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www.kookai.com

Simon Crab Creative director at digital agency Tangent One

Large-scale photography is usually a good thing on fashion websites, enabling brands to communicate their ethos and to engage potential consumers in a rich and exciting visual feast.

However, this tactic only works if the photography is half decent. Womenswear retailer Kookaï’s website has a photographic introductory section consisting of large, greyscale images of a lone, over made-up, rather goofy model. I suspect they are intended to look classy but they say little about the brand or the product and only serve to alienate visitors.

To compound the problem, the rest of the site consists of crudely designed and overlaid content boxes which, when they work at all, contain clumsily cropped images, pretentious copy and incredibly bad typography. The navigation is also inconsistent and awkward.

The amateurish and downmarket feel of the website stands in contrast to the rest of Kookaï’s brand communications - indicating that the retailer either hasn’t updated its website since the 1990s or that it just doesn’t take its digital presence that seriously. The company seems to

put more emphasis on sales through Asos and House of Fraser than it does on direct sales, and the French retailer is in danger of losing its own brand identity and disconnecting from its customers.

It could start to address both these issues with a strong digital strategy. If only it realised.

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