For us, GlobalShop came to an end with the closing keynote session “Megatrends for Design and Merchandising 2012,” presented by Renee Labbe, Senior Vice President of Global Trends at Stylesight. She kicked off the session by highlighting some new technologies that consumers are using within the retail space such as virtual personal stylists, which recommend other items that complement what the customer has tried on, and gesture technology, which is a functional technology that utilizes hand movements in the air.
Renee also talked about the popularity of peer influence and a recent trend in “haul vlogging,” which takes personal style blogging to a whole new level. How does it work? The consumers use webcams to video blog their recent purchases or “haul” as it’s called. One “haul vlogger” making quite a name for herself is ChanelBlueSatin, receiving recognition from Glamour.com and NPR, both acknowledging this growing phenomenon. Renee discussed that these haul vloggers are actually serving as marketers for these brands and in some cases are now being sent product directly.
Aside from new ways of shopping, the session also gave focus to a few key color directions affecting multiple design disciplines. She cited black and white (color blocked or piping), softened whites (chalky neutrals and winter whites), reds (from head-to-toe or slim accent), pop brights (bold and impactful) and mixed metallics (murky gold or matte metallic).
Renee wrapped up with an overview of four major themes—Analogue, Soul, Manifesto and Rebel—that are visual manifestations of what is going on with the consumer. Analogue was described as understated chic and a little bit androgynous. Think early 90s CK One. Soul was described as techno-craft meets African Caribbean, a contemporary craft being derived from traditional. Manifesto was described as split personality, feminine sweet and almost tart at the same time. “Think Bianca Jagger starring on Dynasty meets Andy Warhol,” said Renee. Rebel was described as defying convention, causing a stir, edgier than industrial and daring.
After filling our heads with content from the final day of sessions, we took to the streets (or rather, the strip) to scope out the newest Vegas retail. Last year, the big hype was about Crystals at CityCentre, designed by World Trade Center architect Daniel Libeskind. There you’ll find high-end stores like Fendi, Prada, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton. This year the buzz was about The Cosmopolitan which opened in December 2010.
This unique, luxury resort captured our attention before we even stepped foot out of the taxi. Large-scale, mirrored, side-lit letters announce “The Cosmopolitan” as you drive in. Once inside, we were instantly attracted to the lobby space—a digital landscape of constantly changing colorful columns.
From floor to ceiling, The Cosmopolitan was like reaching material heaven. Tufted leather walls, chain-linked rings, shimmery tile, jewels draped and dripping from the ceiling, lighting resembling rings of fire, rock crystals, ribbons and much, much more.
After navigating the casino floor, we headed up to check out retail and restaurants on the floors above. Stores like Skins 6|2 Cosmetics and Stitched set the tone for a unique retail experience. Skins 6|2 Cosmetics Las Vegas is the first pilot store in the U.S. for the Dutch skin care brand.
Using materials like white oak, Formica, embossed metal tin tiles and large bubble chandeliers, Skins 6|2 creates a fresh, clean palette for the product.
Stitched, another of our favorites at The Cosmopolitan, is a unique, independent boutique offering menswear, jewelry and accessories. Details, like a pool table to merchandise product, old vintage trunks to display accessories, a shoe shine station and a private back room area for suiting by appointment, made it clear that this was a store dedicated to a sophisticated man’s lifestyle.
Stay tuned for more in-depth “Postcards” from our Vegas retail adventures.
Featured Image property of Chute Gerdeman