There’s something just so beautiful about a classic watch, I think it’s one of those things that can be sentimental yet stylish.
I got my first ‘proper’ watch for my 20th birthday which I have worn nearly every day since, I feel lost without it on my wrist. That’s why, when I was invited to the first Scottish preview of British watch maker Bremont at Silverburn’s Chisholm Hunter event I was intrigued to see all.
Sipping Moet and indulging in some yummy canapes in the Silverburn showroom, Giles English (who co-founded the Bremont brand with brother Nick in 2002) unveiled the new prototype watches and gave us a really nice insight into the brand itself. Each Bremont watch is built by hand in limited numbers and is classically designed which really makes it something special.
To get a little bit technical, all the watch cases use Bremont Trip-Tick construction which includes a hardened steel bezel element with sapphire crystal. The central body section is built with a titanium or DLC treated middle barrel, and the back is made from steel and crystal and is water resistant to 100m as standard and has interchangeable straps to allow the wearer to customise their look.
I may sound too style focused when I say this, but what really speaks to me in a watch design is, well, how nice is it going to sit alongside my outfit? Important factor, I think! The ladies designs are really nice and classic, a bit different from the styles I normally look at but on seeing the watches up close, I loved the quality of the leather strap and the design of the watch face. What do you think of the watches? I would love to hear what you think!
What? Eyewear brand with a difference
Since When? July 2015
I spoke to brand founder Stefan Hunter on all things Iolla at their quirky showroom in Finnieston to find out more on Scotland’s new eyewear brand…
IOLLA is a Scottish eyewear brand that is really all about giving the customer the best possible product, price and experience. We design, manufacture and sell a full range of glasses and sunglasses all priced at £65 including prescription lenses and coatings.
We opened the doors for the first time on 29th July 2015, but really started trading at the very start of August. By September 2015 was when it felt like a proper business, we had customers, we had sales, we were getting feedback. We believe buying glasses can be easy and fun and we fundamentally believe you should try a pair of glasses on so having a physical space is key for IOLLA. So, in the future we envision having physical retail spaces all over the country. We do sell online as well and we try to do that the best we possibly can from a customer service point of view but right now our focus is firmly set on the showroom concept.
You research and understand markets then you think of solutions for the consumer problems, that’s what I believe. Where IOLLA came from was looking in-depth at the optics market and really talking to people. My business partner and I got in a room with 100 people and from there we just asked a few questions about the optical market. We looked at how people buy glasses and the negatives, we got responses like ‘it’s expensive’, ‘there’s poor choice’ ‘there’s too many offers, ‘I get upsold all the time with extras like putting a coating on..’ and for me, I thought someone has to do something about that because I care so much about customer service and solving customer problems. Why it was in optics? Because my business partner Brian is in optics, he’s an optometrist by trade and owns a domiciliary optical company.
Eyewear with a Difference
We thought, from talking to people, that having to buy glasses when you get an eye test causes problems in the experience. Generally, the choice is poor, it can be really expensive and not a great buying experience. Our tag line is ‘a new way to buy eyewear’ because we believe we’re offering a totally unique way to buy glasses. IOLLA was born with the aim to offer the high quality products that you would find in high end optometrist but at a fraction of the price. We also think there is a different, better way to retail it. When you walk in to a high street optician, you see glasses advertised for £35 then walk out having paid £105 and you’re thinking ‘how did that happen?’. We wanted to change that, so at IOLLA we have have no hidden costs, we include most thinner lenses and anti-glare coatings as standard. That means you know exactly what your paying, before you choose which makes the buying experience so much better.
I went to university in Glasgow and now I live in the West End, I believe that people in the West End are really open to trying new things. The reason I personally liked Finnieston was because this street only has two or three big brands, like Tesco, Sainsbury’s. It’s all really local, independent stores and IOLLA is a small, independent business so it’s a perfect fit.
Fun, empowering and unique.
I want customers to find us online, browse our collections, add their favourite styles to the ‘try it on’ list and really get to know our concept. We would then like them to come into the showroom, be greeted and have fun choosing some eyewear. I want to create the experience where people feel they are welcome. Once an order is placed via our platform, their details are then sent for their glasses to start being made. We’ll then deliver most glasses within 7 days.
We have three pillars of our proposition; the price, the product and the experience. I think being able to match three amazing propositions into one bundle is what makes IOLLA unique. Marketing agencies ask us who IOLLA’s target market is and we can’t really answer because we believe that IOLLA is for everyone. We try and create a range of eyewear which can appeal to everyone, an alternative to where people buy glasses is what is making us unique. We firmly believe our customers will leave with a smile on their face!
Before we designed the new range my favourite style was Bruce, it’s an absolutely solid frame which is never going to lose its shape. We’ve also got new metals in which I’m really happy with, small touches like adding the IOLLA logo to the nose pads gives them another level of detail. The rose gold colour we’ve just introduced also looks really good. I love seeing bolder and more adventurous styles such as Muir on other people because I think it’s a statement. I’ve seen some of our customers transform their look by picking some audacious IOLLA styles. You can take someone that isn’t comfortable wearing glasses and give them a whole new confidence just through some styling advice.
We are launching three new frames, Rowling, Inglis and Lennox, all named after famous Scottish women. They’re distinctive shapes and materials add to an already diverse collection. These styles will also look amazing in our polarised sunglass range launching this summer. We are also looking at expanding our retail proposition to bring the IOLLA proposition to a wider audience.
Iolla is located at 1313 Argyle Street, Finnieston, Glasgow, G3 8TL or visit their online platform at iolla.com.
Would you like to see your store featured in the Shop Focus feature? Contact email@example.com for more information.
After working at Zara for five years while I was studying, I have always been familiar with other brands in the Inditex Group and loved how each brand is like part of one big family, all a little different but with similar characteristics! I first visited a Massimo Dutti store when I was in Barcelona and loved the fashionable yet wearable collections so you can imagine how delighted I was to hear the luxury fashion house Massimo Dutti was coming to my home city, especially with a nice little press breakfast to mark the occasion!
Situated on Buchanan Street (neighbours with Zara – hello Inditex takeover!), this is the first Massimo Dutti store to open in Scotland, with 650 glorious square metres of womenswear, menswear, footwear, accessories and Personal Tailoring across two rather glossy floors. When the invite to the official launch landed in my inbox, I could not wait to see what they would do with the space (it’s situated in the old USC unit and honestly, could not be more different now – a perfect addition to Buchanan Street). Think modern lines and classic details with opulent walnut wood, brass, leather and dark marble in the contemporary space, seriously luxurious.
The NYC Collection is my stand-out favourite, so city chic with simplistic lines and lots of effortless elegant black and white (and snakeskin courts which really caught my eye, oh and the black belt with an amazing gold hoop). The collection has been featured in many a glossy fashion bible for the season ahead, so it’s fair to say if you’re looking to add a touch of spring hues in rich suedes, luxury leathers and crisp white linens – look no further. To me, Massimo Dutti is Zara’s slightly older sister, still ultimately stylish but maybe not as high fashion inspired. Everything is so wearable though, it would really appeal to younger and older customers.
Of course, it was womenswear where I spent most of my morning, mentally adding pieces to my wishlist with the lovely Tatyana from LaFotka, but there is also a treat instore for men’s style. Known for their quality, impeccable cut and finishes, the Scottish gent can indulge in their made-to-order suiting service which comprises of three collections from business, country and extreme lux. Clients will get to choose their desired cut and select from more than 150 luxurious fabrics.
The SS16 campaign was shot by fashion royalty Mario Testino, who tells a fresh story with the help of models Anna Mila and Jon Kortajarena – pretty much a perfect campaign. The images really make me excited for spring, hopefully Glasgow will finally stop raining for us to fully indulge in the new collections!
Campaign shots courtesy of Massimo Dutti/Hartmann Media
With thanks to Massimo Dutti for a lovely morning at the official launch. Visit the new Glasgow store at 71-77 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 3HL or shop online at www.massimodutti.com. You can also see the Destination Glasgow feature, shot around Glasgow here.
Interested in having your brand featured in the Shop Focus feature? Each month, I will be visiting a store in and around Scotland. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It has been a welcomed spring style overload the past few weeks with so many exciting events happening in Scotland. Of course, a highlight of the blogger calendar here is the Debenhams Scottish Press Show.
I was lucky enough to work on the last press show when I was still working as head of Personal Shopping in the Silverburn store. You might also remember my coverage of last year’s Spring/Summer show at the Gallery of Modern Art. For this season, they changed up the format again to a beautiful press breakfast, The Debs Deli at The Corinthian i.e. bloggers heaven with plenty of marble tables for the best flatlays, perfect lighting and one of the most photographed ceilings in the city!
There are so many different trends covered in Debenhams this season. I loved the brights of Star by Julien Macdonald’s tropical inspired collection – perfect for summer. The colour pop fringed sandals were also on the wish list. It’s also great to see new Nine by Savannah Miller pieces, with the new addition of delicate lingerie and luxurious nightwear.
I was also obsessed with the feminine feather accessories by my favourite, No1 by Jenny Packham – it is just sheer indulgence, like a pretty fairytale. I love the pieces so much, I bought the matching feather bag and hair clip for a wedding – a full outfit post on that coming soon complete with matching dress!
Looking at the pictures of the yummy breakfast is now making me hungry…I wish we could spend every Thursday morning like this one!
Shop the collections now at www.debenhams.com. Big thank you to Eve and Laura from the Debenhams PR team for a fabulous morning!
The nights are getting lighter, I’m not needing to scrape ice from my car every morning, I can go out without 25 layers of clothing on to try and stay warm – it must be nearly spring!
I love this time of year, shops are looking so nice and fresh with all the beautiful new collections – and the press days in Scotland begin to get me even more excited! I’ve been so looking forward to House of Fraser’s press day since I got the invite through, it’s always so nice to have press shows in Scotland instead of brands keeping it all London based.
After a complete parking nightmare (seriously, trying to park in Glasgow’s West End at dinner time is not recommended), I was feeling seriously stressed out at how late I was. As soon as I got in Oran Mor however I quickly forgot about the near tears situation I was getting into for the past 40 minutes – who could still be stressed out when there are so many beautiful clothes – and ceilings to look at?! The setting for the press show was perfect – Oran Mor is such a stunning venue. And the new collections are just wow, I want to go book a holiday right now! Lots of bold brights, safari chic and to die for accessories. There was also some really sweet home pieces too – particular shout out to the little gold pineapple!
My stand out piece has to be the Biba leopard print jumpsuit, everything about it is just so me. I may have to (I will) make a little trip to House of Fraser just to y’know..try on the dreamy jumpsuit/buy it on complete impulse! The beautiful Chloe Drew bag was also the most talked about accessory of the evening – the perfect addition to any exotic safari outfit!
Which SS16 trends are you most excited to wear? Comment me or Tweet me @rachellawler_