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Models. The most important visual ingredients of fashion. So important that some of them dare to say, "I won't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day". The famous phrase quoted from one of the most famous model of all time, Linda Evangelista. No, not model. Supermodels. Household names that dominate the fashion industry in the '80s/'90s, they were celebrity, popular mainstream icons. Everyone know their names. Even if you don't really give a damn about fashion, somehow you'll know the names of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Kate Moss and all those girls. But it's the 21st century today, and the Supermodel era has passed. The modeling industry has changed. Fashion got tired of the supermodels era and went from this to skinny, anonymous disposable girls.

ModelsThe supermodel era died because of the beat down they used to give to clients. They took it there and now it has been taken back. That clique of very bad and very brilliant girls gave fashion some of its most stunning imagery but they were also spoilt young girls who behaved as all spoilt girls were want to do. When there were top models, you needed them for your shows; they called the shots and they did what they wanted. So if they did your shows you were valid. They are all emeritus now. Almost like ancestral aristocrats of model privilege. But in this modern day of an over-flowing model market with its ceaseless scouting, the exceeds supply, what about the new girls?

In many ways the designers have succeeded in a steady policy of returning fashion modeling to its pre-supermodel time. Back then there were runway girls and they were a distinct, separate breed from the editorial and campaign super stars. It's the super-smart managers like Gerald Marie and John Casablancas who converged on Linda, Christy, Naomi and Claudia to make an event of editorial stars stomping the runway, it seemed that momentum would last into eternity. But that strategy has been erased season after season by very smart designers who are certain in their stance that all they need that very long and sleek girl to do is walk to the end of the catwalk, turn and exit. Nothing more. No Name. No Fame.

Just tons of prepubescent, underage girls, nameless, and, jokingly, all "exclusive". Most of the girls became a one hit wonder, being relevant for two-three seasons with some blue chip bookings. They lasts about as long as a strobe or a flash in the studios of Meisel or Steven Klein or Inez and Vinoodh, or any of that select group of photographers who eat the majority of the advertising and editorial work every season. They'll shoot her once. Or twice. For a multi-girl Prada ad, for Italian Vogue or Vogue Paris. But she will bore and then she will never be rebooked. She might have a lifetime of lesser bookings but they will be solidly sub-blue chip. Catalogue work, picking up a Numero here or an Elle there to still seem slightly relevant. But maximum relevancy? Long gone.

The opening slots and exclusives...so coveted and precious, a first exit meant a star was born. That is until the designers themselves stop this pedestrian star-is-born drama and swung as randomly and mercurially as it wished. A girl opened and closed the X designer show for 4th times in a row, featured in the ads for 2 seasons and suddenly she's never rebooked again. New girls, new exclusives, every season.  Every designer is doing as he or she will with these roaming bands of awkward new girls every season and every show became an increasingly a self-enclosed statement of a single designer's current whim. With the advent of websites like Style.comModels.com or Nowfashion everyone could see which models did what and every bookers just went bonkers trying to get these girls first. Then everyone got bored of that model after one season, and then they were gone, and you started that cycle all over again. It was no longer about building a girl’s career. It was about looking online and just trying to get what's hot this season. There's very little relationship or continuity.Opening slots and after that closing slots now mean nothing whatsoever in the scheme of things. Exclusives are hardly a commitment to a career. They are frankly, a well played game of oneupmanship with the model's career being the last thing on the list of concerns. Girl X just closed Calvin Klein, yeah so?

Models CastingYou are lucky in a hundred years or so if you have the chance that #Prada# gave to Sasha Pivovarova--6 consecutive campaign in a row which has never been repeated ever since. Or the shock that Lara Stone get when the Calvin Klein people decided her to be the first model to become the face of all the fashion house ads. Or the loyalty that Ralph Lauren gave to Valentina Zelyaeva which has been walking and modeling the ads for the fashion house ever since she starts her career till today.

Just when relevancy and longevity not stressing enough, there's so many things that should be a concern for these new, underage, skinny, anonymous girls. Many of the girls didn't get the fair compensation. As a young aspiring model you sure would be thrilled just for being a fitting model for let's say big designer like Marc Jacobs, that stood for hours of fitting and sometimes the paid is just a Louis Vuitton handbag, no cash money. And it didn't happen for fitting models only, it happens with girls who walk in the show. Many designers use the girls and paid them with handbags, clothes, even socks. Everyone expect these girls to do their jobs for trades and sometimes, nothing.

People forget the big picture sometimes. Labels and figures are here to sell clothes but don't forget that these images from all the glossy pages of magazines and shows on TV distributed and broadcasted worldwide and there's always an ordinary girl, sitting and smiling--aspiring to be one of those girls walking down the runway, featured on those magazine pages. Or a boy lives in nowhere collecting every pages of the ads and editorials shot by Meisel aspiring someday he'll have the chance to be on the other side of the lens. Fashion is also made to sell dreams. Selling clothes might be purely industrial from A to Z, but selling dreams requires creativity more than mechanisms. This is true for the designer, the stylist, the makeup artist, the photographer, everyone in the creative process. But this also has to be true for the model who is, after all, the central character of the story and dream the industry wants to tell.

  

Naturally a career in fashion is a glamorous idea. The industry is diverse with many different roles – a fashion job can be anything from running exotic photo shoots in corners of the world, to managing a trend-spotting blog in the fashion media. Behind the scenes in the fashion industry, there are so many people working to make it happen.


Here are the top careers in fashion:


Fashion DesignDesign and Development

The careers of designers and those involved with the creation and development of garments, costumes, and accesories. These are the individuals who are highly creative – the people who are the heart of the fashion industry.

Accesory Designer, Costume Designer, Fashion Designer, Graphic Designer, Technical Designer,Textile Designer, Colorist, Illustrator, Patternmaker are also examples of design and development careers.

 

Merchandising

In Merchandising the main activities are the selection and purchasing of merchandise from the manufacter and then selling the product to the customer. Merchandising is a big business and now-a-days the growing focus on fashion has created a real need to train people in the fashion merchandising field. Boutique/Store Owner, Buyer, Fashion Producer/Director, Merchandiser, Sales Representative, Showroom Sales Representative/Owner.

 

Media and Visual Talent

These professionals are typically the beauty behind the scenes. In the fashion universe, this is where fashion gets its great looks and personality. It brings the models who are photographed by great professional photographers and transformed by a staff of creative professionals. Agent, Hairstylist, Make up, Fashion Model, Photographer, Publicist/Media, Fashion-Show Producer/Director, Fashion Stylist, Image/Wardrobe Cosultant are other examples.

 

Visual MerchandisingPublishing and Marketing

In the publishing and marketing deparment Works with the professionals who communicate information to consumers – or the brains of the fashion universe. These department is the “literary” side of this business. The main responsability of this area involves everything about advertising campaigns, television, commercials, print advertising and internet media. They also have to work on being aware of the content and style of the publications. Art Director, Beauty Editor, Fashion Editor, Forecaster, Marketing Director/Manager, Writer are more examples worth mentioning.

 

Evidently, fashion is so exciting and it may hold the beginnings of a challenging and rewarding career. If you have passion for the carreer in fashion , you are fortunate to have the opportunity to choose among the most fascinating areas availables.

Fashion has become part of every aspect in life, from the design of the clothing to the color that reflects the personality and unique style of each one . We are all part of fashion!

 

Today’s scenarios are highly competitive and customer oriented, this makes fashion companies to have the need for innovation. While naming innovation we are not referring only to new processes in their technologies for sourcing and manufacturing, but more on their marketing strategies to keep customers interested in their brand identity, and more importantly to retain their desire for acquiring fashion and luxury brand products.

InnovationWithin daily happenings in the industry we see a bunch of news talking about new product releases, changes in the management of fashion companies, creative designers moving from one fashion house to another one. Another issue is the existence of counterfeiting troubles between different companies claiming to be the owners of an original idea for their products design, or even more their iconic classic pieces are often re-designed in ‘new editions’.

It is known that any industry and business has its own challenges to face, but it is also true that fashion is an industry that is evolving in a fast track, call it on production side, new materials or even the existence of thousands of new emerging competitors. 

AudemarsGathering our most popular news articles in the period, we can see at the top “Audemars Piguet Filed a Law Suit Against Tommy Hilfiger and Movado Group”, in New York Federal Court, Audemars Piguet is acussing Tommy Hilfiger Inc. of producing the Tommy Hilfiger Eton watch as a copy of their Royal Oak watch design. This brought up our attention because it is not the first time that lawsuits claiming the ownership of an original design between fashion and luxury companies take place. Just last year in the news was the Christian Louboutin's lawsuit against Saint Laurent for using the iconic red sole on their shoes. In our opinion these happenings will keep going on in the industry because there is a thin line in creativity business about how to protect each companies copyrights, how to determine who did it first? Or how a shape or a color can be ‘owned’ by a specific company? We can see fashion companies will keep on struggling on this topic, and moving faster to bring new products and original designs that can be automatically linked to the brands in the customers mind.

As an example of this fast adaptation and continuing evolution, in this industry companies need to create new marketing strategies. The latest product launch from the active wear brand Nike, decided to do a unique strategy, which included a trial of their new Nike Free Flyknit in the Sierra Tarahumara, which is the home to the Raramuri tribe known for barefoot running in the North of Mexico. This approach to create awareness not only through their new product launch but also to promote internationally this Mexican tribe, and consequently Mexican consumers felt strongly identified with the brands campaign. 

Mulberry formerInnovation is challenging, and creativity should always be a matter of concern for company managers, as one of our contributors stated "The remit of creative director is more than just designing product, it’s about an overall vision that takes into account the marketing and advertising strategy, the retail environments, the format of the catwalk presentations, and the lifestyle that their label is selling"  The Fall of Creative Directors . In this article we can see how many times corporate people in fashion companies tend to forget that the role of the Creative Director is not only to sell products, but to understand what the customers are looking for in order to move fashion forward.

This is just one reason why the departure of its Creative Director, usually makes history in the fashion field. It is always a risk when companies make this turn, but if they are able to make it successful results can be overwhelming.

Fashion collaborationsGoing back to marketing strategies fashion and luxury companies may innovate by turning to "fashion collaborations" between two brands. It is through this marketing strategy how fashion brands take advantage of one anothers market segment, and the fact that they are limited edition collections help to create a lot of expectation among fashionistas too. Some examples are: the collaboration between British luxury brand Alexander McQueen and artist Damien Hirst, French label Isabel Marant was reported to have begun a collaboration with Swedish fast-fashion group H&M and the American-based Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer, Jason Wu, has been reported to be working on a cosmetics line with luxury beauty brand Lancome among many others.

Wondering how luxury brands can innovate if one of their characteristics is time-less design?  In Top 5 Iconic Pieces in Fashion , Dominique Dixon couldn't explain better when she says: "Fashion changes with the season, but some pieces seem to stay around forever. Even after a decline in popularity, these pieces comeback with a bang". The author is right, let's just remember the 1,000 versions for Fendi's baguette bag!

Start UpFinally we strongly recommend you to read the article about Innovation in Fashion Technology by StartUp Fashion, where you'll find many examples about how new emerging fashion brands are proposing a twist in shoes and accessories to resolve every day people needs, through innovation and design thinking. These new brands seem to understand that "To innovate, companies need to understand consumer is king", as explained by Soulati Media, in the article Innovate or Die, don't miss this reading to truly understand in a general perspective (not only the fashion industry), what is innovation? and which role it plays in companies business strategy.

 

The demand for organic cotton and sustainable garments is rising every day more and more, as a result manufacturers are setting a special attention on innovating for new styles that can offer the market the sustainable blend.

Yoga ClothesSome of these manufacturers are Gaiam,Prancing Lepoard Organics and Manuka, were interviewed by fibre2fashion and founders expressed they concerns on the topic.

From Gaiam a health and sustainable lifestyle brand products, Ms.Terry Matera, who is the director of clothing and accessories said "Our customers have been very vocal about wanting more organic cotton products and the challenge is making technologically advanced styles in better or equal versions with sustainable blends", she continued, "Our consumers are willing to spend a little more and there is an increase in demand for organic or eco fabrics that are comfortable, have a freedom of movement and can take the wearer to and from class with style".

In the same path, Sevda Holland, the founder of Prancing Leopard Organics a yoga and fitness apparel manufacturer, said that yoga clothes should communicate joy as weel as taste and fashion, but apart from style, the clients are expecting very high levels of comfort and cradlet-to-cradle sustainability.

Finally, Leonie Ellyatt, Manuka, an eco-conscious sustainable yoga clothing manufacturers who was interviewed, said "The underlying aim in creating sustainable yoga clothing is to provide the best possible products to accompany people on their physical and spiritual journey to wholeness".

Mexico is a country full of color, culture and full of skilled people with talent for creation. These are the reasons why it should be a top supplier of fashion products since it also has a geographic advantage with several fashion buyers on top and bottom, call it United States, Canada or the small countries such as Belize and Guatemala.

Mexico ManufacturerOnce upon a time, in 2001 Mexico was the leader in textile manufacturing for the United States, however since then each year the manufacturing business goes in decline because of its biggest competition: China. The low cost as well as the many laws that allow this country to get products in with a small amount of money has taken away many businesses from manufacturing in Mexico.

The textile and garment industry, not including leather-branch, is composed of 99.5% for MSMEs; also brings total to 17.6% (742.986) of the persons employed in the manufacturing sector, which represents 5.2% of the total employed in the manufacturing country. At the end this industry generates a 10% GDP of the country. But who are they working for? Is this really an International market and does this industry has importance in the world of fashion and Mexico?

It is important to understand that Mexico participates in three important components in fashion: fibers, yarns and confection. This country should realize the importance of this and their advantages and their areas of opportunity in order to attack the problems or give power to the assets.

When it comes to fibers this country lacks the variety when it comes to natural fibers but it has a great production when it comes to synthetic. This is why the Ministry of Economy in Mexico does not take this industry into account as it is a very small percentage of the overall business. And while the yarns do have a special place in the economy, the biggest value in the sector comes from the manufacturing and confection. On the other hand this country has to compete with China, therefore the government is in need of a new way at the manufacturing business.

ZARAAccording to Rosario Silva, an expert in competitiveness, the country needs to look at the manufacturing industry as Inditex SA, the fashion group that owns and manages brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Pull and Bear and Oysho, and that season after season end up with a big revenue from the local markets around the world. She says "they achieve this by something the companies in the country have not understand yet, and that is to keep up with trends and to understand the needs of the market quick and with efficiency, providing the market place with the product they need in the moment they need it all of this with a global view about the costumer". This is how manufacturers will capture the attention of all the enterprises that look for product that will sell fast and in big numbers.

However it’s important to look at some local manufacturers that have done its job when entering local and International markets, very few people know that Mexican company Vicky Form invented the lightest bra in the world, as well as the Thermo Panty, which shows not only an understanding of the market but also a piece of innovation you do not see everyday.

Patricia García Romero, the marketing director of the brand says, "this company works because they have done their job when it comes to the client, having special apartments for every important part of the product and their communication with the client, making it work to the conduct of every department from design to marketing".

Another example that has worked in this industry and succeeded all this years is Cavalier Industries, company that was created in beginnings of the 20th Century and is pioneer in the industrialization of tailoring in Mexico working now with local department stores such as Palacio de Hierro, Sears or Liverpool, and working with International Dillard’s, Moores, Paul Frederick and more.

There has to be say that there is a growing interest from international companies for the culture, this country brings into the table, and this is how several international brands have come to Mexico to capture the essence of this country and break the idea in an international level.

UBCJust this July, the famous house of Benetton Group SpA partnered with Textile Museum in Oaxaca, Mexico, creating an extraordinary fusion between the two making pieces that will reflect the values of the brand as well as the craft work created by the country's indigenous communities. 

In a place full of potential, the fashion community has to wonder what is next to come in terms of manufacturing, will the companies change their set of mind or will they continue in the road they have walked so many times. One thing is for sure, Mexico has the resources it just needs a plan and a little push.

 

Audemars Piguet the famous Swiss luxury watchmaker filed a law suit against Tommy Hilfiger and its licensing partner Movado Group Inc..

WATCH

Law suit was filed in a New York Federal Court, Audemars Piguet is acussing Tommy Hilfiger Inc. of producing the Tommy Hilfiger Eton watch as a copy of their Royal Oak watch design. According to the papers filed in New York the Eton watch has a similar octagonal face and studded detailing.

An interesting detail is that the same judge that took the Christian Louboutin S.A. vs. Saint Laurent case, Victor Marrero, will be in charge of this on too.

The online monthly retail sales went down for the first tim in 13 years in July, as a result of hot weather, inviting shoppers to stay away of their computers ang go out to shop.

ecommerceAccording to IMRG, an online retail trade association, and the consulting group Capgemini, the online sales declined by 2 per cent in the middle of June and July. On the other hand the store-based transactions were higher with a strong performance. About purchases via mobile devices the results were different with an optimistic 129 per cent up year-on-year in July.

Another interesting insight, but this time, reported by the British Retail Consortium, said that hot weather boosted sales in July but only benefited hight street stores. While the shopping centres sales declined 2.3 per cent.

 

As we often ought to do in our line of work, we came upon an interesting piece last week that definitely caught our attention. Lauren Fisher, founder of Simply Zesty came up with this list last year about what she thought were the 50 Most Creative Brand Pages on Facebook, and it is quite an impressive list indeed. Her knowledgeable insight on the matter has inspired us as well to make our own short list of Creative Brand Pages from the fashion industry on Facebook.

But we’ll be doing it a little differently this time around, by discussing which strategies we found simple and yet interesting, and then diving into which brands we thought were doing them well. So here is our suggested list of awesome and cool ways to upgrade your Facebook Brand Page:

Facebook Games

Hong Kong UncoveredMany a person have been drawn to this obsessive culture of Facebook Games, spending countless hours on Candy Crush and the likes. With this much attention, why not try to adapt it to your brand page? French fashion house Louis Vuitton employed it on their Facebook Fan Page with a game inspired by Hong Kong entitled “Hong Kong Uncovered”. The game is mostly targeted at Hong Kong locals or frequent shopping tourists, with a short quiz on Louis Vuitton Hong Kong. 

Fashion magazine Vogue, also employed this strategy with a game called September Issue Sweeps, where followers are invited to guess which Model appears the most times on the Vogue 2013 issue. 

Photo Submissions

CoachAnother cool and definitely engaging way to promote your brand through Facebook is by encouraging fans and followers to send in photo submissions. One fashion brand which we definitely admire, would be American bridge brand Coach with their Facebook photo album entitled #CoachFromAbove. The brand page encourages followers to take photos of their Coach shoes, and posting them online with the hashtag of the same title, in order for a chance to be featured on their photo album.

Apart from #CoachFromAbove, the brand also maximized consumer engagement by producing magazine issues dedicated to particular themes. If you check out their website, today they have the Travel Issue, the Heritage Issue, and the Holiday Issue. Albeit labeled as magazines, these apps are actually a compilation of photos from consumers, living everyday life with their Coach bags! Definitely a creative way to give the spotlight to the real Coach women.

Celebrity Factor

The SartorialistFashion brands like Victoria’s Secret and Coach again, have been able to cash in on their celebrity investments through their social media channels. 

American label Victoria’s Secret has a portion of their Facebook page dedicated to the Victoria’s Secret Angels. This page includes some trivia, their social media channels, schedules on their public appearances, as well as a twitter feed only for the models!

Coach, on the other hand had scheduled a live chat through their Facebook page and a live streaming of an interview with famous street style photographer and blogger Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist.  

Collection Previews

This feature may not come so much as a surprise, as a lot of brands are already currently employing this strategy, but we thought it was worth a mention anyways - and that is collection inspired brand pages. Mostly known for this kind of strategy would be well-renowned brands like Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and Gucci

Dolce & Gabbana’s most recent customized page was dedicated to their scent entitled ‘Light Blue’. Alternatively, Gucci’s ‘Manga Style’ was also quite impressive, focusing on their Spring 2013 collection, the brand had a page inspired by the art of Japanese Manga, which was also ultimately the inspiration for their collection.  

Music

SpotifyAnd lastly, here we have a really cool and hip way to complete the ambiance of your Facebook brand page. Tuning into your sense of sound, fashion brands like Burberry and even website Who What Wear, have incorporated a particular soundtrack to match their branding. 

Burberry, known for taking the lead in digital fashion marketing, has included on their Facebook page ‘Burberry Acoustic’. Also available on their company website, Burberry Acoustic, is actually a marketing strategy unique to Burberry, where they feature up and coming British artists. 

Online magazine Who What Wear, also employs the same strategy - but this time making the use of music social channel, Spotify. Their Facebook brand page includes a ‘summer playlist’ with the latest music to help you gear yourself up for the summer! 

And there you have it! Some simple tips and tricks to keep your Facebook fan pages as fun and engaging as ever! Don’t forget guys, being present on social media is the first step, it is staying ahead of the game that is the challenge!

The recent “Great Recession” in the US forced numerous brands to cut costs to survive the financial dip. This cost-cutting helped some brands with a head start towards profitability during the 2009 recovery period and led to opportunities on harnessing new technologies and processes to capitalize on building market momentum. One critical area for investment was advanced digital marketing analytics.

AnalyticsThe focus for marketing analytics now is on the immediate need retailers have to quickly transform raw data, generated from the Web (including social media), and their brick-and-mortar presence into actionable insights. The good news, in addition to the abundance of data, is the advancement of analytics, which has transitioned from standard reports to real-time data feeds. Feeds that can optimize digital marketing and fine-tune business strategies on the fly resulting in far reaching benefits that base success on consumer behavior

According to a study, brands must look at applying analytics not only to keep their costs in check but also use the wealth of information to maintain, enhance and increase revenue.

FashionBig Fashion names like LVMH, Burberry and GAP are already examining variety of gathered data to discover hidden consumer patterns, undiscovered consumer-product relationships and other information. Results of such examinations provide competitive advantages over rival organizations and tie into the goal of increasing market share and ensuring that they remain competitive and even surpass rivals.

MarketingSmaller fashion brands that previously couldn’t afford these in-depth analytics, now have data that is readily available on the Internet, free of cost. But the underlying fact is that data might be freely accessible, what really matters is how to make sense of the scattered information to gain invaluable insights. Aided by such easy access, these fashion brands need to decide what specific tools they need for their particular business and then target their markets.

We seek to better understand how fashion brands view big data – and to what extent they are measuring this data to benefit their businesses. Among the emerging approaches are sentiment analysis, trend forecasting, visual analytics, and social media measurement to name a few. And the only digital marketing focus that is 100% dedicated to the Fashion & Luxury Industry is Fashionbi, where brands can measure their digital performance and ROI across key geographies and market segments, thanks to its international team of analysts.

It’s time for all fashion brands to invest in data-driven marketing and embrace customer-centric strategies, because a pretty photograph and stylish website just won’t cut it anymore.

Like the old saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

The natural clothing leaning started by wearing itchy slipovers to be natural as much as possible is now passing through a different meaning of wearing ecofriendly without depriving the self style.

EcoFashionFashion industry, one of the most significant sectors of the global economy, is also the one leaving noteworthy harm to the environment. But the harm here is not only about the waste left by production systems of the industry. It also covers the intensive consumption rate related to the industry as well as the cheap workforce seeking and the worker exploitation.

On the other side, hopefully, there is an ethical fashion understanding developed by the fashion industry itself. Under the philosophy of ethical fashion, companies have been develeoping their systems from design to production, and even the disposal stage to provide workers with fair working conditions while ensuring the production stages to be more sustainable.

Ethical consciousness has actually been living with us for fifty years. Based upon the Hippie generation of sixties, antiwar flower children were actually the spearheads of the recycling culture in fashion design.

Via the antiwar philosophy that creates their own style via the recycled local clothes taken from different cultures, they were simply trying to live the nature.

Eighties were the years of extreme production capacities as well as the consumption ratio demanded from the fashion industry. This situation made the industry examine itself and the fashion systems underwent a transformation. English cosmetic brand Bodyshop, for instance, developed ecofriendly products which was not tested on animals. During the same years animal rights defenders created anti-fur campaigns.

TopModelsNineties can be recalled by the naked pictures of Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford for PETA’s fur campaign saying that “We’d rather go naked than wear fur.” This showed that fashion had become a dangerous gun to be used for itself.

Ten years later, the 2000s, companies started to use the terms “ethical”, “organic”, “no worker exploitation” more often. The phrases like “second-hand” and “vintage” were the hard-hitting ones persuading consumers that the products they bought are ecofriendly and made within an ethical understanding.

The exchange circulation between the two poles had been carried into another level anymore.

The more consumers became to buy environmentally friendly, the more companies tried to change their way to reach those consumers. From the design to the disposal stage of the lifecycle of a product has been developed to be more conscious in terms of both socially and environmentally.

Workers started to be provided with fair and living wages,Economy healthy working conditions as well as freedom of association and voice in the workplace. Manufacturing stages started to use environmentally responsible materials to minimize the environmental impact. Desiging for disassembly allied itself with repurposing clothes for longer use of material and the product. Procurement and finishing steps of the supply chains have also been changed to optimize the energy and source efficiency.

Eco-friendly fashion became popular with the help of some big names, specially a good number of Hollywood celebrities: Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, Alicia Silverstone, Adrian Grenier, Jennifer Aniston and Salma Hayek are now associated with sustainable fashion. Celebrities, models, and designers such as Stella McCartney, Rogan Gregory, Peter Ingwersen, Ali Hewson, Bono and Summer Rayne Oakes have also drawn attention to socially-conscious and environmentally friendly fashion.

Save the FutureEven if we lost and probably wil lose some supporters like Naomi Campbell, ethical responsibility in fashion consumption would be always in discussion and will be gaining more and more importance.

The recent fifty years changed the question from “How can we sell or consume more?” to “How can we sell and consume more consciously?” Hoping that developing technology and the ethical philosophy would be more intensively combined by the industry, therefore we will encounter with more than design experiences providing us, the consumers, with more product stories to become more conscious.

Marc Jacobs, the famous contemporary fashion designer from the United States just opened its first store dedicated fully to beauty products.

Marc JacobsThis first Marc Jacobs beauty store is located on Bleecker Street in Manhattan. The stock in the store includes 121-piece colors cosmetic collection, plus all the signature fragrances.

But this one won't be the only one beauty store, today there was also the opening in Sephora plus other 11 Marc Jacobs stores from California to Florida.

About the international expansion of the beauty shop expanding, Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs International, told WWD 'It depends on how it does', 'when we launched Bookmarc, I thought it would be the only one, and then we opened one in LA and in Paris and in London. And we're about to open one in Tokyo. At pratically every store I've underestimated the amount of people who will come".

 

Myer is Australia's biggest department store chain, and it specializes in a variety of designer apparel and also home accessories. The runway was created together with well-known Australian designers.

Jennifer HawkinsThe well-known designers where Jayson Brunsdon Black Label, Sass & Bride, Autonomy and Trent Nathan , showing their lines for both men and women. 

As brand ambassadors Jennifer Hawkins and Kris Smith launched this latest Spring-Summer 2014 based on monochromes and classy silhouettes with pastel shades for women and for men there were a lot of evergreen blue denims. This important runway show took place in Sydney.

The Fashion Industry can be described in many ways, from different perspectives, yet one thing is generally valid- it is not a trivial, nor a conventional industry. For this particular reason, we can assume this industry is attracting an increasing number of aspiring professionals who struggle to secure a place within this complex, tough and glamorous field. An appealing aspect about fashion is related to its mysteriousness as one craves a sense of belonging to it no matter how shallow may seem for outsiders. 

Essential Fashion Knowledge

Dolce and GabbanaMost experts agree that fashion was born in Paris- the home of couture and style, the place where the aspiring fashion designer must be present, showcasing his/her designs at Paris Fashion Week, in order to gain credibility and respect and ultimately build the fashion brand. Comparing to the 19th century, when the English couturier Charles Frederick Worth created the first fashion brand and established himself in Paris, dressing celebrities of those times, our era is more about mass production than bespoke trade. The rules of the game have completely changed in the last 20 years and now we are witnessing phenomena such as the increase in number of fashion seasons. The fashion calendar is divided into two major seasons: Spring/Summer occurs from roughly January to June, Fall/Winter from July to December, with Fashion Week occurring in February (when fall is shown) and September (spring). This is the simple scenario, when fashion houses are presenting their haute-couture and ready-to wear collections. But what happens in those six months of waiting for the next fashion show? Well, now the equation becomes more complicate as in the last decade the fashion industry vocabulary was enriched with several captivating terms.

As the world craves fashion shows adventures, the fashion industry is now offering a new sort of collection called ‘resort’ or ‘cruise’ that lands in stores around November to fill the gap between autumn/winter which arrives in store in September, and spring/summer (in store February). Similarly, 'pre-fall' collection bridges the gap between the spring/summer and autumn/winter shows, hitting stores in May. The presentations are smaller and less spectacular than the main shows, yet they represent huge commercial opportunities for designers and retailers. Moreover, fashion consumers feel that fashion shows never end.

The Fashion Show has an impact on all fashion game players, no matter how small or big they are. The grand unveiling of the fashion trends matters for buyers, fast fashion retailers, competitors, fashion journalists, bloggers, photographers, marketers, editors and of course consumers. There is a tacit connection between all these players as they influence each other and create the ‘fashion system’- an increasingly complex mechanism that no matter how impossible to understand may be, it has its own well established pace and all its players know very well their roles.

LanvinFashion Week is the main source of information for retailers, who figure out what they will be buying for the next season, while for fast fashion players such as Zara or H&M it is the perfect period to find inspiration for their next collections. Moreover, technology changed the structural characteristics of supply chains as now it is easier for retailers to ask for low cost and flexibility in design, quality, delivery and speed to market. However, fashion editors and more recently fashion bloggers are great influencers as their reviews of the fashion shows matter more than ever for the large audience. Their voice and opinion regarding trends and collections act like a filter for the consumer as they establish and validate the real trends. Nevertheless, their integrity was lately contested, for instance fashion journalists who were once so admired for their courage of critiquing anything, anytime, are now seen by many as a sort of living marketing tools for certain brands. 

Diffusion Lines Scenario

D&GSpringSummerFashion is fast and forward, always challenging us to adapt to its changes without any warning signs.  To illustrate this point, let’s take the case of diffusion lines- secondary lines of merchandise designed by high-end designers, at lower prices and quality. These lines are usually targeting the young generation, producing a great part of the company’s profit as they are very appealing for customers due to their accessibility in terms of designs and price. Emporio Armani, Miu Miu (Miucia Prada) or D&G are just a few examples of diffusion lines that are bringing huge profits. However, it is interesting to mention that in 2012 the famous Italian brand Dolce and Gabbana closed its D&G diffusion line as it became stronger than its main lines, starting to represent a big threat for the exclusive status of the brand, contradicting its essence and image.

In addition, in the European Journal of Marketing, in a research paper called ‘Brand without boundaries. The Internationalisation of the designer retailer’s brand’, the Buying Director of an import luxury brand stated:

“Diffusion ranges are the life-blood of designer fashion retailers. They bring in the revenue and more importantly the profits. The couture, and to some extent, the pret-a-porter is there or publicity. But if you look at where designers are opening the stores, and are focusing their energies, it is upon the diffusion brands and stores.”

 

Therefore, diffusion lines are also key lines used by brands in their internationalisation process as they are cheaper to produce and easier to use for testing new and uncertain market. In this way companies can have a better idea of consumers’ behaviour in a specific market so can decide to go further and establish a solid presence by opening a flagship store, or they can withdraw from the market without losing huge amounts of money.

ZaraAlike bloggers, diffusion lines are a solid sign of the democratisation of fashion and they may represent a threat for the exclusive status of luxury brands. They are mass produced and could be considered a response to fast fashion brands which revolutionised the consumers’ behaviour with their well developed supply chains. Fast fashion brands changed the perception of consumers regarding speed and variety as they offer low priced fashionable merchandise faster than big fashion houses and they copy catwalk trends providing variety and creating the idea of ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’.

Therefore, on one hand, the newest phenomena of the Fashion Game have a strong connection with the democratization of fashion, but on the other hand according to the Managing Director of a prestigious French house: 

“You cannot claim to be exclusive and charge premium prices when you are selling more jeans than say, Marks and Spencer. The customer catches you out. Frankly, I think the American brands have been caught out already. This bubble will burst and the best brands will go back to being exclusive again. These diffusion stores will certainly close. Exclusivity is not concerned about democracy.”

As we will do in every Fashionbi Spotlight, we will dive into what we have learnt from the best articles during the last two weeks. This time around, our topics are focused on our heading of “Building an Online Fashion Presence”. With this issue of Fashionbi Spotlight, we want to give you the most important things you should know about it!

Pinterest vs.InstagramLet’s start by commenting on how Social Media is no longer an option for the fashion brands’ marketing plan, but instead it is a MUST as our contributor Luciana Zegheanu mentions on our number 1 article. We have learnt that a digital marketing strategy,  allows fashion brands to stand out  and gain in the short and long term a true engagement from their users.  But what fashion and luxury brands should know is that, often there are common mistakes when trying to execute a social media presence, and the points they should avoid are:

1. Not Being Active.

2. Concentrating On One Or Too Many Social Media Platforms

3. Not Engaging Your Audience.

4. Not Using Hashtags.

5.  Not Following Back Your Loyal Followers.

Global E-commerce everywhere in the World!

Next we move on to one of our newer contributors, Mook Attakanwong. Mook from Australia, tells us which online stores are at the top of Australian consumers minds.  In her piece on Austalian e-commerce we learned about websites like Green with Envy, a company established in 2000, as a walk-in boutique in Melborne and is now in the top 5 e-commerce sites in Australia with designer pieces for great deals.

The second example, Robby Ingham, is very remarkable for its delivery strategy, which has the items you purchased online delivered at your doorstep in no more than 3 hours. Other examples include: the Iconic , LOVVD and the Parlour X .

Knowing how important e-commerce is in Australia, here at Fashionbi we did a quick research about the online presence  of the most popular fashion brands in Australia, as a sample we took  Aarzee Jewellery DMCC, Bec&Bridge, Sass&Bide and lastly Willow.  Most of these brands are ‘young’, since they were founded at the earliest in 1999, and the latest Ellery in 2007.

What we found very interesting was, that these brands presence in social networks could be stronger! Let’s start with Aarzee Jewellery DMCC, one of the most recognized designer brands in this country. It turns out that, Ellery does not have a presence in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at all!

Secondly we research, Bec & Bridge, this Australian Premium brand only has presence in Facebook with 19,056 fans and also has a Twitter account with 5,350 followers, similar to another popular and premium brand that is called Willow,  the social presence for this brand is only via it’s Facebook account with only 9,051 fans and it’s Instagram account with more than 5,492 followers.

Finally the winner among these 4 Australian brands is Sass & Bide with an account in Facebook with more then 195,734 fans, a presence on Twitter with more than 13,582 followers, and a very successful Instagram account with more than 96,429 followers.

All these brands activity is done daily, but it seems like they need to do a deeper study in their content to see how they could rise up the users engagement.

So what does it take to create a great online presence for a Fashion Brand?

Fashion onlineWell, that seems like the one million dollar question, and our contributors are tying to give our readers the best information on it. For example Siije Sheila Liu, explained to us why Chanel took over Louis Vuitton, to be crowned as the top Fashion Luxury brand in China. To put it into context, what we learned is that brands should always focus on creating content attractive for local consumers.  She mentions how important it is that Chanel, a part from its brand heritage, has been promoted through films as well, creating a strong brand awareness internationally.

But what happens if your brand is young and it doesn’t have a heritage background as Chanel?  To answer this question we must repeat that Social Media presence can be your road to success, but it is not something simple to do. First, you need to define which are the networks that best fits a brand’s needs according to the audience it is targeting.

A good example is mentioned in the article Social Media Wars: Pinterest vs. Instagram,  where it is stated clearly that the best social network is the one that covers your needs more completely. For example the article mentions that Instagram is better to tell stories, and create a more personal experience about everyday life encounters - it doesn’t matter if it is in the office or a holiday. Therefore, Instagram can truly  work for a brand that is looking to create a strong awareness on its ‘lifestyle’. On the other hand, Pinterest is really helpful for e-commerce retail, since items exposed there are linked to the online retailer where the user can purchase the items.

On this Spotlight, we have also ranked an article written by Courtney Gerring, about how retailers are incorporating social networks such as Pinterest from online to offline strategies. The article explains how the US retailer  Nordstrom is encouraging customers to purchase led by social feedback! What they do is to set a special visual merchandising  for the items more liked and ‘pinned’ on Pinterest.

What we can see as Gerring mentions, is that today “consumers are looking for something intriguing, fascinating and exhiliarting. They look to social media to find the trends, and with mobile devices on the other side, consumers today are looking for emotional connection digitally”.

Research for trends about upcoming social networks!

Social NetworksIt is true, a fashion brand should not only research for style and inspiration trends, but also it is fundamental to keep an eye on the digital world and find out soon what is going on.  By doing so, they will keep space for innovation and constant creativity, and here we will like to quote the article we are reading from Fashion’s Collective, where they explore one of the latest applications, Vine. “The newest social media craze is Vine, an application that allows users to create mini movies by holding their iOS device steady in three separate shots. The in-app camera then loops the three shots together into one quick, 6 second video clip which is shared with the Vine community (and can also be shared on Twitter and Facebook)”.

In the article, author Elizabeth Canon explores the reasons why fashion brands should be active or not on Vine.

Last but not the least, we would like to share with our readers more tips about building a strong online presence through this article featured on socialmouths.com.

Author Sara Carter tell us ‘You will be missing out on an incredible number of potential customers’, this only emphasizes all the more that there are simple tips and tricks that fashion and luxury brands should learn more about, which is the perfect combination for their content strategy in this media.  And more importantly, is the fact that fashion companies are not on their own, here in Fashionbi we are ready to empower them to take smart decisions!

 

 

Coach Inc., the handbag company original from the United States reported its fourth quarter results ended on June 29 together with the departures of two executives.


USAAccording to the report the overall revenue rose 5.8% to $1.22 billion, due to the good performance of men's merchandising in China. Coach's international sales sore 17 percent, thanks to a 35 percent jump in China.

On the other hand the Net Income for the quarter went down to $221.3 million, which also represents 78 cents per share from $251.4 million, that represented 86 cents per share during year 2012.

In addition with the report announcement, the company, made public that Mike Tucci, head of Coach's North America, and Jerry Stritzke, operations chief are stepping down. Whilw Victor Luis, previously in charge of the international expansion will be the new CEO of the company, succeeding Lew Frankfurt.

 

 

 

 

 

The significance of ethical and fair work in the fashion industry is not a new issue; however this trend is slowly embraced by luxury fashion brands although a few eco-fashion ambassadors are trying to educate both the luxury consumer and producer.

What does Green mean in Fashion?

UrbanZenEven though they did not make significant changes in the world of so-called green movement in fashion, a few fashion designers started to move in this direction even earlier than we might imagine. For instance, in the early nineties, Giorgio Armani used hemp into his lines, while in the early 2000’s Donna Karan launched Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Initiative which combines a philanthropic foundation with retail that distributes natural and organic creations.

Ethical Fashion“It’s about the responsibility for the future of the human kind. Fashion is an important vehicle to bring about responsibility because fashion is about the care of the products; fashion is about the work of the artisans; fashion is about quality. Fashion is not about changing things in a very fast way and exploit the materials and the environment, so ethical means responsible- responsible towards people to engage people in such ways that they get dignified work out of that” says Simon Cipriani, Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative when asked by the veteran fashion journalist Suzy Menkes what really means ethics when it comes to fashion. The Ethical Fashion Initiative aims to change the way fashion works by pairing global brands with artisans in developing nations to produce premium products.

Stella McCartney

 Stella McCartney is well-known for her views regarding eco- fashion as her company is not testing any of its products on animals, neither uses leather, skins (i.e. python, crocodile and other exotics) or furs. On her company website, it is clearly stated that “for every piece in every collection I am always asking what have we done to make this garment more sustainable and what else can we do. It is a constant effort to improve”. However, she also declares that “I think that women buy my product because they like how it looks, feels, fits and being sustainable is an added extra bonus.” Therefore, the quality and design are the main elements in the selling process as luxury consumers are more interested in the finite product, rather than what’s behind it in terms of production. Moreover, it is interesting to see that Gucci, the company that owns Stella McCartney brand, sanctions the use of fur in many of its other fashion brands and it doesn’t have an environmental or supply chain policy in place.

VivienneWestwoodVivienne Westwood, another British designer globally known for her nonconformity and free spirit reflected in her highly innovative designs, is also fighting for a better environment. This action can even be called nonconformity as the majority of luxury and fashion brands have other things to do than considering the environment before releasing beautiful clothes and accessories strategically placed in their spectacular window displays. As an ardent advocate against climate change and poverty, Mrs Westwood was implied in different activities in this direction. She designed a new collection of bags handmade in Nairobi, Kenia, in collaboration with the above mentioned The Ethical Fashion Programme.

Using recycled materials from roadside advertisement banners and safari tents, each of the three designs have been hand crafted by marginalised communities of women such as single mothers, widows, HIV/AIDS victims and those living in extreme poverty. Vivienne Westwood’s Ethical Fashion Africa collection has a holistic approach that is 100% dedicated to supporting disadvantaged communities to improve lives.  Dame Westwood’s involvement in the Ethical Fashion Programme allows thousands of women to support themselves and their families with a life-long trade. However, whilst Vivienne may be personally committed to fighting climate change or poverty, her company has no environmental policy in place to reduce the global warming impact of its operations.

Edun LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton is also turning its face to sustainable fashion as it owns Edun, a socially and environmentally conscious label by Bono, the U2 front man, and his wife, Ali Hewson, and designed by Loomstate’s Rogan Gregory. Nevertheless, it is interesting to hear that Ali Hewson herself declares that “In the fashion business desirability is sustainability! This point has taught us over the years that we must produce quality clothes. Fit must be right, design details correct.” Hence, the question of desirability is raised- Is it really the concept of green fashion that actually produces the sells?

It is intriguing to see that only a small number of luxury brands are addressing these important issues in a world where the majority of people are starting to feel on their skin the effects of climate change and third world countries are still fighting with poverty. Obvious or not, the truth is that luxury consumers are firstly interested in the aspect and quality of clothes. Ecological or ethical considerations are still considered minor issues. To illustrate this point, Julie Gilhart, Barneys New York fashion director and early ambassador of sustainable fashion honestly states that: “Consumers respond to good design. Design and desirability must come first. At Barneys, when we explicitly labeled Stella McCartney’s organic line with the word ‘organic’,  its perceived value actually went down in the eyes of the consumer, even though it was actually more expensive to produce.”

Therefore, “sustainable,” “eco,” “ethical,” or “green” fashion is a phenomenon that still requires ambassadors amongst luxury consumers and brands. It is hard to implement an idea of such complexity in a world where luxury brands are risking their exclusivity, trying to use almost the same strategies as fast fashion brands in order to bring their products faster and easier to consumers.

 

‘Melting-pot’, the metaphor used in the 80’to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the USA can now perfectly describe the Asian phenomenon in America, namely American Born Chinese fashion designers. 

FrontRowABC fashion designers (American Born Chinese) built a strong reputation for being highly gifted with everything necessary for a successful career in fashion. Moreover, earlier this year was open “Front Row: Chinese American Designers”—a fashion retrospective curated by Mary Ping at the Museum of Chinese in America, in celebration of their great success. From the early 80’s, designers such as Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Vera Wang and Vivienne Tam began to build their way to a successful career in the fashion industry in the land of freedom called USA. Since then, a new generation of young designers, from Derek Lam to Philip Lim managed to masterly create globally recognized fashion ventures and established themselves as remarkable figures in an international fashion world.

Old Generation

AnnaSuiAnna Sui is one of the first generation of Chinese Americans’ ambassadors who have achieved international recognition as fashion designer. She is best known for producing sophisticated garments, inspired by different genres of design. Her signature is her patchwork-boudoir aesthetic that can be recognized in her clothing, her design store and even her beauty packaging. She owns 32 boutiques; a Soho flagship store; a successful beauty line; and also the Anna Sui BoHo Barbie.

Vera WangAnother remarkable presence on the fashion scene is Vera Wang, a Chinese heroine best known for her sophisticated, youthful and elegant designs as her haute couture bridal collections are widely admired and imitated. She has an elite clientele and designs dresses for competitions and exhibitions. After being replaced by Anna Wintour from her editor-in-chief position at Vogue US, she joined Ralph Lauren as design director for two years, but soon opened her own design salon in the Carlyle Hotel in New York that features her trademark bridal gowns. “People have done far better than me in far shorter periods of time, but that wasn’t my story. It was brick by brick, client by client, store by store. It’s been a trip of passion, but it has not been a quick trip. Nor has it been easy. And that is the truth” stated Mrs Vera for
 as her overall retail value is estimated at over $1 billion. 

Vivienne TamVivienne Tam is a Chinese veteran of the fashion industry whose signature elements are clean lines, Asian prints and rich color sense as her brand is inspired by Chinese culture, design and modern fashion. Her brand’s essence is ‘East meets West’ and her purpose is to bring the Chinese traditional clothing in the Western world as the theme of her first collection was EAST WIND CODE (1994). Vivienne Tam is a lifestyle brand which can best be described as China Chic.

New Generation

3.1 Phillip Lim, Llc. was born in 1973 and founded his own company- 3.1 Phillip Lim- in 2004 with the thought of making designer clothing affordable- “I always believed in making clothes with affordable prices”(Phillip Lim). However, while nowadays, making affordable clothing may be every young fashion designer’s dream, Phillip also had the luck of knowing the right manufacturers in China in order to be able to deliver high quality products at low costs. 3.1 Phillip Lim offers womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, swimwear, accessories and lingerie as the designer believes production and positioning are the most important elements a young entrepreneur should consider before starting a business in the fashion industry. 

Derek LamDerek Lam, another Chinese talent who conquered America creates garments which according to Laird Borrelli “look and feel expensive”, being more interested in creating luxurious experiences rather than minimalistic clothing like Mr Lim. He began his career at Michael Kors and launched his own line in 2003, now being known for his feminine designs; and pretty, girly fabrics.

PhillipLimPast and present, American designers of Chinese roots have taken by storm the fashion industry with their distinctive creativity and highly developed sense for successful businesses in the international environment. However, while members of the old generation, like Vera Wang, gradually built their success on the fashion scene, the new generation is embracing the fashion industry at an extraordinary fast speed. Nevertheless, as today’s fashion main characteristics are competition and velocity, we should not be surprised to see designers like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Llc. breaking the old and traditional barriers of entrance in the complex and dynamic world of fashion. Globalization; social media; or highly developed supply chain management seem to be crucial factors in the speedy establishment of a globally successful fashion brand. Moreover, with the latest financial crisis that hit our economy, consumers developed a different type of behavior. They need quality, designer fashion faster than ever, being price sensitive and increasingly savvy. Hence, it is clear to see why brands like 3.1 Phillip Lim met great success in the fashion industry, with its smart production strategies and innovative designs.

 

1.3 billion is a large number. Large enough not to be ignored. Large enough to take advantage of it. Large enough to go for a challenge. The market of 1.3 billion people in China is a number that any grow-focused brand cannot resist. Nor can the Fashion Industry.

China Internet Network Information Center counted that currently there are more than 420 million Internet users in China, and that number is growing each minute. According to brokerage and investment group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, "China is set to become the world’s largest luxury market with demand from “Greater Chinese” to account for 44 percent of global sales by 2020."

In addition, the statistics prove that approximately ten million new Chinese consumers enter the market each year. That number is mind-blowing. As quoted in Forbes Insights, Simon Pestridge, global brand director for Nike said, “There is no difference between the consumer in China and the consumer in the U.S. They are incredibly proud and savvy, which is different from 10 or 15 years ago.”

 

Go Mobile and Do It Fast

Marketing executives that represent international companies foresee online and mobile as the future. Although less than one-half of the Chinese population has access to the Internet, everybody has a phone. Those companies who want to stand out, need to develop interactive mobile campaigns. But the message is straightforward: Speed Is Everything. To compete in China, companies have to be prepared to move fast. Seriously, digital tools play a vital role in reaching Chinese consumers.

 

Why Weibo?

WeiboNow, more than ever before, fashion brands are able to reach customers with such an ubiquitous digital power. That is why luxury fashion brands emphasize their existence on Weibo. Weibo is a Chinese micro blogging digital platform that has over 100 million users. It is considered to be brands' and marketers' must-have. Its importance cannot be underestimated.

In October 2010, Louis Vuitton became the first global fashion brand to join Weibo. Since then, it has been greatly using its account as a hybrid of Facebook & Twitter. Considering Chinese adoration for the brand, it couldn't be any different.

It's not only about following. In the fashion world, Weibo is an excellent research and testing tool. It allows brands to see how the market and followers respond to any research tested by them.

Burberry, also present on Weibo, uses it to drive their online crowds to the brand's offline stores for product giveaways. Chanel launched a Weibo account to promote Culture Chanel,via its exhibition at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Shopping Online

E-commerce is booming in China, but it is widely known that many customers still prefer to buy luxury goods in-store rather than online. Spending a lot of money purchasing luxury goods often makes them opt for a touchable in-store transaction. That is why fashion brands should clearly direct themselves into improving their digital arena by optimizing social media marketing and e-commerce strategies. Brands need to concentrate on creating more reasons for fans to visit their sites. Search Engine Optimization efforts play a key role in driving traffic to websites. And it's a must to optimize them for the Chinese keywords.

ArmaniA company that has been doing a terrific job in China is The Armani Group. It first entered China, precisely Shanghai, in 2004. Currently, despite their stores in the big metropolis of Shanghai or Beijing, it opens its boutiques in second and third tier cities. Considering the fact that China should become the world’s largest luxury market by 2015, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. made a great choice of placing its international investments.

YoukuChina is home to the world’s largest Internet population. There are about 200 million online shoppers located there. Just in 2011 they spent 750 billion renminbi online. Isn't it impressive ? It surely is for Giorgio Armani S.p.A.. The company opened its online store and currently the brand is connected with young technology savvy luxury consumers everywhere. Noteworthy fact is that Giorgio Armani S.p.A. partnered with YOOX.com (http://www.yoox.com), a global operator of luxury e-commerce websites, in order to build an online store especially for Chinese consumers at Emporioarmani.cn . Additionally, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. is on Weibo and Youku, a Chinese video hosting service.

Know the Difference

China has 29 different provinces. They all have their own people. They speak with different dialects. They have their own shopping habits and brand preferences. That's the main reason why they shouldn't be targeted in the same way.

If a company wants to have a successful marketing campaign in a foreign country, it needs to concentrate on a language. Not many brands have Chinese social media sharing tools on their websites. Nor do they offer local customer service numbers.

DiorMagA luxury brand actively participating in the Chinese digital media world is Dior. It runs a Chinese-language version of its DiorMag. DiorMag is a brand's online magazine available at Diormag.com or via brand's official website Dior.com . Dior uses its online magazine to tell the backstory of the brand and its products, to entertain and inform by providing articles, high-resolution images and videos.

Luxury brands need to understand what consumers are trying to achieve while shopping, what their goals are and what dreams they want to fulfill. They need to create engaging personal relationships with their customers. They need to provide personalized service. Consumers get the luxury items because they want to feel luxurious. Luxury brands need to stand out in providing them this unique experience.

 

 

Together with its non stop developing economy, China has a significant customer mass considering the fashion and luxury sector. Thus, it has been a unique playground for the businesses from Europe and the US. However, it is also a challenging game so that not every company can penetrate this area. And that is the reason why 48% of all foreign business operations have failed within two years after arriving in China.

FashionFor the businesses, securing their position simply passes through finding new ways of reconciling cultures and business practices requiring a piece of action. That’s why, China, for a brand, can be be a sign of a success indicator as well. But cracking the China market is not simple because it is apart from anywhere in the West as well as any other Asian market player in terms of culture, linguistic and politics. This stance forms a complexity waiting to be solved.

But above all, there are other reasons for fashion and luxury market to fail in China market. Clothes imported from top luxury brands in the world, for instance, are mostly proven to be substandard in quality control tests. Moreover, fashion giants fail on digital market in China. The more difficult problem is that Chinese consumers perceive the products made in their home country as being counterfetied. And once more, it is very hard to adapt the to the needs of the Chinese consumers.

Recent news about the issue is ensampling the luxury brands Hermes, Versace, Dolce&Gabbana, Paul&Shark, Trussardi and Hugo Boss. According to the research of China Daily, 60 percentage of the overall sample was examined to be substandard. Covering a range of clothes type, from jeans to t-shirts as well as sweaters, skirts and suits are rejected to be able to cause skin rashes, allergies and even cancer due to low colour fastness, unacceptable acid amount and chemical usage.

ChinaChina seems to apply and control the Product Quality Law seriously. The best thing here is that all the brands failed in the tests are simply accepting the wrongs and trying to fix them immediately. Even if they are not registered in China so that they cannot be penalized by the local authorities, there is no doubt they will be fine soon.

Moreover, two-thirds of the luxury fashion brands in China have been “feeble” when it comes to digital marketing usage. Whilst Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Coach are mentioned to be gifted, Gucci and Armani are average and Dior, Dolce Gabbana and Hugo Boss are claimed to be challenged according to the analysis report by think tank L2. The report also mentions that overall IQ of the fashion brands in digital China was down by 12 percent compared to the previous year.

Considering the funny example that Giorgio Armani S.p.A. is competing with a locan Chinese brand called Playboy, which very simply represents a different well known brand for the West, it should also be reminded that the company has rised its marketing IQ by 23 percent year on year.

MadeinChinaMade in China label is another reason for the failures. Asian originated products of MIU MIU, Hugo Boss and Emporio Armani, to ensample, form the drawback itself. That was the reason why Hugo Boss closed its three shops in China for instance. It is showed as the reason of slow expansion of American leather brand Coach as well. On the other hand, Salvatore Ferragamo and Louis Vuitton, which are manufacturing in their home countries, seem to maintain their explosive expansion in China.

Lastly, there is a hard fact that Chinese consumers are not mature as much as Westerns. Varying cultural and economic stances of the cities in China which have been resulting in fast changes in customer expectations and wants. So, the international brands cannot just apply a certain strategy in terms of both style and marketing. Ermenegildo Zegna is shown one of the best strategists at this point because they have achieved to supply new products three times as much as the regular seasons actually have in Western Europe and USA.

As mentioned above, China is a very tricky playground, while owning the new era opportunities of manufacturing and customer potential. The optimization plans of the western companies should consider the cheap manufactruing together with the side efffects of it as well as the quality levels to satisfy technologically and economically attentive consumers of the country. Otherwise, it would be inevitable to end up with closed stores and having unsuccesful business.

Pambianco News reports LA-based denim brand Guess, intends to open as much as 100 stores in Russia by the year 2016. 

GuessAccording to founder Paul Marciano, “our business is developing well in Russia and our goal is to continue with the identification and creation of partnerships in all regions and principal cities with valid local entrepreneurs. Our target is to open more than 100 stores under license by 2016.”

At the moment, Guess has only 35 franchised stores, available in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Sochi - with seven more to open during this summer. 

Luxury fashion has been traditionally in charge of leading the way of defining trends. Luxury brands create a universal desire that many cannot resist. No matter how much people are willing to pay for them, the lower numbers on the price tags actually exist. And they may be as close as a click away from their "aficionados".

Considering rising demand for luxury fashion, and taking advantage of it, major brands such as Prada, Hermes, Burberry, and Hugo Boss are opening new stores and expanding the existing ones. It's commonly known that Asia-Pacific region is fuelling the demand for branded luxury goods. However, recent market research studies show that the United States emerged as the biggest growth market for luxury brands in 2012, and the market itself is worth 76.2 billion dollars. 

SHEFINDSIn all the global expansion happening now within the fashion industry, not only become customers more savvy about their purchases, but their decision making process is also based on irrefutable quality of luxury goods. "Luxury has become more democratized these days, and everyone wants access," says Milton Pedraza, the president of a marketing company, Luxury Institute LLC.

 

Not all the luxury goods can be sold out. Therefore, the brands might be left with some unsold merchandise. If the designer may have made too many pieces of a particular item, sample sale sites are a tactically great option to sell it at the lower price. Private sale sites buy these goods for cheap and then sell them for a profit. As a result, customers have the opportunity to buy designer clothing paying reasonable prices. Often, these items might be already out-of-date, but they are still desirable. And it is a win-win situation benefiting everybody. Luxury brands sell their merchandise, websites make a profit and customers purchase affordable luxury items.

IdeeliLuxury brands have some good tactics of getting rid of unsold or out-of-date stuff. There do exist so called private sale events and invitation-only deals, offering goods at a lower price. To get this merchandise, members have to join or are simply invited to websites that offer private sales with great prices on designer clothes. Most memberships are free. However, such sites as Ideeli , offer paid VIP membership that enables its members to have early access to sales.

GiltOne of the most popular sites, Gilt, operates on the "Block, Sell and Ship" model which means that it initially puts the items on the website and see who's interested in them. If members do like them, they are able to place the order and pay for the goods. Then, Gilt proceeds with getting the merchandise from the particular brands. Next, it is shipped to Gilt, repackaged in Gilt-branded boxes, and eventually shipped to customers. Apparently, this model may be very time-consuming, but relatively safe from the site's perspective. At the end, customers are willing to wait for the desirable products.

The other model commonly used by the private sale sites is contacting luxury brands to see what's currently available. The more inventory the site buys, the better the wholesale price. As a consequence, members are offered a better price, too. However, this way of acquiring luxury goods can be risky, since if there's anything that the site cannot sell, then that money might be lost.

The sites mentioned above are highly successful because they know what their members are looking for. They gain this information through sign up process. They are able to meet their target audience needs by selecting the items of interest. The sites and luxury brands have a common goal - having as many customers as possible.

MizhattanConsumers can also give their contact information to the high-end stores. Invited guests often find luxury designer clothing on SheFinds.com, Mizhattan.com or HauteLook.com.

There are different luxury customers' profiles. However, designer brands' customers are usually brand-loyal. They desire luxury goods, and often are willing to pay sky-high prices for the appealing products. However, companies that make or sell luxury fashion are aware of middle-class shoppers who can afford their products at a discounted price. That's when online sale events are becoming not only popular, but also increasingly successful. All the private sale websites changed the way consumers shop.

Transformation of innovation into economic goods during the recent years has marked an era for the fashion industry as well. From creative projects to interlinked value chains as well as the innovative approaches developed for the manufacturing, distribution or retailing stages of the industry are now the intensively focussed subjects for the fashion entrepreneurs.

Fashion StartUpLooking at the success constituents, being knowledgeable is the feature that a fashion entrepreneur would need in the first place. The idea is simple: coming with a new thing, unfortunatelly is not enough for the development of the business. If you want to sell your product, you must firstly be aware of the quality fabric or the raw material, trend of the season as well as the innovative feature you are offering. Besides, putting the innovation forward passes through the knowledge about your competitors. The entrepreneur must be aware of who what are the major players offer and having the capability to reinvent themselves.

Creating changes, at this point, principally requires a good observation of the sector. If you are lucky, you would have a good experience as well. Being an intern in a related company or assisting a fashion expert for two or three years would adequately equip you with a great experience.

Following the industrial trends is another key to come up with innovative approaches. Sustainable fashion systems, for instance, are the new technological developments of the era. Academicians are even now offering courses about the related topic and this subject is shown as which the new innovative approaches can be enhanced about.

Now you have catched the innovation and made it real. The key point is to connect influential people in your business field. Relationships built on trust will provide you long standing connections helping to secure the position of your business.

The Street Smart MBASteven Babitsky; attorney, entrepreneur and co-author of The Street Smart MBA: 10 Proven Strategies for Driving Business Success, explains the process to connect with influencers in the following steps. Firstly, give more than you take, says Babitsky. Offer something that will carry a value for the inlfluencer. But to before you do this, you should previously have done your homework. Research about him before meeting and make a notable speech about your blog, business so that he will realize the common points between his business and yours. The third thing is getting in touch; via social media platforms if he is an active user or by phone and e-mail as the more personal channels. Babitsky also suggests how to take an interaction step. When reaching out for the first time, he says, make it short and sweet. People usually like to help but long questions would be draining for a beginning. So, think smart and optimally keep in touch.

Moreover, do not forget asking to reciprocate. This would indicate that you are interested in giving back, he mentions. Then you will become more than a name in their contact list but a respectful partner for the business.

Well then, what about the failures? Why do not all the entrepreneurs get success? The answer is simple: they are not doing it right simple as simply mentioned above that they should do.

Domino EffectInadequate knowledge can be mentioned as the initial reason for failures. The lack of sectoral summation, inadequate observation or experience as well as the fear of failure can drag anyone to despair. And it is about when the motivation is wealth rather than creating a value. However it should be noted that wealth is just a result of consistently providing solutions to the problems. So, having more is simply doing more and which requires learning more. Once more, another thing should be learnt that it is an interactive study in which you need a teamwork. Securing the innovative idea of business on one hand, the entrepreneur should take others' opinions and benefit from their experience. So, do not let the fear of being outshined become the thought that you can do well by yourself. Do not forget there are many connections out there that can help you without fighting.

Moreover, "having more" passes through focusing on one thing at a time rather than trying to achieve many. Instead of dealing with many stuff at the same time, it is more logical to get progress step by step. That way, you would also have new capitals which had been created by your business itself. This would also indicate your success because being an entrepreneur means being able to do more with less in any manner.

These points can be viewed as a lack of vision as well. Because entrepreneurship has been a black new during the recent years, many people have been trying within it. Missing thing here is usually that there is no future based business plan. However, it should not be forgotten that a well prepared business plan is the essence of entrepreneurship.

To sum up, there are many common characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs. So, checking each of them would be a powerful start. Creating innovative approaches would require a well preparation in terms of sectorel summation. Do not forget to follow the industrial developments and trends. The more you will learn, the more you will be innovative and enthusiastic; and be able to make more from less on hand.

 

The UK company Ted Baker announced an increase on its Group revenue for the 20 week period from January 27, to June 15 of 2013.

TedBakerAccording to Ted Baker's company report, there was an increase of 32.7 percent in Group revenue versus same period in the last year. Meanwhile, the retail sales for the period were 30.7 percent over the same period during last year, and there was a 13.4  percent rose average on retail square footage.

The period wholesales were 41 percent  higher than the last year, representing a positive performances in all the company's markets, the company's founder and chief executive said "The Group has delivered a very good result across all territories over the start of 2013. We are continuing to invest in developing the Ted Baker brand internationally and have been encouraged by the reaction to the brand and the collections in pur new markets. Whilst as ever the outcome for the full year will be dependent on the second half, we remain very confident of our prospects".

 

 

Becoming the world’s biggest economy, the e-commerce market of China shows that it is ready to knock out the America’s. Also having the world’s largest luxury market, the high-end fashion sector in China is securing its position in the e-commerce market.

Amounting to 278.89 dollars for now, it is estimated that the revenue in China’s e-commerce will be worth approximately 444 billion dollars by 2015. According to the analysis done by Catherine Shu, writer at TechCrunch, last year 242 million Internet users purchased goods online, and e-commerce transactions accounted for 6.1 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods. Moreover, a recent Price Waterhourse Cooper report claims that a third of those purchasing online are likely to complete the transaction via mobile device (smartphone or tablet) rather than a personal computer, double the global average.

Pic1Considering the shopping behaviours, it can be seen that Chinese consumers click to shop more frequently, compared to the ones from the U.S., Britain and France which are the western luxury market centrals. According to PWC report, while the percentage of respondents admitting to buy online at least once a week is 58 in China; 42, 41 and 13 percent respectively for the previously mentioned countries.

The difference in these ratios is explained because the Chinese consumer now has an increasing number of online shopping options while being able to avoid the currency exchange. People’s Daily article translated by Jing Daily team discussed the reasons this change in Chinese market.

The translated passage is the following:

“Nowadays, consumers can skip the complex process of currency exchange, and purchase luxury goods from Gucci, Prada, Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and other international brands directly through their websites. Recently, after the Italian luxury brand Forzieri announced its cooperation with Paypal and launched a direct payment feature, the well-known fashion retail site Raffaello Network decided to test the waters of the Chinese online shopping market. As the No. 1 Italian fashion e-commerce website, Raffaelo Network sells Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani S.p.A., Versace, Tod’s and many other international brands. Consumers can not only choose from among 40 designers and 15,000 items according to their taste, but also enjoy an average 40% discount below retail prices.

It has been reported that during the transaction process, Paypal’s “overseas purchase” service helps domestic [Chinese] consumers exchange yuan into foreign currencies immediately, which is then paid to the seller for overseas shopping, which increases the convenience of direct transactions. At present, the “overseas purchase” feature supports currencies like the British pound, U.S. dollar, Swiss franc, euro etc. — 12 foreign currencies in all.

In response, industry insiders have claimed that the convenience of overseas payment has greatly stimulated the desire of Chinese consumers to shop online, which could lead to more overseas online shopping sites entering the Chinese market.”

Pic2Looking at the largest e-commerce sites in China; Tmall.com has the first place within 39.9 percent of market share. You can buy pretty much anything from the site, you can even decide which model of Lamborghini to buy. It is also the main door openning to the international apparel brands. At this point, Tmall.com has a business-to-consumer (B2C) type of e-commerce. Moreover, the sister site, Taobao.com which is also the former name of Tmall, is a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace and they both belong to Alibaba which is China’s largest e-commerce and online payments firm.

But of course, not all the brands are working with Tmall. ASOS, for instance, a UK based online fashion juggernaut is not a partner with Tmall and it seems that it will not be etiher. Instead, ASOS prefers to work with Yohobuy which is another multibrand platform but more likely focussing on fashion and serving in content-meets-commerce logic like having own online magazine at yoho.cn.

The seccond biggest e-commerce site in China is 360.com. It has 14.7 percent of the market share and service in the same way that Tmall works on. 360Buy also has a full online travel service as well as a separate luxury mall for couture brands.

There are also Sunning, Amazon, Dangdang, Vancl and four more, shown in the largest 10 e-commerce sites in China, having less market share compared to Tmall and 360Buy. But they are also offering luxury and fashion products from the high street electronics to numerous popular clothing and accessories labels.

Online shopping which has nearly existed for five years in China is now the most powerful retail channel for the country according to Carrie Yu, China and Asia Pacific Retail and Consumer Expert at PwC. Adding her quote ”e-tailing has become a major focus for all segments of retailing ...”, there is no doubt that fashion and luxury industry, which seem to be centered in China from now on, will be more integrated with this way of sales strategy.

To sum up, becoming very close to the US for the top spot, China would also be surpassing any other in terms of e-tailing volumes especially in the fashion market.

Famous personality from the TV series Sex & the City wil launch her own shoe collection with the name SJP in 2014.

Sarah Jessica ParkerSarah Jessica Parker's shoe collection will be available only on Nordstrom department stores from the United States, the estimated prices rang is from 200 USD to 700 USD, the shoe collection also include bags.

In order to launch this new product collection the celebrity joined a partnership with George Malkemus who is the Chief Executive and Operating Officer from Manolo Blahnik in this country.

 

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