- design the company’s visual identity
- design a website to showcase the collections
- provide consultancy and web / graphic tools along for special events
Totem is a prestigious fashion press office set up in 1992 by Kuki de Salvertes and Patrick Girault. The office has won its spurs at the end by discovering and promoting the new wave of cutting-edge Belgian designers who changed the visual landscape of fashion at the end of the 1990s (the Raf Simons, Olivier Theyskens, Veronique Branquinho, Bernard Willhelm and AF Vandevorst) .
From 2002 to 2006, we have been in charge of Totem’s web and print communication. These 5 years have allowed us to work alongside some of the most innovative designers of that time, building tools that enabled them to display their creations while expressing their specific universe.
- We came up with a complete and brand-new visual identity for the company : logo, letterheads, business cards, compliment slips, shopping bags, flyers, invitations and press releases were all designed along a set of identical visual markers. A mix of classical and elegant typographical elements were thus used to elaborate a graphic identity where the T of Totem broke free, serving as a playful reference point for the entire line of communication tools.
- We set up and run a newsletter generator which allowed the company to automatize its mailing tasks and stay reactive by being able to communicate rapidly on recent developments, trends and events. Each newsletter was specially designed by condensing and illustrating in one graphic element news on designers, shows, parties, events, shopping opportunities and website new features.
- We ensured that Totemfashion.com was properly referenced and enjoyed a strong rate of referrals from partner and related websites (via banners, direct links, and printed and online publications)
Over the course of our 5-year collaboration, we have realized three different websites of Totemfashion.com, three versions which have proved to be a real technical and graphic challenge and all have been very well received by the press. The aim was to provide to all designers, buyers and the press an additional service with a similar concern for quality and creativity.
- Version 1 : (2002)
The first version, a cutting-edge animated Flash site created from scratch, was perhaps the most ambitious of all three and represented a real breakthrough at the time. It combined a :
* webzine content with fashion series and music and art features as a cartography of recent trends ;
* a presentation of the collections’ highlights with a mini site for each designer based on their on specific aesthetics and graphic identity ;
* and a section dedicated to professionals with an access to the complete lookbooks, designed along a magazine lay-out with illustrations by a specially commissioned visual artist.
- Version 2 : (2003)
Redeigned in html, the second website fused the professional and magazine sections into one and displayed the looks along side new trends within a renewed graphic design inspired by abstract compositions and the aesthetics of collage.
- Version 3 : (2004)
A streamlined html version, the third website provides instant access to all collections and features in a format that takes its inspiration from the latest forms of online publications, in between the blog and the online magazine, while staying within the brief of a professional showcase.
On top of our design activity, we have also had the oppportunity to collaborate with Kuki de Salvertes on several exclusive fashion events.
- Virtual fashion shows :
For Bernard Wilhem’s Spring / Summer 2003 collection, we have designed the very first ever virtual fashion show, with the invitation and launch campaign. Conceived as mini site which lasted for the season, this event allowed the Belgian designer to showcase images and a video of its pieces in a graphic environment that was entirely built around the printed motifs of the collection, down to the loading page.
The following season, we organized a similar event for designers AF Vandevorst, with a similar concern to align the web design on the collection’s aesthetics, whereby the menu of the minisite was based on a pattern taken from their garments.
- Korean Fashion Week :
When Totem was approached to conceive an image promotion campaign for the Seoul Fashion Week, we designed an entire print and web package which included a press release, newsletter and a special mini site with all information available for download on the exhibitions, events and major designers. Oriented towards the press and buyers, this project married the minimalism of a corporate aesthetics with the insider knowledge which helped us appeal to international trend setters.
- Dupont de Nemours :
For "LycraÂ® Intelligent Couture", a dozen international designers (incl. Husseyn Chalayan, Marjan Pejoski, Bruno Pieters and Zac Posen) were invited to create a ready-to-wear outwear by interpreting in their own style the latest in Dupont fabric and artificial fibre innovations. We then worked on a special exhibition at the Atelier Richelieu to showcase the resulting pieces, as well as an accompanying catalogue and dedicated mini site.
==> All these projects have allowed us to gain as insiders within the fashion industry an intimate knowledge of the international and specialized press as well as the ability to build specifically-designed tools to handle press contacts and build an efficient interface with it. They have also given us an acute sense of how web and print design may serve to reinforce rather than substitute the specific creative universe and requirements of our clients.