Uni | Return Fraud – Digital

There’s been a point in all of our lives where we have ordered an outfit or two online to wear out that we then return after wearing it. This is known as return fraud, and is becoming a very expensive problem for retailers. 

When I first started out as a fashion blogger, I didn’t have the money to fund all the outfits I wanted to create and so often bought clothes with every intention on returning them after. At the time I was so focused on showcasing my creativity and styling I didn’t once stop to think about the effects on the other side. 

This week I read an article on Business of Fashion which discussed a whole new type of return fraud, in which customers are buying designer goods and returning a fake version in order to still secure a refund. This type of return fraud is estimated to account for 8.2% of all returns according to data from National Retail Federation in 2018, but is very hard to manage due to an increase of hassle free returns within brick-and-mortar retailers. 

Starting only last year Selfridges decided to try a new approach and paired up with software firm Entrupy in order to crack down on return fraud. This new system involved taking a series of photos of minute details of a range of products before being sent out, and then taking them again when these products are returned in orders to compare and identity small discrepancies that may be evidence of forgery. The articles stated “So far in 2019, out of the 18,000 items Selfridges ran through Entrupy’s software, 30 were flagged as potential fakes. Those items included a bag retailing for over $2,100”. 

ASOS however made a mistake in implying that all of their customers were potential suspects. Whereas Sephora has partners with Retail Equation which calculates a “risk score’ for each customers based on their shopping behaviour and flags up any suspicious customers. Whilst Amazon simply bans their customers with an alarming return rate. 

This article really got me thinking about the ways in which a range of retailers handle returns, and then I remembered Klarna, a company I came across last year that advertised itself as a way of making returns hassle free and I decided to do some further research.

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For those of you who have never heard of them, Klarna are basically a type of payment method similar to PayPal in offering direct payments but also with the option to pay after delivery options and instalment plans. ASOS, Beauty Bay, Missguided and Topshop all offer Klarna as a payment method, so it must be a reliable company right? 

However I came across a blog post by Lady Writes who wrote about her first encounter with Klarna. Despite being a very positive experience what concerned her was the fact that she had gone past the 30 day limit to pay and she had no email or any form of contact from the company chasing her up about the money, as well as the fact that no credit checks are done before hand. I feel like in the long run this will definitely encourage debt amongst young people who are vulnerable and aren’t always knowledgeable when it comes to money as well as cause issues for retailers who don’t end up receiving their payment. 

I feel like these issues are a result of retailers who seem to be less concerned about the keep of products and more involved with just pushing a purchase. What are your thoughts?

 

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | Planning A Trip Away

Being an Online Content Creator has changed my process of holiday prepping. Before the first job on my to-do list was to book in for all my beauty appointments, but now that comes second and first I have to create moodboards of inspiration and ideas.

I have an upcoming trip to Paris which my boyfriend has surprised me with for my 21st birthday. I noticed before anything I jumped onto Instagram and Pinterest to gather as much imagery as possible to create a range of moodboards. I always start off with creating an overall moodboard that includes locations I want to get content, posing and positioning ideas, restaurants to try and just an overall mood of the place I’m going to.

This is an example of a moodboard I created to get an overall feel for my trip.

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I then go on to create moodboards that I then can categorise. So far I have created moodboards for five main Paris locations, I also have a food moodboard and two outfit moodboards.

This is one of my top tip for those of you that are starting out as Online Content Creators or looking to become one. For me I have to be organised and ahead to be able to function and get things done properly, I’m also not someone to do anything half-arsed and so this helps me get the content I want and to a higher standard. Through working this way I actually get my work done quicker, and so brands are happy and I get to spend a little less time of my trip working and I get to really enjoy myself.

What’s at the top of your to-do list when going on a trip? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | An Instagram Without Likes (Communication)

In the last few weeks I have read a lot of articles around the subject of Instagram testing posts that don’t have the number of likes on display, and I have very mixed feelings about this new feature.

I read on Forbes today at the F8 Mosseri stated that this feature was set up in order to create a “less pressurized environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.” And although I love this idea, the fact that the like count would still be visible to the person who posted the photo/video I feel it deflects the point. Although people won’t see how many likes others are getting, some will still be affected by the number of likes they receive regardless.

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A second statement I read by Mosseri was “Another reason why Instagram is testing out this feature is that the number of like counts can create a false sense of engagement. There are many bots and services that exist which sends fake likes to posts.” However getting rid of the number of likes on display won’t prevent this problem, people will just look for validation in their number of followers. Those who currently pay for likes and pay for ads to promote their account, will move on to paying for followers instead. It’s happening already, there are so many girls who are trying to become ‘influencers’ and they pay for these followers but don’t have the likes/engagement to match.

Although it is a step in the right direction, I don’t feel like it’s been carefully thought about and I also don’t think likes are the problem we have here. People who are affected by the number of likes they receive will find something else, the problem is within and I think that’s why it’s so important to promote self-care, self-love and positive body image. Personally I don’t think changing features on Instagram is going to improve mental health, this issue is beyond that.

I would love to know your thoughts on this new test, and hear some other opinions.

Do you think this could improve mental health?

Would you like to see this become a permanent feature?

Uni | Met Gala 2019

The first Monday in May is the annual MET Gala in which brings fashion, film and music altogether for one very special event. And so this morning we woke up to floods of  photos all over our Instagram feeds, showcasing the best and worst looks of 2019

This year’s theme was ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ and so I really expected to see the most extravagant, flamboyant and adventurous costumes to ever grace the Metropolitan Museum of the Arts. Some looks were absolutely stunning but didn’t fit the theme all that well, some absolutely killed theme and others should have just stayed at home.

I absolutely loved seeing everyone share their favourite looks and opinions, and so I thought I would do a blog post analysing a few of the looks and share my thoughts on whether it was camp or needed a revamp.

CAMP – Lady Gaga wearing Brandon Maxwell

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CAMP – Kim Kardashian West wearing custom Manfred Thierry Mugler

This just made the camp mark. I think her make up was quite dramatic for her for some who normally likes a more natural look, and the emphasis on her body shape was over the top and quite extra.

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REVAMP – Katy Perry wearing Moschino

What was camp about this I do not know, definitely more lamp vibes Katy.

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CAMP – Bella Hadid wearing Moschino

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CAMP – Harry Styles wearing Gucci

I feel like Harry was one of the only heterosexual guys to rock this theme well.

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CAMP – Serena Williams wearing Versace

It was bright, it was beautiful and it was bold.

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CAMP – Kylie and Kendall Jenner wearing Versace

I feel like they could have done better, but they still were fierce and fabulous.

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CAMP – Charli XCX wearing Jean Paul Gaultier

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REVAMP – Frank Ocean wearing Prada

I was very disappointed in Frank Ocean, but I feel like he was trying to make a point that camp doesn’t have to be all bright colours and dramatic costumes.

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CAMP – Naomi Campbell wearing Valentino Haute Couture

I mean what can’t Naomi Campbell do?

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CAMP – Ciara wearing Dundas

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REVAMP – Mary Kate and Ashely Olsen wearing vintage Chanel

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REVAMP – Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth wearing Saint Laurent

I mean there was just zero effort made here.

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REVAMP – Gwyneth Paltrow wearing Chloe

Beautiful, absolutely stunning. This is one of my favourite looks actually, but its just not camp.

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CAMP – Emily Ratajkowski wearing Dundas

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CAMP – Dua Lipa wearing Versace

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CAMP – Jeremy Scott and Sarah Paulson wearing Moschino

I mean we all knew Jeremy Scott would serve, he’s one of my favourite designers and I love how he always shows an element of his personality in his looks. As a couple they killed it.

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CAMP – Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner wearing Versace

As a couple I think they were one of the best, I like Travis’ twist on the word camp and how he gave it a military meaning, however it was very similar to his MET Gala look last year.

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What look do you think killed the camp theme? And What do you think the theme should be next year?

Comment below.

Love always

AHVBX

Uni | A Cruise Without Karl

I’ve been waiting in anticipation for the Chanel cruise 2020 show. I was intrigued to see how Virginie Viard would go about writing the next chapter in the history of Chanel, after the passing of Karl Lagerfeld in February who had been at the house for 36 years. Despite Viard working alongside Karl for 30 years, I wasn’t sure how she would go about this first collection without him and if she would go in a whole new direction or stay true to his vision.

The atmosphere however I felt was a little off, compared to previous shows. I didn’t feel the sense if togetherness and excitement, although this may be down to nerves and people being a little apprehensive of what was to come. This also could be down the grandness of the venue itself.

THE INVITATION

Information printed on plain white card to symbolise the freshness and almost blank slate that new creative director Virginie Viard has going into the next chapter of Chanel.

THE THEME

All aboard the Chanel express! This year’s show was held at the Grand Palais in Paris, and the theme was staged around the Beaux-Arts style train station. What I loved about the show from the beginning, before I even saw the clothes was that Lagerfeld feel. Karl was known for his incredible themes and sets, most of my all time favourite Cruise shows are Chanel, and I’m so glad they continued this. I took the train station theme as the brand starting a new journey, but it has been said to symbolise “the promise of an adventure”.

THE COLLECTION

The show was a total of 79 different looks, and it honestly did not disappoint. I loved the pastel colour palette and how each look blended into the other, much like the view of the sunset on your train journey home. I also loved how some of the Chanel classics from Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel made a comeback with a fresh new look.

It’s started with workwear looks that seemed to be inspired by those of station workers, from long line coats to Victorian blouses. We then saw a transition into knitwear, it was very minimalistic but chic. Then slowly but surely we started to see some colour come through with some neon pieces. After that the looks ranged from waxed coats to asymmetric dresses. I wasn’t a fan of the two toned colour block heels however the bags made up for that.

I have attached some of my favourite looks below.

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I was a little disappointed with the lack of diversity in the casting of the models, but that really isn’t anything new. I’ve been waiting in anticipation for the Chanel cruise 2020 show. I was intrigued to see how Virginie Viard would go about writing the next chapter in the history of Chanel, after the passing of Karl Lagerfeld in February who had been at the house for 36 years. Despite Viard working alongside Karl for 30 years, I wasn’t sure how she would go about this first collection without him and if she would go in a whole new direction or stay true to his vision.

What did you all think of the show? Leave your comments below

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | Check In & Check Out (Creativity)

Check In & Check Out

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday,                                                                          To worry about every small thing that seems to get in your way.                                                                                                                       To fuss around the people most important to us and make sure they’re okay.                           But don’t forget to check in on yourself, because there’s no time to delay.

Slow down and take a moment to think about just you.                                                                To think about your emotions and your feelings too.                                                                     Be mindful of what you are eating because it’s a lot more than just food.                              And be careful who your surrounded by because this will affect your mood.                 

Energy is contagious and is everywhere you go,                                                                             So remain on a high vibration and beware of those on a low.                                                  Feel gratitude in your heart and feel blessed to be in the know,                                       Because not many people are in tune with themselves, and are unable to grow. 

Self care is so important, but isn’t openly discussed,                                                                     So I stopped to construct this poem to tell you all it’s a must.                                        Sometimes life gets hectic and it all can get too much,                                                                 But don’t forget about yourself and remember to stay in touch.

written by myself 

 

Uni | PLT Recycled – Trend

April 22nd also known as Earth Day, saw the release of PrettyLittleThing’s first recycled collection, I was really interested to find out more about this collection and what the brand meant by recycled. As I spoke about in a previous blog post, sustainability seems to be a growing trend and so I feel like it’s really important to do your research and to ask questions to find out how genuine and transparent these brands are being.

From my research I discovered that the purpose behind the collection is to rework unwanted pieces and worn out materials, in order to give them a second chance by turning them into new pieces that are staple wardrobe pieces that could get worn over and over again. The brand has also collaborated with reGAIN, a recycling app, so that customers trade in unwanted clothing for discounts off PLT purchases. This collaboration is to help prevent pile up of clothing in landfills throughout the UK and to encourage a positive impact on our planet.

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The collection itself features over 150 wardrobe essentials ranging from joggers to cycling shorts and crop tops to jumpers, and varies in colours including blush, violet, nude, tan and black. I would describe the collection as quite classic/basic, which isn’t in a negative way as it means the pieces are easy to style and can easily be worn over but in different ways. I also like the colour options, as in previous recycled collections you tend to only see shades of green, brown and nude which have become very predictable and in some cases boring. It’s definitely a new fun approach, and will definitely give consumers the opportunity the get creative with their styling.

I think it’s safe to say this a genuine attempt to make a difference and isn’t just another brand jumping on the bandwagon, despite the collaboration with reGAIN being done before by other fast fashion brands such as Misguided and Boohoo. CEO Umar Kamani stated “This is another step in the right direction towards sustainable fashion. We know this isn’t the answer to everything, and our aim is to continue to learn new ways and adapt new methods in which the business as a whole can become more sustainable and responsible in terms of protecting the planet for the future”.

What are your thoughts on the collaboration? What are some of your favourite pieces? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X