I have decided to work on the Whistles brief for YCN, due to being a fashion related project, whilst being more experimental and challenging working with a new product line and concept, opposed to working with existing product lines and re-working look books and existing designs.
The brief is to create a concept and campaign for a new scent for Whistles. Due to the store releasing their first menswear collection in September 2014, I am going to work on a concept and campaign for both mens and women's scents/fragrances.
I initially carried out some online research into the Whistles brand. I familiar with the brand on a visual level, having used to work in Victoria Quarter, whereby the Whistles is located in Leeds. I have seen many of their collections and window displays and as well as attended their Menswear collection launch night in September (2014), engaging with their clientele and staff. I feel having worked in high end fashion retail for over a year, I feel I have a good eye for working with this sort of project and visioning how the brief would play out.
I began by scouring the Whistles website, looking at the different relevant sections to gain information on the brand story, identity and current collections. Whistles are very good at communicating a visual image through user experience and interactivity using live-feed blogs and inspiration pages to create engagement with the customer/end user. 'Journal, Look Book and Inspiration' are seen below showcasing different written and visual notes on their collections, clothing, concepts and photography.
At first sight, without even looking at the corporate brand guidelines, the main colours associated with the brand image is white, black and muted creams and greys for slight contrast. The website currently features a splash of colour using lime green to highlight links - this is a seasonal colour running through their S/S15 collection, again creating a visual connection and link for the customer/end user.
The Journal, as seen below, is split into different categories, allowing for easy browsing and reading of articles. Seeing as that at this stage I do not have any ideas for concepts, I wanted to ensure I carried out thorough research to ensure a strong concept is derived. Through the categories, Art, Style, Culture, News, Music and Featured, I was able to see what Whistles are influenced by allowing for me to think how they do and connect with their audience.
The Look Book page, allows for various looks from the season to displayed in a stripped back format, simply stating the products being shown. Again this is done in an elegant, smart manner, keeping with the minimal and contemporary image the brand is known for.
Whistles also feature an Inspiration page showcasing articles by designers, and editors showing where the inspiration being the collections came from. I found this section particularly useful and began to look more into the prints used for the garments. I did this by looking at the online look books, campaigns and garments featured to buy online. I focused on looking at those with bold prints, patterns and colours, creating a contrast with Whistles traditional black and white branding and identity.
I felt that this would be a good starting point for when I finalise a concept to work with. I always like to have imagery which can be manipulated and worked with, bringing in existing elements and new elements to the branding and new product line.
I had thought about the following concepts:
Day and night theme scents.
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I felt really reassured on my concept after going into Whistles in Leeds. I picked up a look book, browsed the collection and the store and gained some inspiration. The prints which are seen in store, are also seen in the look book and as part of their visual merchandising in subtle ways, therefore I really think linking seasonal perfumes and prints is a good idea for the store as they are releasing a totally different product to their usually ones. I also think people will recognise the visual link between the perfume and the store by using the relevant colour and prints and previously noted.
The look book itself in terms of aesthetics is minimal, clean and makes good use of white space allowing the products, prints and patterns to be the main focus.
The look book can be seen below: