Issue no. 73 of Frame includes a great interview with Paris-based British writer and general brand guru Mark Tungate. Accompanied by sumptuous photos – as always in Frame, well presented- Jane Szita’s interview offers us some interesting insights from the man whose thinking on brands is both influential and, lets face it, fairly profitable.
One focus of the interview is a certain recessionista chic that pervades some of the hip shops of recent years, for example, Paul Smith’s La Tourette Paris store, in which, as Tungate points out, it’s become hip for luxury to look slightly worn. But, as might be expected in an interview with an established trend spotter and commentator on the culture of contemporary consumption, it’s not limited to a single topic. From commentary on Arne Quinze’s much noted interior of L’Eclaireur in Paris to the footballer-in-residence at Dirk Bikkembergs’ flagship store in Milan, the full scope of manifestations of luxury boutiques is considered. It’s more of an illustrated summary or overview of trends in the world of the luxury shop. Whether it’s noting a form of downsizing in the games on offer in the concept store – “it’s the sandpit not the theme park” – or examining luxury shops’ need to appropriate art; to become cultural experiences, Mr Tungate offers us conversational gems on the intersections of brand identity, designed space and contemporary culture.
Not only is the article in Frame no. 73 insightful and an easy read, but it’s always worth listening to someone who has authored no less then five books on interesting aspects of branding, particularly when it comes to the luxury market.