The Retail Solent Initiative, RE:SO, hosted a special blogger preview event for the launch of the new SHED vintage clothing in Southampton.
The vintage clothing line brings a new dynamic and legitimacy to the student run store. Pre-loved clothes and re-hashed versions of classics now share space with student creations in The Marlands shopping centre.
Bloggers were treated to a fashion show, highlighting some of the items in the new range followed by the opportunity to try out some of the clothes.
The SHED collection has a heavy 90’s influence. Doctor Martins, layers and Barbour wax jackets walk the fine line of balancing classic and contemporary bringing the 90’s to now.
The new store layout is much more methodical with distinctive sections and great attention to detail. Wall art and industrial features make the decor distinctive and individual. It really feels like you’ve found a hidden gem of creativity in the heart of Southampton.
After the fashion show, there was a short introduction to the fashion designers and they mingled with the crowd enabling everyone to discover the new range and ask about their choices and creations.
RE:SO, part of Solent University, is the most successful student enterprise in the UK. For Solent University students it offers a real experience of being a designer seeing products through conception, production and retail sales, while offering a unique range of products to customers.
This is a fantastic start for budding fashion designers to establish roots in the industry and test trends. By taking a selection of second hand items it is a great way for them to learn about style, sales and public relations.
By hosting a blogging event, the student designers are exposed to the world of public relations (PR) in a very direct way by connecting them with their audience.
Engaged stakeholders are very powerful and must be nurtured and valued. PR can be a way to do this. Brands can now communicate with their audience directly through social media platforms and blogging events.
Word of mouth and reputation are very important parts of PR and key to brand growth. Bloggers attending tend to be carefully selected key stakeholders who have influence and integrity and are often integral to the brand’s growth, success and reputation.
It’s also good PR for Solent University. Their talented students are carving a name for themselves in the city they are studying. The skills students learn in this environment will make them stand out when they graduate. This also further promotes the strong commitment Solent University has to providing it’s students with practical employment skills. Most universities are research based, whereas Solent’s focus is on employability and giving students practical tools to succeed.
One of the main points of going to university is to kick start your career. Being able to have this level of exposure to the fashion industry as well as business, retail, advertising, marketing and PR experience on top of a degree is a very solid base to build a career on.
At this event, my second blogging event, I managed to take a lot more in and thought I would share what I consider to be the top five benefits to hosting a blogging event.
My top five benefits of hosting blogging events, in no particular order…
- Public Relations – promotion, reputation management, media relations, crisis management
- Stakeholder engagement – connecting with your key audience
- Testing – gauging audience reaction
- Networking – knowing key influencers, making new connections and creating good working relationships
- Development & growth – of personal skills, the brand, social media platforms, fans, ideas of where and what to do next
This was such a fun event, my second with the Southampton Bloggers. I personally managed to learn from and implement what I wrote about in my last blog: The top 10 things I learnt from my first blogging event as a blogger. I’m learning more at each event and hope it’s going to help me become a better blogger.
It was wonderful to meet fellow bloggers in Southampton and realise that lots of them share similar concerns to me. Thanks so much to the Southampton Bloggers for setting up another great event and supporting a great local initiative like RE:SO.
I also loved the cute goodie bag which included a beautiful nail polish in a post box red, organic almond oil, organic almond oil lip balm, vintage postcards and some yummy RE:SO sweeties!
If you like the sound of RE:SO and the SHED collection you can follow them here…