Welcome to your weekly dose of TOO x TOO – featuring North Face X Gucci, the aggregated marketplace, lockdown crafts and stress-free smells.
A very unlikely match, but also once of the most highly anticipated fashion collaborations for 2021 – Gucci has partnered with The North Face to launch a limited collection of clothing, accessories, luggage and shoes.
The eccentric Italian label has also bought its own aesthetic to the outerwear label through a selection of camping gear, including sleeping bags and tents.
The inspiration for the collaboration comes from the power of nature and the 1970’s feel is influenced by the early beginnings of The North Face which started life as a outdoor retailer based in Berkeley, California, as opposed to the global brand it is today.
With physical shops forced to close again and online brands fighting for space in a competitive market, new brands are joining forces to help curate specialist online marketplaces.
Look to The Green Hub, an Australian based fashion and lifestyle blog which compiles research, brands and guides to help their consumers be more kind to people and plant.
Or Jamii, which collates a number of black-owned business ranging from art, beauty and fashion to food, homeware and haircare.
As well as Bookshop which launched with the purpose of helping indie bookshops through the worst of the pandemic.
“We believe that bookshops are essential to a healthy culture. They’re where authors can connect with readers, where we discover new writers, where children get hooked on the thrill of reading that can last a lifetime. They’re also anchors for our high streets and communities.
As more and more people buy their books online, we wanted to create an easy, convenient way for you to get your books and support bookshops at the same time.”
Many have turned to crafting during hard times, relying on its nostalgic effect to ease anxieties. Hobbycraft alone have reported a 200% growth in online sales since the onset of the pandemic.
Tactile pastimes like tie-dye, embroidery and macramé have been the arts-and-crafts retailer’s fastest-growing categories this year. With customers saying it both benefitted their wellbeing (56%) and took their mind off things (42%).
Craft is also beginning to influence the retail world… Opened in July, The Makerie in Prince George, Canada, is a café-meets-crafts space, with menus for both maker projects (felt quote wall hangings or leather and vinyl painting) and coffees.
Founder Kim Hayhurst told Stylus: “Our staff, known as Craftenders, come around to teach basic skills and provide assistance, so that everyone leaves feeling supported and successful along the way. Without the hospitality component of our business, we’d just be another intimidating arts organisation.”
As global consumers continue to spend an increased period of time indoors during lockdown, they are hungry for a connection with the outdoors and the mental benefits of the natural world. And according to the brand’s clinical trials, 96% felt less stressed within 30 minutes.
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