There is something really special about finding the perfect new addition to your wardrobe, whether it be a great staple you will wear on repeat or a key styling piece you have wanted to add for some time. It’s that feeling of euphoria that inspired the idea behind Shopbop’s Spring/Summer Collection: ‘Style High’. I wanted to know more about how an online store could deliver the same feeling as a physical bricks and mortar experience, and of course I wanted to know what key global trends I should be investing in now, so I sat down with Kate Johanson, Fashion Director at Shopbop.
On first meeting Kate, my initial thought was (not only how impeccably dressed she was) but how passionate she was about people finding the right fashion pieces to suit their personal style and lifestyle. When I questioned how an online destination can translate a customer experience to match that of an in-store buying experience, she did not even take a breath to consider, “It’s about creating an emotional connection through fashion.” Shopbop is known for their carefully curated selection of fashion and it’s this buying flair that connects with their customers. And of course, their high turn-over of stock, and adding new styles daily! In my opinion, if you can reach a huge amount of customers and connect with each of them on a personal level through fashion, you are clearly at the forefront of your game.
It’s no surprise that when rounding up some of the globes’ most innovative designers and labels, that several prominent Aussies would sit front row centre, with the online destination stocking locals such as Zimmermann, Camilla & P.E Nation. And there is still room for more. Kate is back in Australia in a few week’s time for this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, and she’s on a buying mission. The curating ethos seems to centre around the base emotional connection with fashion and they are constantly searching for new pieces. She explains to me that they won’t allocate a set budget per label, it’s about the styles available at the time. If they don’t connect with a collection, they may pass for a season and pick it up again the next.
And what trends should we be wearing now?
- Matching Sets – key for the coming seasons
- Pastels – think suits, dresses and high waisted trousers in baby pink and soft mauves
- Denim – clean, individual pieces
- White – always on trend
- Floral – not just feminine prints
- Green – any shade
- Hand held bags – embellished for an extra bang for your buck
- Sling back shoes – back in fashion and here to stay for a while.
Finally, with many fashion fails in my arsenal, I questioned Kate to find out if even Fashion Directors can put a foot wrong. “Of course! Many fails!” says Kate, “but fashion keeps coming back around…I would never have thought I would be wearing a kitten heel again, but here we are!”