Archive | December, 2008

Designer Collaborations: Give The People What They Want!

23 Dec

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Fashionistas are protesting once again! I hate to break it to ya, but it looks like Betsey Johnson will not be launching a diffusion line with H&M or Target. “‘The rumors are false,'” a rep confirmed to People.com,” reported by The Cut. Only a few days ago we were cheering on the label for their efforts. Even if it was a rumor, Betsey Johnson needs to give the people what they want!

The mass excitement is a testament to this cash-cow idea. As I explained in my previous post, collaborating with a retail chain for a short time would boost profits without tarnishing the luxury name.

Remember Alexander McQueen’s announcement to collaborate with Target last November? Heck, besides Kohl’s, Vera Wang has even collaborated with Serta mattresses! Designer collaborations generate high short-term profits that can sustain a company during a slow economy.

It is important to keep an eye on the current market because of its ever changing environment. Currently, consumers are trying to find affordable luxuries. Fashionista’s are still addicted to shopping but are now digging for deals.  Karim Shah of Pierce Mattie PR’s The Fashion Rag also recognizes this market in his latest post saying, “don’t discount the power the average woman beholds. Consider those with moderate taste.” If the average consumer can buy designer brands at a low price, they will go for it like a mad dog.

Are there other ways designer collaborations can help fashion labels?

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Smart Marketing Move By Betsey Johnson

19 Dec

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UPDATE (December 22, 2008): Looks like this was only a rumor. Read following post for more details.

Now, here’s a smart marketing move!

Betsey Johnson, my favorite uber-girly and sexy designer label, is scaling back on their February show and spending the money on a new venture. The label’s CEO Chantal Bacon, according to The Cut, says Betsey Johnson will collaborate with a retailer in launching a limited-edition line. The Cut explains that “one can easily deduce a diffusion line for H&M or Target is probably in Betsey’s future.”

This is a smart investment move because it creates more room to grow in this economy without loosing their brand identity. A “limited-edition” line keeps a designer label looking high-end because it is a limited commodity or a one-of-a-kind deal. Luxury should “seem” hard to come by and entice those who may not have the funds to access high-end brands.

Kudos to Betsey Johnson. You go girl!

Color Me Mimosa

9 Dec

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Only a few months ago I pulled a mustard-yellow skirt from the rack of Alula. Now that I think about it, the mustard-yellow color is very similar to the color Pantone calls “Mimosa.”

“Pantone, the ‘global authority on color,”‘has selected Mimosa as the color of the year for 2009,” explains The Cut. This color trend is perfect for brightening up the days of Spring and bringing a fashion diva back to life! This yellow hue is refreshing and exciting to the senses.”The colour yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, tells MARKETWATCH.COM

It is important to note that many designers have already taken to this sunny color. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer featured Samantha Critchell’s article about this particular craze, “In the spring fashion collections previewed earlier in the fall for retailers and editors, pops of yellow brightened the runways of Carolina Herrera — who called her favorite shade marigold — Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen and Michael Kors, among others. Kors even included a retro yellow polka-dot bikini that clearly harked back to a more upbeat time.”

British Vogue says “Mimosa represents hope and optimism – buzzwords for the new year after a 2008 full of instability and upheaval.” I urge everyone to look out for pieces in this color; it pairs with almost every color and brings life to your wardrobe. Many consumer are not adding as many pieces to their wardrobe because of the tough economy, but I believe this is one color that will help you persevere through these times and into a bull market!

Public Relations Agencies Help (PRODUCT) RED

8 Dec

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Photo: The Seattle Times

This past week was an important week for (PRODUCT) RED. It wasn’t difficult in the slightest to find your favorite brands turning red. Even the Space Needle turned red!

As an intern I have had the chance to experience working on Starbucks. It was great to experience the buzz generated by Starbucks and Frause, a full spectrum communications firm, about the (Starbucks) RED campaign around Seattle. Monday, December 1, was World AIDS Day and the Seattle-based company partnered with the Space Needle to show their support by up-lighting the iconic structure a bright red. Starbucks also decided to give 5 cents of every drink to the Global Fund. Also, from November 27 through January 2 the coffee company will donate 5 cents of a (Starbucks) RED™ Exclusive beverage to the Global Fund.

productred2Waggener Edstrom has also helped (PRODUCT) RED in light of World AIDS Day. They produced a video with YouTube ceWEBrity, William Sledd (aka “Ask a Gay Man”) where he ambushes a girl at a mall to give her a (PRODUCT) RED makeover. The public relations agency also secured a contest on Polyvore.com and created a button for fashion bloggers, designed by Jordana Bruner, to show their support for (PRODUCT) RED’s effort in Africa.

It’s so great to see public relations agencies working together for a good cause and a great company that strives for helping people in Africa. How have you helped the effort in Africa? Do you buy RED products?

Add the (PRODUCT) RED button to your fashion blog! Embed Code: <a href=”http://www.joinred.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l200/grantcwilliams/proudtowear.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Disclaimer: I am currently working on the Starbucks team as an intern at Frause.

Public Relations Saves The Day!

5 Dec

dollardress1The economy is in a bad place right now…yada yada yada. Don’t freak out and the market will bounce back…yada yada yada.

True, public relations practitioners need to be aware of these trying times but might we find diamonds in the rough? Brand perception means everything to companies right now because consumers are reluctant to buy. People are purchasing trustworthy brands and seeking out product information to make the best economic decisions. Public relations is the key to garnering this consumer trust.

Brand perception is the most important element to a company’s success rather than slashing prices. “I see a lot of people in my industry who are over-reacting. Stores that are over-discounting, designers who are creating collections for the price and what sells rather than to reflect who they are,” says Anna Wintour in New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Along with Abercrombie & Fitch, as mentioned in my previous post, Neiman Marcus is hanging on to their luxury-brand image and perceived value.

The Fashion Rag reports that luxury department store, Neiman Marcus, plans to open a new store in Bellevue, Washington, at The Bravern in March 2009 and a three-story store in the Macerich-owned Broadway Plaze in Walnut Creek, California.

I recently had a discussion on Twitter about Neiman Marcus’ behavior. Jordana Bruner, fashion blogger for Clutch22, explained that “their primary customers still spend $$ in spite of the recession. It’s similar with some other luxury brands.” Pierce Mattie Public Relations replied with, “It’s just interesting that when other brands are being cautious, they are going full throttle. Do they know something we don’t?” This is an interesting question to ask and I hope it will be answered in the near future.

I urge companies to keep pushing forward because their business is what drives our economy. Also, know that investing in public relations will build trust in a company’s brand perception to drive business.  Stay strong and remember that public relations will save the day!!!

How do you think brand perception affects business in a recession?