Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Launch of ASOS Black

The continued rise of ASOS is nothing short of remarkable. Launched just over a decade ago as a small online retailer catering for people who wanted to dress like celebrities, the store has evolved in to an online retail powerhouse. The unique selling point has always been fast, affordable fashion but in recent seasons we've seen the measured introduction of more directional fashion. While offering an array of mouth watering design talent, ASOS' own label has evolved to such an extent that it has to be taken seriously. This Autumn, the store unveils its own line of directional pieces that have left me reaching for my debit card.

ASOS Black was borne from the desire to explore the finer aspects of modern menswear. Precision of cut, fabrication and fine detailing are key facets that excite us all and thankfully that includes ASOS' talented design team. Consisting of around forty pieces the collection concentrates on crisp tailoring. Classic double breasted suit, milled end on end for enhanced texture. A tuxedo suit that combines wool with crushed metal trims. Outerwear is minimal in detail and highlights include a wrap coat that lacks any form of front fastening and a contrast panel Crombie in black and navy creating subtle differences of tones. Knitwear is oversized and slouchy. There is just so much to get excited over. To mark the launch of the line we met up with one of the creative minds behind it all, head designer John Mooney, to talk us through it all.

SS: What was the starting point for ASOS Black?
John Mooney: The whole ideas was to provide something new and contemporary for our creative customers who wanted all the new shapes, cuts and silhouettes from the catwalk shows, and they wanted them now. Through our research it seemed apparent to hone down the palette and keep it minimal with the idea of it being a progressive collection that pieces could be added to each season. We also pattern cut the range in London so have control over the shape and cut which has allowed us to develop a unique fingerprint for the collection.

SS: What does Black mean to you?
John Mooney: If I am honest, it is pieces that we in the design team and design community want to wear… All the pieces that we can’t put in mainline ASOS we can put into Black but it must be part of a considered range and one that works as a complete whole from season to season.

SS: What was the first item designed? And the last?
John Mooney: The first item designed for Black was a single button double breasted jacket as we knew there would have to be a tailored aspect to the range to ensure that it felt contemporary… The last items were printed t-shirts and a vest as we wanted to inject another element into the range and collaborated with an external print designer.

SS: Describe the collection in a few words?
John Mooney: Slick, relaxed, tailored and new.

SS: How did you balance the luxurious feel of the collection and quality with commercial constraints?
John Mooney: It is a little bit more expensive than our mainline collections but this is more due to the precision of cut and the fact that we have expanded our supplier base so that we have the best people working on the collection. We wanted not only to make it a great collection but that it was affordable too so that customers of the ASOS own line could buy into it. It’s always a challenge to achieve certain price points in this day and age as the market becomes ever more competitive but thankfully we are not a bricks and mortar business so we are able to put that money into the product itself.

SS: What are you particularly proud of or excited by?
John Mooney: I am proud of the whole thing, but it is also about the whole team who worked together on the collection. I am proud of the way everyone came together to ensure the collection was produced. This sort of collection pushes the team and this translates through to our own collections.

SS: Why did you produce a video to promote the collection?
John Mooney: The video is meant to emphasise the atmosphere and aesthetic that underscores the collection. It is visually beautiful and contrasts the softness of some of the pieces with the harder visual elements.

SS: Finally, how do you see it developing over the coming seasons?
John Mooney: We do see it as a progressive collection – there will be a common thread so that the SS11 collection should work with pieces from AW10 as they are all designed with a similar design aesthetic...

The mood is dark, the shapes angular and the prices affordable. This is a huge step forward for online retailing and I can't wait to see it evolve even further in future seasons. To mark the launch of Black, ASOS have commissioned Paul Gore to produce a short and suitably moody promo which we will be able to share with you early next week.

ASOS Black will be available to buy in approximately nine days time.


John said...

Love the look of this and I've got my eye on that crombie.

georgeface said...

Need the second last jacket and the sweater just above it.

John-Michael said...

Liking the new design! Getting blog-graphic envy . . .

Style Salvage Steve said...

John: Good choice, the crombie is my favourite piece as well.
Georgeface: With prices roughly 25% more than the standard ASOS range, you just might be able to get both.
John-Michael: Thank you!

Fashaddict said...

Love this new collection. Looks like they are really taking a step forward in the right direction

THIEF said...

awesome, they've really made an art of knocking of real designers.

Walter said... pretty excited about i, also please check of and tell me what you think.


Asos Black is my biggest love!

greetings from Poland!


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