It's no secret that I love following how fashion brands are taking editorial inspiration from traditional publishing and creating their own branded content. Fashion designer Rachel Roy has notably used social media to not only showcase the brand, but demonstrated a willingness to blend the personal with the professional, mixing Instagram shots of her daughter, for example, with Brene Brown quotes and recent press scans. A contributor at The Huffington Post, readers have been able get a firsthand glimpse into the life of the entrepreneur, even going behind-the-scenes with her at New York Fashion Week, and now have a new opportunity to get more deeply engaged with the designer.
Yesterday, she took to social media to announce the official launch of The Life, a content-rich destination with the tagline "Design the life you love," that now offers the opportunity for fans experience even more of the Rachel Roy lifestyle.
Rachel used the term "digital magazine," in her announcement, and though it's unclear if The Life how often the content - articles and video mostly - will be updated, the trailer points to seasonal content. Right now, magazine-style spreads seem to work best when presented as a series of features on a single page, as under the LifeStyle tab. Below are five reasons to break out the champagne and celebrate her approach:
In addition to her design prowess, Rachel Roy has endeared herself to many as a beloved career success story, where fans are as fascinated by her as they are her collections. The Life features a designer Q&A that provides an opportunity for aspiring fashion industry insiders to ask questions. Answers to these questions are told in the format of a magazine-style spread, as well as through video. Rachel has been using VYou to answer video questions, but it appears that this service will be going away this Friday, so it remains to be seen how the brand team plans to collect these questions in the future.
It's not all about Rachel. Well. of course, it is and it isn't! However,The Life provides an opportunity to learn more about Rachel's network, like actress and celebrity fitness lifestylist AJ Johnson, social entrepreneur Elizabeth Stewart and jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche. Of course, if you're looking for music or food, The Life has that as well, like the playlist Rachel put together for buddy Jay-Z, or a recipe for peanut brittle.
The Life isn't about the clothes, instead it seeks to achieve a more complex positioning around achieving personal career dreams. In addition, Rachel's charitable efforts, like the RRR Haiti Jewelry Collection are a few quick clicks away, suggesting an easy value statement around the value of giving back.
Of course, it wouldn't fit the current digital landscape to not also be able to easily shop the products The Life recommends, which is done easily enough by clicking on the images themselves. For those craving not only Rachel's career success but heavenly skin, getting her favorite beauty products for spring has never been easier.
Much of the content on The Life effort is a repackaging of many of the content features already available on the site, the "Faves" goes back to 2009 and video content goes back that far as well. This is both a testament to Rachel Roy's use of digital media and social tools as well as an ongoing challenge facing many brands - that of content creation vs curation and how to leverage existing material in new ways. However, by branding these features under The Life, and introducing a focused tagline, the result clarifies a vision around creative career inspiration that goes beyond product must-haves. And of course, the right packaging can make all the diference.