Imperfectly perfect online store for fashion brand of the year
A Swedish brand with a French name
L’Homme Rouge is a Swedish fashion brand with a French name. The name translates to ‘the red man’, manifesting the founders’ ambition to challenge the norms and preconceptions of menswear. And, in that they’ve succeeded. In 2018, L’Homme Rouge was awarded the European Woolmark Prize and named brand of the year by prestigious Swedish department store Nordiska Kompaniet.
Grow in style
L’Homme Rouge is growing by the minute. Partly thanks to the above-mentioned awards, but mostly through word-of-mouth and writeups in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Highsnobiety and Hype Beast. In 2016, a beautiful brand store was opened in Stockholm. But the online store was dragging behind. In 2018, a strategic decision was made to change that. Enter Essen International.
Online brand store
Develop an online store that embodies the L’Homme Rouge brand. That was the brief. Easy in theory, difficult in practice, as L’Homme Rouge is a unique brand with a peculiar personality. As in most projects, we overcame the challenge through research. By spending time with the founders, learning their history, how the clothes are actually design and manufactured, etc.
Inventing the inventory
Research showed that the L’Homme Rouge brand is very much defined by its imperfections, it’s analogue feel, and it’s progressive yet nostalgic overtones. This insight led us to a design concept we labeled ‘inventory’. An expression based on the notion of an archive. A place where the skewed and organic is housed in perfectly gridded, digital boxes.
From backstory to frontend
The concept of the inventory guided every decision as we moved on to UX and UI. Every space was boxed in and gridded. Black colors got slightly washed out. White colors got a worn feel. Navigation menus faded as you clicked them. Certain topics got serial numbers. Scribble like icons were done by hand by L’Homme Rouge’s Creative Director. And so forth.
Advancing to development
Research also revealed that a fast, user friendly and SEO optimized platform was a priority for the client. So, we decided to stay on Shopify, the platform that L’Homme Rouge was already using. But a whole new template had to be developed, involving front-end as well as back-end development. Last but not least, we designed templates for newsletters, social media and all that juicy stuff.
The online store goes online
There was a deadline. L’Homme Rouge would soon release a whole new collection, and the online store had to be ready in time for that. And, that it was. The new collection, titled Scout Siders, soon got raving reviews in Vogue and Hype Beast to name just two examples. Not because of our online store, obviously. But we do like to think we did help to spread the word…