Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Snubbed by Coca Cola, supported by Schweppes

maticevski backstage/sonny vandevelde

As many may already be aware, Melbourne couturier Toni Maticevski will stage a presentation in Sydney tonight at The Ivy. It’s not a Spring/Summer 0910 collection per se, more a collection of 30 unseen looks (above, below) from the past two years. The presentation is being sponsored by Schweppes. As it happens, Maticevski’s Schweppes show comes a week before Diet Coke is to play a pivotal role at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week – an event which, of course, owes its current existence to the naming rights generosity of a beverage. In addition to the multibrand Diet Coke Little Black Dress show, frockwriter hears that Diet Coke is also sponsoring at least 10 other shows at the event. This is interesting, considering that Maticevski himself says that he approached Coca Cola for sponsorship several years ago, only to be informed “We don’t associate ourselves with fashion or celebrities”. Or so he told me on Sunday night when we bumped into each slap bang in the middle of Sydney’s Kings Cross – and amusingly, just a few metres from the suburb's iconic Coca Cola sign.

maticevski backstage/sonny vandevelde

As to why he’s not showing at RAFW proper, Maticevski told me that, beyond his representation in Myer, he’s just “not doing wholesale” at the moment. Given how hard it has proven of late for many designers to extract monies out of retailers - and notably in the US market - this is not difficult to understand.

Maticevski's private order business is, he reports, travelling well – even in the US. Maticevski is in fact planning to return to New York Fashion Week in September and reports that he self-funds all his shows.

all three studio images: justin ridler

Here are also two quite beautiful mid century Schweppes posters, illustrators unknown (even though the red one bears some resemblance to the style, and signature, of venerated French illustrator René Gruau).

Schweppes has plucked these illustrations from its archives, from an era when the brand was actively involved in the fashion business. A selection has been made into postcards, to be distributed tonight.

Wouldn’t it be nice if big commercial brands – and, yes, fashion magazines - once again became the champions of hand-rendered fashion illustration?


Anonymous said...

It's always interesting to see an RAFW poster child left a little in the lurch by the GFC. What a difference a year makes...

On a completely different note, I'm David. We shared a boat and a cab from a swimwear show during the '07 SS RAFW, but that's ancient history now! I write for a tech publication (pays the bills) and wanted to make sure it was you before I add it to an online slideshow on the best FW blogs.

JoolzGirl said...

Love those old Schweppes illustrations! Wouldn't it be fab to see them doing more of them?

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, Diet Coca Cola was consumed almost entirely by females, which Coca Cola found to be because of the word "diet", which might resonate more with woman. In response to this, and their missing of a sector of the market (males who would like lighter/sugar free Coke), they introduced Coke Zero. By doing so, they confused all of their customers, who questioned the difference between "diet" and "zero". What they appear to be doing now is marketing Diet Coca Cola specifically for women, with the little black dress, the idea of a slender (diet-ed) figure, and Zero to men (I'm not sure how, as yet.).

Anonymous said...

Here is a little gossip I've just heard this moring over coffee.One of the designers didn't draw the drawing on billboard and has put his/her signature on it without telling the illustrator.Natural the dude is pretty cut up about it.
That is so lame,Isn't this fault advertising?? How did Coca Cola let this go??!!

Anonymous said...

Last Anonymous,

I heard that same story too! See this is why I hate big giant corporate companies,crew diet coke!
I am sticking to my good old old Schweppes!
Paddy investigate!

Anonymous said...

Toni Maticevski is such talented designer. He is just a pure talent. Bravo!

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