LONDON — As isolation measures continue on a global scale, Europe’s fashion brands have taken to social media to pursue the creative conversation, and entertain and engage their audiences.
Here, a look at some of the latest initiatives, from Jimmy Choo’s sketching competitions to Loewe’s artist studio tours on Instagram Live and Browns’ new “Family Affair” content series, spotlighting designers, activists, poets, models and more.
Alexander McQueen: Alexander McQueen has launched two initiatives in a bid to stay connected to its online community.
McQueen Creators is encouraging people to get creative and engage with some of the brand’s most famous pieces through a series of images shared on Instagram. To start things off, McQueen shared images of the “Roses” exhibition on the top floor of its Bond Street boutique, and invited followers to sketch the 3-D rose-appliquéd dress that creative director Sarah Burton created for the brand’s fall 2019 collection. The best work will be republished on McQueen’s social platforms.
Completing the at-home experience, the company has launched #McQueen music, a Spotify channel dedicated to streaming music from past McQueen shows. Edited by John Gosling, who has been responsible for the house’s show soundtracks for more than 20 years, the channel will be working with other collaborators such as the musical composer Isobel Waller-Bridge (sister of the actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and the London Contemporary Orchestra for new compositions and playlists.
Browns: The British retailer is bringing together its creative network of designers, stylists, poets, producers, models and activists to create “Family Affair,” a biweekly narrative where creative personalities, picked by the Browns team, will curate and commission content that will feature on the retailer’s social platforms and web site. Poet and activist Kai-Isaiah Jamal will kickstart the program this week. Browns has also committed to increasing its support of the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Fund for the COVID-19 crisis by 50 percent.
Loewe: The Spanish brand owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has unveiled plans for a series of Instagram live events celebrating craft, innovation and artistic expression. True to creative director Jonathan Anderson’s love of craft, this project will explore the work of Loewe Craft Prize finalists, and runs the spectrum of subjects, from metalwork to textile making to ikebana. This week the Loewe En Casa program will include a series of studio tours with creatives, including the wood artist Julian Watts and the ceramic sculptor Irina Razumovskaya.
Manolo Blahnik: Manolo Blahnik has introduced a creative project titled The Smile Initiative, with the goal of spreading positivity and fostering creativity at home. The brand is making a series of original sketches of some of Blahnik’s most famous designs available to download. Those with artistic flair can add their own take via pattern and color. The project was founded in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, which provides resources for mental health management tips, working methods and acts of kindness.
Italia Independent: On Thursday, the eyewear label founded by the creative entrepreneur and style figure Lapo Elkann launched a social media initiative aimed at bringing a touch of fun and happiness to the lockdown. Called “Italia Forever,” the project consists of a series of Instagram live videos, available on Italia Independent’s account, where popular DJ and music producer Stefano Fontana guides the audience on a trip through the history of Italian music. During each episode Fontana will be joined by special guests, including Elkann himself, as well as a range of Italian popular TV presenters, DJs and musicians.
Jimmy Choo: Jimmy Choo is virtually opening the doors of its design studio with its latest initiative, Choo Sketch. The London-based accessories label is asking followers to sketch their fantasy shoe designs. Creative director Sandra Choi will pick the best 10 to share on the brand’s social channels, and will ask followers to vote for their favorites. At the end of the activation, the top five designs will be produced in a capsule collection, the profits of which will be donated to a Jimmy Choo Foundation charity.
Natasha Zinko: The London-based designer has produced handmade Lycra masks, made from upcycled studio materials, for donation to frontline couriers working for City Spring and CNS. She captured the process and shared it with a video on Instagram, which shows her and her son Ivan sourcing fabric offcuts, sewing masks at home and offering advice on how to use them. The masks are also available for purchase on the designer’s web site for 25 pounds, with half the profits going to the National Health Service COVID-19 relief fund in England.
Kenzo: The Parisian brand and its creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista have introduced #stayhomewithKENZO, a weekly series of Instagram live events and content produced by a revolving cast of creatives. Each week starts with a music playlist curated by artists and creatives, followed by creative tutorial sessions on Wednesdays, live music sets on Fridays and quick chats with friends of the brand over the weekend.
Elleme: The Parisian accessories brand, started by Chinese designer Jingjing Fan, has launched a line of 20 of its archive bags. Some 20 percent of proceeds will be used to purchase personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and goggles for frontline health workers. The collection, which has been marked down by 25 percent, includes the brand’s best-selling Baozi, and a Chinese-dumpling inspired bag with a top handle.