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The Main Runway for Fashion Industry – Social Media, The New Fashion Icon!

social media and fashion industry

social media and fashion industry

Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear Fall/Winter 2012/2013 Collection.

Social Media has never been as important as this year. Bloggers are now invited to sit on the front rows, not only focusing on early-days streetstyles. They work closely with brands on the marketing side, but are also more and more involved in the creative process. Karl Lagerfeld regulary meets bloggers. Alexandre de Betak, one of the most famous Art Directors, is now contributing to Caroline Daily’s personal blog. A real revolution in the fashion world.

Because the microcosm was pretty reluctant to this “democratization  of fashion through digital, especially of high fashion“.But few trends changed the rules: Social Media is now the most important runway. An everlasting runway, that changes players, shareholders, reputation and creativity.

fashion and social media

fashion and social media

A professionalization of digital fashion influencers

Fashion bloggers aren’t just cool guys with cool cameras anymore. They not only shoot themselves in a mirror. They are designers, freelance consultants, copywriters, sometimes wannabe stars. Female AND male. Or so-called “slashers“:

“For the typical member of Gen Y, as well as the soon-to-be working age Millennials, the typical behaviour patterns of immediate pleasure seeking, multitasking and low boredom thresholds (typically all summed into the phrase ‘instant on’) makes slashing particularly appealing. (…) It is no surprise that greater quantities of people under 30 are choosing to have portfolio careers”.

Quality is enhanced: some bloggers now have their personal photographers. New skills are appearing in blog-posts: art direction, production, work with agencies. Talent managers are now targeting these people, booking them with the right brands.

social media in fashion for fashion

social media in fashion for fashion

When fashionistas meet entrepreneurs

On eBay France, fashion-related items are the most sought and sold. Some investors decided to dive into these new markets, trying to encourage young platforms to rise. Even if the gap can be huge between creatives and techies, it’s now melting:

“What we know unequivocally is that the momentum fashion startups are having–and this phenomenon of fashion, technology and finance coming together–won’t be slowing down in 2012.”

In France, Ben & Fakto has just conciliated fashion needs and post-crisis reality, focusing on “happy fashion” and social marketing, partnering with Babyloan.

What used to be 2 opposite worlds, is now merging. Because digital culture is now directly impacting the way fashion rejuvenates its ideas, finding new roots to some kinds of digital undergrounds. Main famous brands are now on TumblR, a way to propagate their vision of fashion but also to directly plug with new trendsetters. Trendsetters because they MAKE trends (photography etc.).

From inner circle to pervasive fashion

Communication used to be mastered. Authorized journalists were covering the runways. It was an inner-circle of happy fews. Where brands were only challenged by other brands. This time is over.

Traditional Haute Couture brands need to shape new paths. Because the inner-circle is becoming more and more pervasive. The agenda is challenged; there are now so many Fashion Weeks worldwide that there’s too much noise to only count on them. New media like Refinery 29 are dismantling Vogue or other traditional opinion leaders. Bloggers take the lead and do not hesitate anymore to claim when these editorial pipelines go wrong. The last example against ELLE France (accused of racism) has demonstrated that it’s no longer “fashion top journalists” against “the people”; and convinced us that “Eagles” can sometimes be cheap.

When classic catwalks aren’t enough to emerge

Since Louis Vuitton in 2009, the very first luxury brand to broadcast its fashion show live on Facebook, all the other brands have tried to follow the idea that a catwalk needed to be live. That this catwalk should be broadcast, commented, shared, by online communities of influencers. That the most important thing was to generated weak links, “hyphenated marketing“, that could be activated at the best time. We’ve seen in January that it’s not that easy to organize: during the last Gucci live stream catwalk (Men collection), we were only some dozens to live-chat on the related platform. Not much impact compared to Burberry.

Because it requires many skills (Social CRM, digital branding, Social Media Marketing) that cannot be improvized.

The last stats have shown how important fashion e-commerce is:

“Converting the sale online should be the very next focus for fashion sales online,” noted
Cohen, “Getting the consumer to go from browsing to purchasing takes new information beyond just product photos and price. It takes convincing the consumer to push the purchase button.”

A world in which Social Media is not an asset apart. But the core one.

Source: Socialmediatoday.com

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Digital Fashion Week – World’s First Live Streaming Only Fashion Week to be Hosted In Singapore October 2012

DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

Live streaming of fashion shows has become de rigueur but we’re taking it up a notch with Digital Fashion Week (DFW). As the world’s first live streaming only fashion week, DFW will unify fashion and technology innovation in this groundbreaking advancement.

 

Digital Fashion Week 2012

 

Gone is the era of front row guests at the traditional fashion weeks. This time, we’re going digital. For the first time in fashion history, a fashion week will be live streamed solely online, and consumers can shop their favorite looks off the runway in real time and have them delivered in a matter of weeks – way before they hit the stores.

A high-profile showcase of celebrated designers from every major city, DFW gives designers the ability to reach out to consumers worldwide and global audiences absolute access into the world of fashion.

Labeled by CNN Go as ‘The Next Big Names in Singapore Fashion’, DFW is organized by the creative minds of STORM Creative Events Agency. As the pioneer of fashion show live streaming in Singapore in May 2011, it garnered a record high of 500,000 viewers from 90 countries within a week.

This October will see DFW’s debut edition, Digital Fashion Week Singapore exclusively available for viewing at http://www.digitalfashionweek.com. The twice-yearly event boasts an exciting designer lineup of Singapore’s biggest names presenting their Spring/Summer 2013 collections, with a special appearance by an international guest designer marking the inaugural event in a debut runway show.

Digital Fashion Week

Quote startMr. Keyis Ng, co-founder of Digital Fashion Week states, “Until now, no digital platform as powerful as DFW has
existed for designers to reach out to people worldwide.”Quote end

Besides live coverage of DFW front row and backstage buzz, interviews with designers and artistes and fringe events, DFW incorporates new features such as live runway commentaries by key fashion figures, pre-show performances by internationally renowned artistes and a one-stop mobile application to provide users with instant fashion show live streaming, videos, runway photos, designers information and e-commerce shopping – giving the global audiences a dynamic fashion week experience like never before.

Digital Fashion Week consists of three main elements:

Front Row Access:
Live backstage action of hair and makeup.
Live interviews with models, designers, hair and makeup artists.
Live pre-show performances by renowned artistes.
Live runway shows with special appearances by top models . Live runway commentary by key fashion figures.
Live post-show party coverage.

Real-Time Shopping:
Consumers can buy their favorite designs off the runway instantly and have them delivered within a matter of weeks.

Power to Influence:
Consumers will have the unique opportunity to provide the designers with instant feedback. The pre-orders made for every collection will provide designers with insights into market trends.

Mr. Keyis Ng, co-founder of DFW states, “Until now, no digital platform as powerful as DFW has
existed for designers to reach out to people worldwide. We aim to harness technology and
creativity to promote home-grown designers in each city to the global audiences by capitalizing on the hype generated from the fashion shows. The buzz created will then be directly converted into sales and sync the fashion communication cycle with its retail cycle.”

In conjunction with Digital Fashion Week Singapore, a virtual B2B platform, DFW Digital Showroom will also be launched. Press, buyers and retailers from all over the world can enjoy
exclusive access to intimate collection presentations by the DFW designers through lookbook
images and pre-recorded videos made available immediately after every fashion show. DFW will be the ultimate digital fashion gateway in connecting designers to the world.

“Singapore has grown to be Asia’s most network-ready country with one of the highest mobile
penetrations in the world. The age of Digital Fashion is here; it is the perfect timing for the fashion
industry to embrace the future of technology, first-hand in Singapore.” co-founder of DFW, Ms.Charina Widjaja said.

Besides its official launch as a twice-yearly event in Singapore, DFW will also proceed to other major cities around the world.

Show schedule, designer and performance lineup, additional updates will be announced in August 2012.

Frontrow DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

Frontrow DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

About Digital Fashion Week Private Limited
Digital Fashion Week Pte Ltd was founded in 2012 by the creative minds behind STORM Creative Events Agency. STORM is widely recognized for pushing boundaries by combining technology with lifestyle and was named by ELLE Singapore as ‘The Name to Watch’ within the first year of its launch. STORM has also been featured several times in leading publications namely Marketing Magazine UK, CIO Asia, Springwise.com, TrendHunter.com, The Straits Times, The New Paper, Lian He Zao Bao and many more. The team at STORM has worked with many established fashion houses ranging from high-end designer labels to mass market brands.

DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

DFW Digital Fashion Week Singapore 2012

Original Source: PRWeb.com

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Facebook Goes Public – Nine Things You Should Know About Facebook’s IPO

Facebook could be worth nearly $140 billion by today’s market close

The social network priced its shares at $38 apiece, valuing the company at $104 billion. The average first-day “pop” for a technology company is 32 percent; if Facebook follows that trend, it’ll be worth $137 billion by day’s end. But there’s little about Facebook that’s average, including its public offering. This is the technology’s biggest initial public offering and history’s second-biggest IPO, period, and it will raise about $16 billion. Statistics suggests that the first-day pop—if there is one—will be more modest than average.

A lot of the smart money is getting out

Early investors such as the venture capital firm Accel Partners are selling an unusually high number of shares.Nearly 60 percent of the stock sold today comes from insiders, compared to 37 percent for Google (GOOG) when it went public in 2004. Goldman Sachs (GS) is selling about half its stake, far more than the firm initially planned. “If you really thought that 12 months later the stock would be 50 percent higher, you wouldn’t leave that on the table,” Erik Gordon, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, told Bloomberg News.

To justify its valuation, Facebook will need to annoy its users …

Thanks in large part to General Motors’s (GM)decision to de-friend Facebook, there are a lot of questions about the efficacy and future of Facebook’s ad-dominant revenue model. And it has high expectations to live up to: The $38 price gives Facebook a whopping 107 price-to-earnings ratio. (For comparison, Apple’s (AAPL) is around 13.) To dramatically boost ad revenues, the two best options are either to put more ads on the site—which would annoy users—or find more places to put ads. The latter means creating a network of ad inventory across the Web, much the way Google’s Doubleclick sells ads and places them on sites like that of the New York Times (NYT). This would give Facebook far greater reach, but could also give users the creeps. Imagine updating your Facebook status (“Really loving that new Carly Rae Jepsen song!”) and then seeing ads to buy the track Call Me Maybe at every site you visit.

… or do something besides advertising

Currently Facebook’s only source of non-ad revenue is its digital currency, Facebook Credits, which people use to buy virtual goods, such as tractors in FarmVille (ZNGA). During the first quarter of 2012, payments grew to make up almost 18 percent of Facebook’s revenue—close to $200 million in total. Overall, though, fewer than 2 percent of Facebook’s users have bought virtual goods with their payments option. There’s a lot of potential growth, in other words, along with hints that a big online operator such as Spotify may begin accepting Facebook Credits in the future.

Facebook has plenty of revenue options beyond payments and advertising

Facebook is a force: It accounts for 9 percent of all online visits in the U.S., according to Experian Hitwise, a company that measures website traffic. Hitwise also says that Americans spend an average of 20 minutes per Facebook visit. Worldwide, nearly 1 billion people have a Facebook profile. As investor Chris Dixon puts it, Facebook has real assets—including “a vast number of extremely engaged users, its social graph, Facebook Connect”—and should be able “to monetize through another business model,” apart from advertising. It could create the Social Smartphone, sell data analytics products, charge for higher-res photo and video storage, or perhaps hawk vintage Mark Zuckerberg hoodies.

There’s already a “Facebook Mafia”

Heard of the PayPal Mafia? Former executives from the online-payment provider have gone on to start big-time tech firms, such as LinkedIn (LNKD), Yammer, and Yelp (YELP). (And one member, Peter Thiel, cut the first big check for Facebook.) A Facebook Mafia has already emerged, and members have founded Asana, Path, andQuora. The Facebook Mafia is real, even though the name could use some work, says Dave Morin, Path’s chief executive officer, who previously developed Facebook’s development platform. “I guess we can’t escape from calling it that,” he says.

Facebook goes where Google won’t in photos

Facebook owns one of the largest photo repositories in the world, and its facial-recognition technology is getting a workout scanning them all, with more than 300 million photos uploaded per day. Facebook stores 60 billion images, a whopping 1.5 petabytes of data. For each uploaded photo, Facebook stores four images of different sizes. The site shows as many as 550,000 images per second. This is an area that has upset privacy critics and represents something that Facebook is willing to do that even Google isn’t: Google’s Eric Schmidt said last yearthat the company had built an app that would let people snap photos of others and identify who they are but decided not to release it, due to privacy concerns. Google and Facebook both have sophisticated facial-recognition technology, but Google requires users to opt into its photo-tagging service. Facebook users are included automatically.

Facebook’s new campus could be cursed

Late last year the social network moved into a 57-acre site in Menlo Park that was previously inhabited by Sun Microsystems. Sun’s fortunes soured shortly after the computer company took up residence there. The same thing has happened, in different times and places, to software-maker Borland, Silicon Graphics, and even Apple (which nearly went bankrupt three years after it moved into its current Cupertino, Calif., headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop). The good news: Companies that move into pre-existing campuses seem to fare better. Google, for instance, took up residence in SGI’s old digs.

Up north, Facebook is the only thing better than hockey

Facebook is one of the top two websites in every country except China. The social-networking site is most loved in Canada, where it wins 12 percent of all online visits.

Source: Businessweek.com

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Fashion of Condoms and Candy Wrapper – Eco Fashion 2011

Trashion. If you’re green and fashionable, you’ve no doubt noticed it’s everywhere you look these days. And this “creative reuse” in fashion may have finally gone too far. It’s time to question, for the sake of eco fashion’s future viability, the plethora of “trash to treasure”initiatives touted as sustainable fashion genius.

It is time to do more with less, and this includes reducing our predilection for “trash to treasure” designs and stories that glorify less than marketable fashion.

The thing that concerns me as someone who also observes how trash is now utilized in eco-art and gallery installations is the message suggesting that we can increasingly find a tidy place for the trash in our lives. Creative reuse needs to move beyond the glorification of trashion and recycled art projects in order to address long term solutions for waste reduction and sustainable economic development. Our primary focus should be on managing this toxic bloom via critically important economic, environmental, and health initiatives.

For sure, timeless design has a transcendent and culturally revealing quality, particularly when it comes to the innovative reuse of materials and cast-off bits. Are we currently aiding or hindering the sustainable fashion movement if we do not make a distinction between designs that measure up as genuine fashion innovation and those that are clever, eye-catching creations that make “trashion” seem fashionable?

Junky Styling‘s recycled men’s suit coats: an empowering approach

Creative reuse projects can be large or small. In the case of fashion, several bold designer initiatives have genuinely overhauled the industry’s patterns of waste and excess via the resourceful recycling of textile surplus and unsold stock. Standout labels like From SomewhereJunky StylingGoodone, and Reet Aus, to name a few, effectively take yesterday’s unwanted goods and artfully re-shape them into tomorrow’s covetable items. This design strategy is genuinely empowering for the fashion lover who is investing in environmentally sound and fashion-forward design.

From Somewhere‘s upcycling of Speedo’s LZR Racer designs

The recent collaboration of From Somewhere with Speedo to create a capsule collection upcycled from unsold and obsolete Speedo LZR Racer designs might seem like an odd pairing to some. However, an industrial fabric challenge like this clearly demonstrates how unwanted waste can be transformed into eco-luxe couture.

Recycling should and must be an engaging activity, particularly when it comes to labor-intensive DIY projects. Some of the most rewarding fashion moments are definitely those where something useless or outdated takes on new life with imaginative tinkering and whimsy. As Kate Black of Magnifeco recently shared with us:

“When it comes to recycling, we have obviously been doing it for years, in all cultures. Textiles that can no longer be used as garments are incorporated into household items like quilts and pillows and now it’s not just recycled textiles making the news in eco-fashion: candy wrapper handbags, pull-tab accessories are front and center, too.  When recycling or upcycling in fashion falls short, though, I generally find that it is from a taste perspective, not necessarily a design perspective.”

I wholeheartedly support projects that provide fair-trade jobs to artisans who create one-of-a-kind accessories and art-objects out of dumpster and landfill pickings, so I am certainly not attacking these folks for the honest craft and handwork that they do.

Ecoist ‘Botero’ handbag crafted out of candywrappers

I do think, however, that we should exercise caution regarding what is an increasing inclination to sanitize and incorporate trash into art, fashion, and design projects for our own aesthetic amusement. Let’s not forget that this everyday refuse should not exist in the first place, at least not in the volume that we are now grappling with. We need to ensure that we do not become de-sensitized to just how out of control our garbage epidemic is. It is one thing to source from surplus textile stock, recycle trash in the waste stream, and get one’s hands dirty with some gritty DIY projects, but not at the expense of garbage becoming a part of our ongoing design lexicon, much less the focus of our attention.

Via Trendhunter: A condom hat may be great for ginning up clicks, but it’s bad for eco fashion progress.

‘Trash to treasure’ is a dangerous term, and one that might soon need to be upgraded or upcycled within the sustainable fashion glossary. Our long term efforts should continue to be focused on cradle-to-cradle design initiatives, zero-waste garment production, acknowledgment of indigenous technologies and crafts that actually aid specific regions, and sustainable economic development that improves the lives of people everywhere so that they can move beyond having to rely on garbage as a means of livelihood.

Chris Jordan photography

The ready-made object is a surrealist phenomenon. Fashion is about personal expression and the ability to be transported to new layers and states of being. Let’s not allow ourselves to get swept up by “quirky” design projects that demonstrate how clever we can be with Coke tabs, Barbie doll heads, condoms, or heaps of televisions and computer monitors, all in the name of recycling – but in reality only keep our movement one step further from legitimate entree into mainstream fashion or, worse, from being taken seriously by leaders in the fashion world.

‘Household goods’… deceased Estate by Claire Healey and Shaun Cordelro

This is not meant as an attack on the resourceful re-purposing of waste materials for home, fashion, and personal use. Recycling is definitely a significant part of the sustainable fashion story, but recycling without an ability to edit is doing us no good.

There is a time and a place for trashion and art of this nature, but we have a responsibility to shift away from scenes that mimic the dying “portraits of global mass culture” (a la work of photographer Chris Jordan) as we look to a greener future.

Lead image courtesy of Goodone; Household goods images via The Sydney Morning Herald.

Source: Ecosalon.com by 

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Is Your Fashion Brand on Instagram?

With so many mobile applications and social networks available, it can often become a daunting task to decipher which platforms are best for your brand. Factoring in time, resources, and manpower, we have to carefully pick and choose where our brands can be socially participating to the fullest potential. It’s no surprise that Instagram has become the fastest growing mobile application recently. The easy to share functions, photo filters, and the strength of an intimate community makes Instagram an attractive social platform, where fashion brands can easily establish themselves as authorities.

Whether fashion or luxury brand, we must not forget that we are still content producers on our social networks. Instagram’s share functions allow users to snap a photo from their mobile device and add an attractive filter (to give photos that instant cool factor) with the ability to share on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare. Fashion houses on Instagram, like Oscar de la Renta, have done a superb job at not only sharing behind the scenes photos, but also displaying them on their other social networks like Twitter and Tumblr. This gives audiences welcoming access into the brand with just the swipe of a button.

Much like the micro-blogging platform of Tumblr, the allure of Instagram is heavily based on the distributing of visuals. Fans of fashion are visual people that are constantly looking for that conspicuous stimulation to take them outside of their daily lives and into the fantasy of glamour and luxury. Instagram gives us the space to share the small, intimate moments in our routines in a new, creative way. Kate Spade invites audiences into their world with photos of favorite New York City sightings, venues and restaurants. Using Instagram’s geo-tagging function, by citing the location in which the photos are taken, Kate Spade automatically becomes a reputable source of things to do and see in NYC.

Does your brand have a new product or piece that is need of a strong spotlight? Instagram is the perfect space for your emerging goods to take center stage, catching those prospective consumers that want a piece of your brand. The team at Club Monaco has done a great job of this, by posting images of staff members wearing pieces that have just been released or have just gone on sale.

The built in community on Instagram has a strong sense of intimacy that isn’t afraid to engage with the photos that fashion brands are uploading. The higher the level of engagement, the more likes, comments, and follows your brand can receive. Not to mention, you are presented with direct, instantaneous feedback in a single stream, specific to that image. Audiences want to know where they can get the dress that Oscar PR Girl is wearing in her style photo.

As Instagram is still considered to be in its infancy, only being launched a few months ago, every fashion brand is taking their own approach to fascinate their consumer and fan base on the application. The strengths of Instagram are the filter, social, community, and geo-tag capabilities. Never has a mobile application been able to have such a wide range of functions that users want right now. You can be en route to a meeting, see something interesting on the street, capture it, filter it, share it and you’ve already added some depth to the identity of your brand. The creativity and intimacy of communal photos uploaded on Instagram captivates voyeuristic users and it can certainly captivate the audience of your fashion brand.

Taken by Club Monaco via Instagram

Taken by OscarPRGirl via Instagram

Taken by Kate Spade via Instagram

Lala Lopez is a fashion journalist, stylist and social media expert based in New York. Her clients have included Betsey Johnson, Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, and Solestruck.com. She has been featured on CNN, Teen Vogue Magazine and Chictopia. Lala shares her views on fashion, art and social media trends on her blog Lala New York City. (www.lalanyc.com)

Author: Lala Lopez

Copy Editor: Gina Conforti

Photo Credits: Kate Spade

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Levi’s using Instagram As A Marketing Tool

Photo-sharing application Instagram saw its userbase grow to one million in only three months. The service enables people to share their finest moments by letting them take a picture, choose a Hipstamatic-like filter to transform the look and feel, and share it with a small text and/or its geo-location on numerous social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Recently Instagram has drawn considerable interest from a number of brands. Levi’s Brazil is one of the first to roll out a marketing campaign using the service.

The fashion brand takes fully advantage of Instagram’s unique features to display new products that will be released in the forthcoming collection, as well as images that represent the brand’s personality. Users can start following ‘levisbrasil’ in order to stay updated about the latest stuff, all in a purely visual way. I think Instagram’s photo filters totally breathe the Levi’s style. For the moment the campaign generated limited results — only 127 people started following Levi’s Brazil. Nevertheless, many predict a big future for Instagram as a marketing platform. Interestingly, Giles Fitzgerald from London-based communication agency Frukt claims that the service opens up new social media marketing opportunities for visually oriented brands.

“For fashion brands word dominated social media platforms such as Twitter can be a barrier to the more tactile and lifestyle-oriented element of their brands. Instagram with its ability to turn humble photos into works of art manages to blur the lines between a humble snap and the kind of imagery that dominates the advertising billboards and print ads.”

 

Original Source:  Popupcity.net by JEROEN BEEKMANS

 

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How Brands are using Instagram to Connect with Consumers

A picture is worth a thousand words, which may explain why Instagram has become the latest social network to catch the attention of brands. With over 1 million registered users, this photo sharing app provides a unique touch point for brands to engage their consumers while telling their story through pictures.

For those who are unfamiliar, Instagram is an easy to use iPhone application for taking, editing and sharing photos. As a user you have the ability to follow, comment and like other pictures. All these interactions make Instagram an ideal outlet for brands who are looking to explore new ways to reach their consumers. Already, nearly a dozen brands have created their own accounts, including MTV, Pepsi and even Playboy.

Instagram has been only too happy to accommodate this new interest from brands, and they have hinted that they’re currently working on changes which will allow brands to communicate more directly with users. One such change, which was rolled out last month is the launch of hash tags.

Hash tags can now be added to pictures via the caption or comment field. These tags help to aggregate pictures into their own special albums. This allows users to view a real time feed of content, based around a particular topic (similar to how hash tags work within Twitter). To view pictures associated with a hash tag tap on the tag text or use the new search functionality located under the profile tab. For those without a smart phone, pictures can be viewed via RSS feeds: http://instagr.am/tags/%5Bhashtag%5D/feed/recent.rss. Simply replace “hashtag” with the name of the tag.

Brands have been quick to take advantage of this new development. Brisk Ice Tea is using the hash tag #briskpics to collect photos, the best of which they will use to create 4000 limited edition cans. Charity: Water are asking people to use the tag #chatirywater to share images of water in their everyday life, while NPR is collecting user generated content using the tags #love and #hate to spark conversation.

So how can your brand use Instagram to reach consumers? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

1. Host a contest. Provide followers with a challenge to take a picture of something related to your brand. Alternatively you could provide the picture and ask viewers to come up with a unique caption. Best picture/caption wins.

2. Give a sneak peak. Whether it’s the first look at a new product or a few snaps behind the scenes, treat your followers to some exclusive content.

3. Create a real time album for an event. Allow attendees to share their event experiences by using a hash tag to aggregate pictures. This will provide you with a variety of content.

4. Connect with influencers. Check to see if your brand is already being talked about. Not only could this give you a hint as to the kinds of content consumers would like to see, but hash tags provide an easy way to track the people who are already connecting with your brand.

5. Show off a different side. Curate images that represent your brand personality. Connect with consumers by creating content around your shared passions rather than just your products.

Are you using Instagram for your brand? Have any other tips or best practices? Tell us below!

Original Source: Antleragency.com by Beth Tucker

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All About Fashion Design (Part 1) – Fashion Design, Fashion Structure and Fashion History

Fashion design

Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social lattitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories. Some work alone or as part of a team. They attempt to satisfy consumer desire for aesthetically designed clothing; and, because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, must at times anticipate changing consumer tastes.

Fashion designers attempt to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. They must consider who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn. They have a wide range and combinations of materials to work with and a wide range of colors, patterns and styles to choose from. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear fall within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are usually sought for special occasions, such as evening wear or party dresses.

Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case of haute couture. Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market, especially casual and every-day wear.

Fashion designers can work in a number of ways. Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion company, known as ‘in-house designers’ which owns the designs. They may work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers. The garments bear the buyer’s label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels, under which their designs are marketed. Some fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as those that follow established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a ‘name’ as their brand such as Calvin Klein, Gucci, or Chanel are likely to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a designer director.

Structure

Designing a garment

Fashion designers work in different ways.Myriam Chalek, Owner of Creative Business House states it in Vogue Magazine: Each fashion designer is unique hence the uniqueness of the sample’s development. Nevertheless the mainstream is pretty similar: From a sketch to a sophisticated illustrated CAD design, fashion designers before using any fabric put their ideas on paper. It’s only once they have the concept of the wanted design that they will use fabric. Myriam Chalek explains that the first steps of the garment production are very important: once the designer is in sync with whats in his head and whats on paper, he will either create a muslin prototype of the sample and once satisfied he will have the pattern done and then the final sample. Or he will create a pattern and then work directly with the fabric to produce the sample. This second method is usually not recommended if the designer is going to modify the sample as it is being created in so far as the fabric can be wasted and the final sample not being the true representation of the original designer’s concept. The pattern production is the most crucial part of the garment’s production because job the fit of the finished garment/sample depends on the pattern’s accuracy. Samples have to be perfect because that’s what the fashion designer present to potential buyers.

History

Fashion design is generally considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth who was the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture (fashion house) in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous seamstresses, and high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth’s success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done. The term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 could be considered as fashion design.

It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, which was much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy.

READ ALSO:

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 2) – TYPES OF FASHION, INCOME, SCHOOLS

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 3) – FASHION STAR SYSTEMS, WORLD FASHION AND THE GLOBAL FASHION INDUSTRY

Source: Wikipedia.com

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Creating a Green Fashion Label

When consumers shop for groceries, they tend to review the nutrition label and ingredients list on the food package to obtain dietary information. This food label system helps people make an informed decision and lead healthier lifestyles. Shouldn’t consumers have resources for making similar choices when shopping for apparel products? According to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (TFPIA), all apparel products should have a label that includes: fiber content, country of origin, manufacturer identification, and care instructions.

 

However, the clothing label may not be informative enough to educate consumers regarding what processes were used to make the product and what environmental impacts those processes may have. One of the common myths consumers may believe regarding apparel products is that natural fiber products are more environmentally friendly than synthetic fiber products. Considering the fact that the textile and apparel industry is a major contributor to environmental degradation, it is important to provide more informative, easy-to-read labels for apparel products, responding to consumers’ growing concerns about environmental issues related to their consumable products.

From interviews with five apparel design personnel in two companies (although these opinions cannot represent all designers’ and merchandisers’ opinions), our research team found that they were aware of the environmental problems associated with dyeing and textile processing. However, interestingly, they did not regard themselves as responsible for correcting these problems.

They also indicated that the biggest determining factor for apparel designers and merchandisers when deciding where to obtain materials for production is the availability of materials from suppliers who have had a long–term relationship with the company. It seems that environmentally friendly materials were not their main concern. They added that if they were sure that their target consumers would be willing to purchase environmentally friendly products, they would practice sustainability. Without certainty, they did not want to take the risk because using green materials costs more. The industry personnel felt that there was nothing they could do as designers or merchandisers to address environmental issues, believing that environmentally friendly production was beyond their ability.

Do consumers agree with these opinions? To explore consumer opinions about green apparel products and purchasing behaviors, a serious of focus group discussions were conducted with 32 consumers. Although organic fibers and other green apparel options are already available in the market, participants demonstrated a lack of knowledge about these products. Interestingly, several respondents knew of organic clothing only in terms of simple items, such as T–shirts, while others did not even know that organic or green apparel was an available option.

In addition, the respondents agreed that if there were more information about green apparel products available, they would be more prone to buy them. They felt skeptical about current eco–claims because labeling of green apparel is voluntary and no general rules have been implemented for apparel product labeling. They added that current labels on green clothing did not offer an adequate amount of information to consumers. They were unsure of exactly what “environmentally friendly” meant and how the products they had seen were environmentally friendly. Additionally, most of the participants agreed that a well–established eco–label for apparel products would increase consumers’ knowledge of environmental impacts from apparel production and foster consumers’ green apparel purchasing behaviors.

Regarding willingness to buy green apparel products, they mentioned that they would be more likely to purchase green apparel products if they were cheaper and more readily available. Respondents indicated that they would not buy a less attractive environmentally friendly garment with the label attached to it over a more attractive conventional product. Therefore, before emphasizing green aspects, products should meet the quality expectations of consumers.

Based on these two investigations, the research team suggested that a labeling system could be used to reduce the information gap between producers and consumers. Green labels for textile and apparel products can facilitate choices for consumers making environmentally responsible purchasing decisions by motivating and/or educating them (D’Souza, et al., 2006).

As mentioned earlier, just as the nutritional facts and ingredients are listed on food packages, the apparel label can include customized information on how the content of a specific product and its production processes impact the environment. Our research team identified six sustainability aspects of apparel products as the key information that would be beneficial for consumers to know from the green apparel label: organic, biodegradable, safely dyed, fair trade, carbon footprint, and recycled. Creating eye–catching symbols accompanied by brief explanations for clarification, which convey the key aspects of sustainability within the apparel industry, will be necessary. This design will make the labels easy to read and serve as a convenient reference for consumers.

If the standardized and easy–to–read label is commonly used in the textile and apparel industry in the future, it will educate consumers about green products and their effects on our surrounding environment. By becoming more knowledgeable about green products, consumers will be able to make more informed purchases of environmentally responsible products. In addition, educated consumers will drive businesses to practice more sustainability. Adopting the easy–to–read, informative green label will help retailers promote their eco–friendly strategies. As people continue to show interest in green products through purchases, the availability of various green products will increase, resulting in growing diversity in the retailing industry.

This educational research brief is from the University of Delaware (Fiber Online Journal).
Creating a Green Label for Reducing the Gap

Authors:
Dr. Hae Jin Gam is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University. She was a fashion designer in South Korea until 2001. Her doctoral research was in the area of sustainable apparel design and production development and was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. Her current research interests include sustainability in the apparel and textile industry, apparel product development, consumers’ eco–friendly purchasing behavior, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Dr. Yoon Jin Ma is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Illinois State University. Her research interests include social responsibility in apparel consumption, manufacturing, and retailing; consumer behavior; services marketing; and scale development. She received the Student Best Paper Award at the doctoral level from the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA) in 2008, the Best Track Paper Award in the textile and apparel/international track from ITAA in 2009, and the Paper of Distinction Award in the consumer behavior track from ITAA in 2010

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Top 10 Networking Tips for Savvy Networkers


  • .  Be Prepared. Savvy Networkers always have their networking tools with them at all times.  The Networking tool kit includes: an ample supply of business cards, your name badge, any collateral material (flyers, brochures, etc), and your marketing message (often referred to as your elevator speech).

    .  Arrive early. Savvy Networkers arrive early and have their business cards readily available and can relax and focus on learning about the other people in the room.  As an early, Savvy Networker, you can pause to calmly gather your thoughts and your intentions so that your time spent networking will be of benefit to you and your goals.  Preparation goes a long way in making you appear to be someone that other people will want to get to know.  People do business with people they like.  And you will be judged by others, like it or not, based on their first impression of you.
  • .  Have a plan. Savvy Networkers always have an idea of what the goal is for each event they attend.  Know, before going in, what the outcome is that you want for yourself or for the people you meet at each event.  Do you want to meet 3 people and focus on getting to know them really well?  Are you looking for an introduction to a certain type of client?  Are you looking for information or connections that will get you that information?  When you have a plan, it is easier to stay focused and achieve your expected outcome.  It also helps you to keep on track to help others in achieving their goals when you remind yourself to be generous with your own knowledge and connections.  And, when you have a plan it is easier to stay on task as you meet with people.
  • Be a Giver and/or a Connector. When you focus on “giving” and being helpful to others, the “getting” will come later … and it will come in unexpected ways.  Foremost to remember, is that no one likes a person with a “taker” mentality.  When you are generous, people will notice and repsect you for your kind nature.  And, people generally do business with people that they respect, trust, and like.  Act like a host at every event you attend by connecting people.  This can be a simple act of intruducing 2 people to each other or as elaborate as giving a testimonial about 1 person and their services to the entire group.  All of these acts allow you to focus on the “other” and grows your social capital in the room.
  • Leave your troubles behind. Put on a happy face at the door and remind yourself that it is “show time”.  This is your time to sparkle and shine.  People will look forward to seeing you and meeting you if you are energetic, positive, and outgoing.  Again, people enjoy doing business with people that they like.  BE a person that others will like.  Hopefully you’ve heard the zen expression “Be the ball” … well, whenever you have the chance, “Be the ball of the ball!”  Do not burden or bore people with your troubles or your problems.  Everyone has enough of their own, and, trust me on this, they do not need or want to hear about yours.
  • Listen with focus. When someone is speaking with you, give that person your entire focus.  LISTEN.  Really hear what the person is saying.  Keep your eyes and ears focused and keep your self talk and thoughts focused too.  The greatest gift that you can give to another person is to truly hear what that person is saying.  You’ve seen this before and it bears repeating: you have 1 mouth and 2 ears for a reason.  Listen twice as much and talk 1/2 as much and everyone you treat this way will think you are a genius!
  • Be Genuine. Everyone knows when someone is “schmoozing” on or at them.  And, no one likes being “primed” for the pump.  Be genuine in your interactions with others at an event.  Again, it comes back to building trust,  to building “brand YOU”.  There is a huge difference between being INTERESTED and in trying to be INTERESTING.   When you are interested in learning about someone and their business entirely for the sake of learning about the other person, you will leave a lasting impression as someone who genuinely cares.  On the other hand, when you are interested only so that you can take what you learn and then use it to make yourself or your products interesting to this person … well, my friend, you have slipped into the category of “scorched earth networking” and it is not a good place to be.
  • Do Teach/Don’t Sell. The Savvy Networker knows that the immediate sale of a product is not the goal in networking.  Networking is about building relationships with people who will be happy to tell others about who you are and what you do.  Word of mouth advertising is the most cost effective and powerful advertising.   At every opportunity, teach others about who you are, as a person, and what it is that you do.  Always present a clear emphasis on the type of client that you are looking for.  In doing this, you will be building a salesforce that can reach far wider than you can on your own.
  • Follow up. After the event, send a thank you card to each person that you had direct contact with.  Mention something from your discussion in the thank you card (it helps if you jot notes on the back of each person’s business card that you collect).  If there is a referral that you can supply to someone you’ve just met, include that in the follow up note.  Showing up and following up are the two most important parts of networking.  Showing up, in most cases, is the easy part.  The follow up is, sadly, the most neglected part of networking.  Since so many people fail to follow up, you can really stand out by just doing this simple act of reaching out to remind someone of who you are and what you do … and that you are interested in exploring a relationship.
  • Follow up some more! Depending on where you look, marketing statistics state that it takes 7 to 12 impressions for a consumer to make a buying decision.  It also take somewhere between 5 to 12 impressions to become “top of mind”.  AND those are the OLD numbers.  Because of the overload of information that we are all faced with every day, the number of impressions is actually quite higher.  It is more likely to take 15 – 20 impressions before you make the connections that you are looking to build! Meeting face to face is the 1st impression.  An email, a phone call, another card, a lunch date … don’t stop after 1 or 2 impressions.  Keep going.  Savvy Networkers know that to build strong relationships they must dig deeper and make the continued effort to build ongoing relationships!

Source: Top10networkingtips.com

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