Bristol, Somerset, 13/05/2013 —
The lookbook idea is not so new anymore but it is a huge investment for brands and retailers alike. The finished product though is a great way, particularly for online shoppers, to see what they are buying ‘in action’ as it were. This summer season Lookbook has great backdrops and location shoots, with great real Bristol street views as background to the models and the stunning new season clothes.
Shot over the course of a couple of days in Bristol the photos, models and editing crew have created an amazing slideshow of great urban streetwear for consumers to really digest and consider before turning to Street Casuals catalogue for their summer purchases of urban clothing.
Street casuals have certainly gone from strength to strength stocking many of the world’s top and upcoming urban clothing brands. Owner Will said “The Lookbook is something that we invest in twice a year. We are very proud of our creative team as they have once again pulled a great shoot out of the bag. The ever increasing range of labels and brands that we stock means that visitors to our website or our boutique in Cardiff can be assured of the best streetwear available in the UK.”
We had a good look round the site and found everything from Happy Socks to the Penfield brand, all from a UK based dispatch centre. Seriously, these guys have seemingly got it all.
The weather maybe cold and spring might be a little late but the urban clothing world moves to its own pace as the seasons collections arrive in time for the next phase of the year. The streetwear world in particular has many people waiting for the next releases and this March is no different. The et Casuals boutique, in Cardiff city centre, has just taken delivery of the Clae SS’13 range of footwear.
The top US label that is well known for its footwear, have released a collection for 2013 that is based on classic lines, but is not just a straight re-using of the classics. They seem to have been taken with some newer fabrics and have found some funky new versions on the silhouette theme and gone to the front of the class with their prints. They have, for instance, used cork on their Mills runner. The Desmond and the Nicholson both have Vibram soles for durability – something that has not always been the case in the designer footwear market.
Street Casuals owner Will said “We are absolutely stoked to take these in to stock. It is a great time of year for the urban clothing market as we let go of the winter stock and start to receive and display new vibrant colours, styles and textures for the summer. Having the shop now as well as the online business means that we can display these physical goods to their best here in Cardiff. Roll on summer!”
The world of streetwear is no longer limited to skateboards and street artists anyone can buy men’s urban clothing from streetcasuals.com. And as the winter (hopefully) draws to a close the fastest selling fashion forward items available in their shop and online will probably switch from beanie to snapback (from their hats page: http://streetcasuals.com/8-hats) as temperatures rise – although there are snowflakes outside this window as I type.
Famous luxury car manufacturers, Porsche Design Group are celebrating their 40th birthday with a forward thinking marketing campaign that utilises Touchcode technology in an innovative voucher. The Touchcode technology enables the voucher to contain invisible data code that can be used in combination with many popular touchscreen devices. In order to create this modern marketing campaign, Porsche Design Group has joined forces with the relatively new company, Printechnologics who first released the Touchcode technology to the market during 2011.
Once a physical voucher is acquired the activation process is simple. Using one of the supported touchscreen smart devices, head to www.porsche-design40y.com. With the page loaded simply place the voucher on top on the devices screen. From here the webpage should compute the invisible Touchcode and unlock the exclusive content within. Voucher holders will have access to a wide range of discounts, promotions and customised content that is available exclusively online. The online voucher is currently only redeemable through iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SII and SIII devices.
The Touchcode technology separates itself from other options in interactive digital marketing as it does not necessarily need to be used with a device with a camera or pre-installed app. Instead, Touchcode is able to provide instant delivery of unlockable content via its invisible data that is coded directly onto any printable surface such as paper and plastic. This allows for marketing campaigns to move away from other more visually disruptive technologies such as QR codes.
The CEO and co-founder of Printechnologics, Sascha Voigt released this statement regarding their partnership with Porsche Design Group:
“Once more an internationally prestigious company, well-known for its exquisite style and high quality, has selected out forward-looking Touchcode”
Printechnologics has quickly become one of the leading developers of printing solutions and functionalities. Printechnologics pride themselves on creating products that combine physical printed items that integrate digital aspects. This technology has been implemented in everything from forgery-proof packaging to the new Touchcode technology as used by Porsche.
The Porsche Design Studio has been providing elegant and desirable designer goods to complement their range of luxury cars since its inception in 1972. Originally founded by the grandson of the founder of the entire Porsche company, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the Design Studio began work in Stuttgart, Germany before being relocated to Zell am See, Austria two years later. The Design Studio has produced a wide range of car-related accessories that include T-shirts, calendars, model cars and even a range of luggage. The design house has also been responsible for creating Porsche designs for a range of industrial applications including streetcars for Vienna.
Nairobi based company, MoDe have been announced as IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the year as part of their ongoing ‘SmartCamps’ scheme. The innovative firm plans to spread the availability of ‘nano finance’ to the numerous users of pre-paid mobile phones that populate the African continent. MoDe tackles the problem of nano finance in an interesting way – by using flexible mobile payment schemes to provide users with mobile airtime as and when they need it. The company was able to gain media attention and international recognition via IBM’s SmartCamp scheme that aims to identify small and early stage businesses that share similar objectives to IBM’s Smarter Planet plans.
MoDe’s CEO and co-founder, Julian Kyula released this statement regarding their SmartCamp success:
“Being named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year is a tremendous honour and will accelerate out ability to create new markets. The access to clients and potential investors that we have had through the SmartCamp program would have taken out company 10 years to achieve on our own, with IBm it took less than six months.”
MoDe were originally established in 2010 to provide value added services linked to the mobile phone industry in developing countries. MoDo operates across 7 countries within Africa with 10 more lined up ready for implementation. The product that won MoDo the attention of IBM’s SmartCamp is named the Airtime Credit Service (ACS). The ACS enables pre paid mobile phone users to use emergency airtime credit in order to make calls when their prepaid subscription amount runs out. Users can then repay their usage the next time they top up. This enables adopters of the scheme an degree of flexibility when it comes to mobile phone payments, allowing them to stay connected regardless of their short term financial situation. The scheme has already experienced widespread adoption with over 200 million transactions taking place through the service. The scheme is also beneficial to network providers with Airtel and MTN both increasing revenues generated through subscribers.
This is by no means the first venture that has received assistance from IBM’s SmartCamp scheme. Previous applicants have gone on to raise in excess of $90 million in investments from big players in venture capital. The scheme is spread across 20 locations across the globe and provides 2 days of mentoring, networking and judging on product and service ideas put forward to hopeful companies. MoDe was chosen as this year’s winner due to the innovative nature of their product, their growing client base and their firm’s objective alignment with IBM’s Smarter Planet schemes.
The general manager of IBM’s Entrepreneur Programs, Jim Corgel released this statement regarding the event:
“Every day we are working with startups around the world to grow markets in big data, cloud and mobile computing. We are thrilled to expand our relationship with MoDe as we bring new mobile solutions to our clients around the world.”
Keek, the exciting new way to share video clips has received a further $18 million in funding enabling continued development to the growing video sharing platform. The round of investment attracted firms such as AGF Investments Inc., Plazacorp Ventures and Pinetree Capital Ltd and brings the total amount invested to $30 million. Using this new injection of funding, the Keek service will benefit from new feature development, cross-platform support and an increased infrastructure to keep on top of the growing international demand for Keek.
Keek is a social network focused entirely on video interaction. Users of the service can create video clips of up to 36 seconds, known as ‘keeks’. These can be anything from short shout-outs to micro musings. Each user has a profile for their ‘keeks’ which others can choose to subscribe and follow, people can even choose to respond to your clips with video ‘keekbacks’ or plain text comments. The service is simple enough for anyone to use and is completely free.
While initially attracting a core of users from the UK, US and Australia, the rest of the world is starting to discover the innovative service offered by Keek. Demand has shot up from various countries in Europe, the Middle East and even South America contributing to an impressive new user sign up rate of 200,000 per day. A recent press release announced that Keek has also experienced 1 billion monthly pageviews, 75 million monthly visits and 15 million monthly active unique users.
The Chairman and CEO of Pinetree Capital Ltd., Sheldon Inwentash explained some of the factors that have made Keek so attractive for users and investors alike:
“Beyond best-in-class technology, consistent stellar growth and great user experience, the thing that impresses me most is the quality of the team and its ability to execute. Keek has emerged as the leading social video network and is well positioned to translate that into significant revenue streams.”
Keek is available online at http://www.keek.com/ but also has fully featured free app for both iOS and Android based devices. These versions have also experienced the high levels of demand that the site has attracted. The Keek app has achieved the top ranking on five countries while reaching the top 10 app in 15 and top 100 in over 70 countries from around the world.
In the buildup to the motorbiking season, insurance comparison site Tiger.co.uk has released a guide covering changes that have been made to laws regarding motorbike licenses. The changes are set to roll out tomorrow (January 19th) and affect anyone applying for a new license or those who need to replace or renew a current license. These changes are likely to have consequences for newer riders looking to secure both a license and insurance in time to get two wheels on the road for the warmer weather.
The new rules will affect licenses that apply to both mopeds and motorbikes. Moped licenses will now have a new entitlement category format, Category Q. This will allow riders to use both two and three wheeled machines that have a maximum speed of 25kph while the European category, AM enables riders to use mopeds that can reach speeds of over 25kph but not above 45kph. Category AM also allows riders to use three wheeled mopeds that have an engine equal to or smaller than 50cc and quadricycles lighter than 350kg with a maximum speed of 45kph. The new Category P is one step up from AM and allows applicable riders to use two or three wheeled machines that have a maximum speed of 50kph. Those who already have a moped license will be automatically granted Category P entitlement. Those who hold a driver’s license are entitled to ride a moped provided they pass their CBT.
Tomorrow’s changes also affect current motorcycle licensing rules. Whereas before, motorcycles were split into two categories, they will now be divided into three. Motorcycles will be split with respect to factors such as their power output and power to weight ratio. The lowest division, Category A1 will cover motorcycles that have an engine up to 125cc and with a maximum power output of 11kW. Bikes will have to have a power to weight ratio of up to 0.1kW per kg. Small tricycles with a maximum power output of 15kW are also included in this category.
The new Category A2 will cover everything in-between Category A1 and the unrestricted level, Category A. There are two ways of obtaining a Category A2 certificate; bikers over the age of 19 with at least 2 years of experience on a Category A1 bike will only have to take a practical test but those who are over 19 with no previous experience have to pass both a theory and practical test. Category A2 will allow bikers to to ride machines with a maximum power output of 35kW and with a power to weight ratio of under 0.2kW per kg.
Under the new rules, riders who wish to obtain the fully unrestricted Category A license will have two options that are similar to the Category A2 specifications. Riders who are over the age of 24 can take a practical and theory test but if a rider is over 21 and has already been riding a Category A2 bike for two years then they can becoming fully unrestricted by just passing the practical test.
If you already own some form of motorcycle or moped license it is important to remember that your current qualification will not change unless you wish to use a more powerful bike than your current license already permits. These changes are of more relevance to those who are planning on taking some form of certification test as if you attempt to use the wrong type of bike, the test cannot go on and you will receive no refund.
Changes to licensing laws inevitably have a knock on effect to vehicle insurance. Tiger.co.uk’s Commercial Director, Andrew Goulborn commented on the planned changes:
“The aim of the new licensing laws is to improve the skills and therefore the safety of new motorcycle riders. This can only be good news when it comes to things like the cost of motorcycle insurance as improved safety on the roads will decrease the risk of accidents and therefore lessen the frequency of claims.”
Tiger.co.uk offer a comparison service that can save you time and money when comparing insurance quotes for motorbikes, cars and vans. For more information on licensing changes or insurance quotes, visit their site at www.tiger.co.uk.
Birmingham based UK Immigration Barristers are offering applicants assistance in gaining legal UK Citizenship. The firm has released advice and ‘how to’ guides to aid those who wish to enjoy the benefits associated with becoming a UK citizen in the eyes of the law. These privileges allow those who have immigrated to the UK to enjoy the same legal status as those who were born within the UK’s shores. This help and guidance could prove invaluable to people who wish to tackle the legal requirements and procedures associated with the process but are put off by the complexity of the law surrounding migration status.
Should someone gain full UK citizenship they can expect to enjoy the same financial assistance and employment opportunities that are made available to those who hold a UK passport. However, in order to be eligible for such status, there are certain requirements. UK Immigration Barristers have outlined the criteria that must be met before an application is even considered by the government:
Applicants must be at least 18 years old
Applicants must be able to speak the English language fluently
They must have lived within the UK for at least 3 years. Additionally, they must not have left the country for more than 270 days within that last 3 years of their residency and no more than 90 days within the last year
The required criteria becomes more and more complex and can affect the success of applications in a variety of ways. Fortunately, UK Immigration Barristers offer to help by taking several steps to assist any application. Their trained staff will look at each case individually and examine any relevant information to create a profile of each application’s merits and circumstances. Following this, the applicant will receive unrestricted access to a Case Management System that allows then to gather important documents and data to aid their case. UK Immigration’s barristers will then offer legal representation to applicants; a crucial advantage that could really mean the difference in the potential success of a UK Visa application.
UK Immigration Barristers are fully trained in the various complexities and nuances of UK Immigration Law and have helped many successfully attain full UK citizenship and visas in the past. In a range of 85 reviews from external web review sites, UK Immigration Barristers received a satisfaction score of 99%. For more information on
Coffee giant, Starbucks has announced that it will be opening its first branch in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. This follows the company’s increasing presence across Asia with a total of 3,300 stores spanning across 12 countries. Vietnam’s first store is set to open to customers in February this year. Starbucks has stated that the Asian market represents a strong growth prospect for the company who has partnered with Hong Kong Maxim’s Group for the venture.
Starbuck’s President of China and Asia Pacific, John Culver, released a statement regarding the expansi
“Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world and we are proud to add Vietnam as the 12th market across the China and Asia Pacific region”
“Starbucks is deeply respectful of Vietnam`s long and distinctive local coffee culture. We know coffee is a national pride for many Vietnamese and as such, we look forward to contributing and growing Vietnam`s already vibrant coffee industry. As we continue to source more Vietnamese high-quality, Arabica coffee we want to leverage our scale to bring the best of Vietnam`s coffee traditions to the rest of the world.”
Starbucks hopes to benefit from Hong Kong Maxim’s Group’s extensive knowledge in the field. Since 1956, the company has grown to operate over 760 locations throughout Hong Kong and China. The group manages a huge range of businesses within the catering industry from Asian, Japanese and European resturants to products such as mooncakes and preserved meats. Starbucks will be granting Hong Kong’s Maxim Group’s subsidiary, Coffee Concepts, the license to operate the Starbucks branded outlets in the Vietnamese region. Coffee Concepts already operate over 130 Starbucks outlets in Hong Kong and Macau.
The Chairman and Managing Director for Hong Kong Maxim Group released this statement regarding the partnership:
“Our partnership with Starbucks has more than 10 years of history and we are proud to deliver the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Hong Kong and Macau today. We are looking forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks brand to welcome Vietnamese customers to our stores, earning their trust and respect with the unparalleled Starbucks Experience, known by customers around the globe.”
The Starbucks brand is recognisable across the globe for providing high quality coffee on the high street. The company has been running for 41 years and has created a brand dedicated to providing the best coffee whilst also conforming to ethical standards. Starbuck’s venture into Vietnam follows their commitment to sourcing Arabica coffee beans from the region and they plan to continue sourcing locally to the area while also engaging with communities to promote responsible business practices.
UK Music Apps Ltd are set to revolutionise how music is made on the move with their new app, SessionBand. The app makes it possible for artists to create professional-standard music within minutes using its intuitive loop-based approach to production. SessionBand features an accessible and easy-to-use interface which enables everyone from seasoned professionals to novices to start creating high-quality tracks without knowledge of music theory or technical know-how.
SessionBand is revolutionary in its method of music creation as it utilises a system of chord-based loops. Loops are short cuts of tracks that can be repeated over and over to create a fluid sounding track. An example of a loop may be a drum rhythm or a 4-bar synth hook. By layering a selection of loops it is possible to create an individual and original track without the need of expensive recording equipment or hardware.
SessionBand transposes the chords of each loop in accordance to your track, ensuring that any combinations you create fit together to get that cohesive sound professional producers strive for. SessionBand features a library of 80,000 crafted loops for you to browse when constructing tracks. This diverse range allows you to let your imagination run wild to create tracks conforming to a huge range of genres from Reggae to R&B. The loops are all of a professional standard and some were even created by musicians and producers who have worked with big names such as Kylie Minogue, Mariah Carey and Cheryl Cole! Particularly keen producers can even purchase top-up packs of loops from within the app.
SessionBand is designed specifically for portable use. As all the loops are pre-loaded onto the device there is no need for a constant internet connection which allows you to get creative anywhere on the go. This makes it possible for you to put your ideas to practice whenever inspiration strikes, be it on the bus, at home or even at work!
The app is available on the iPhone for £1.99 and the iPad for £4.99. All the loops featured within the app are completely royalty-free so any tracks you create are completely yours to release, sell and remix.
For more information on the SessionBand app and future releases from UK Music App Ltd, check out their official site at: www.sessionbandapp.com.
Google has released a downloadable map app for iOS though Apple’s iTunes App Store. The app will compete with Apple’s navigation solution, ‘Maps’, which received widespread criticism despite clocking up 200 million downloads since it’s launch in September alongside the iPhone 5 and iOS 6. The app release comes 2 months after Apple removed Google’s mapping app from being a default feature of iOS based devices.
Google’s app boasts industry standard features such as turn-by-turn navigation for both vehicle and pedestrian based routes as well as vector based maps which negate the need for constant data downloads; ideal for travelling through areas with no or patchy mobile reception. The app also enables users to access Google’s popular ’street view’ services for checking out routes on street level enhanced with real photos. Google also provides a programmable API for third party developers looking to make the most out of the app’s extensive set of features. Google’s app will not work alongside Apple’s voice recognition software, Siri, which allows iPhone users to demand directions from Apple’s own navigation solution.
As news outlets such as www.thinkabledigital.com have reported, since launch, Apple’s Maps app has been subject to poor reviews with complaints ranging from misspelt street names to dispensing dangerous directions to Australian drivers. The troublesome launch was uncharacteristic of Apple and prompted a public apology from CEO Tim Cook. The head of the iOS software team, Scott Forstall, was also dismissed shortly after the release of iOS 6.
The news of Google’s app’s approval comes only months after Apple decided to stop Google technology from driving the navigation experience in Apple products. This decision stemmed from a dispute between the two tech giants with Apple disagreeing with Google’s plan to generate revenue by incorporate adverts within the software. Following this, Apple decided to create its own mapping application in order to cut off their dependence on the Google product. Downloads of the app have been impressive, with the app hitting the top spot of Apple’s iTunes chart just hours after its release.
Google’s Maps application is available through the iTunes App Store free of charge. Only the iPhone platform is currently supported but iPad users are able to run this in 2X mode.