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July 30 2014

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3 posts tagged "Tony King"

Phillip Lim Expands Worldwide—And Online

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For a relatively young company, 3.1 Phillip Lim is growing fast. The label currently has six stores worldwide, and an Asian expansion plan is on the horizon. By 2016, there are plans to open 15 more stores in China alone. But today, one of his top stores reopens with a new and improved design: the online flagship at 31philliplim.com.

“We really wanted to merge the brand experience with the online shopping experience seamlessly—so the site has surprise content, a personalized touch with the dressing room, and ’3.1 World’ so that guests can really get an insight into what we do and where it comes from,” Lim tells Style.com. “It’s quite daunting as it is the first time we have opened up in this way.”

The 3.1 World section now includes photos and video from behind the scenes at the company, including an extensive archive of images by Lim’s longtime collaborator, But Sou Lai. A new 3.1 Tumblr is integrated into the site, offering a digital inspiration board for the designers and customers alike. (A Pinterest account is also in the works.) And in the shopping section, a new “dressing room” feature uses customer picks to suggest similar items, in effect mimicking what a personal shopper might do in-store. “We really want to try and bring the in-store experience online,” Lim explains.

Lim, who lists NYTimes.com, Style.com, and NYMag.com as his daily reads and TheCorner.com and LN-CC.com as his favorite e-tailers, promises that the new site, developed by Tony King‘s King & Partners, will keep visitors coming back. “There will be special product and online exclusives,” he says. “It has taken us some time to get online in this way, but the reason is that I am a classicist and I wanted to get it right. The right way is not always the fast way.” Not even on the Internet.

Photos: 31philliplim.com

An It Girl Guide To The New, Shoppable Thakoon.com

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Thakoon Panchigul is the latest designer to jump on the digital bandwagon. As of today, fans of the designer’s eponymous label will be able to get their hands on the signature printed dresses with the click of a button at his new e-commerce site, Thakoon.com, designed by the fashion-favorite Web gurus at Tony King‘s King & Partners—handy if you don’t have the designer on speed dial, like some of his biggest fans, Michelle Obama and Amanda Brooks among them. But it’s more than just First Ladies and retail honchos who love the Panichgul. Models-cum-It-girls Elisa Sednaoui, Constance Jablonski, and Helena Christensen are devoted Thakoonites, too. In honor of the e-tail launch, Style.com caught up with them to find out what their favorite looks are.

Sednaoui, who appeared in the designer’s Tasaki ad campaigns, is a front-row regular at his shows. “He knows how to cut pieces to flatter women, always with grace, yet in his choices in fabrics and patterns you see his young side coming out,” she said. Her favorite piece available now on Thakoon.com? A long-sleeved maxi dress from the designer’s Fall Addition collection, with a slit up the side to keep things interesting (above left). “I feel like it was designed for me,” she said. “I have dreamed of this dress.”

Jablonski picked a similar silhouette in a black and white, “eye-catching” print, also from Addition’s Fall range (above right). “The cut reminds me of the popular long French dresses of the eighties that every stylish girl in Paris was wearing back then,” said the model, who met the designer during her second New York fashion week season. “We immediately connected and he chose me to open his show,” she added.

Helena Christensen, for her part, has made the designer part of her red-carpet arsenal. Her pick? A knit top and bubble skirt look from the Fall 2011 mainline collection (left). “It reminds me of Scandinavia,” she says. “I would wear it with leggings and a pair of bright-colored high-heels.”

Since these are not being offered at Thakoon x Target prices, visitors can enter to win a $1,000 gift certificate on the site. The lucky winner will be announced in August.

Photos: Courtesy of Thakoon

Behind-the-Scenesters: Tony King

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Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from patternmakers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in our recurring series, Style.com sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

Fashion, at heart, is an industry built on goods: a leather bag, a silk dress, a pair of denim jeans. These are physical objects, made to be used. But the fashion industry doesn’t communicate with consumers the way producers of other commodities do. You don’t sell apples with an ad campaign starring Marion Cotillard, and it’s hard to imagine people snapping up dish soap during an online flash sale. Fashion as media communicates through art and aspiration, and, like all media, fashion has been in flux as it attempts to seize on the opportunities—and head off the challenges—of the digital age. Very often, Tony King is the person fashion brands turn to for a vision of their digital future. The creative director of the agency King, he currently works with labels such as Hudson Jeans, Net-a-Porter, Reiss, and Thakoon, helping them to develop everything from iPad apps to e-commerce platforms to Facebook pages. Prior to that, King was a founder of flagship digital services agency CREATETHE GROUP, and as such had a hand in bringing dozens of blue-chip luxury brands online. Here, King talks to Style.com about fashion’s digital deficiency, the future of print media, and using a Sharpie for inspiration.

So, Tony: In one sentence, what do you do?
I’m a creative director focused on the digital manifestation of fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands, whether that be on e-commerce sites, Web sites, social media platforms, or mobile. To really oversimplify that, my job is to have good ideas for brands, and to come up with a recipe for that idea across all platforms.

How did you get into doing what you do?
My background is graphic design. And then when the Internet boom happened in the nineties, I was amazed by the potential, from a design perspective, to design something that was actually functional—design that had a purpose beyond looking good. By the late nineties I was almost exclusively working on Web sites—I was doing Fortune 500 companies, stuff like that. Very corporate. And to make my life more interesting I would do photographer friends’ Web sites, model agencies. I started a small agency for that kind of work, and then Gucci Group contacted me in 2000 and I went in-house.


I’m tempted to ask you what’s changed about the digital space in the past ten years, but the question is probably more like, what hasn’t?
Yeah, exactly. Leaving aside the advances in technology, you just have to look at the emphasis brands give to digital platforms now versus their status back then. It’s gone 180. When I first started I was working lower down, with people in the PR and marketing departments. As of about five years ago, that began to change, and in the last two years, there’s been a dramatic change. I think the recession has made people see the opportunity more clearly. For a relatively minimal cost, you can create a storefront online that does better than your actual brick-and-mortar stores. Now I’m dealing with creative directors, heads of retail, CEOs.

How do you come up with a digital strategy for a brand?
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