FLASHBACK: A CATCH UP ON CIANA’S BBC AFRIQUE C’EST LE MOMENT CHAT

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Bringing you another opportunity to have a catch up moment with CIANA and Ata Ahli of C’est Le Moment on BBC Afrque radio. Re-live the moment!

Catch up on her debut video too below.

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MMPR FASHION FOCUS: TOP 10 SPRING/SUMMER 2015 CAMPAIGNS

As this season’s fashion campaigns go head-to-head on social media, a battleground now more important than the pages of print magazines, BoF picks the top 10 campaigns of Spring/Summer 2015 kicking off our second fashion related post of the year.

This season, fashion’s fascination with age and experience stole the limelight from fresh-faced models. From Joan Didion for Céline and Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent to Julia Roberts for Givenchy and Dolce and Gabbana’s resplendent grandmothers, which is in the top pick for Spring/Summer 2015, several leading brands featured older subjects in their campaigns, something the industry has long been accused of avoiding. Critically, breaking the age taboo — and featuring women whose work carries hefty cultural weight — lent brands a degree of cleverly calculated integrity and helped catapault their campaigns to instant success on social media, a battleground now more important than the pages of print magazines. Without further ado, please enjoy our Top 10 campaigns of the season. Which did you like most? Let us know in a comment below.

1. Dolce & GabbanaStarring Bianca Balti, Vittoria Ceretti, Irina Sharipova, Blanca Padilla, Travis Cannata, Xavier Serrano, Misa Patinsky and José Maria Manzanares by Domenico Dolce

Featured Image Dolce & Gabbana SS2015

Channelling the spirit of the house’s Sicilian heritage along with Spain’s matador history, Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign artfully blends the flamboyance, sex appeal and classical styles associated with both cultures. Art directed by Stefano Gabbana and photographed by Domenico Dolce, the campaign is comprised of street-side tableaux in which men — including 28-year-old Spanish bullfighter José Maria Manzanares — strut and seduce in a pulsating palette of red, pink, black and white, but women rule the roost, flocking together in sumptuous embellished LBDs and dancing the flamenco. And, in a nod to this season’s fascination with age, a cluster of charming grandmothers gossip, with the brand’s embellished leather bags and golden crowns gleaming against their widows’ weeds.

2. Alexander Wang for H&M – Starring Joan Smalls, Raquel Zimmermann, Isabeli Fontana, Natasha Poly, Andy Carroll, Rivaldino dos Santos by Mikael Jansson

Alexander Wang X H&M

Blending ‘athleisure’ with a touch of ‘health-goth,’ the advertisements for Alexander Wang’s highly anticipated one-off collaboration with H&M confirmed the designer’s current reign as a master of trends. For the campaign, photographed by Mikael Jansson, Wang enlisted real life athletes — English soccer player Andy Carroll and kickboxer Rivaldino dos Santos — to model the line’s sporty pieces alongside modelling industry heavy hitters Joan Smalls, Raquel Zimmerman, Isabeli Fontana and Natasha Poly, who struck stylised poses with ski goggles, boxing gloves and hockey sticks. Wang’s “ultimate dream team” also starred in a campaign video in which models run through hazardous environments, showing off the durability of Wang’s street-inspired activewear. The competitive rigour of the campaign was matched on the day the collection launched, when people battled the elements in hours-long queues to get their hands on the collection before it quickly sold out.

3. Louis Vuitton – Starring Rhys Pickering by Peter Lindbergh

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2015

For Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2015 menswear campaign, designer Kim Jones paid homage to the collection’s Rajasthani inspiration, shooting on location in the city of Jaipur, India. The images’ dusky hues and romantic lighting give tangible depth to Peter Lindbergh’s skillful shots of British newcomer Rhys Pickering, while the curving lines of the city’s maharaja-built architecture echo Jones’ geometric prints and softer silhouette for the season.

4. Sonia RykielStarring Lizzy and Georgia May Jagger by Juergen Teller

Sonia Rykiel Spring / Summer 2015

It’s a family affair at Sonia Rykiel this season, with rock royalty sisters Lizzy and Georgia Jagger defiantly taking centre stage, posing on the Left Bank of Paris in jumpsuits, knitwear and fur. These pieces come from Julie de Libran’s debut collection as artistic director for the brand and it appears that Rykiel has hit a sweet spot with the designer, whose Spring/Summer 2015 collection injected cool modernity into the brand’s playful cropped jackets, wide sailor-boy pants and satin dresses in a muted palette of khaki, white and navy.

5. CélineStarring Joan Didion, Marie-Agnes Gillot and Freya Lawrence by Juergen Teller

Céline Spring/Summer 2015

Céline’s campaign image featuring legendary American writer Joan Didion, was an instant hit on social media. The 80-year-old, known for both her fiction and nonfiction prose, offers a wry smile as she poses in black, wearing the brand’s signature oversized sunglasses and a large gold pendant. Didion is clearly a something of a muse for Céline creative director, Phoebe Philo. The label’s 2014 resort campaign, shot by Tyrone Lebon and featuring model Daria Werbowy, bears more than a passing resemblance to a famous image of the writer sitting in her Corvette Stingray. Didion isn’t the only woman the brand picked for the campaign, which also features French dancer and choreographer Marie-Agnès Gillot and rising teen model Freya Lawrence.

6. Givenchy – Starring Julia Roberts by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2015

Creative director Riccardo Tisci has made a habit of using non-models in Givenchy’s recent campaigns. There was performance artist Marina Abramovic, then musician Erykah Badu, followed by French actress Isabelle Huppert. This season, the house cast its biggest star yet: actress Julia Roberts. Shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and styled by Katy England, the black-and-white images eschew Roberts’ famous smile in favour of a stern, inquisitive stance. The image of Roberts is set alongside a picture of autumnal woods that are empty except for a red traffic cone, a diptych that recalls David Lynch’s cult 1990s TV show Twin Peaks with the suited Roberts as FBI Agent Cooper. The woodland scene and Lynchian vibes are picked up again in the second part of the campaign, which features models posing in black alongside an old-fashioned motorbike.

7. PradaStarring Ansel Elgort, Ethan Hawke, Jack O’Connell and Miles Teller by Craig McDean

Prada Spring/Summer 2015

These men have taken over film screens and now they’re about to take over the pages of fashion magazines. For its Spring/Summer 2015 menswear campaign, Prada shrewdly cast four of Hollywood’s leading men, all of whom starred in films that are currently in cinemas or expected to sweep up gongs during the current awards season: Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Jack O’ Connell (the lead in Angelina Jolie’s war epic Unbroken) and Miles Teller (of critically acclaimed indie hitWhiplash). Captured by photographer Craig McDean, each cast member is given his own spotlight, in cinematic portraits where the eye is drawn not only to Prada’s new season offering of knitwear, separates and tailoring, but to a narrative suggested by a mysterious prop in each of the men’s hands. A pensive Hawke cuts up a photograph; Teller jots down a note, its content hidden from the viewer; Ansel Elgort slices an orange; and Jack O’Connell drinks from a glass.

8. Burberry Starring Naomi Campbell, Jourdan Dunn by Mario Testino.

Burberry Spring/Summer 2015

Following the pairing of Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne for the My Burberry fragrance campaign in September, the British brand once again coupled an iconic supermodel with a new star for its Spring/Summer 2015 advertisements. In what was Naomi Campbell’s first Burberry shoot since 2001 and the fourth for 24-year old Jourdan Dunn, this is the first time the house has launched a campaign starring exclusively black models. Sporting the label’s classic trench and this season’s taffeta tiered frocks and colour-blocked bags, the British beauties were lensed, as usual, by Mario Testino. Unsurprisingly, these images sparked a broader conversation on race and the campaign was widely hailed as a positive step forward for ethnic diversity in fashion.

9. Saint LaurentStarring Joni Mitchell by Hedi Slimane

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2015

Saint Laurent featured 1970s folk icon Joni Mitchell in its latest campaign, photographed by creative director Hedi Slimane in her own home in Bel Air, California, wearing a custom-made leather cape, country hat and folk tunic. Part of the ongoing Saint Laurent Music Project, the image of the 71-year-old singer chimes perfectly with Slimane’s longstanding interest in music. (In the past, Slimane has lensed musicians including Marianne Faithfull, Ariel Pink, Courtney Love, and Kim Gordon). The choice of Mitchell blends the Saint Laurent-fuelled trend for Seventies glamour with the casting of older women this season.

10. Versace – Starring Madonna by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Versace Spring/Summer 2015

Madonna is back as the face of Versace for the label’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign. In the latest chapter of the star’s collaboration with the brand — Madonna appeared in Versace campaigns twice in 1995, shot by Steven Meisel and Mario Testino, and in 2005, photographed again by Testino — the Queen of Pop sports dark lipstick and a blonde bob. As with previous campaigns, the new black-and-white images, taken in New York by Mert and Marcus, focus on Madonna’s fierce femme fatale image and we see the 56-year-old icon take on a variety of dramatic poses, as she wears Versace’s body-con tops and laser-cut dresses, from a collection tailored for an incredibly toned physique.

Credit: BoF

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Pinterest: MMPR1

MMPR FOCUS: BRANDS FLOCK TO PINFLUENCERS AS PINTEREST PITCHES ADS

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In the past few months, advertisers ranging from Tommy Hilfiger to VH1 to Benjamin Moore started spending marketing dollars to promote their brands on Pinterest.

But with a few exceptions, those companies didn’t actually buy any ads on the fast-growing social network, which allows users to “pin” images of their favourite things or places.

Instead, they commissioned Pinterest influencers, or “Pinfluencers,” to help get their messages out to consumers. In such instances, Pinterest doesn’t get paid.

Pinterest has a big audience of nearly 70 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore. The company valued at $5 billion sees itself as a visual search engine for people to use in the course of everything from wedding-planning to buying a new home.

The company launched its first ad product last year, offering select brands a chance to buy “Promoted Pins,” and recently made that service available to the whole industry. But some marketers are finding they can reach Pinterest’s audience and accomplish their goals just as effectively by signing up influencers, a potential threat to the company’s growth.

Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships, said the social network can build a thriving ad business even as brands tap into influencers on its service — much as YouTube has done. She said the company will roll out new ad products and targeting options this year.

“A promoted pin will scale a great pin, and that will create better results for advertisers,” Ms. Bradford said.

Pinterest’s influencers are individuals–often bloggers–who have been able to cultivate large followings on the social network and are familiar with what resonates with its users. The best “Pinfluencers” attract attention for brands without overtly selling their products.

Many advertisers have tapped the startup HelloSociety, which represents numerous Pinterest influencers, to execute marketing campaigns on the site. These campaigns can start as low as $15,000 and run as high as a few hundred thousand dollars, a person familiar with the matter said.

HelloSociety Chief Executive Kyla Brennan said there are only 300 or so Pinterest influencers today who can claim a following large and influential enough to be worth an advertiser’s time. But that number is growing as Pinterest grows.

VH1 co-created a series of Pinterest boards featuring 1990s fashion for the show “Hindsight,” which in some cases hardly mentioned the cable network at all and VH1 didn’t purchase any Pinterest ads.

In one instance, VH1 says it got 600,000 followers for an influencer-created pin during a single week, and enjoyed a 40 % lift in engagement during the campaign, according to Tom Chirico, the network’s vice president of marketing.

Staples, Clinique, Huggies and Nordstrom are among the other brands that have taken the influencer route, but haven’t purchased Pinterest ads.

Sean Ryan, director of social and mobile marketing for J. C. Penney, said the retailer has purchased some ads on Pinterest, but noted that the influencer approach can be even more effective. “We often see twice the lift in engagement on a product when we use an influencer on Pinterest,” he said.

Mondelez International’s Ritz recently hired some Pinterest influencers to co-create a Pinterest board with pretty images of Ritz “Fresh Stacks” crackers coupled with heart-shaped slices of cheese.

Other social networks, like Instagram and Vine, have their own influencers, but on Pinterest “it’s especially important, because of their ability to get people to ‘repin’,” or share a Pinterest pin with others, said Madeline Vincent, associate brand manager for Ritz.

Target says it has had a good experience buying Pinterest ads. The retailer says traffic from Pinterest to Target.com nearly doubled as a result of marketing on Pinterest last year, both with ads and paid influencers.

Sarah Hofstetter, chief executive of the digital agency 360i, has worked with Clinique and the New Orleans Board of Tourism on influencer campaigns. But she sees a bigger role for both tactics, as Pinterest ramps up its ad offerings this year. She said Pinterest has been late in communicating its benefits to brands. “Marketers didn’t know what to do with it,” she said.

Pinterest has founded what it calls the Pintstitute, a program through which brands can get hands-on guidance on what works on the site and what doesn’t.

Credit: World Street Journal edited by ModeMaison PR

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MMPR TRAVEL FOCUS: 3 PERFECT CITIES FOR RELAXATION IN TUSCANY

It’s the start of a new busy week for most of us and what perfect way to kick it off than to talk about travel and relaxation!

There’s no doubt that Tuscany is one of the best places on earth to enjoy an amazing, natural landscape as well as a lot of cultural activities related to nature. This region of central Italy is chosen by many people who want to escape the daily routine to recharge their batteries, relax and breathe healthy air in the middle of stunning, rural properties.

Fitness

So, it goes without saying that Tuscany is a perfect place for a relaxing getaway. And one of the best ways to have a very healthy experience is to stay in a relaxing resort, fully-equipped with every facility you might need to help you feel better and recover from the stresses of work. A great way to find your own karma is to enjoy the offerings of a luxury spa. Italy – and Tuscany, in particular – offers lots of places like this. In many facilities, you’ll also find medical and paramedical staff who can help you choose the most suitable treatment for your needs.

Let’s see which are the most important.

MONTECATINI TERME

This amazing city is the perfect combination for anyone wanting to enjoy the healthy properties of thermal baths as well as discover a very nice city surrounded by countryside, full of beautiful examples of architecture of the Renaissance, as well as excellent Italian cuisine.

Thermae

CHIANCIANO TERME

This cozy little city is well known for the benefits that its waters and mud baths can give. There are also facilities with experts in physiotherapy and rehabilitation, using special machines in conjunction with massage specialists.

Relaxation

SATURNIA

Saturnia is one of the coolest places in Tuscany, as well as a very old and important centre in Roman times. Here there are several centres where people can enjoy the best techniques for every kind of therapy related to thermal and mud baths.

So, there you have it. Tuscany is definitely the perfect destination for the ones that want to mix a relaxing experience with discovering an amazing culture.

Credit: Julia Senoner | A Luxury Blog

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STANLEY ENOW NOMINATED AT CANAL D’OR MUSIC AWARDS

The year has kicked off in grand style for starboy Stanley Enow as yesterday’s nominations for the prestigious Canal d’Or awards in Cameroon came through on television. The Bayangi Boy can be found in four categories as per below marking yet another moment of great recognition in his career.

Last year, Stanley Enow was nominated for and won the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) Best New Act in South Africa as well as the AFRIMMA Best Newcomer in the USA.

We are truly grateful for the recognition and thank the Canal d’Or organisers for thinking of him and supporting his career.

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