Author: Laurence Borel

#LFW edition: sell your pre-owned fashion though an app

instagramshop.jpg.492x0_q85_crop-smartMobile commerce has reached unprecedented levels, and it seems that this trends has been on the increase amongst men in recent months, with 34% of men under 34 now buying more clothes online than offline (Source: Mobile Marketing)

And since the  downturn a new trend has emerged; buying and selling second hand goods. Of course eBay has been around for a while, but in recent years, a number a ‘buy-sell’ websites have emerged, offering consumers to sell pretty much everything and anything at their fingertips.

Here are a few examples.

1) eBay: Do I really need to tell you what eBay is? The app is pretty awesome, making it super simple to sell your unwanted items.

2) MusicMag pie: you can now sell your clothes (amongst other things) via the musicMagpie app. I really like the fact you can also quickly use their barcode scanner to see how much your items are worth.

3) Vestiaire Collective: Vestiaire Collective is a pre-owned resale website dedicated to women’s, men’s and children’s fashion.What makes this France-based website so innovative is the way they act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. While most eBay shoppers will at some point have been plagued by doubts regarding an item’s authenticity, Vestiaire Collective have meticulously strived to eliminate any misleading shopping experiences, resulting in an abundance of high-end gems just waiting to be unearthed.And of course they have an app.

4) Instagram (yes!): Whilst instagram is technically a photo-app (yes, really!) Turns out, there is a fairly sizable group of parents that use Instagram as a way to buy and sell their kids’ clothes. Called “closet shops,” the accounts provide images of clothes up for sale in their feed. Those parents who are clothes shopping can pay via Paypal. The trend isn’t limited to just kids’ clothes — a simple search on Instagram reveals shops around the world selling used or handmade clothing. Instagram may be becoming a form of Etsy or eBay for many people, and a way to buy more environmentally responsible (let alone interesting, creative and fun) clothes. MyHauteCloset has more than 38,000 Instagram followers, is an entirely new era of consignment that started on Instagram. The only catch seems to be that there is no common hashtag for the photos, so finding listings or shops can be tricky.

5) Last but certainly not least, Poshmark is an app  that allows you to buy and sell used clothes via Instagram; how cool is that?

I will never cease to be amazed at how quickly people can adapt a new media platform for their specific needs, like buying and selling secondhand.

Are you aware of any other apps that let you sell your pre-owned items?

#LFW edition: The fashion bloggers who made it big

london_fashion_weekLondon Fashion Week is one of my favourite times of the year where you can spot the coolest, craziest fashion right on your doorstep. I have always been amazed by the power of fashion bloggers who have amassed thousands of dedicated followers and made a career out of their passion for fashion.

In the early days… 

The first blogger collaborations and events were seen as something of an experiment. Chanel flew a bunch of bloggers to tour Coco Chanel’s apartment in 2007.  One of my first “I want to do that” moments in blogging was reading about Susie Bubble’s trip to NYFW to attend the star-studded Gucci Unicef party in 2008. In early 2010, 14 year-old blogger Tavi (and her infamous bow caused quite caused quite a stir in the front row of Dior Couture show. Things had changed all of the sudden; a whole world of possibility opened up for brands to promote themselves through PR and bloggers.

Some bloggers have made it big, and even launched their own collections… 

Sezane is a French up and coming fashion brand that started via a blog. Morgane Sezalory, the brain and ‘needle’ behind Sezane now sells her unique pieces via her site. And trust me it’s not easy to get hold of her creations; her website has been down since she unveiled her AW13 collection to the world earlier this week due to overwhelming demand.

Others bloggers sell their creations via High Street retailers; these New Look hoodies have for instance been featured in countless mags.

They are countless ways for bloggers to make money 

I follow a couple of fashion vloggers on YouTube and recently noticed that some of them use subblime, an online community devoted to connecting fans to their favourite content creators on YouTube. Subblime is an affiliate site which allows YouTuber to make
extra cash from the products they recommend.

Last year alone, over 2,000 bloggers registered to attend London Fashion Week. Their goal: to get noticed. Fashion is a big business indeed.

Back to school: looking back on 12 months of juggling work and studies

tumblr_lpypyuuDNx1qjcgmco1_400Where has the summer gone?  I’ll be back at university for the second year of my masters, ‘the scary year’, as I am expected to produce a major piece of academic research.

Here’s what I have  learnt over the past 12 months of juggling a full time job and a part-time MRes.

Masters are hard work and they’re expensive

– Just because you work in marketing doesn’t mean studying towards a masters in Marketing will be easy. Quite the opposite actually; masters are hard work, but it would be boring if it was easy, right?

– Keep calm and study on: it’s OK to take a couple of days off from studying now and again if you feel under the weather.

– Make sure your friends are supporting you in this adventure; there are days where you’ll feel you can’t do it. Give your friends a call for moral support. This helps a lot.

– Talking of friends, even though I am technically at uni once a week, I have made some amazing new friends, both full time and part-time students, and I very much look forward to our new adventures next year!

–  The financial cost of a masters goes beyond paying for university fees (10K in total); you’ll have to pay for books ranging from £50-£100 per book, plus time off (i.e. unpaid leave) to write your research (in my case at least 3 months) and also possible market research costs (surveys, incentives etc), stationery. University is not cheap!

– Invest in a sturdy laptop; you’ll probably end up spending 20 hours + a week on your personal laptop researching, writing essays or using stats softwares. The last thing you want if you work FT is having to go to university on Sunday to use library computers. Trust me on that one! Get a good laptop – it’s a necessity (check out this amazing offer on Macs at John Lewis)

Did I put you off studying yet? I hope not! Going back to university is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Onwards and upwards, here’s to the next 12 months!

Photo via

Found on the net #1: AOL on Tech, Social Commerce, Maslow’s revamped hierarchy of needs, CityMapper and bacon!

I’ve been thinking about a series of blog posts for a while of random things found of the back of the Internet; videos, tweets, interesting business models and new innovations that are worth a mention.

Without further ado, here are this week’s favs.

1) AOL on Tech YouTube channel 

It was announced last year that AOL would be launching 22 YouTube channels for its various properties thus generating advertising bucks from the channels. I recently subscribed to the brilliant AOL on Tech channel hosted by American vlogger and all round gadget girl ijustine covering topics such as Fitness Tech, Digital Dressing Rooms and even Spy Tech! Check it out!

2) Little Black Bag social shopping site 

Social Commerce is a commerce is a reality, even though some marketers may beg to differ… Let’s face it, us girlies like to shop, with other girls preferably! Even though Facebook may not necessarily be the right environment to buy stuff, some innovative companies are trying to bring a social element to the online shopping experience. US online shopping site combines shopping with trading unwanted items through discovery. Find out more right here

3) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for modern times 

I wonder what Maslow would have to say about the below Tweet! I hear that Virgin Broadband deals aren’t to shabby at the mo.

4) CityMapper

Navigate the public transport system in London and NYC like a pro with the Citymapper app which combines 4 apps in 1: train times app, Tube map app, bus finder app and I am right here functionality. Hell yes! Best of all, the app is free (for now). Download, download!

5) PROJECT: Bacon 

Last but certainly not least, Niamh from Eat Like A Girl has just managed to successfully fund her PROJECT: Bacon cookbook via crowd-funding platform kick-starter. Bacon ice-cream anyone?

Symantec report shows that mobile and Social Media vulnerabilities are on the increase

Security software company Symantec recently published a couple of interesting infographics and whitepapers highlighting an increase in online vulnerabilities particularly in social Media and Mobile. According to Symantec, an alarming 53% of scanned websites in 2012 contained a vulnerability, which happened to me last year

I was a Norton anti-virus  user for many before I switched to Mac computers (I’d like to think that Macs are safe… for now anyway), and I would recommend Android users to download Symantec’s Mobile Security App. Better safe than sorries, especially as all our devices are interconnected nowadays.

You can download the whitepapers and view the infographics here (part 1) and here (part 2)

Website Security The Most Important Trends from 2012 - Infographic Part 2

From Symantec Website Security Solutions