fabric covering. I’m pleased to say that he is as charming and modest in real life as you may expect, and would certainly hope.

Having found him a very smart and flattering West End suit, shirt and tie, he left happy and we briefed our social media manager. I’d taken a selfie in the store, and we posted. If we were expecting a tsunami of online frenzy then we were sorely disappointed. A flicker of interest; not much more.

Taking that to the next level, I’ve been working with Richard Ayoade to design his outfit and dress him for his new role as presenter of the Crystal Maze, which re-launched last Friday. I was also commissioned to design the contestants’ outfits. It was a big project, with very little time, but it went smoothly and all were very happy with the results. I’m working with a publicist at the moment, as a bolt on to my usual PR, and she used the Maze as a hook to get me all manner of interviews on TV, radio and magazines. Indeed, after I email this to the lovely Vic at MWB, I’m off to BBC Radio London.

Again, a fair amount of social media uptake, but no visible rise in traffic and sales on my website.

I’m scratching my head over this. If we get just a small image of a product in Metro, or one of the Sunday supplements say, then there’s a clear spike in on line sales. Hmm.

Yet I was at a breakfast presentation by Worth Retail yesterday. One of the speakers recounted the now legendary story (though it was new to me) of a 15 year old blogger who targeted, influenced and persuaded all the major supermarkets to stop using eggs from caged hens. Hence the signs you’ve seen in the stores. She even made Wagamama drop egg white from caged hens in the one and only dish on their menu that used it by blogging activism. Wow, I thought.

I’m not sure what I conclude from this. Maybe I’m just not effective enough at social media, though it seems I’m doing all the things I should, and getting all the stories out there.

Maybe I should ask my neighbour’s 15 year old daughter to help.

Image “Life Is Tweet” by Malcolm Bell

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