As businesses and consumer groups grapple with the effects of global marketing, we are observing how various fashion designers adjust their marketing strategies to suit this uncertain new world. Some fashion designers are re-thinking creative design as a foundation for marketing. They are concentrating on how to bring a sense of personal involvement in self-styling for the consumer as a fundamental marketing strategy. When the world gets more confusing, either we pull in the reins and go to our strengths — or we go all out and cast a wider net.
Designers are focused less on “The Look,” in their seasonal collections. They are busy researching and creating a line that can satisfy more than one demo/psycho-graphic market. While staying true to their core target audience, they are also reaching beyond that to a broader range of ages and body shapes with a wider selection of fabrics, colors, styles, …. Looking to connect to “What is their world,” the new wave of fashion designer wants to create a brand story that will stimulate or revive consumer emotions and aspirations. More than ever, it is important that a style and the brand have relevance to the consumer.
A good example could be the current repercussions of the world’s poor economies. What kind of choices will be made with this in mind? When so many things look bleak for so many people, how can one’s personal styling make the consumer more optimistic? A designer may think back and design forward to create different styles that reactivate pleasurable emotions. It may be time to extend beyond the security of the “I can wear it anywhere” black dress, exploring the brighter, fun colors, patterns, and styles, offered at more reasonable, affordable prices.
What we are saying here is largely attributed to singular Lanvin designer, Alber Elbaz. Elbaz fashions are being created to resurrect one’s own “golden age,” and also to make one aware of their fashion self-actualization.
An example of “fashion self-actualization” could be one interpretation of “tomboy” style in a woman’s wardrobe. It may be a woman’s answer to not being obviously sexy. The tomboy may want to demonstrate that she has no present desire to arouse a man’s sex drive. It may signal her desire for freedom from flirting, as well as freedom from high heels, classic dresses and full-on makeup. Or it could be a desire to be trendy, yet casually elegant?
Note the following possible interpretations of the “Tomboy” fashion style. Let’s see how you react to the possibilities, as we need to find comfort in our currently uncomfortable world…
As we stated above: designers look back to design forward…
The mood, the lifestyle, the “fashion self-actualization” of “The Tomboy”
The designer who thinks “What is their world now?” —
is more likely to attract more customers.
Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.