A tale of 3 cities: Fashion & retail | PDD

A tale of 3 cities: Fashion & retail


on March 29 2013

After a busy month of trotting around the globe, Design Insight Consultant Rosie Brodhurst-Hooper has put together a series of posts examining the key cultural differences in public hygiene, art& culture, public transportation and her favourite, fashion& retail.

New York

As New York has such a small and disjointed space for shopping I thought it best to share my experiences surrounding New Yorker style.

New York style is renowned for being understated, simple and groomed – taking the lead from the French. It was interesting to acknowledge the focus on menswear in New York City is less ‘gentlemen’ and more rugged, with a country feel.

I was wholly shocked to see so much fur on display in New York. Women in abundance were trussed up in old and new pelts, ranging in trim to full, old-school-moll floor length fox furs. As a fur-owner (but not wearer) I felt like New York women were wearing their furs with no compassion (i.e. vintage fur should be used vs. landfilled), there was something more aggressive about the way it was worn so lavishly as a  status  symbol, a certain type of haughtiness.

Diana Camera special edition in Loft Image credit: PDD


Of course, being a firm fan of fashion, I was aware of the extremes of Japanese street-fashion (FruitsHarijuku Girls etc.) before my visit, and although I didn’t see such extremes, I did feel there was a sense of outlandishness to Japanese style.

Staying in Shibuya meant the locality was filled with cool young people getting together socially, or to shop in the many shops nearby. Strangely, in comparison , sub-cultural areas in London tend to be more gritty and without premium stores. Shibuya is more mixed, with high price vintage stores, luxury stores and department stores dominating.

Opening Ceremony, Shibuya Image credit: PDD

Take for example, American brand Opening Ceremony – known for being American and cool, being endorsed by out-there (and a bit controversial) photographer Terry Richardson and art-house favourite, Chloe Sevigny. After visiting the New York flagship only mere days before I was really shocked at the Japanese store’s sheer expanse by comparison. Seven curated floors later and I was certainly  ready  for a cup of green tea!

Jil Sander, Shibuya Image credit: PDD

Right near a McDonalds and a large flagship sits Jil Sander – the European brand which, up until this week, was led by very cool gent, Raf Simons.

The Shibuya area was definitely diverse, but, in some ways was a strange concoction of styles, shops and cultures.


Globally known as the home of couture, big-brands and high-fashion it is impossible for Paris to disappoint when it comes to style.

The world looks to Paris as an example of chic-ness, seeing French women’s dedication to  skincare  and eating not very much as the height of style.

As many of the French ’boutiques’ are in London too I ventured over to Rue Saint-Honoré to take a look at the renowned French concept  store , Colette.

An impressive selection of magazines, Colette Image credit: PDD

The lifestyle store has been going strong for more than 10 years and is known as the go-to store for cool ‘stuff’.

Clashing, curated prints by Peter Pilotto, Colette Image credit: PDD

Their cutting edge buying choices are displayed in a gallery style, with mannequins dressed head-to-toe with suggested matching accessory choices.

Whilst I was visiting there was an impressive display of mannequins sporting the delicious Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2012 collection, a must-see for anyone who might be in Paris in the coming weeks.

Read more…

A tale of 3 cities: Public transportation