Yesterday I caught a cab to Camden and fully immersed myself in the ASOS culture. I, along with several other bloggers selected from across Europe, was invited for the first tour of the ASOS office. We were given full access to the floors occupied by ASOS and were told that nothing was off limits. What a dangerous thing to say to a bunch of scoop hunting men and women, yet how refreshing.
Our ASOS tour began with a look at the design offices. This is truly where the magic happens. We were greeted by the head designers and talked through the process of design from inspiration to construction. The designers were asked where they drew inspiration and they responded in a blogger friendly answer, “we actually find more inspiration in blogs these days rather than print magazines.” Well, that’s daring but something that was said with an honest voice. They also revealed that while they do pay attention to seasonal runways, their trend hunting and design work actually begins for each season before we see any other collection launched. So whereas many still may think of ASOS as a “designer inspired” brand, that’s no longer entirely the case.
From the design rooms we moved on to the studios. We visited the women’s and the men’s photo studio as well as the runway studio where the catwalk videos are produced for each look. Watching the models move between each room to be shot for each segment on the site was definitely something I will not soon forget. It was like a watching a whirling dervish. These models work! They are like posing machines and while most of them seemed ten years’ younger than me, their professionalism was unparallelled by anyone I know at my age. It was truly amazing. Leave it to ASOS to have a hard working cast from designer to model. It’s all truly a well oiled machine. And what a big machine it is! I do believe it would take anyone about ten minutes to walk from one end of the office to the other. But then again, as one of the largest online retailers out there I wouldn’t expect anything less!