Today sees a thrilling new arrival for mini fashionistas such as myself with the opening of Harrods’ new Junior Collections Rooms. True it’s for the tween generation so I’ve got a few years to go, but nevertheless this is an exciting step into the fashion hemisphere for the style-savvy among us. Better still, the department store has teamed up with online fashion haven, Stardoll Media to craft a virtual portal in line with the new Rooms enabling young fashionistas to make like Cher, a la Clueless, and generate a preview of themselves in the ensembles of their choice.
With brands from Burberry and Armani to Tommy Hilfiger, Sonia Rykiel and Gucci lining the racks of the tweenie shopping mecca, the same labels will be available for perusal via the in-store Stardoll installation. To mark the launch of the new youth Collections and its collaboration with the exclusive virtual online boutique, today will see the store host a mini festival-inspired event complete with tween-favourite photo booths (a staple at any privileged Bat Mitzvah party or Sweet Sixteen celebration), DJ sets and styling sessions.
As some of the most influential fashion commentators prove themselves to herald from the tween generation, from Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes and Style Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson to innovative high school student Arabelle Sicardi whose blog Fashion Pirate reveals her own take on the styles of today via found materials; it is no wonder that the industry is taking note and catering to this new generation of fashionistas. Add to that the key role of online and social media involvement and Harrods’ latest initiative is right on point offering in-store mood books linking directly to Harrods.com, wish list e-cards and a social media campaign across Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as a healthy dose of mobile advertising and further online promotions.
The partnership with Stardoll is a stroke of genius, taking the existing format via which young girls relate to fashion and turning it into a tangible reality. “Harrods are demonstrating they are forward thinking and innovative marketers who share an in-depth understanding of young people today and how for them their online world is as important and real as the physical one,” commented Stephen Molloy, SVP of sales at Stardoll Media. “Our ongoing insights into Generation Z prove time and again that this group are early adopters with significant influence over their peer groups, and indeed represent a powerful group of consumers.” Head of childrenswear at Harrods, Torly Grimshawe, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity to raise our profile in the virtual fashion world, at the same time as enabling our younger customers to interact with their favourite brands in a completely new way.”
Exciting times ahead my fellow fashionistas, and it’s off to Harrods I go… well a girl’s got to make those fashion investments now or at least envisage how she might look in Versace, Cavalli, Chloe, Galliano…