Entertaining its customer via social media, the Istanbul-based label has kept its loyal 160k+ Instagram following engaged via a slew of live music gigs and conversations – but it was this week’s Pre-Fall launch that really got Manu fans talking.
Debuting a new digital project to preview and promote its new collection, founders – and sisters – Merve and Beste Manastir called on industry figures and friends of the brand to shoot themselves at home with Pre-Fall pieces in the comfort of their own surroundings and under their own creative direction. Who says you can’t produce an inspirational, aspirational accessories campaign during a global lockdown?
Collaborating with a group of thirteen international muses who have all been fans of the brand from day one, the likes of Moda Operandi fashion director Lisa Aiken and influencers Jeannette Madsen and Anna Vitiello interpreted the pieces in their own way and each created images in-line with their own personal aesthetic.
As those of us in the UK sail past day 100 of lockdown, it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t our everyday morning norm to switch off our hairdryer in one room and sit down at our laptop in the next, before closing our laptop eight hours later to cook dinner mere metres away for yet another date night at the kitchen table.
But while many of us who haven’t spent the last fifteen weeks keeping the country going on the front line have figured out a way to continue doing our jobs from home, those in the creative design sector have had to pivot their businesses entirely to cater for a customer in unprecedented circumstances with completely new priorities.
As several fashion brands battle plummeting sales due to the temporary closure of stores and financially-impacted shoppers, Manu Atelier – a six-year-old handbag and footwear brand loved by everyone from fashion editors to influencers, Kate Middleton to Bella Hadid – has benefitted from its relative youth and quickly adapted by-way-of digital initiatives.
Handing the creative direction over to these thirteen women may have been daunting for the two sisters so devoted to and hands-on with their brand, but the result is undoubtedly a personal touch that regular campaigns – shot in a studio by a professional photographer – often fail to capture. In doing so, we see the pieces in a whole new way that reflects and represents real life.
“Social media plays a stronger role in our lives”, admitted Merve and Beste when discussing the launch, “and we thought this new project was the best way to translate the reality of this unprecedented time in which we are living.”
“We love to see our collections in people’s lives; it is also an inspiration for us to see how each person can style our pieces.”
“We wanted to create a unique and authentic concept with our #manuspeople community. This digital project was a way of connecting with our community during a worrying and challenging time, and highlighting individual creativity.”
“Now, in a very digital world, you can be even more creative with your visuals, shoot different campaigns, try new things constantly.”
Not the last of Manu’s initiatives, the girls revealed that they are already planning other digital projects “which will be revealed very soon”. Watch this space.