Rob Forshaw is a founding partner of Grand Union, a digital content agency.
Looking at skim.com makes you realise that having a great website isn't just about having great design, content and functionality. The thing that strikes you about skim.com is that it's just a brilliant idea.
The site is essentially an online fashion retailer but these aren't normal clothes. They're clothes that communicate. Each item has a unique serial number displayed that corresponds to a personal e-mail address. See someone on the bus you like and you can send them an e-mail. These are clothes that bring people together.
Skim.com is the invention of a collective of Swiss artists and designers whose aim is to integrate online communication with street communication.
The site itself is a melting pot of brilliant clothes, ideas, art and games. Is this the future of brand communication? You can't help but come away from the site kicking yourself that you hadn't had the idea yourself.
Expect to hear lots more about skim.com in the future. In limited distribution in shops and with a website that has grown through word of mouth, skim.com is set to become one of the first true crossover brands successfully fusing on- and offline media.
If traditional clothing brands are struggling to make online selling work, they should look at skim.com and others for inspiration. This is new-brand territory and it is being exploited by a creative-led new generation of entrepreneurs set on breaking every rule in the book.
Site positioning: fashion that communicates
Launch: November 1999
Developed by: skim.com.