Front Page Possey

10 Nov


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I have to brag again – Felix & Mabel made the front page of Melbourne’s Moreland Leader newspaper.

Another great photo and a good article to boot. Looks like Kim Spirdonoff is becoming the go-to expert for all things sustainable fashion.

The article talks about Kim’s role as mentor to a group of fashion students at RMIT. The students were asked to imagine themselves as Felix & Mabel’s creative director and design a Spring Summer range. This included idea development and sourcing sustainable fabrics to create their collection.

“It’s harder than it may look” said designer Kim. “Sourcing sustainable fabrics in Australia is difficult but consumers are beginning to demand it so we do a lot of research into our processes and suppliers.”

Felix & Mabel is designed with the environment in mind, using only natural and sustainable fabrics. Everything is produced locally to reduce their carbon footprint.

Even some prints used by the label are screen printed by hand in a carbon neutral process using eco-friendly inks onto sustainable fabrics (like the Lotus dress).

“The students did a great job researching  their  fabric suppliers and also gave a lot of thought to designing for longevity to make the garments more sustainable. This is so important as our customers demand a garment that is classic enough to become a wardrobe staple for seasons to come. They just don’t want fast fashion” said Kim.

 The students ideas are up for grabs by Felix & Mabel and will be paid a fee if Kim decides to use any of their ideas in the future.

“One girl had a fantastic idea for using waste fabric to make pretty embellishments. That is something we would definitely consider as it benefits our eco-credentials and the design of our garments.” Kim said.

Even Felix & Mabel have difficulty sometimes making the brand entirely sustainable. So when sustainable fabrics are not available, Felix & Mabel uses luxurious silk as it has a lower environmental impact than most fabrics and is biodegradable.

Kim pays attention to details that make the brand environmentally responsible by printing swing tickets on recycled paper using low impact inks.

 “For next season (Autumn Winter 2011) we have actually designed a fabric of our own that will be digitally printed as this uses less dye and energy than traditional printing and no dye ends up in our waterways” said Kim.


Game Face

1 Nov

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Napoleon Perdis. If you haven’t heard of the Greek god of make-up you must’ve been living under a stone for the past 10 years.

Back in the late 90s Napoleon was the king of teen make-up in Australia, picture garish colours and new wave glitter. Napoleon is where I went to have my make-up done for my year 11 formal. I rocked a combination of turquoise eyes and hot pink lips like only a fresh faced 17 year old can.

But at some indefinable point along the way he went from cringe worthy to cult status. 4,500 counters around the world and Napoleon himself now lives in the capital of glam, Hollywood. His luxurious home features regularly in the pages of fashion & lifestyle magazines and he even has his own reality TV show, Get Your Face On with Napoleon Perdis.

So there’s no denying it, Napoleon is now a major worldwide brand; a big Australian success story. The most interesting development for me is the launch of NP Set, a cheaper, entry level version of Napoleon.

A trio of eye shadows retails for around $20 versus $49 for the Napoleon brand. Sure the packaging is plainer and the range isn’t as big but the prices sure are better and the product innovation is still there…something Napoleon became famous for after its Autopilot face primer became a beauty best seller.

While there are similarities and some consumers will choose NP Set over Napoleon, I would suggest there are is a distinct target market for each brand that will not cannibalise the other’s share. NP targets a younger, fast fashion consumer who probably relies on a part time job or allowance to get her beauty budget.

And NP Set is available through Target, something that really opens Napoleon up to a whole new mass market. In marketing speak this is called a “diffusion line” – a range by a recognised designer, in their signature style, but designed for and sold through a high street retailer at high street prices. Target is the best in Australia at these collaborations, with Stella McCartney another huge label to design a range for Target.

Diffusion lines give access to people who would not otherwise be able to afford the brand. They work for designers as a way of growing their profile and brand awareness plus obviously providing a great income stream separate from their main line.

I can’t think of another make-up brand that has done a diffusion or a cheaper brand entry line. There are many brand families in the make-up industry, the L’Oreal Group behemoth being the first to spring to mind with Maybelline for the kids, L’Oreal for the masses and Lancôme for the older, wealthier ladies. But each of these ranges is a separate brand with different images, values and products.

Though he hasn’t as yet collaborated on a diffusion range, Giorgio Armani is a master of brand entry points. The Armani brand houses a number of sub-brands including, Armani Exchange, Emporio Armani, Armani and Armani Prive. Each of these brands targets a different consumer or occasion at a different price point, but all with a unifying Armani aesthetic.

On the other end of the spectrum is Pierre Cardin who was once at the cutting edge of 60s mod fashion. Over the years he has diluted, confused and bastardised his brand by licensing his name to the crappiest bathrobes and the tackiest luggage.

These different paths by two influential fashion sirs should serve as a warning for Mr Perdis, not that I think he needs it!

 xx PMP

To investigate your beauty, fashion or lifestyle marketing visit Proven Marketing for marketing and public relations advice specific to the beauty, fashion and lifestyle industries.


26 Oct

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Glamorous, Glamorous!

Seems like Felix & Mabel’s gorgeous Spring Summer collection is hitting the right note with the fashionable ladies of Adelaide.

Style and socialising website Glam Adelaide featured Felix & Mabel as the perfect label to don for Spring Racing Carnival.

I know I will be! For Melbourne Cup I’ll be pairing the elegant Ada dress (pictured below) with a gorgeous pair of green snake skin pumps from LK Bennett that I bought in London a couple of months ago.

Now to find the perfect hat or fascinator….

Felix & Mabel is available in South Australia exclusively from Loca Bella, 65a Dulwich Avenue, Dulwich.

Finding that Niche

18 Oct

Adelaide Personal Trainer Rachael McCormack, Rachel Mcormack, Rach Mccormack Rachael Mcormack

From carrot sticks to circuit classes, this week I need to talk about my personal trainer.

She’s another business woman who has identified a niche market and totally tailored her business to it. Rachael McCormack only trains people between 8am and 6pm which is exactly the opposite of most trainers who work the hours the rest of us don’t. How does she do this? She only targets stay at home mums. Of course other people with flexible working hours use her too, like me, but the majority are mums who bring their kids along to training.

Because Rach knows most of this market aren’t working she’s worked out a pricing structure that shares the costs across a group. It’s only $13 for an hour session!

But with such a limited operating budget Rachel needs to be really smart about how she markets her business. Facebook is perfect for marketing Rachael’s Personal Training for a few reasons:

• It reaches busy mums who keep in contact with their friends here more than offline

• People trust their friends who recommend Rachael’s page

• It means Rachael can network with fans and their friends virtually when it suits her

• Rachael can “push” information to her fans

• This information then has a viral element. When people comment on it, the info appears on their news feeds for their friends to view

• It pushes lots of traffic to her website

• In turn this improves her search engine rankings

• Best of all, it’s free

This all works as long as Rachael’s Personal Training page is engaging and real. To achieve this she uses real photos of her classes and fitness tips that work for busy mums. Check it out at Rachael’s Personal Training Facebook Page.

Fashion Forward

7 Oct

Kim Spirdonoff designes australian fashion label felix and mabel featrued in SA Life magazine

This piece on the talented Miss Kim Spirdonoff and her label Felix & Mabel was featured in Adelaide’s favourite magazine, SA Life.

The editorial staff have been raving about her winter range saying, “We all loved the designs so much, it’s refreshing to see a young designer producing elegant clothing. She’s a talented young woman indeed”.

We heart Felix & Mabel.

xx PMP

Get Puffed

6 Oct


The Advertiser Adelaide Rachael McCormack Rachael's Personal Training

I love this photo! It was featured in The Advertiser, Adelaide last week and shows Rachael from Rachael’s Personal Training with some of her mums & bubs clients.

xx PMP

Trend Spotters

4 Oct

MasterChef Fun Food Focus Proven Marketing

Last week I talked about my everlasting love for Masterchef. Well, a strange thing happened this week… I got a new client who stages Masterchef style events.

Weird huh? Some people call it coincidence and others fate. My old business coach used to call it the “reticular activation system”; a part of your brain that notices things you’re tuned into.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad they’re my client now! They have a huge opportunity to leverage a really popular trend at the moment.

People love Masterchef and this client of mine, Fun.Food.Focus, gives people the opportunity to be a Masterchef for a day. They teach you how to create a Thai banquet, Moroccan feast or the most amazing chocolate confections.

I’m quite jealous. I’d really like to do it, but not working for a big corporate anymore I don’t get to do those things. Maybe I’ll just have to do it as a birthday party!

Discovering new clients like this always excites me that people have found a new market niche, especially when it ties into the zeitgeist so well. Plus it makes life so much more interesting to market a product or service that truly offers something different and interesting to consumers.

They’ve also tapped into the Junior Masterchef trend with kids’ birthday parties and school holiday events. I think this is such a brilliant idea, as it teaches kids about healthy foods and how to prepare them. I know some media outlets (bitter Channel 7’s Today Tonight for one) diss Junior Masterchef for teaching kids to use too much butter and fat, but at least it’s fresh and unprocessed.