LUMINE Fashion Carnival

Collaborating with shop brands to develop products with added value

LUMINE Fashion Carnival, a project where LUMINE collaborates with shop brands to design original products, will be held from October 1st to November 16th. For this project, LUMINE conducted product meetings to work with each brand’ s planning team and sales staff such as Luminests (sales staff who have received an award through LUMINE’ s customer service role playing contest). Focusing on customer feedback they together developed original products exclusive to LUMINE and released them at once, in hopes to offer a higher level of shopping experience and services.

This year, the 3rd year for the project, 20 brands mainly multi-brand specialty boutiques have participated. WWD Japan spoke with the planning team and sales staff of three participating brands (Demi-Luxe Beams, SHIPS and Diana) and Rei Shito (known for her fashion blog “STYLE from TOKYO”) about the project background, as well as inspirations and consumer feedback used to design the products.

WWD: Tell us about the background of how LUMINE Fashion Carnival started.

LUMINE: It started from us wanting to change the conventional mechanism of gaining sales just by starting clearances earlier. We wanted to accelerate momentum on the sales floors not by price competition, but by offering higher-value products created from ideas of sales staff who hear the voices of customers the most.

WWD: How did you incorporate this A/W season’s theme and customer feedback in your newly developed product?

Demi-Luxe: We created tops and bottom pieces which incorporate elements of the mannish trend and are wearable both to work and on casual days. For the knit top we offer a khaki/gray combination that is trending this season, as well as an off-white/gray combination which received positive feedback from our male staff saying “It’ s such a feminine color combination that when wore, it will make men want tobe protective.”The check pattern wide pants was designed to fit without being too tight when shirts were tucked in. We see a wide age range in customers, so we went for a silhouette that didn’ t define the hip area too much.

SHIPS: Our design was inspired by a photograph of a woman with large sunglasses wearing a long coat that was actually taken by Ms. Shito. The woman in the photograph became our muse and we thought of items from there. Our main item is a full volume long coat that uses an original high quality glossy fabric. We also designed a knit top and tapered pants. The coat uses a fabric that creates volume as if knitted by loop yarn but has a glossy texture. We incorporated ideas from our male staff for the styling on the back, particularly the depth of the vent and width of the belt. The tapered pants give a clean look but are easy to wear with a hidden banded waist. The hip area was designed to have a loose fit.

DIANA: We first used wooden molds to find a design that would create a beautiful silhouette of the leg and then created many samples from there. For those who shy away from wearing bold patterns on their clothing, shoes are often easier to have fun with. We explored many fabric samples from both Japan and overseas to create three designs. Our brand offers many basic designs, but shoppers who come to LUMINE are often looking for something new and exciting.

We added subtle touches such as glitter on the back of the heels and a camo print using similar colors, to make the pieces on trend yet wearable in the office. For those who haven’ t been wearing heels due to the ongoing casual mannish trend, we’ ve also added a removable ankle strap for stability if needed.

Ms. Rei Shito: I am really surprised by how much thought each brand has been put into the details of their products. As a consumer, I usually feel urged to buy something when customer service exceeds my expectations. How do you add value to clothing other than an affordable price? In instances like these where I am able to feel the designer’ s passion first hand,it makes each item feel that more special, and makes me want to examine them more closely and buy them to cherish in my wardrobe.

SHIPS: Like Ms. Shito, we feel our stores provide us the perfect outlet to communicate product features to our customers. As salespeople, we have the most direct communication with consumers, so this was a great opportunity to take part in product planning. We hope customers feel excited about fashion and the LUMINE shopping experience. Our sales staff are already giving us great feedback.

DIANA: We hope our customers will re-acknowledge the excitement that comes from shopping in-person. We want shoppers to experience having ‘a great feeling’ when they come to LUMINE. For us, it is a great chance to communicate with our customers and receive feedback.

Demi-Luxe: Online shopping has become the trend, but I think consumers also depend onLUMINE as a place to find something they will really love. Hopefully, this project will motivate shoppers to come stop by our stores.

SHIPS: Our customers don’ t come to our stores to simply exchange money for goods. They come to enjoy the actual experience of finding a new style that fits them or to coordinate items they would have never considered. Being able to communicate the reasons and passions behind the products we’ ve designed is also an added value. With the Fashion Carnival project, we hope coming to stores and engaging with sales staff will bring excitement to customers and offer a valuable shopping experience.

Participating Brands
SHIPS, DIANA, Demi-Luxe BEAMS, Tomorrowland, snidel, BEAUTY&YOUTH UNITED ARROWS, Ray BEAMS, BEAMS BOY, gelato pique, Spick & Span, IENA, JOURNAL STANDARD, Adam et Rope, Tiara, martinique Le Conte, GALLARDAGALANTE, aquagirl, STUDIOUS, nano・universe, URBAN RESEARCH (listed in random order)

Photo: Group shot and portrait of Rei Shito by Shuhei Shine