Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Influencer Marketing Trends For Luxury Brands In 2018

Influencer Marketing Trends For Luxury Brands In 2018

I’ve never really considered myself an “influencer’ until I received an email from a long time follower of my blog. In the message, a boy who’s in junior high school from Brazil, told me that he had a class assignment on writing about an “influential person who you look up to” – and he said he wrote about me for this essay. I was of course very flattered and thanked him for his support. At that moment, I also realized that we could all very well be influencers as long as we can present something out there that matters and would change the way the influenced think and make their decision.

As a blogger, I’ve worked with multiple different brands, including both essential and luxury products. How I engage my audience changes constantly, in part I think is due to the accelerating evolution of social media platforms. Sometimes it’s really difficult to know what strategy would work best for both you and the collaborator to enhance growth. Recently I participated a survey from Fashion & Beauty Monitor, which entails influencer-marketing trends for brands in 2018, mostly for the luxury sector. The survey consists of opinions and responses from over 300 different influencers and brands worldwide. Here are the result and breakdown based on the survey.

Creative control

Controlling the narrative of influencer-led campaigns is also proving “very challenging” or “quite challenging” for 59% luxury brands. Letting go of creative control is still a big risk for luxury brands, and requires a complete overhaul in mindset and culture. It demonstrates the importance of working with the right influencers who are already respectful of the brand, and who can be trusted with editorial freedom. Researching their previous endorsement history is another important consideration.

Going forward, we will see influencers negotiating partnerships and contracts more on their terms, taking the lead with artistic direction. For example, fashion influencer Camille Charrière was recently approached by Tommy Hilfiger to help promote its Gigi Hadid capsule collection, for a five-figure fee. Unconvinced by the brief, she negotiated complete freedom to do things her way, sourced a new photographer, art directed a fashion shoot on the streets of Paris, and styled the collection to her own taste.

Video content will rise in importance

Just 11% of luxury brands say that they plan to create more video content over the next 12 months, but this is a figure that will undoubtedly grow.  Brands like Chanel, for example, are using video to phenomenal effect, with its YouTube channel amassing more than 300 million viewers to date. It’s legendary ‘The one that I want’ video starring Gisele Bundchen, which launched Chanel into the social media universe is one of the most watched commercials of all time with almost 17.5 million views on YouTube. It’s videos offer beautifully flowing narrative, and increasingly feature rising social influencers who depict the Chanel brand as part of an aspirational lifestyle.

More than a third of luxury brands are expecting their influencer marketing budget to increase over the next year

Encouragingly, although in The New Face of Luxury report budget is cited as an obstacle to success for many luxury brands, 66% say they expect their budget to increase “moderately” or “significantly” over the next 12 months. This is a view shared by 47% of non-luxury brands.

Analyzing audience insights

When luxury brands were asked to rank what the single most important criteria for successful brand-influencer collaboration was, 44% said it was finding the right influencer. Yet when they listed their biggest challenges, finding the right match emerged on top. Perhaps because 78% of luxury brands admit they are still searching for influencers through social media manually, despite this being a time consuming, laborious process.

The coming months will see marketers get smarter about the identification process. Influencer audience data such as demographics, social listening, and brand affinities will be key in differentiating a big-budgeted influencer marketing campaign, from a successful one.

Influencer Victoria Magrath from InTheFrow says: “I would hope to see brands being more selective over their influencer choices, working on longer term campaigns that grow as the affiliation between the brand and influencer grows. Ideally it would follow the tradition of brand and model muse relationship. Brands with digital muse will most definitely access that digital audience that they need to build awareness.”

Managing influencer relationships

Almost one half of luxury brands (46%) expect to commit more resources to managing influencer relationships over the coming year. This compares with a far more modest 18% of fashion and beauty brands, indicating that the luxury sector is keen to explore the full potential of influencer marketing in the coming months.
                                                                                                              
20% of luxury brands expect to work more with micro-influencers

As brands grow their trust in social influencers, it seems likely that relationships will become longer term relationships and brands will also be more willing to hand over creative control to the influencer they’re collaborating with.

Within the luxury fashion and beauty sector, another likely shift will be increasing preference for collaborations with ‘micro-influencers’ who’ve established an exclusive niche for themselves via their opinions, viewpoints and subject matter expertise. The attraction won’t be their number of followers but rather their creative or artistic edge, and their devoted and authentic audience, which can translate into high rate of influence (ROI) for luxury brands.

According to Robin Shaw at Warm Street, it’s critical that brands don’t go blindly into these micro-influencer relationships, and particularly if they represent a music niche, for example, that is new to the brand. “You really need to understand the influencer and their market to get a meaningful ROI, and we spend most of our time researching and handpicking the right influencers for the brand or campaign. If an artist already buys into a brand that’s because they respect it, and likewise they want to be respected in the same way. You need to care about what they’re doing, know their objectives as an artist, how they are creatively drive etc. Understand that micro-influencers won’t compromise their nice for a quick buck.”

18% plan to begin working with influencer in new ways.

Over the next 12 months, 18% of luxury brands hope to be more experimental in the way they choose to work with influencers, trying out new formats and ways of partnering.

Louise Rumball, founder of Chapter Three, says: “I think we will start to see cross-collaborations between non-competitive luxury brands, i.e.: connecting an influencer with first class airline, typing up with a yacht brand or hotel as well as a luxury fashion brand, and letting them document their journey. Once brands start co-sponsoring content they can reach many more people for a reduced spend on content creation.”



xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Friday, August 4, 2017

Bringing the Canadian Vibe To Sunny Florida Summer Essentials


Bringing the Canadian Vibe To Sunny Florida
Summer Essentials
(photos by: Paige T. Spence)
We’ve arrived mid-summer and I hope all of you had the opportunity to enjoy some sunny D. As for me, spending my first summer in Florida hasn’t been easy, especially when it comes to the heat and humidity. The positive side though is that there’s no lacking of outdoor activities and you can do them almost all year round. There are so many parks and campgrounds surrounded by tropical nature and wild life. It’s one of the best locations for outdoor enthusiasts. This season I am introducing Canadian aesthetics to sunny Florida, all designed in Canada:
Moose Knuckles spring/summer introduced the playful and quirky ‘moose face’ sweat shirt. It’s probably my favorite piece in the collection because of its unique design and something that’s really refreshing to see from the brand. And as of now, it also became one of my essentials in the closet. J

Where ever I go, whether it’s a day on a hiking trail or a short kayaking trip, I always carry my WillLand Outdoor backpack. 100% Canadian and I just love its organized multiple compartments design and functionality.

The 90’s tear away track pants are back and seem to be still going strong, as seen in various magazine editorials where they mix and match with outfits for the nostalgic look. I like to bring along a Canadian-made pair for style, but also just in case when it rains I had something to cover my legs or ‘tear away’ if it gets too hot in the afternoon.

Finally, I also like my plaid kimono shirt by Naked & Famous. The kimono style keeps my body cool during summer, and it’s another Canadian brand that speaks contemporary.


xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Meet Calgary-Based Hand-Cut Paper Artist Sam Heidinger aka Catfriendo - An Interview

An Interview With Hand-Cut Paper Artist Sam Heidinger aka Catfriendo
People have asked what motivated me to keep my blog running. Perhaps the most satisfying thing for me was to discover hidden gems and talented people that inspired me. Few weeks ago I was notified by Instagram (IG) to pay attention to Samantha Heidinger (@catfriendo on IG), an paper cutting-artist based out of my hometown, Calgary, AB. Being the featured account by IG is a big deal. Just imagine you are one of the few out of 700 million monthly users that caught IG’s attention. It means your work is truly worth something to talk about in the community. Originally from Medicine Hat in Alberta, Heidinger moved to Calgary for her post secondary education. Though a History major, she also spends her free time drawing and painting. It wasn’t after when she graduated university, Heidinger developed an interest in paper-cutting art. One year for her boyfriend’s birthday, she wanted to get him something special but was broke at the time. She decided to pick up a pair of scissors and made a stencil template of Gamera, a Japanese kaiju movie monster. The result was a unique piece of exquisite art and ever since she was hooked in to paper cutting.

Was it difficult to master paper-cutting? Did you like paper cutting as a kid?

In all honesty, paper-cutting isn't too hard! It really just requires a sharp knife, practice, and patience! Of course, being able to draw or sketch is pretty important in order to get your designs down, but practice is the real key. I found when I first started that I would often ruin pieces by tearing them in critical spots, but once I learned how far I could push the paper, it started happening less and less. 

I remember my grandparents had pieces of paper toile hung around their house that I admired when I was a kid. It wasn't until I stumbled across the work of Elsa Mora that I was inspired to make paper-cuts of my own. Her feminine and whimsical paper-cuts really spoke to me as an artist! 

What is the process like cutting an intricate design using paper? 

-Almost all of my pieces start using a pencil sketch or digital template of my design. I use tracing paper or copy paper to sketch out my ideas and then trace them out or transfer them with carbon paper onto the actual paper I cut from. This lets me take all of the elements of my design and arrange them to where I want them.  After I get my design down, I just start cutting. Usually, I throw on a podcast or something on Netflix to keep me company as I work through a piece. I tend to work from on side to another as opposed to skipping around a piece. 

Do you have a vision what your piece would look like before cutting or do kind of play along as you cut? 

Like I mentioned before, I generally start with a sketch. If the piece is something that demands precision, I stick to my designs. If it's something a bit more loosely, like fur or veining on a leaf, I'll just fill it in as I go. 

Being able to switch up between precision and making it up is pretty important just in case you mess up. I used to get upset if I unintentionally altered a design, now I embrace it and make it part of the piece! In most cases, you can't even tell where the goof-up happened! 

Were there ever a time someone commission you to do a piece and you're like "wow, that's a challenging one?

Yes! All the time! I did a piece featuring characters from the Cartoon Network show We Bare Bears that was pretty demanding! I had to make sure that I didn't stray too far from the original style sheet character looks while making sure that everything stayed as one sheet of paper. More recently I did a red panda piece that was super hard! Their little masks and faces are tough to transcribe! 

What's your most favorite piece you've done so far (if any)?

Oh man. I really like the sloth-mermaid piece I did during Mermay (or just May for regular humans) this year. I did research on seaweed and sea foliage to include as a sort of background to the piece, which was a lot of fun! Plus, sloths are cute and interesting to cut out! 

What's the record time you've spent completing one?

I have several heavy hitters in this department. 
The We Bare Bears piece I mentioned earlier was almost 7 hours of pure cutting. I filmed the entire process and some poor human being had to edit it down to a minute of footage! 
Another piece I made was of a giant wing, which took close to 50 hours of work! 

Do you have plans to exhibit your work in a gallery sometime soon? 

I'd absolutely love to exhibit in a gallery! Recently, I've been doing a little research to try to figure out how to make this happen. 


Be sure to check out Sam Heidinger IG account @catfriendo – IT’S JUST SIMPLY AMAZING!


xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog