Monthly Archives: April 2018

Fashion To Engage Consumers

Fashion and design partnerships are one of the strongest opportunities being leveraged by brands to market products to those cutting edge trendsetters and influencers that closely follow – and lead – today’s fashion trends.

Fashion partnerships result in an enhanced image and an overall sense of innovation and hipness to the brand. These partnerships are typically different enough to break through the clutter, gain consumer interest, attract press, and generate consumer buzz. In fact, fashion, like music, is globally one of the most popular categories in terms of online consumer interest as it too transcends culture and breaks down barriers.

No longer are fashion events and content limited to fashion brands – today you see brands of all types leveraging fashion, ranging from title-owning Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Subway’s runway dress made out of wrappers, Moët & Chandon on the Golden Globes Red Carpet to Intel and HP’s multi-year long partnership with fashion-themed television series Project Runway.

A fashion initiative has the ability to elevate the brand and provide the perception of appearing out-of-the box and cutting edge to consumers. It is important to remember that there needs to be a rhyme or reason behind the partnership. By looking at the core fundamentals of the brand’s objectives and messaging, a mutually beneficial campaign will result in success for both the brand and the partner when identifying the common ground in messaging.

For savvy brands and marketers of all types, opportunities are available at a wide range of fee levels (read: very affordable to quite hefty) to create noteworthy partnerships that will get noticed by both media and consumers, while also providing content to significantly drive social media conversations. Brands no longer need to go to Paris to find success with fashion, and almost any brand can create a successful and sales-impacting organic partnership through one of these four platforms.

• Partnering With Fashion Events

Fashion event opportunities exist with large scale events, such as the “official” partnerships with Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week to smaller Fashion Week offshoots that are often just as press worthy and impactful, including runway shows and celebrity gifting lounges. There are fashion weeks held in cities all over the world, the most prominent in the U.S. being New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week held twice a year, in February and September. Also included in the fashion event category are fashion designer showcases held at locations year round or celebrity driven award shows where the red carpet is often the highlight of the night.

Fashion events provide immense traffic and engagement in social media. Based on data gathered by Social Curation and Analytics company Curalate, it was found that during New York Fashion Week 2013, there were 100,000 related Twitter and Instagram shared by more than 33,000 unique users. On average, the top NYFW brand photos generated 37,448 interactions per photo, most of which were product-driven. Marketing campaigns are extremely effective when they take place in real-time, live at an event or location. Out of the 100K+ posts that drove the most engagement, 90{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed} were taken on site at the NYFW.

As an example of this social success, Harman-Kardon created a NY Fashion Week partnership 3 day event to launch their fashion-friendly white headphones, based on their ‘beautiful sound’ platform. During and following the event, the brand’s social media traffic increased by 970{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed}, and they received over 19 million social media impressions and 370 million national press impressions.

• Partnering with Fashion Designers

Whether brands want to establish themselves as risk-taking and groundbreaking, or more proven with long-standing character, custom alignments exist with fashion designers and events whose personality reflect those same valued traits. Celebrity and newly emerging designers offer opportunities to create endorsement partnerships and to liven up brand campaigns, trade events or event point of sale.

• Partnering With Fashion TV Series

Fashion in Television is a constant theme, with series devoted to covering and showcasing fashion trends. Networks such as Lifetime (Project Runway), E! (Fashion Police), Bravo (Rachel Zoe), NBC (Access Hollywood, Extra) all offer sponsorship opportunities as well as options to integrate brands directly into the content. Even daily talk shows typically have a fashion segment, which brands can creatively become part of. Additionally, scripted series can provide the basic storylines of fashion similar to the previous hit Sex In The City format. The targeted viewer is typically the coveted female demographic, with an average age 25 to 49.

Pilot Pen created a 4 month long digital partnership with NBC’s Fashion Star television series. A branded customized fashion trivia game was developed with a grand prize trip to NY Fashion Week, supported by ad units across the NBC platform along with the series website and print. Additionally social media drove conversations both from the show’s designers and the brand’s fan base. The partnership reached more than 14 million consumers, with website visits 184{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed} over goal and sweepstakes entries 85{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed} over goal.

• Partnering With Fashion Bloggers

Fashion bloggers provide a very strong platform to share brand fashion driven strategies, and can include consumer sampling and sweepstakes components.

Once upon a time, New York Fashion Week was only for a very exclusive group consisting of the fashion elite and insiders. Today, largely with the help of fashion bloggers – “everyday” girls who have managed to become big time influencers – everything is much more accessible with wider public appeal. In fact, fashion – above technology, food, sports, travel – is one of the most popular blog categories, with 3 million Google searches a day, second only to music.

The proper strategic alignment within the fashion world can elevate and solidify a brands image, while tapping into a following that is enthusiastic and eager to engage online. To create a partnership that is relevant and makes sense, it is important to work with industry experts who understand the landscape and what kind of opportunities are out there to identify and activate exactly how your brand can harmoniously and successfully partner with a fashion initiative.

Ethics in the Fashion Industry

The sustainable fashion industry is gathering pace as consumers start to think more about what they buy and try to lessen the impact of their purchases. Part of the reason for the growing success of sustainable and ethical fashion is social media and its ability to educate, share stories about brands, good and bad, alert consumers to the vast amount of choice that is out there, create communities and allow individuals to become key influencers as they to make their views and style choices known to their peers and the brands that they buy from.

Social activism has become a significant force for change and has had particularly notable results with respect to sustainability in the fashion industry. To date Greenpeace’s campaign to detox fashion has attracted over 400,000 supporters. Greenpeace promoted its campaign primarily through social media with an engaging Japanese anime style YouTube video. They also encourage supporters to sign up to their Facebook page and Tweet their support. The campaign has been hugely successful with a number of fashion retailers agreeing to clean up their supply chain including the world’s largest fashion retailer, Zara and the world’s largest jean manufacturer, Levi’s. Greenpeace also encouraged people to send in an Instagram photo with the name of the company that they would like to see detox next for the chance to star in their next campaign.

Labour Behind the Label is a campaigning organisation raising awareness of ethical issues in the fashion industry. Recently it called for Adidas pay US$1.8 million in severance owed to 2,800 workers from its former Indonesia supplier, PT Kizone and attracted over 50,000 supporters. Labour Behind the Label have also instigated a number of other campaigns including a call for brands to ban sandblasted denim by encouraging supporters to, amongst other things post to the brands Facebook page with a link back to the campaign website. This isn’t the first time that Adidas have found themselves a subject of the public’s disagreement expressed through social media. In June 2012, the brand withdrew its shackle trainer when, its debuton their Facebook page (ahead of its market release) prompted comments criticising the design as a symbol of slavery.

In addition to increasing awareness and driving change with regards to bad practices in the fashion industry, social media has also become a positive force in spreading news of companies that are getting in right, making a difference and have a great story to tell. Social Media includes a range of different platforms and networks which are being used to help ethical brands tell their stories. YouTube is perhaps the mostly widely used and for AW13 London Fashion Week, a series of ethical fashion videos were broadcast as part of Estethica before being posted on YouTube where they can be viewed, distributed through other social media and posted in blogs.

The significance of social media to marketers is due to the way that it can drive and accelerate social proofing. Social proof is the way that we validate what is the norm by looking at the behaviour of others. Social media greatly magnifies this process by allowing us access to a much greater number of people to validate ourselves against than most people could experience in the offline world. The strong online communities of influencers and advocates of sustainable and ethical fashion that grow on social media platforms play a key role in this social proofing.

Toms Shoes is just one interesting example of an ethical fashion brand that has managed to bridge the gap between the ethical and mainstream fashion market. Behind this success story is perhaps their ability to tell a good story using social media. Their One day without shoes Campaign encouraged users to spend one day without shoes and to tweet about their experience using the #withoutshoes hash tag. They amplified this message by partnering with AOL asked consumers to help distribute the #withoutshoes messages to over 1,000,000 before the event date and celebrity retweets gave a further boost. Tom shoes have also proved popular with fashion bloggers and on outfit sharing websites but it is difficult to tell if this is partly a cause of effect of their social media popularity, perhaps a bit of both.

Within the various social media platforms are communities made up of people with an interest in a particular subject, their impact however extends well beyond their actual community and the more they interact, the more they grow. There are a number of social media communities that are driving change in consumer habits by encouraging fashionistas to make do and mend, upcycle and wear vintage and second hand clothing. This coupled with a move away from trend led looks to individual style statements is helping to change what is considered cool. Street style photographs, fashion blogs and outfits sharing websites all help to inspire rather than dictate how people should dress and have helped to bring about a democratisation of fashion where consumers have more choice and access to many more brands than those available on the high street. Even the concept of buying less is becoming a topic of much discussion on social media as bloggers take on challenges to look stylish for a week, month or even a year just by wearing limited pieces of clothing or without buying anything new. Perhaps one of the most well known of these challenges is the Uniform Project where one girl pledged to wear a little black dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainable fashion but there have been many more. Labour Behind the Label also runs a challenge called the six items challenge to help raise both funds and awareness of the issues surrounding ethical practices in the fashion industry.

Choose Your Fashion Merchandising Colleges

Fashion industry attracts many young people nowadays not only because it is a rather new profession, but also it is supposed to realize person’s likes in the field of fashion. Besides, it is quite a high-paid profession today. When a young person decides to connect his or her activity with the fashion industry nothing comes to mind except one its aspect – fashion design. Probably, few people actually know that it’s a separate field of fashion industry. In fact, there is a great number of other professions and specialties in fashion including designing clothing, fashion design, fashion marketing, fashion merchandising, etc. The latter doesn’t get worthy attention, but it is very important. Due to merchandising we have fashionable clothes in the shops and stores.

How can one know whether fashion merchandising is the field for him to start work at? Look through the following traits of a potential fashion merchandiser and if at least one point coincides with your way of life, you have all chances to make the career in the field. Do you like to spend your weekend walking through flea markets for the latest retro fashions? Or maybe your friends want to borrow your fashionable shoes and your defiant accessories? If so, maybe you should take a walk down the fashion runway. Being a student in merchandising, you will get an opportunity to learn more about fabrics and textiles. You are also going to study the cultures and subcultures that shape the way people dress.

No doubt, in order to become a professional merchandiser, a great desire and talent for this specialty is not enough. If a person wants to get into this career and have success in it one needs to get the right education and training at first. A fashion merchandising college will be of great help for you. Once you study at a fashion merchandising college you will get an opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of the fashion industry because there one can get a practical experience and build a strong foundation necessary for further working in this field.

A student has the right to choose whether to obtain a two-year Associate in Art degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in the field of fashion. It depends on the kind of a fashion merchandising college you are going to visit. Besides, you are also welcome to unite this education with classes or even a major or minor in a related specialty, for instance, fashion design or fashion marketing. Students in a fashion merchandising college learn how to manufacture, buy, promote, and sell fashion items, beginning from clothing and jewelry to cosmetics and furniture. They also learn about textiles (fabrics and the fibers used to make them).

One should choose his or her future merchandising college very thoroughly. Depending upon the fashion merchandising college you are going to attend a sort of the necessary courses in your degree course will greatly vary. The most preferable courses include subjects like accounting principles, business law, salesmanship, fashion sketching, merchandising math, merchandising, publicity and promotions, fashion development, trend-spotting, and the history of fashion. You are certain to like those subjects, besides, they will give you the fundamental knowledge of the fashion industry.

Studying at a fashion merchandising college is not like studying at any other educational establishment. Many core courses in fashion merchandising are hands-on and involve a great amount of project work. Professors tend to rely more on their life experiences than on textbooks. If you are going to become a student expect to take a lot of field trips and listen to many guest speakers. You may visit a fashion magazine or large clothing company. You might even swing by a fashion show or two.

Having the profession of a fashion merchandiser is very interesting. It involves much communication with other people. When a person gets the job of a fashion merchandiser he or she is going to spend all days long visiting various fashion shows, buying clothing and designs, speaking with designers, overseeing advertising and marketing campaigns necessary for successful selling of your products, and managing the stores within your business network. You are also expected to find yourself negotiating business agreements with manufacturers and suppliers. Besides, you are going to arrange your own store displays. The scope of your activity depends on the size of the business you have as well as on the level of practical work expected of you.

Beginning the fashion merchandising career you should always improve your skills and knowledge of fashion tendencies in the world, and the most important thing you will have to do is to perfect your ability of picking out the next big thing in fashion before anyone else does. This will guarantee your success. This ability carries the foundation of your new knowledge of past fashions and trends. It includes everything you will obtain by attending a fashion merchandising college, but further you should develop this trend adding your own good taste in clothing.

Summing up, it would be necessary to say that the career of a fashion merchandiser cooperates with many different fields of the fashion industry. That’s why if you are searching for a more interesting kind of activity, something that’s more than just designing clothes or visiting fashion shows, fashion merchandising may be your piece of cake. But be very attentive while choosing an appropriate fashion merchandising college, try to use your wisdom in this uneasy task, because it may define your future profession and even you life. You should do your research before entering the fashion merchandising college, and beforehand check whether the school or program you are going to attend is properly accredited.

Best Places to Look to Keep Up With Trending Fashion

1. Celebrate fashion weeks

Besides the four fashion capitals of the world namely; Paris, Milan, London, and New York, I’m sure there is a local version of fashion week in your place where you can get a huge amount of fashion style inspirations. Quickly check online for the scheduled date of this tremendously exciting affair for fashion aficionados and take a pick among which style inspirations you would get from the various collections of different fashion designers flaunting their work on the runway.

2. Be a mall rat

If fashion weeks seem to be far-fetched, you can always go to your dependable local mall. Malls usually have shops that sell the trends. Which top sells the hottest or which clothing brands are worn by celebrities and models alike. Clothing brands usually get famous celebrities to be fashion style inspirations and you’ll surely find out how you can keep up with the latest fashion trends & tips.

3. Love media!

Print, television, and film are powerful sources of great style inspirations you can check. Posh magazines are still on the list of references where you can see what’s hot and what’s not. Magazines are also beneficial because you can just cut-out your favourite outfit, post it on your wall and explore your closet to have the same look! Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Vogue are just some of the many fashion magazines you can rely on. Fashion style inspirations are also found on TV and film where you can just see what style celebrities are wearing.

4. Embrace the online fashion frenzy

You will definitely agree when I say that technology has made everything conveniently operated by the touch of a finger. All you have to do is research, browse, and pin pictures of your fashion style inspirations so you can have them on-standby when you need a glance of the latest fashion trends & tips. You can also subscribe to fashion websites to get a daily dose of fashion freshness or follow fashion designers and posh clothing brands on social media.

5. Go out and scout

Call up your friends and hit the bar, a concert, or a party and play observe. The best fashion style inspirations are sometimes the random people you see around. Chances are if it’s trendy enough, then 90{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed} of the people are wearing it. Spot the fashionistas with your friends and don’t forget to take down notes on the latest fashion trends & tips.

Exciting Fashion

Fashion has a rippling effect on people from different walks of life. It gradually gains popularity among different strata of society. To help fashion reach out to the consumers, a large number of professionals are needed. Apart from fashion designing, you can find a number of exciting jobs related to fashion.

If you are not into designing but still want to remain connected with fashion, you can perform other job duties such as Fashion marketing/ merchandising/buying and forecasting in context of every kind of wear be it the sophisticated haute-couture, ready-to-wear or for the mass market and street wear.

Basically, the fashion and the retail industry at large works as team where fashion advisors, buyers, forecasters, merchandisers and marketers, fashion designers play their part well and keep the industry going. If you love fashion and want to be related to this field professionally, you can take up jobs such as that of marketing/ merchandising/buying and forecasting in this field. These jobs enable you to execute functions that help designers to sell their collections. As a buyer you have to perform a number of functions such as that of a fashion buying. You’ll be entrusted with the job of buying raw material/accessories for fashion houses, buying houses, export houses and retail line. For this you need to have a superior knowledge about the new trends that are likely to hit the market and probably which will fetch a large number of consumers. Fashion Marketing is basically concerned with making fashion reach out to maximum number of consumers and assisting fashion designers, retail stores to make fashion accessible to the target customers. You have to work with fashion designers, suppliers and also at the manufacturing level in order to even the process that precedes fashion designing.

You can also be highly involved in fashion by running a retail store. If you have knowledge about fashion and how the industry operates, you can open a retail store. Alternatively, if you are not too keen on entrepreneurship you can take up jobs as retail managers/executives in fashion houses and retail stores.

Fashion Forecasting is another area where you can exhibit your love for fashion and work in the industry. As the name suggests, the job includes predicting fashion trends, the colours which will be popular in a particular a season or a year and the styles that are likely to become rage over a particular period of time. The designer takes cue from the trends predicted by forecasters and then decides upon the styles, fabrics, colours for the clothes line they want to launch and the clothes they want to design for creating a collection pertaining to a particular season. Analysing and evaluating new trends is necessary and designers/ retail houses depend a lot on extensive market research which forecasters make. The job may require you to travel extensively to get a peek into different markets in different geographical areas. You have to forecast the new colours which will become trend in the upcoming season, the new styles and trends that will become popular.

Understanding Plus Size Fashion

As fashion and plus size evolve into a recognized and (soon-to-be) respected segment in fashion, so do the idiosyncrasies and nuances of fashion itself, as it pertains to plus size.

You see, ten years ago, plus size only belonged in one lump segment, leaving us fashionistas with very little or if any options for shopping and discerning which pieces were of a “fashionable” standard. However, now, with the amalgamation (yes, I had to use this word) and plethora of fashions within plus size clothing, one could easily find herself lost, frustrated, confused, irritated, or flustered when shopping for an ideal outfit or piece of clothing.

Why?

We no longer have “one type” of fashion option for the plus size woman- we have many. However, to better understand and sort through the madness of them all, a budding fashionista must first understand what these newer segments are and learn the identifiers of these to shop smarter, not harder.

No really… WHY?

See, as in the straight- sized market, you will find certain segments within fashion that are grouped together, and for the most part, you know what to expect when shopping from that retailer or specific set of retailers. With the evolution of Plus Size Ready-to-Wear Fashion, the same now holds true. For sake of argument, we will group these segments for plus size fashion as straight sized fashion does to help explain the price discrepancies, size differences, in relation to the integrity and quality of a retailers’ or designers’ garment. The fashion industry is divided into five segments: haute couture, luxury, contemporary, fast fashion, and discount.

* Haute Couture: Synonymous with “high fashion,” haute couture is a derivative of the French term “high sewing.” In France, the label “haute couture” is a protected designation. Designers, who attain this elusive and oft coveted title, produce custom-made clothing for the world’s most influential and wealthiest.
* Luxury: Pret-a-Porter or “Ready to Wear” is one-step down from Haute Couture relative to price and exclusivity, but still serves a discerning and well to do client.
* Contemporary: This fashion forward segment presents mid-priced fashions both fashion forward and quality driven. Oftentimes, these designers interpret fashions from the couture houses, making these fashions readily accessible.
* Fast Fashion: Quickly produced product in a cost efficient manner, delivering “high fashion looking” garments, at the lowest price possible. Relates to the manner of which items from the runway manufactured predominantly overseas with an extremely efficient turnaround.
* Discount: Usually looked at loss leaders, have quickly adapted to the fast fashion concepts leveraging their consumer’s buying power and reputation to fashion exclusive designer collections.

However, the division and classification of what to expect from these segments do not stop there. Please read further into each segment, sans Haute couture, as to understand which designers and brands fall into each classification and what differentiates each one.

Luxury Plus Size Designers

Yes! They do exist! Goods that are of a higher quality and a respective higher price point are the fashion leaders within plus size. Designers such as:

* Anna Scholz
* Cinzia Rocca
* Elena Miro
* Lafayette 148
* Marina Rinaldi
* Peggy Lutz

Are oftentimes carried in either specialty boutiques, specialty department stores such as Saks and Neiman Marcus command, at minimum, a $250 starting point. Expect the finest fabrics, usually imported from overseas, naturally a more conservative cut, with the exception of Anna Scholz and Elena Miro (the only plus size designer to continually show during Milan Fashion Week), impeccably tailored, fully lined, natural fabrics, with exclusivity in feel and wear.

Contemporary Plus Size Designers

Mirroring the contemporary collections represented in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Saks, contemporary plus size fashion offers the fashion forward plus size woman options tailored to her curves at a moderate price point. These designers such as:

* Amanda Uprichard
* David Meister
* Igigi
* Jibri
* Melissa Masse
* Monif C.
* Svoboda

Are often the thoughts leaders, innovators, and risk takers within the plus size fashion segments, as they continually challenge the status quo or the norm in what fashion should be for the discerning plus size woman. This segment’s prices usually range from the low $100’s and can command up to $500 for more specialty pieces. Quality in these fabrics are only a sidestep lower than their luxury counterparts, introducing innovative blends in fabrics, specific silhouettes inspired by the designer’s artistic inspiration, and, like its luxury designers, have more intricate detailing.

Plus Size Fast Fashion Designers

In the light of Forever 21’s counterfeit lawsuits, fast fashion has received a tarnished image although fast fashion provides an amiable compliment to its contemporary counterparts. Popular designers in this segment include:

* Torrid
* Faith 21
* Ashley Stewart
* Lane Bryant
* Evans

With the ability to mass produce up-to-the-minute trends and incredulously low price points, fast fashion provides edgy, often directly inspired from design houses, looks that range from as low as a $10 price point up to a $150 price tag. In order to deliver the trends to the market quickly, the quality, can, at times, be inferior to the luxury and contemporary designers. Expect polyester blends, wool blends, single stitched garments, either a looser silhouette or a variety of shapes that vary from garment to garment. To be worn for the moment, the lifespan of these fast fashion fashions are intended to last for the current season.

Discount Plus Size Designers

Challenging and changing the fashion climate over the last year, discount leaders have created strategic partnerships with Contemporary Designers to bring affordable fashions to the masses. Retailers such as:

* Old Navy
* Wal-Mart
* Target

Have collaborated with the likes of Norma Kamali, Just My Size, Pure Energy, and others to bring quality fashion at an affordable retail price. Discount leaders have allowed women an introduction into fashion options rarely seen and experienced. Discount designers serve as an introduction as well as dispel the notion of plus size fashion not being available. Each segment both provides and serves its purpose for the 60{4ce678dc3bbc496f33ec1f5b8fa351dbcb0731ebbcf336196b99e832e7e170ed} of us plus size women in the ever diversifying industry of plus size fashion. It is important about knowing the differences in these segments so that you know what to expect when shopping a particular designer or retailer. Learning the difference affords you the ease of a headache or frustration when shopping to put your best curve forward.