Tag Archives: Trends 2011

Fashion Marketing Lessons – Google Goggles googles Fashion & Shopping faster, smarter and solves Sudoku

The new version of Google Goggles, Goggles 1.3 client for Android, faster and smarter than ever before can scan barcodes almost instantly. All versions of Goggles can now recognize print ads in popular magazines and newspapers. Finally, Goggles has also learned a fun new trick for Sudoku fans.

Barcodes
When shopping offline, it’s helpful to be able to learn more about a product by scanning its barcode. With the new Android version of Google Goggles, scanning barcodes is much faster. Open Goggles and hover over the barcode or QR code. Within a second the phone gently vibrates and presents results, without requiring a button press. Simply tap on the result to read product reviews, check in-store availability and compare prices.
Print ads in magazines and newspapers
We’re excited to take another step in our vision of connecting offline media to online media. The next time you’re flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine, try taking a picture of an ad with Goggles. Goggles will recognize print ad and return web search results about the product or brand. This new feature of Goggles is enabled for print ads appearing in major U.S. magazines and newspapers from August 2010 onwards.

This feature is different from the marketing experiment that we announced in November. We’re now recognizing a much broader range of ads than we initially included in our marketing experiment. And when we recognize a print ad, we return web search results. While in the experiment, we return a specific link to an external website.

Sudoku
Our favorite weekend distraction is a quiet 15 minutes spent solving a Sudoku puzzle. But even that can be an frustrating experience if (like us) you make a mistake and are unable to solve the puzzle. Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we’ll tell you the correct solution. Check out this video to see how it works.

Google Goggles 1.3 with improved barcode scanning is available for download in Android Market. Recognition of print ads and Sudoku solver is now enabled for the Google Goggles app on Android, as well as the Goggles component of the Google Mobile App on iPhone.

 

Source: Googlemobile.blogspot.com

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Emerging Fashion Trends 2011 – New England’s Biggest Fashion Show, Boston Fashion Week on the Map for Innovative Fashion Shows and Fashion Designs

Boston Fashion Week

Boston Fashion Week

The 2011 Emerging Trends, a unique fashion event committed to advancing the fashion industry’s exceptional emerging designers, will be held in Boston, MA on September 24th, 2011. This event is a dedicated effort to aid the Boston fashion community in developing its reputation known for innovation and creativity.
Boston Fashion Week Sponsors 2010

Boston Fashion Week Sponsors 2010

The 2008, 2009, and 2010 Emerging Trends events demonstrated great success for participating designers and sponsors including former Project Runway contestants Jerry Tam, Maya Luz and Keith Lissner (The Fashion Show, Bravo TV). Expecting to generate 500+ attendees, we hope to further our achievements for the 2011 event. This event is an incredible opportunity for emerging designers from all over the world to showcase their designs to a variety of sponsors, buyers, press and media, as well as gain extensive exposure on the east coast.

Boston Fashion Week Show Bride

Boston Fashion Week Show Bride

The SYNERGY Events aims to provide a vehicle for promising designers to reveal their collections to an upscale audience. Attendees consist of community members interested in developing Boston Fashion Week on a larger scale, as seen in other cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

Boston Fashion Week Show Mandarin Orental

Boston Fashion Week Show Mandarin Oriental

Calling all fashion designers in the northeast: Boston Fashion Week is looking for a headlining designer for this year’s fourth annual Emerging Trends 2011 show. According to organizers, this event is a dedicated effort to help Boston’s fashion community develop a reputation for innovation and creativity.

Boston Fashion Week Innovative Design

Boston Fashion Week Innovative Design

Fashion bloggers have remarked that Boston’s show in the past has been particularly helpful for getting emerging designers off the ground, offering a place for them to network and present their work to fashion industry leaders. They expect well over 500 people this year.

Boston Fashion Week Show Lingerie La Perla

Boston Fashion Week Show Lingerie La Perla

Organizers of the event are looking for a headlining designer with a full line of 15 looks, and are also looking for accessory designers to collaborate with. According to their website, the starting runway package will cost you $1250 and booths are priced at $750. The runway package fee includes models, hair, makeup, video footage, and photography.

Boston Fashion Week Show

Boston Fashion Week Show

Interested in purchasing a ticket for the event, which is slated for 8pm on September 24th? Keep checking in on the Boston Fashion Week 2011 website, where ticket will be available for purchase.

You can check out some videos from previous Emerging Trends Shows below in 2010:

The Emerging Trends Fashion Show

Maria Hamilton’s and Crystal Noe (Collaborator/clothing Designer) at the Emerging Trends Fashion Show 2010 at the Park Plaza Castle in Boston, MA – created at http://animoto.com
Boston Fashion Week 2010 –  Shows & Interviews
 The Emerging Trends 2010 – Runway Show at Boston Fashion Week
The Emerging Trends 2010 – Runway Show
Falling Into Fashion: Boston Fashion Week 2010 (Part 1)
WEBN had the inside scoop at this year’s Boston Fashion Week. Executive Producer: Kayla Harrity
Falling Into Fashion: Boston Fashion Week 2010 (Part 2)
WEBN had the inside scoop at this year’s Boston Fashion Week. Executive Producer: Kayla Harrity
Rising Designs at Boston Fashion Week 2010
Boston Fashion Week 2010

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Copenhagen Summer 2011 Fashion Week, Fashion Festival and the Fashionable Green Fashion Walk

Copenhagen Fashion Week LogoCopenhagen Fashion Week

COPENHAGEN FASHION WEEK
Copenhagen Fashion Week has during the past few years developed into a large and renowned event with an international scope. Copenhagen is twice a year dressed in fashion, focusing on the industry, the press and buyers, but parts of the fashion week is now available to fashion interested consumers.

Copenhagen Fashion Week Catwalk

Copenhagen Fashion Week Catwalk

COPENHAGEN FASHION FESTIVAL
Copenhagen Fashion Week presents Copenhagen Fashion Festival in cooperation with Wonderful Copenhagen and Copenhagen City Centre parallel to the fashion week. Copenhagen Fashion Festival invites everyone to fashion week, when large parts of Copenhagen is transformed into a fashion Mecca of trendshows, exhibitions, miniconcerts, streetparties, exclusive designer clearance sales and parties.
Copenhagen Fashion Week Festival Logo

Copenhagen Fashion Week Festival

The festival begins on Wednesday and this coming August you can join the activities from Wednesday, August 3 – Sunday, August 7, 2011.
Check out the online event  schedule and stay updated on all the different activities during Copenhagen Fashion Festival.
Click on the event in the schedule and you will find information on where and how to participate – so stay tuned!
We wish you a fashionable week!
Green Fashion Eco Initiative

Green Fashion Eco Initiative

THE GREEN WALK
Kermit the Frog once said it wasn’t easy being green. He obviously hadn’t seen our guide to Copenhagen’s best options for sustainable fashion shopping. Do the right thing and shop the ethically responsible way – from organic materials to the welfare of factory workers, Copenhagen Fashion Festival is putting the spotlight on shops, which carry at least one label with a sustainable profile.
Copenhagen Fashion Week Pink Longest Outside Catwalk

Copenhagen Fashion Week Pink Longest Outside Catwalk

HAPPY RESPONSIBLE SHOPPING!
“It has to be easier for the consumers to show consideration for the environment. We need the clothing stores to use the labels of environment. The Nordic Ecolabel is an excellent example of how stores and distributers implement environmental initiatives in their production and sale. At the same time I urge consumers to buy clothes which are labeled with either the Nordic Ecolabel or the European Ecolabel.
” Karen Ellemann, Minister of the Environment
Copenhagen Fashion Week Pink Longest Outside Catwalk

Copenhagen Fashion Week Pink Longest Outside Catwalk

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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 (Part 2) – Types of Fashion, Income in Fashion, Fashion Schools and more about Fashion

Types of fashion

The garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories:

Vlada Roslyakova A model walks down the runway during the Christian Dior Haute Couture fashion show for A/W 2009/10 on July 6, 2009 in Paris, France.

Haute couture

Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis (French for high-fashion), with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, and is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.

Ready-to-wear

Ready-to-wear clothes are a cross between haute couture and mass market. They are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis and occurs twice a year.

Mass market

Currently the fashion industry relies more on mass market sales. The mass market caters for a wide range of customers, producing ready-to-wear clothes in large quantities and standard sizes. Inexpensive materials, creatively used, produce affordable fashion. Mass market designers generally adapt the trends set by the famous names in fashion. They often wait around a season to make sure a style is going to catch on before producing their own versions of the original look. In order to save money and time, they use cheaper fabrics and simpler production techniques which can easily be done by machine. The end product can therefore be sold much more cheaply.

There is a type of design called “kutch” design originated from the German word “kitschig” meaning “ugly” or “not aesthetically pleasing.” Kitsch can also refer to “wearing or displaying something that is therefore no longer in fashion.” Often, high-waisted trousers, associated with the 1980s, are considered a “kitsch” fashion statement.

Income

Median annual wages for salaried fashion designers were $61,160 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,150 and $87,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,780.. Median annual earnings were $52,860 (£28,340) in apparel, piece goods, and notions – the industry employing the largest numbers of fashion designers.

Fashion education

There are a number of well known art schools and design schools world wide that offer degrees in fashion design and fashion design technology. Some colleges also offer Masters of Fashion courses. Though it is not a requirement to have a Masters level, it is recommended by those already working in the industry to study at this level. The most notable of design schools in Europe include London College of FashionCentral Saint Martins College of Art and DesignUniversity of Westminster and Kingston University in LondonLimerick School of Art and Design and the National College of Art and Designin Ireland, Edinburgh College of Art in ScotlandIstituto MarangoniDomus AcademyPolitecnico of MilanNABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti MilanoIstituto Europeo di DesignUniversity Iuav of Venice in Italy, the Fashion Federation PARIS] European Fashion Accreditationwww.Fashion-Board.com, Antwerp Fashion Academy in Belgium. There is Parsons The New School for DesignCreative Business HouseFashion Institute of Technology and the Pratt Institute in New York City. Elsewhere in the United States there is the Savannah College of Art and DesignVirginia Commonwealth UniversityFashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los AngelesSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago in Chicago. The National Institute of Fashion Technology in India, Shih Chien University in Hong Kong, RMIT University in Melbourne, Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan and the Asian University chain, Raffles College of Design and Commerce, all have reputable fashion design courses.

The only Ivy League University having a Fashion Design undergraduate program is Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The program is offered by the department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design]. Cornell University also offers the only Ph.D. program in apparel design in the United States. The program is intended to address the needs of academia, industry and research by considering apparel design as an applied science that embraces design, technology, physical sciences, the humanities and social sciences in order to meet the human needs for clothing. There are many universities that offer fashion design throughout the United States. The major incorporating fashion design may have alternative names like Apparel and Textiles or Apparel and Textile Design and may be housed in departments such as Art and Art History or Family and Consumer Studies.

READ ALSO:

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 1) – FASHION DESIGN, STRUCTURE, HISTORY

ALL ABOUT FASHION (PART 2) – 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 5 Tips for Writing a Killer Business Plan | Niche Volumes

Starting a business plan is a detailed process that is both educational and revealing. with existing companies it is a chance to re-evaluate profit margins and focus on the prominent areas of the business while cutting out the departments that are losing money. For business plans for new companies it is an opportunity to really focus on, and understand the industry and evaluate whether your next big idea will be successful before you make a large investment.
Although up to 44% of new businesses survive 4 years or more the success of any new business is good planning, access to capital and good business management.
Here are the 5 best tips for creating a killer business plan that will undoubtedly impress:


1) consider your Audience
Business plans are developed for many different reasons. Is it for presenting to a panel for project approval? will it be to submit for funding? Is it simply to restructure the business for profitability? Each of these avenues will require adjustments to the plan format and style you will need to use throughout the document. If you are attempting to obtain funding then you will have to have very detailed cost and ROI projections that are measurable and realistic. If you are making a presentation to a non-profit or a board of directors it is likely that you will need to include a directive on community impact or involvement and impact (either positive or negative) to the existing business. Remember your audience as you creates your document to ensure you focus on the important topics and leave no questions unanswered.


2) Quality Reference Material Is Key
It is important to integrate a diverse mix of reference material in your plan document. the web is great for the latest news but is not nearly as highly regarded as printed documents. be sure to use a good mix of reputable internet reference along with well-known facts and industry statistics most often found in printed literature. Industry specific publications and industry magazines are an excellent way to get the latest news and trends in a reliable place. Always include references from industry publications as well to raise the standard your business plan and build credibility in your due diligence. Always make sure to cite your research or any quotes you may use. this will also build credibility while ensuring you are not infringing on any protected or copyrighted content you use. To quickly and easily cite your sources there is a web-based tool that you can use to enter in your info and get back the properly formatted entry for the works cited page. it makes the process a breeze: easybib.com.


3) Do your Own Research
Creating a solid business plan is the singular first step in knowing your industry and understanding what it will take to be successful in your chosen field. Part of developing a plan should be to evaluate competitors, define your business strategy and start to understand if your value proposition meets a tangible need in the marketplace. Walking through the initial steps of creating a business plan is an invaluable process that will help to ensure that your business can survive the market trends. Don’t pay someone else to do your research for you or it may end up costing you more than you think.

4) using a Business plan Template
Now that you have various notes and articles, market information and loads of statistics it is time to put it all together in a layout that will highlight the data you have compiled. Finding  business plan examples can be a challenge as every business plan is different (see point #2 above), however you can develop your own based on a compilation of the different topics or areas you want to cover. If you want a business plan template that comes formatted with sample headings and the different categories already setup, try using the plan layout from online websites. this site has a real business plan in Word format for quickly changing out headings and information. In addition the plan comes with a break-even analysis template in Excel as well as a 1 year Pro-Forma template in Excel with the formulas already built for easily updating and projecting costs for your business. this is a big time saver and an easy way to quickly get the business plan document underway without having to start from scratch.


5) Seek Out Experts in the Industry
Finally, after you have organized your information reach out to some industry experts like local college professors, trade show organizers, or even your local Chamber of Commerce for some insight and feedback on your plan. it always helps to get a second opinion on the plan before making the final presentation. having one or more individuals look over the plan will shed light on areas that need to be revised or reinforce that the business plan is ready to present.
Don’t get distracted spending valuable time figuring out the Works Cited, Table of Contents or overall plan layout. use the templates or resources that are readily available to you and spend the time focusing where you should, on the reporting and presentation of your business idea.

Source: Onlinebusinessplans1.net

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