Strategic Spot of Outlet for Experiencing Goodness : : Branding of Imabari Towel Japan (Part 5)

Till the point where the subsidization from “Japan Brand Incubation Supporting Programme” was finished, Imabari Towel still did not have a sole outlet in Tokyo. There were only three collaborating outlets – Mitsukoshi department store, official gift shop in The National Art Center and Isetan Shinjuku department store. So what to do next? Continue reading →

The Power of Designed White : : Branding of Imabari Towel Japan (Part 4)

During 2007, you can only find an outlet in Texport Imabari, Imabari-shi Ehime-ken that towels made by members of STICA were sold. There once had a guerrilla outlet in Ginza of Tokyo from 2003 till 2006. STICA could barely operate the outlet because they paid too much attention to the profit. Continue reading →

Brand-mark as Anti-bogusness and Endorsement : : Branding of Imabari Towel Japan (Part 3)

In Mr. Kashiwa Sato’s mind, the “Imabari Towel Japan” mark not only functions as an anti-bogusness, it would be an endorsement of high quality to merchandise. Starting from it’s launch in 2007, a set of identity are required to be applied to every qualified towels made by members of ITIA. Since launching, a member, whom a batch of unqualified towels were affixed “Imabari Towel Japan” identity, was requested to withdraw membership. Continue reading →

Competitive Edge over Low Pricing Towels : : Branding of Imabari Towel Japan (Part 1)

When you google “Imabari”, you will probably find out that the most outstanding recalls about Imabari-shi are shipbuilding and towel manufacturing. These industries became recognized simply because of its geography. Imabari-shi is located at the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, where maritime culture is implanted into the daily life from the beginning of modernism. Naturally, Imabari-shi has developed its maritime connection from shipbuilding to trade port.

Areas around Osaka and Nagoya are better in growing cotton, but the quality is the best. Basically, during Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), cotton is tended to be imported. With a longer history of cotton growing, Osaka is the largest centre of weaving industrial. Continue reading →

不能被複製的零售店鋪

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2010年五月到杭州公幹,替 Lee Cooper 於銀泰西湖店及武林店開設專賣店。回程當天。特意到環城西路與游龍路交界的「浪漫一身」(Romanticism)杭州西湖旗艦店(注釋:已拆掉,屬杭州品牌的「浪漫一身」改掉舊名,以「RMEO」重新展示新形象;此連結為「百度地圖」實景。),一看她們這店的設計及裝修工藝。

這樣「奇異」的設計,當然要現場及近距離感受。店面面對西湖,旁於大道及步行街,位置於優越,定當吸引眼球。

此設計由日本建築師 Keiichiro Sako 與 Takeshi Ishizaka 共同設計,共有地上兩層及地下一層,總面積約為1100平方米,於2007年下旬完工。到訪時已過兩年半,網上可搜尋不少的報導,設計概念是為重最要,據 contemporist.com 的報導

Keiichiro Sako 說:「客戶只要求設計一座不能被複製的店鋪⋯我便思考一件衣物是人體的第二層皮膚,空間為第三層⋯最後設計出這『有機網狀捲曲造型』,作為衣物與空間的過渡。」

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Social Enterprise for the Deaf

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www.pukidesign.org capture screen

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Founded in 2010, Puki Design is one of the affiliated company of Shanghai Puki Deaf Coordination Agency (小籠包聾人協力事務所). This is a design studio in form of a Social Enterprise providing career opportunities to be trained to become a real designer for the deaf that have already had proper skill of training in government training centre. This is the first and the only one in China.

When a deaf design trainee might not have an equal and same opportunity with healthy one, Puki Design would employ affordable number of these trainees for a certain length of training period. They can work with regular design projects from large corporations to gain on-the-job training under supervision of superior design director. After that, they would “graduate” and are ready to work in regular designing junior position in collaborating corporations. These collaborating corporations include TaoMee Interactive platform (www.61.com), Ctrip Traveling Network (www.ctrip.com), The 9 Gaming Community Network (www.the9.com), etc.

A 1+1 Internship Plan is another main stream of Puki Design. They would sign agreements with corporations to provide internship for every one regular design student, they must provide another internship opening for a deaf design trainee. The third main stream is to promote sign language by publishing illustration albums collaborated with different renowned artistes. They want to educate regular citizens to know more about the deaf and their lives.

There is a global trend that corporations are more emphasizing on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), either employing the under-privileged or subcontracting projects to Social Enterprises. So there should be great chances for these social enterprises to sustain in long-term operation. Their ultimate aim is to operate without the monetary help from the Government and any types of donation.

The problem is that there are a few categories of the under-privileged belonging to more under-privileging groups than the others, such as the deaf who looks healthy in usual conditions. Another example is young unmarried mothers. Drezier Communications had been working for a Social Enterprise for these group of young unmarried mothers. They are perfectly healthy, but have usually low education level due to quitting from school in pregnancy period. After their babies born, their times are occupied by their babies. Worst of all, the society might think that they are not inborn under-privileged and lower their priority of wishes to help.

Despite of the feeling of the society, do deaf designers have any edges? According to corporations’ feedback to Puki Design, these trainees may not have an equivalent ability of design and communication. But they have much better concentration endurance and thus faster learning curve. If they can keep on improving themselves, they definitely are capable to accomplish junior design positions. However, their rate of permanent employment after “graduation” is merely more than 9%. From 2010 to 2013, there is a total of 300+ “graduates”. Only 30 were permanently employed.

Frankly, Drezier is thinking of entrepreneurship of a Social Enterprise for the Deaf. There are a lots of problems to tackle:

  • Is there enough fundamental training of design currently in the society?
  • If not, how do we engaged to improve the training?
  • How do we select suitable trainees without much hard feeling projected to uninvited candidates?
  • How long should the training we provide be?
  • How do we prolong our help after “graduation”?

In order to help more deaf trainees, Puki Design cooperated with Shanghai Xuhui District Avocational University and Taobao University in 2013. They organized a “soundless” curriculum to further expand recognition in design industry and among corporations. They projected to help more deaf design trainees that can be engaged in eCommerce.

Undoubtedly, Social Enterprises’ activity is a solution and global trend in helping the under-privileged by non-government organizations in every part of the World, including China.


Official Website: http://www.pukidesign.org (Donation Page)
Official Weibo: puki521

以中國語境翻譯 Chic

年前,為一個中國大陸女裝鞋品牌,撰寫品牌故事。(註:品牌故事乃品牌介紹,中國大陸品牌喜愛以故事形式敘述創立品牌過程,從而獲得信任。新品牌那有多麼的故事?你懂的。)中國沒有久遠的 fashion culture 或現代人民文化,很多時間,表達現代文明與文化的文字是多麼匱乏,應用英語等外語傳達,實屬必然。

那個品牌,她們想傳達法國品牌的感覺。最直接便是多用法語,或源於法語而有 adaptation 的英語,或直接吸納法語的英語。歷時一個月的多番改進建議,「Chic」(法語;讀音為 sheek)是經常採用的詞彙,來表高雅時尚。問題來了,中國大陸內必須要單獨使用中文,外語被排擠的。一個非常困難的翻譯在前,比撰寫品牌故事更甚,不要跟我說用「時尚(髦)」或「品位(味)」便是。

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以下先竹舉一個經典例子,然後再披露解難:

《清平調詞三首》李白

  雲想衣裳花想容, 春風拂檻露華濃
  若非群玉山頭見, 會向瑤台月下逢。
  一枝紅艷露凝香, 雲雨巫山枉斷腸。
  借問漢宮誰得似? 可憐飛燕倚新妝。
  名花傾國兩相歡, 長得君王帶笑看。
  解釋春風無限恨, 沉香亭北倚闌干。

這首李白的唐詩便是美國化妝品牌 Revlon 的中文譯名的出處。

是誰的翻譯傑作?香港廣告始祖黃霑先生也。

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回說這題,無論「時尚(髦)」或「品位(味)」或「高雅」等等… 的翻譯都不到「到位」。語言反映文化,法國潮流在世界獨領風騷,法語中形容「時尚」的詞彙特別豐富,包括 Chic, du Jour, au Courant, Vogue, Chi-chi, a la Mode… 而法語語境中,chic 是全世界獨一無二的的詞彙概念。

著名美國作家 Anne Barone 專注研究法國女生生活多年,出版過《Chic & Slim》、《Chic & Slim Toujours》、《Chic & Slim Encore》及《Chic & Slim Connoisseur》等著作,有很多很多對 chic 的闡述。這些這些使我更相信不能用一組兩字詞彙,可以直譯 chic。

費盡心力,我將之譯為「法式範兒」!

「法式」即「French」。
「式」的普通話的讀音為 shi,發音與法語「chic」相似。
範兒」,就是有風度,風範風采派頭的意思。最後面加上這個最有特色的北京方言的名詞,既發音非常短速,又富中國語境。

Chic 讀音為 sheek,「法式範兒」全組譯詞的發音為 fa-shi-fan-er。可以說,「法式範兒」是最傳神的獨到詮釋,既描述法國女生的獨有風範、氣質及魅力等,也包含中國語境對炙手可熱的潮流寵兒的贊嘆!

總結,「chic」應譯為「法式範兒」!