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Decades have gone since Charles Frederick Worth put fashion on a high pedestal in our lives. He exhibited his work in Paris making the city an important part of the Global Fashion map. Years have gone, and France, Italy, UK and the US dominated the global fashion market till recently. Asia and the Middle East are now catching up with great momentum and are now making their mark as significant opportunities in terms of investment and trends.

 

The Asian Fashion Market

Studies and vigorous analysis has been conducted trying to understand this dynamic and fast growing market. The biggest players in the Asian Fashion scene were the Japanese and Koreans. This change has been witnessed in the past five years when the Asian market made its mark in the global fashion scene. Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have been found to have capabilities to take a lot of market share away from the west; China has always been the dark sheep from not only being the production lead, but being one of the greatest contributors to global fashion. 

It is understood that Asian fashion market has also embraced the upcoming trends of online fashion. Dozens of good websites support and sell clothes online making more people around the world get awareness about the Asian fashion.

Japan, was a major fashion hub right from the very beginning.  According to statistics, the Japanese fashion industry was worth US 1001 billion dollars in the year 2000. Hong Kong is another name slowly making its mark by organising highly acclaimed fashion shows and has one of the fastest growing retail industry as well.

Coming back to the new Chinese reign on the global market, it has been analysed that the Chinese fashion industry is set to become one of the world’s second largest fashion market by the year 2020. This means that it would account for nearly 30 percent of the global fashion market’s growth within the period of next five years.  Throwing light on the online fashion scenario of China, reports predict the number of online shoppers to rise to 329 billion in 2015 from 145 million in 2010. 

Asian FashionWith the unscaled growth in awareness about fashion in the Asian market, many high fashion brands and retail brands are moving towards this growing continent for customers. Most designers from the west are now opening their flagships and collaborating with already existing high end buying houses in Asia to retail their lines. High fashion giants like Louis Vuitton , Dior , Hermes  have already opened many independent stores and some American retail brands like Forever 21 have also entered the Asian market.

 

The Middle Eastern Fashion Market

Contrary to popular belief, the Middle Eastern market is one of the International fashion industry’s most vibrant markets. According to a study conducted by Bain and Company, global sales have increased upto 30% . Personal luxury goods shopping have been increasing without being deterred by the global economic crisis. Also, the a 41.7% sale increase was witnessed in the middle east by the world’s top 250 retailers in 2012. 

The need for luxury and flamboyance of the wealthy, fashion loving states of the Arabian Gulf is visible in the mega-sized lavish shopping malls they construct. One can find nearly every popular and luxurious brand from the west retailing in these shopping giants. 

Middle East Fashion

Along with physical retailing, the Middle Eastern market seems to have also delved into the  e-commerce segment with flair. Studies conducted by Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), London, predicted that the total E commerce sales in the Gulf will increase from 3.3 billion dollars in 2010  to 15 billion dollars in 2015. 

 

The Analysis

The basic difference in the Asian Market and the Middle Eastern market is popularity of certain type of clothing keeping their cultures in mind. Political influences in the Middle East disallow women to bare hands and expose certain parts of their body which poses a restriction in terms of choosing the right ensemble. 

High end labels like Roberto Cavalli are extremely famous and popular among the Middle Eastern customers for its scarves. Similarly Hermes has also found loyal customers for the similar product. 

However, this doesn’t stop the Middle East customer to experiment. According to studies, women are more aware and are experimenting with designers from the west and choosing more dresses and gowns keeping their culture in mind.

On the Contrary, Asian network in fashion is slightly more liberal and easier for brands to experiment with in terms of choice of product and labels. 

There has never really been a true definition of luxury. In the eyes of the consumer the definition is constantly changing, but the true luxury brands, have remained solid, without democratization, without change, holding to their true values, despite the competitive landscape. 

“When Your Own Initials Are Enough.”Bottega Veneta Handbag

So who are these true luxury brands existing in today’s competitive landscape? The real luxury connoisseurs can make a simple statement to that. The brand of which stays away from the limelight, away from the mass-market communication channels, and of whom manifests confidence in a very discreet and refined manner. One in particular expresses a strong mission statement in the Luxury Fashion segment, “When Your Own Initials Are Enough.” Bottega Veneta.

Bottega Veneta, has risen to the top without any type of logo except their signature intrecciato style, a leather-weaving technique renowned by the brand. The refined quality of the material and true Italian craftsmanship at Bottega Veneta has caught the attention of elite connoisseurs worldwide. But most importantly for the luxury connoisseurs it is not to show off a logo. These individuals are cultured, educated and appreciate the quality and exclusiveness that the brand evokes. 

 

Simply, Subtle and Ethereal

Bottega Veneta Ready to WearOne key element Creative Director, Maier notes to his success was recently stated in The Independent by Harriet Walker, “This is something Maier has become the master of, producing collection after collection of covetable classics, as well as seasonal ‘must-haves’.” Maier stated,The diversity of products is very important.” But of course exclusivity is maintained in the diversity of products and Maier is a genius at keeping close to simplicity and neglecting the latest trends. 

Hermes Birkin bagExclusivity is a key element equipped in any composition of a luxury brand, but perhaps the master of exclusivity is, Hermes. Producing the most coveted handbag in the world, the Hermes Birkin handbag. Limited quantities are produced each season, which gives the end consumer a privileged feeling. The Birkin handbag is handmade in the finest leather and quality, but has become a symbol of wealth due to its high price and elusiveness. A Forbes article quoted, “It represents success, achievement and status. It shows that the wearer is a card-carrying member of the $10,000 handbag club.” One price tag that any average consumer, may just need a few years to budget for that purchase. 

 

Untouchable

Berluti shoesBerluti is a French leather goods label that is over 127 years old, evoking a classic European heritage look and feel. LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault explains why they purchased Berluti in the 1990’s, “Berluti was untouched, it was one of the few brands that felt like an almost divine name, quite untouchable – and that’s where you want a brand to be, in luxury it has to feel almost inaccessible. Nicely stated by Mr. Bernard Arnault, luxury really needs to feel inaccessible. But along with inaccessibility, Berluti’s attraction was the authenticity; tradition and sophistication that continues to make Berluti a luxury brand today. The Fashion house remains exclusive today and without a logo, it is typically recognized only by those “in the know.” The clothes and leather goods do not behold any sort of logo, except a signature-stitched slash. Oh yes and they do behold a price tag starting at 5,100 dollars for a cashmere coat.

 

Discreetly Charming

Celine BagA minimalist, no-logo approach really seems to define what makes a true luxury brand in-style in today’s non-conspicuous approach to luxury purchases. Celine, is just another no-logo, discreetly charming luxury brand that is rising to the top. Celine has seen an immense amount of success in the past three years, according to market sources, revenues are said to have doubled in the last three years, surpassing 400 million Euros for 2012, reported in Milano Finanza Fashion earlier this year. One key driver to create exclusiveness for Celine was the decision to eschew e-commerce points of sale. Not only is the brand particular about the e-commerce world, but also their growth strategy has been far from aggressive. Celine remains focused on the perfection of quality, brand stewardship and simplistic designs. Linda Fargo, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director of Bergdorf Goodman told Business of Fashion. “Dare I say it, they may well become the modern-day equivalent of the standard bearer of non-perishable luxury: Hermes.”  The future will tell us soon enough if Celine has the long-term stability to maintain their luxury status. 

 

 

After all today’s real luxury brands are consumed by true luxury connoisseurs of which purchase goods as part of their lifestyle, and passion. While the average consumer will continue to lust after that true luxury item, the quality of the item, and the feeling it gives the consumer. The true bona fide luxury brands will remain exclusive, steering away from mass media channels and mass distribution, remaining close to their core values and heritage. 

 

Never before has the fashion world been so enthralled with one geographic region. But while many fashion brands are making their mark in China, they are doing so differently, expanding on the standard practices in new and brand-specific ways. 

 

The Same, But Different

Before discussing what brands do differently within this ever-expanding market, it’s important to see what they do the same: creating personal, digital content to engage their audience.

According to Jing Daily, Chinese luxury consumers are generally in their 20s and 30s, as compared to the middle-aged luxury consumers of Europe and North America. So if brands want to engage these consumers fully they are basically required to be present on the vast network of China’s digital social media channels, like Sina Weibo, Youku, and WeChat

And once brands have that attention, their messaging is personal. Now more than ever, Chinese luxury consumers want to know more about a brand’s history and story. They are not simply happy with a label, but want to connect with the company on a more personal level.

Beyond those two keys, digital and personal, brands differ in their approach. Some create contests, some videos. Some adapt their images specifically for China, while others use the same techniques they always have.  

 

Welcome Home

Coach storeThough some of the world’s greatest fashion brands are present in China (Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Marc Jacobs, just to name a few), one of the best is the American-based mid-level luxury brand Coach. Known for its leather craftsmanship, Coach was named the fourth most digitally-savvy brand in China by L2 Think Tank.

According to this L2 Think Tank, Coach is present in no less than seven Chinese social media sites, including the new Pinterest-esque Meilishuo. They also have a fully functioning Chinese e-commerce site for this specific clientele.

From first looks, the branding of Coach is similar to that of its worldwide presence, but what they have changed is the way they’ve introduced their heritage. Instead of going into the factories, they instead introduced the New York Style series , which offered their Chinese clientele a look into the city of New York, their long-established home, through Sina Weibo. 

Part one of the project were articles on the different districts of the Big Apple, i.e. Meatpacking or Upper East Side. Part Two was introducing looks created by several NYC bloggers in a fashion video format and then asking customers to create their own. Seeing as New York City is miles away from China, much more so than if they were targeting North American customers, New York Style was an ingenious way to infuse their heritage into the message, as required by the current batch of Chinese luxury customers.

 

Something Borrowed…

The Cartier DestineeCartier, another great example of a successful luxury brand in China, had a different approach when entering this new market. They instead chose to showcase a specific product, the Cartier Destinée engagement ring, in a moving video created with nods to the Chinese market. The video technique had previously proven quite successful for them with their L'Odyssée de Cartier campaign.

Although the video has shown on Western social media channels, it found most success in on Sina Weibo and Youku with several well-planned nods. As Brand Channel’s Abe Sauer points out, the starring actress was Taiwanese, the proposal was done in Mandarin, and the overall cinematic quality was well suited to the tastes of the Chinese.

And to top it all off, the piece itself was officially launched in Hong Kong with an appearance by the starring actress Michelle Chen. Wearing Cartier jewels, naturally. 

 

While Coach and Cartier are only two of the many brands establishing themselves in China, they showcase an important point. Within the guise of using personal, digital messages to engage the Chinese luxury consumer, brands also need to infuse a bit of themselves into their strategy. One size doesn’t fit all in luxury, so why should it in the Chinese luxury market?

 

The most interesting aspect about fashion is its constant moulding tendency. What may be in today, can be a complete faux pas tomorrow. In the quest to hit the right balance, fashion designers have been widening their imagination and reaching out for more, newer, inspirations. This paved way for the recently coined term “glocal” which simply explains the newly fangled perception of globalising inspirations. 

The Indian Connection

Michelle Obama for Manish AuroraThere was a time when the fashion ramp was owned by big names like Valentino, Versace , Giorgio Armani etc but now Indian designers are starting to make their mark in some of the most prestigious fashion weeks. Senior designers like Ritu Beri were one of the first Indians to make their presence felt in the International Fashion scenario. The instant success of Indian designs paved way for many talented Indian designers to showcase their talent in all major International weeks. Designers like Ashish, Naeem Khan and Manish Arora have been appreciated and have positioned themselves on the global Fashion map with style. Naeem Khan was recently appreciated for his custom made silver art deco inspired gown which was worn by the First Lady Michelle Obama at a surprise presence at the Oscars 2013 via video.  

Manish Aurora for Paco RabanneManish Arora broadened his map after having a successful time frame in India for his kitsch and colourful designs. After collaborating with a lot of brands like Swatch , M.A.C  and his most famous Fish Fry with Sports market giant Reebok .He has also gone ahead made a remarkable debut in the prestigious London Fashion Week and also participated in International fashion weeks like Paris Fashion Week where he now regularly showcases his work. He was also appointed as Paco Rabanne’s Creative Director for two seasons after which the Fashion house and he, mutually decided to part ways. 

 

The Foreign Invasion

With recent statistics pointing at India as the next luxury hub, foreign brands all over the world are now looking at India as a potential investment. In an interview, Jeffery Doltis, Owner of Italian fashion brand 40 Savile Row said he believes that the Indian consumer is more aware of the luxury market and that the Indian market is exploding  in terms  of luxury and he states travelling as the main reason for the same.

Hermes, French luxury giant, opened one of the first flagship stores in India in Mumbai in 2008. CEO of Hermes stated that “surging” demand of luxury goods in India encouraged Hermes to open its first flagship in India. 

Similarly, spread over 320,000 sq feet , DLF Emporio Mall in New Delhi is home to nearly 65 luxury brands and close to about 129 Indian designers. Emporio houses well-heeled stores of foreign luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior , Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few. Dinaz Madhukar ( Senior VP of Emporio) stated that Indian designers have taken relatively lesser space in the mall because they don’t require much space to retail. However, same is not the case with International brands which are frequently visited mostly for their ready-to-wear collection and accessories. 

The Analysis  

Lady Gaga for Manish AuroraStudies show that the Indian market is extremely dynamic and adaptable to almost every change it goes through. With the west slowly losing power on hold of the customers, they are slowly entering Asia in search for loyal customers in this booming sector. Indian designs, colors and the various surface treatments are considered to be extremely diverse and exotic by the rest of the world. Due to this, Indian designers have been accepted by the west with great accolades and open arms. Many celebrities abroad have been open to sporting designs by Indian designers, For example, Falguni and Shane Peacock for Shakira, and Lady Gaga was seen sporting one of Manish Arora’s creations. 

 

Similarly, the Indian consumer is more aware and has a more flamboyant sense of lifestyle because of which people are now delving into luxury foreign brands for their wants. Even though the response to foreign brands has been fluctuating between profit and loss, this aspect has not deterred brands from coming in and expanding their retail space in India. All in all, it has reached a certain balance between the two sides. India is slowly finding a balanced place in the Global Fashion map.

 

What would the world of fashion be without color? Besides often being the defining trend of a collection, color is also a way for a designer to express a mood, a vision, or an inspiration to their worldwide audience. But is this spectrum of color actually harming the fashion citizens for whom the pieces have been created?

 

Natural vs. Synthetic

Synthetic_DyesThe business of color is actually a matter of science. While there used to only be a limited amount of colors available in the world, see the rainbow as an example, now the only limit to color creation is the imagination of a designer or a scientist for that matter. Scientists now use synthetic dyes to create any hue under the sun, replacing natural dyes as the way to infuse color into a textile.

So when the vibrant neons of Versace or the subtle pastels of Dior pop up on the runway, these shades are all courtesy of synthetic dyes.

 

Hazardous to Health

Greenpeace_Detox_Fashion_CampaignBut are these synthetic materials having an impact on consumer’s health? The answer is yes, according to organizations like Greenpeace. In an in-depth report called Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up, Greenpeace found the presence of hazardous chemicals on garments from 20 major fashion brands. Some of chemicals, including those linked to cancer, were from the synthetic dyes used to color garments. Greenpeace also pointed out that while these chemicals are often banned in North America, overseas production of fashion means that these chemicals are used without regulation.

And environmental organizations are not taking this news lying down. Greenpeace has launched their Detox Fashion campaign to rid the industry of dangerous chemicals in garments and water supplies. So far in their quest, Greenpeace has secured the commitment of 15 fashion brands to detoxify their garments, including the ultimate luxury atelier, Valentino.

 

A new kind of Trend setter?

Valentino_Spring_Summer_2012Valentino, both the man and the house, is undeniably a major force within the luxury fashion industry. So having this iconic presence stand up and join the fight to detoxify fashion with Greenpeace is a clear signal to the rest of the luxury sector to follow suit.  

If a battlecry from H&M doesn’t do the trick for luxury brands like Lanvin and Saint Laurent Paris to change their ways, then one from Valentino certainly will.

 

 

While what may seem like a simple issue to most, color, is actually a complicated issue with many far-reaching global consequences.  Slowly though, change is coming and soon the fashion industry will soon have to pay greater attention to their use of synthetic dyes in fabric and thus in use of color in general.  Either by choice or by force.

As the digital mobile marketing platform continues to evolve, the fashion industry has been taking serious strides to keep up. A smart new tool that fashion brands hoping for more customer engagement have been adopting is the QR Code. 

 

QR codeIn existence since the 1990’s and originally designed for Japan’s automotive industry, these black and white 2d images allow smartphone users to gain a deeper connection and a more dynamic interaction with a brand via digital links.  Upon downloading a QR scanner application onto their mobile phones, and then scanning a QR code, offline users are instantly linked into the online world as they are led to specific sites unique to each code. With the explosion of smartphone mobile users the world over, the number of brands adhering to this latest means of marketing only continues to grow

Fashion brands have employed the QR Code marketing technique in-store at their retail locations in order to enhance the customer shopping experience. QR codes are also printed in promotional materials- flyers, advertisements, posters, billboards and the like in order to drive more customers their way. 

 

Fashion brands in the digital marketing trend 

Ralph Lauren was one of the first fashion brands to pick up on this digital marketing trend in 2008. Ralph Lauren printed QR codes onto their hangtags, catalogs, in-store signage and billboards. Customers scanning QR codes were sent to the brand’s website, where information about available colors and sizes, as well as style tips were to be found. 

Red Valentino QR CodeRed Valentino, the youth-oriented diffusion line of Valentino, on the other hand, used QR codes to entice potential customers to avail of a 10% discount upon purchase of their products.  

Diesel employed the QR code technique to strengthen their social media platform. Customers who scanned codes found on the brand’s products in-store were sent to Diesel’s Fan Page. 

 Calvin Klein took a more risks approach to the matter, deciding to print a QR code on all its billboards. Those who scanned it were sent to a daring, skin-baring video advertisement online. 

 Lacoste filled their window displays with QR codes. Customers who scanned them (even when the stores were closed) were able to avail a 15 percent discount, as well as play certain games on their smartphones. 

L'oreal & New York Fashion WeekEven the New York Fashion Week was made more interesting with the help of these QR codes. L’Oreal teamed up with Glamour Magazine to convert a select number of taxis into roving shops. By scanning QR codes found onboard, passengers were able to go on a shopping spree without leaving their cabs.  

 

Though there still exists a lot of debate regarding this relatively new tool’s bottom line effectiveness, it has been said that like all things marketing, the QR Code’s success relies greatly on each brand’s execution and implementation tactics. If seamlessly fused with the brand’s DNA and marketing strategy, this may just be what some fashion brands need to revitalize their customer approach and efficiently reach today’s mobile generation.  

 

Today textiles are the centre of the Turkish fashion market, and there is no one denying that. In knowledge of this fact and to understand better the macro and micro scenario of the Turkish Textiles sector development, Fashionbi included the personal insights from Mr. Ali Kocali, owner and marketing director of one of the leading Textile firms in Turkey, Aster Textiles, to be our guest in the first issue of Fashionbi magazine which is covering the recent developments in Turkish apparel sector.

Ali Kocali, owner and marketing director Aster TextilesHis company is growing and gaining higher reputation in the international circuits, in areas such as Spain and United Kingdom. Recently the company opened the first office in London, they are opening another one in Barcelona and keeping an eye on the Italian market as well. We asked Mr. Ali what has changed in the country since the textiles crisis in 2008, because when a crisis strikes, solutions and developments always play an important role. He explained to us that after the crisis in 2008, the total level of demand in textiles and manufacturing has decreased in the world and also in Turkey.

As a consequence, today the consumer is more selective about choosing the right product, “The industrialists and manufacturers in the sector are more agressive to make a move in forward in order to have some profit. As a result, the times are rough and competitiveness is really huge.

 

Main advantages of Turkish textiles

Secondly, with the controversies regarding what makes Turkish textiles different and special from its competitors, we asked for the main advantages of Turkish textiles apart from the qualified product, and he claimed that considering the last 10 years, Turkey’s primary export market now is Europe. That is because the European territory is closer and Istanbul is discovered to be highly attractive for investments. Furthermore, Mr.Kocali added, “Metaphorically speaking, the distance is close, time is money and hence the European market’s eye is on Istanbul!”

 

The level of competitiveness 

More importantly, he told us that when it comes to competitiveness of Turkey with the other foreign markets, the Turkish manufacturers are specialized in understanding closely the consumer needs.As we can observe in the last 5 years, the capability of new innovative designs and the wide range availability of raw materials are the biggest supremacies of Turkey’s new face in textiles and fashion,” he added.

 

Inititatives to bring together manufacturers and buyers

Also it took our interest to know more about the initiatives to bring together Turkish manufacturers and European buyers at the right place. Because place and time are highly important today, to gather the right people in the right place in every area of business. He said that Aster exclusively sells their designs to other brands. The company's outward modesty reflects its surroundings because their clients are such an important treasure for the company and they are paying a visit to them in a routine fashion. “We are developing new projects for increasing our customer base. Moreover, we invite them to our offices to show our expertise.”

 

Future Aspects of Aster Textiles

Aster textiles showroomFinally, to observe more closely the company and their future aspects we asked how does he sees Aster’s place in the sector and their main role. He told us that they are in the middle of designing and manufacturing phase in textiles. This means they do both of these important aspects and this what makes them one of the leaders in the sector.

Needless to say that the companies they are working with are the well- known top retailers. The company is now standing right at the qualitative phase in fashion design. Yet, “In 2014, we are planning to launch our brand, which we have been working meticulously. We are proud of being one of the leading textiles firms in Turkey which designs and manufactures to the world and brings together the most important brands,” he added.

Together with the Marketing Project Manager, Seda Muradoglu, they take part in many projects within the framework of marketing. Their team is very important to them. Aster is hosting “a break from life events” each month and bringing a professional guest to raise awareness of each team member about the new updates. Hereby, with these qualities they think they are successfully representing Turkey in the world textiles market.

 

We strongly believe that this interview could bring fruitful results to the young entrepreuneurs in Turkey in the related field because the country has reached now to a point where innovation and efficiency will be ways of helping Turkey to adapt to a post-growth economy in the textiles and apparel sector.  

French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton, owned Fendi opened its new Fendi Kids stores, in Doha, Qatar, this week, in the very famous Villagio Mall.

Kidswear_at_Pitti_Bimbo_71_by_Fendi_for_summer_2011In the same Mall, the brand also operates another mono-brand space dedicated to men’s and women’s Ready-to-wear and accessories.

Globally speaking, Fendi operates mono-brand Fendi Kids stores in Rome, Prague, Jeddah, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London (Harrods), Milan (La Rinascente).

Just last year at the end of 2012, the brand already launched the Fendi Kids store at Dubai Mall, in Dubai.

With us blabbing on the world going digital and all, about the increasing fashion-cravers in BRICS etc., its about time that we hear the news of how China market is going all mobile interms of fashion shopping.

Mobile-shopping_rises_in_ChinaAs numerous brands expand their e-commerce sectors to Asia, especially in China, and with the prices of smartphones going affordable, the number of Netizens saw an immense increase, considering the luxury products for them are just a click away and get delivered to their doorstep, without them moving even an inch to travel and such.

According to a report released this week, the number of Chinese people accessing the Internet via mobile devices increased to a record high of 420 million at the end of December 2012, and mobile shopping - a quickly expanding mobile application, saw its users reach 55.5 million.

The China Internet Network Information Center report confirmed mobile Internet users accounted for 74.5 percent of the nation's total Internet population, which stood at 564 million, amid a slower growth rate since 2010.

China Internet Network Information Center 

The report also quoted, "There is great potential in the mobile Internet as an increasingly large number of smartphoneshit the market."

It further said, "Among the wide range of services on mobile devices, mobile shopping witnessed rapid expansion in the second half of 2012, said the report. Shopping on mobile devices has become an important driver of the growth of online shoppingin China."

Qiu Lin, an Internetstock analyst at Guosen Securities in Hong Kong, said, Alibaba Group, which has a more than 70 percent share of online retail sales in China, may have 10 to 20 percent of its business coming from mobile devices.

On Nov 11, when the e-commerce giant launched an online shopping promotion through its Tmall.com and Taobao.com, sales on the two websites reached 19.1 billion yuan (3 billion dollars), with mobile devices being responsible for around 1 billion yuan (160.7 million dollars) of these, said the company.

Online sales make up a tiny proportion of all retail sales, around 4.32 percent last year, but it has become the main way to shop in some categories.

Research company Roland Berger, estimates that around 25 percent of books were sold online in China in 2011, making it the most popular online category.

Online shopping is also expected to account for around 20 percent of all electronic devices sold, 10 percent of sportswear, and 6 percent of mother and infant-care products.

An interesting factor here also is that although the fashion shoppers count increase immensly online, furniture and food, on the other hand, are purchased far less, digitally!

Well, good news, anyway, for the Fashioners, isn't it?

Evolution is the word that Gian Giacomo Ferraris, CEO of Versace tells in the new course of the brands in the group portfolio. Nowadays, the famous Medusa brand is going through some changes in the group's performance in the area of digital technology. 

Especially, the brand is focusing on the youngest line Versus. After Christopher Kane shook hands with PPR, his partnership with Versace's youngest line Versus has ended. However, Versace began to reflect on the need of strategically repositioning the Versus brand, which for about a year and a half has been reported in the maison to seize new market opportunities. 

 

VersaceThe New Brand Strategy

The key points of the new brand strategy will ride the evolution of digital technology, break the rules of the season with a consequent adaptation of production platforms and start work with young designers, fashion designers and creatives from different contexts, in order to develop capsule collections, projects co-branding and limited editions. These innovations with Versus will have a tremendous effect on the main brand Versace too. The announcement of this change of direction was also an opportunity to give a little ahead of the trends 2012 of the Versace group. The CEO of the Group, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, claimed that "It was an exceptional year, ending with a strong double-digit growth, yet more than 16 percent which was filed in 2011," he added that: "At the head of the progression there is the performance of the first line products whose experiencing performance is really important. "

 

Versace new e-commerce websiteNew E-commerce Website:

Last september in 2012, Versace has also launched its e-commerce website and made a major splash of glamour. The site is very visual, interesting and has a distinctive site desgin. Key features on Versace.com drawn from the architect's concept include a mosaic background pattern, which is also used on the shop floors, and graphic elements that are incorporated into the bricks-and-mortar stores, such as circles, squares and bold colors. It also includes a Donatella’s Hot Picks section, where visitors can view creative director Donatella Versace's fashion choices. Presumably, all of these features make the site more engaging for the consumer.

 


Share of Voice VersaceVersace's Performance via Fashionbi

In this developing phase, analyzing Versace and its top competitors' Brand Awareness KPI, the share of voice module shows that the brand is doing good but needs to invest more efforts in its digital campaigns. The share of voice data allows us to understand the ROI of a marketing campaign and is obtained by gathering the number of mentions for a brand in a given month. It is seen that its top competitor Gucci is doing a great job with a number of 1.23K (123000 people out of a million people speaking about Gucci) in the last month. Versace comes next and the analysis shows that its number is 1422.36. That's why, the brand needs to do more effort and study closely the benchmark brands. However, Versace is doing better comparing with the other big player Giorgio Armani S.p.A., who's performance is the lowest one which is 1026.

Active Fans VersaceAnother important KPI is Facebook, Versace is analyzed in terms of its 'Active Fans' module. Active fans shows the real fans for a brand on facebook who are commenting and sharing, liking the posts, who are making some engagement on the page. This number is calculated keeping in mind the number of post by a brand and number of actions by the fans. It is seen that Gucci and Armani are better in their Facebook performance. Gucci has a number of 75841 and Armani has 70032, out of the total fans they have. However, Versace's performance is 32200. So the brand needs to focus on its facebook page more and engage more real fans through innovative posts. For example, they can find more interesting and appealing posts to drive more engagement.

 

In no doubt, the efforts of developing the best online strategy for Versace will give a feedback in a positive way. It will also help Versace and Versus to be more effective in the digital platforms. It is so exciting to see this evolution and can be a very good example in the the world of fashion. With the outstanding heritage of Versace, the brand will probably make a change in the traditional rules of the industry.

British fashion house Daks has come to signing a licensing agreement with GFM Industria where, starting autumn/winter 2013, the latter will manufacture the brand’s women’s wear line, along with the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections under the Daks Sport label.

Henry Barnacle for Daks Autumn Winter 2010_LookbookIn 2009. GFM Industria which was acquired by an investment firm Opera. It currently produces in-house brands Ter et Bantine and Hache, as well as also has a manufacture licensing agreement for Prima Classe by Alviero Martini S.p.A..

Daks deputy chairman Paul Dimond was quoted as saying, “This is a significant milestone for Daks, and we are very excited to have a company of GFM Industria’s stature to help us to increase and develop our women’s wear and Daks Sport business.” 

“We look forward to a highly successful partnership, maintaining Daks’ reputation for combining renowned tailoring skills with directional fashion trends, whilst strengthening brand awareness through increased channels of distribution.”

Today, the world of fashion looks like getting more and more interested in using social games to reach more engagement. With new fashion games like Stylmee, which is a badge reward system like FourSquare, marketing specialists are seeing more and more ways to connect online gaming with real-world shopping.

A recent interesting example for the social gaming is made by Stella McCartney. A luxury handbag by Stella McCartney worth 600 pounds is the prize in an online game to design the best virtual outfit featuring the accessory, using real items on sale in Matches, a real store. Players of a game created by Fantasy Shopper will pick the winner which is an exciting new social shopping website. This way, it combines features of online games such as FarmVille and World of Warcraft with data and deeds from the real world.

Aldo Shoe ParadiseAnother one is 3-D user experience by Norma Kamali for her website Aldo‘s “Shoe Paradise” game, where players had to virtually try on shoes for a chance to win an actually three-minute shopping experience and this proves us that fashion brands are, seriously, taking up this new form of online engagement. I believe social gaming helps with promoting products and helps in getting an instant feedback from potential customers about what is likely to sell and also this brings a new way of creating online management. Because you need to create more engagement ways to stabilize or increase your brand awareness, and if we add the rewarding strategy, the consumer gets more loyal and attached to a brand. Moreover, the idea of social gaming, apparently, sounds exciting to me from a user’s perspective, especially, considering how connected it will likely be to social platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr all of which are very popular among the fashion sects. And if playing these games actually offers the opportunity to win a prize or somehow to receive “cool points” with our peers (like what FourSquare does), then I am sure consumers will be more than ready to get in on this trend.

Levi's Mall WorldIn another point of view, the websites that are offering these social games, are also helping the brands achieve their goals with these games. A good example is when the website WildTangent, which is a Washington based game network, in partnership with Levi’s, brought the Levi’s Curve ID product to a unique new world of shoppers: virtual shoppers playing the popular Facebook game, Mall World. These virtual shoppers earned in-game items by engaging in a Levi’s virtual fit experience to find their perfect, custom fitting Levi’s Curve ID jeans. Key results from the game were really amazing:

MallworldOver the 4 weeks the game ran, WildTangent helped to achieve over 25% of Levi’s corporate goal of Curve ID fittings. Visits to Levi’s store within Mall World were more than double the expectations, showing great interest in females aged between 18-24, and average interaction rate was close to 60%. Also this way, they did their own campaign via social gaming.

After all these results, I strongly believe that he fashion industry is all about branding and finding new ways of promoting. Besides your vision, your passion, your colors and style sense; your fans are interested in your brand. As we see with the examples in social gaming, some special websites and social media is important because it allows your fans to get involved to feel like participants instead of observers and helps the level of engagement with your brand. 

In my opinion, the lesson here is always to explore new avenues. You could spend all day finding niche fashion engagement activities or new platforms, so don’t get stuck in the mainstream rut. Brands can cater these games and challenges to upcoming promotions or market initiatives, as well as their most valuable brand traits or products and the type of engagement from social media addicts.

 

After being successful in many industries such as publishing, electronics and toy industry, online retail giant Amazon now decided to diversify their business in high-end clothing. They are adding a site within a site called MyHabit that uses new technology to show clothes on moving models, so that the customer will have an in-store experience.

It seems to me that they are taking this new business seriously. The online retailer is shooting 3000 fashion images a day in a photo studio using patent-pending technology and the labels they have signed up so far are Jack Spade and Trina Turk of the US, French designer Jean-Michel Cazabat and Scotch and Soda from the Netherlands and they are in talks with premium brands such as Ralph Lauren, Burberry from London, Gucci and Prada.

And it is happily losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year on free shipping and, on apparel, even free returns, to keep its shoppers coming back. But could they be successful in the clothing business?

My HabitI think Amazon is making a right move. I find the models in motion at Amazon's MyHabit a big selling point. But perhaps Amazon's best investment was sponsoring this week's Met Ball, fashion icon Anna Wintour's annual party and for sure Anna Wintour will return the favor!

In other point of view, Amazon's presence in fashion can be a huge threat for other brands, especially, department stores that are selling items at discount prices and also other online retailers. Because the company can afford to do things that some competitors cannot, like hire stylists for the website models or investigate replacing the boring shipping box with a fancier package for clothes etc.

In addition, Amazon’s costs are about the same whether it is shipping a $10 book or a $1,000 skirt. However, Amazon is playing the cards in a very smart way. Just to make sure that the discount department stores don't take any reverse action; Mr. Bezos the CEO of Amazon emphasized that “The company’s new effort is not about selling clothes at deep discounts but at prices that ensure that the designer brands are happy.” 

WalmartHowever, there's a negative example of Wal-Mart who is the king of discounted products. It has abandoned unsuccessful attempts to sell higher-end fashion and gone back to underwear, jeans and T-shirts. So, this provides a big lesson for Amazon to be careful and not to do the same mistakes as Wal-Mart before.

But while Amazon is so sure to capture some share of the high-end fashion market, I think it's likely that other online retailers will also survive. It's not the end of everything if Amazon came into business. Sure, they might have to work harder to keep customers, but if they think carefully on the new strategies, they'll become stronger because they have to innovate as a result of Amazon’s initiative.

AmazonEven though there are many disbelievers, traditional retailers can also protect themselves because they would make sure that their assortment is exclusive. Even from high-fashion designers, they can select merchandise that will only be available in a given store. I believe that many fashion customers will still stick to buying high fashions in stores. They want to touch the merchandise, make sure they like the feel of the fabric, and insure that the clothes they try will fit. And much more so, now that there’s arising a lot of news about the ‘non skin-friendly’ and ‘plastic’ fabrics/garments.

As a result, it is totally clear that Amazon will gain a good share in the market, will test some designers that will sell and those that can be a big disappointment. After all, this is a transformative time in fashion and also in the customers, we should expect to discover almost all important fashion brands from all across the world, to be online sooner or later.

 

The diffusion line of the Italian Fashion and Luxury house of Versace, Versus brand has decided to tag-in the London-based designer Jonathan William Anderson (J.W. Anderson) to be collaborating in designing the brand's capsule collection, to be unveiled in New York next spring.

J.W. Anderson for VersusAnderson will be designing a full portfolio of apparel and accessories for both men and women, to be sold online at Versus online store and at top department and specialty stores, worldwide.

The collection is part of a ‘stategic re-positioning of the brand’ as announced by Donatella Versace, earlier this month, and will be the first in a series of collaborations with various designers. 

‘I can’t wait to present this collaboration!’ said Donatella of this latest fashion hybrid. ‘I keep a close eye on young talent, and have been impressed by Jonathan’s work over the last couple of years’.

Anderson, the London College of Fashion graduate, who released a popular collaboration with Topshop in September and won the Emerging Talent Award for Ready-to-Wear at the British Fashion Awards 2012, earlier this week.

'For me,' said Jonathan, 'this iconic image says it all, that's how I see Versus. It's all about the relationship between a boy and a girl, a girl and a girl, a boy and a boy. Purity.'

Rumor has it and has it for sure that the the Spanish fashion house Balenciaga has got-in Alexander Wang as the new creative director for the brand.

Alexander Wang for BalenciagaThe New York-based designer will replace Nicolas Ghesquière at the French fashion house owned by the luxury group PPR, who officially leaves today, after leading the creative department for the brand for 15 years.

After much speculations of  the Scottish designer Christopher Kane being in line for the role, the reports were quickly denied by his representatives and the market sources confirmed the signing in of Alexander Wang.

Wang known for his edgy sporty design aesthetics is expected to have the brand target a broader and more varied set of audience.

Recently, Wang was quoted as saying, “Although we are an American brand, I think that is more to the sense of what is American sportswear, and things that feel very accessible and easy to wear.”

“But at the same time we really see our audience and our consumer as a global citizen, someone who isn’t defined by where they live or what kind of music they listen to, things like that. It’s a sensibility that is much more individual.”

Nowadays, the department stores in the world are turning the retail business upside down. They are trying to recover the losses through new strategies. In 2010, these actions started booming with bringing the fast-fashion lines into the department stores.

JC Penney'sJC Penney's was the first one who started selling “MNG Mango” line in their stores. Simultaneously, the examples increased and others followed this trend. Macy’s has turned to a pop icon to head its fast-fashion debut. The retailer launched the juniors apparel "Material Girl" line, designed by Madonna and her 14-year-old daughter Lourdes, for the back-to-school season in 200 doors. After that, Sears, which is another department store based in USA pushed fast-fashion to build some style credibility. "Now+Here" line started during the back-to-school season, a fast-fashion destination for juniors and young men in a bid to offer “must-haves,” trendy apparel for younger shoppers. Sears also signed a long-term lease with hot fast-fashion chain Forever 21, which took up 43,000 square feet of its retail store.
Given the fact that this project worked out successfully, JC Penney's announced also this year to offer Canadian fast-fashion label Joe Fresh in stores next spring as part of its plan to introduce more store within stores at its department store locations. 

I believe, this process may seem slow at first, but for sure it works. In addition, these department stores are mid-priced and their sales have been declining during the last years. Due to the fact that there is a high demand for fast-fashion, they had no choice but push these fast-fashion lines. Moreover, there are other factors which caused this attempt; the global economy has sped up the fashion cycle, transporting trends from Europe and around the world to the masses and fast-fashion fashion brands are getting rateful results. Honestly, the department stores saw this solution as a life saver, they tested the public first and now saw that it's working out, they are continuing to offer more fast-fashion lines.

Macy'sIn addition, this plan is beneficial for both of the store itself and the line. First of all, MNG line is a lot more upscale for JCPenney's, because JC Penney's clothes tend to be very conservative. That's why people who don't normally go to department stores are automatically starting to go and buy from there. So, their customer base is changing and increasing, for sure. Before, it was too middle-aged but now the store has a younger customer base. For Mango also, it's a chance to quickly expand its U.S. presence, where the brand has less than a dozen boutiques. It's also part of a broader move by Macy's, JCPenney's and other department-store chains to jump-start sales by countering the stereotype of the conservative department store. Likewise JCPenny's, with “Material Girl” line Macy's has also changed its customer core to more younger ones. However, the prices are not the same like we buy from the fast-fashion store. For example, JCPenney's is stimulating the MNG line according to its price core, so the range is becoming mid-priced. The style is also changing coherently to JCPenney's image which is more career based and less clubwear apparel.

MatsuzakayaMeanwhile, seeing these changes in USA retail market, Asian market got the big picture and immediately, Tokyo's Ginza district, the Matsuzakaya department store has leased parts of the first five of its floors to Forever 21, totalling about 4000 square metres.

Undoubtedly, retailers and shopping centre operators everywhere should watch and take note here. In effect, what these department stores have done is a confession that their most feared competitors which are fast fashion retailers such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M are better at drawing traffic and generating sales than they are. I would like to add that if in other countries, the department stores follow this strategy, shopping centre owners could also benefit from this young and strong traffic coming into stores which brings higher productivity. Joining the forces suggests that the growth of fast-fashion shouldn't be threatening any more. To conclude, “if you can't beat them, join them”!

Textiles and clothing play a major role in the development and industrialization process of countries and their integration into the world economy.

TextilesTurkish textiles are rich in history, going back to the Ottoman period in the 16th and 17th centuries. Until the end of the Ottoman Empire, its economy relied heavily on the contribution of textiles and the importance of the textile industry to the Turkish economy continues today. As we see the improvements, today's Turkish textile industry benefits from many advantages including: A richness in basic raw materials, a ranking of sixth in the world for cotton production, geographic proximity to main markets (Europe and Russia), short lead times due to geographic positioning, and etc.

These advantages have helped to make the Turkish industry a model for other countries outside Europe and the US and as a result, the Turkish textile companies are growing very fast. A very good example is “Aster Textile” which is situated in Istanbul, Turkey having a very qualified customer base such as Zara, Mango, Mark & Spencer, Esprit, Bestseller Group and so on. Undoubtedly, these are the most important fast-fashion brands in the world. This proves us the company's success to responding to changing strong fashion trends and getting the best clients in their field.

However, the situation is not the same in the world. So many things have changed in the past 60 years. For example; United Kingdom was once considered as a big textile and manufacturing magnet but today China, India, Turkey and other developing countries are proving that the situation is reverse. The first factor is; in these low middle-income countries, textiles and clothing is a key export; especially Bangladesh has the highest total dependence on textiles andclothing as a total share of merchandise exports (83.5%), followed by Pakistan (67.2%) and Sri Lanka (47%). Other factor is, they are having much lower wages than UK and the cost of labor is cheaper. After that, there are other reasons why the UK manufacturing market is in decline. In the past, large UK retailers used to tell the consumer what they should be buying. Today it is the other way around. The consumer tells the retailer what they should be selling. In my opinion, the consumer has so many options today especially through the internet and if the retailer doesn't have it, the consumer knows where to get it.

Marks&SpencerThe Iran-born businessman Lord Alliance of Manchester, at one time the founder of the world’s biggest textile companies ‘Coats Viyella, is complaining about this situation and wants the manufacturing and textiles to turn back to UK. During his interview with Financial Times, he said “I question whether the likes of Marks and Spencer can keep going as successful companies without switching over to a considerable amount of UK-based sourcing.”Unfortunately, one time textiles leader Lord Alliance will have to work harder to go back to the past days.

River IslandHowever, another fast-fashion company seems on the right track; according to the Financial Times; this year about 10 per cent of River Island’s revenues are expected to come from UK sourcing, with the amount of purchasing from domestic factories having increased by half in the past year. I believe if they could respond to the trends quicker, they could get more results in UK sourcing and UK customer would be also pleased having UK made products. They could also use the technology as another advantage to get back on track and it would be wise to get more labor content with the usage of it. As we all know, Asian countries are much slower in integrating the technology in the garments and its contents, the established player can use this opportunity in their favor. In addition, strong element in fashion always works out in the end. That would be an advantage for UK suppliers if they want to go further than the Asian ones, they could produce more fashion-oriented products and customers would be in-line with them.

But, there is another problem. We have to consider the retailers creating long and complex supply chains, which makes it difficult to control them. That's why I believe they are missing the opportunity of bringing fresh designs to the stores. However, if the domestic market in the UK could make some effort seeing the advantages of UK based manufacturing and what could make the UK customer more friendly to the domestic products, I am sure they could see some results but, unfortunately, I don't assume the situation could be fixed in the near future observing the improvements in Turkey, China and other similar countries. Moreover, it would be hard to replace the lost production. Satisfying the changing wishes of the consumer has never been easy, and it won't be so, in the future, either.

Even if you didn't know why the designer brands going all berserk in their product portfolio extensions, you probably will be seeing the new trends all the time. Pet fashion is the newest style statement of the so-called ‘luxury society’. Dogs’ wardrobe matters almost as much as your own which is why many big designers also design clothes for pets, dogs being the most common of them all. 

Gucci collection for dogsUntil now, designers like Emma Rose,UK, Juicy Couture, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are the most famous ones having their own dog lines. Juicy couture has a dog fashion line called juicy for pooch; their signature velvet tracksuits come in several colors for dogs. Collars and leashes are other products being an integral part of a dogs wardrobe and these can be monogrammed as Gucci or LV or even as Swarovski encrusted glittery ones.

Alviero Martini line for dogsBut nowadays, other brands started following the trend like Alviero Martini S.p.A. and surprisingly a fast-fashion brand, Benetton Group SpA. Alviero Martini brings an attractive way to keep dog accessories. The brand launched an ultra-cool pet carrier that is not only sophisticated and elegant, but also with interiors that are spacious and well done. Benetton is another brand, which believes they could go further with this new brand extension line offering more accessible prices. I believe this is the best category line the industry has to offer because we see every day celebrities going shopping or traveling worldwide that would spend anything to have these products all at their disposal. An example would be that of David Beckham and his little bulldog travelling all the way from UK to LA clad in complete comfort, or Paris Hilton who doesn’t take a step without her Chihuahua by her side dressed pretty in ribbons, laces and what not!

Vivienne Westwood line for dogsAnother interesting dog line was created by the London based designer Vivienne Westwood. Vivienne Westwood’s Dog clothing line debut was overshadowed by the “Expensive” hype. The couture coat she designed with UK jeweler Issa priced at 2,500 pounds. The coat was offered for sale at Harrod’s immediately after the show, and was purchased by an anonymous buyer. In addition, at Couture fashion shows can also be seen beautifully styled dogs taking the stage, walking the ramp. The Harrods fashion show in London and the New York Trade show for dog’s fashion are examples of these.

In my opinion, these designer dog clothing or haute couture lines shouldn't just be targeted to a luxury consumer. Benetton, as an example, shows us it's not for just luxury consumers and the dog’s owners shouldn't be seen as eccentric when they dress their dogs up. Because those who buy dog clothing for their dogs sometimes associate them as their child and as one in the family. They are highly loved, adored and brought up as any other kid in the house. That's why I don't agree with people thinking that dog clothing has no specific function and is only used to ‘decorate’ the animal. If we look at the meaning of Haute Couture according to Wikipedia: “ Couture is a common abbreviation of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.” Maybe, for some this kind of product is for the rich and the famous only. But going as per the literal meaning, it is not true, couture defines the spirit, not the status!

Certainly, it is a booming industry and fashion brands' main goal here is to try to satisfy consumers’ desire for aesthetically designed clothing while trying to anticipate changing consumer tastes and adding an additional line of income. But let's not forget it ranges in price from the relatively inexpensive to very costly luxury dog clothing, depending on the designer, the style and the materials used in the clothing. And definitely, pets also possess their own desire to be dressed and dressed fashionable. Hence, we can say that there lies a good potential in the future for dogs fashion just like kidswear or any other; dog fashion not only defines the statement about the dog but certainly also for its owner. Stereotypes aside, the challenge today, for a pet owner is to buy the clothes most suited to the personality of their pets and those that reflect well their personlaity. If the whole point of this aspect of fashion is to be original, then the owners should follow their instincts, try to step in the shoes of their pets and try to be as original as them!

Italian luxury brand Gucci celebrated the launch of its fifth largest store in India in the booming city of Gurgaon inside the premises of luxury Oberoi hotel, just a few miles away from the country's capital, New Delhi.

Gucci Store, Oberoi Hotel, Gurgaon, IndiaThe hotel already houses Louis Vuitton’s first store in India, a showroom for premium leather goods, and other brands such as Hugo Boss, JLC, Christian Dior SA and Tijori, and is also set to have the luxury giants Giorgio Armani and Burberry labels in the premises soon, as well.

Gucci store occupies 4220 square feet in two floors and showcases its premium men's and women's range of apparel, bags, shoes, belts and wallets.

The brand brought the archival pieces from its ‘Flora World’ collection from its Gucci Museum, to this new store in India.

Original drawings from 1966 flora scarf worn by Grace Kelly and handbags and porcelain items with floral patterns have been displayed at the exhibit. Additionally, some Gucci Premiere dresses worn by actresses Jessica Alba, Salma Hayek, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Berenice Bejo, have also been put up.

A special edition of evening bags has also been crafted for the store, as the ‘Gucci exclusive bags’. The line inspired by the brand's recent Cruise 2013 collection and its pastels, the clutch bags carry premium prints like anaconda in pink and aqua blue, and are personally designed by Frida Giannini, the creative director of Gucci.

 

Qatari group's association is bringing rather fruitful results for the Premium Fashion brand Valentino on an international basis.

Valentino Mens Fashion Show 2012 at Pitti Uomo in FlorenceThe acquisition by the group led by Qatar's first lady, has put the Valentino group up for challenges, adopting an aggressive and firm retail strategy for the global expansion.

Following the same principle, the brand is all set to debut on stage, for the first time with its Menswear Fashion Line in the Paris Fashion Week 2013's runway show.

Earlier this year, the brand was also seen in the grand Pitti Uomo fair, exhibiting its Menswear and Accessory line through a Fashion show, in Florence, Italy.

It's official! The famous Australian face, Miranda Kerr, will be replacing Kate Moss, as the new brand ambassador for the high-street Fashion label Mango and will be seen in the brand's upcoming Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.

Miranda Kerr for MANGO's SS 2013 ad campaignSince its very beginning, Mango has been bagging the top names from the industry including Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Milla Jovovich, Eva Herzigova, Inés Sastre, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Diane Kruger.

"I am delighted to be collaborating with Mango for the Spring/Summer 2013 season. We had a great time shooting the campaign and it was very easy working with the entire team,” as was quoted Ms. Kerr during the shoot for the brand's advertising campaign in New York earlier this month.

The campaign was shot by the photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, including in the team stylist Géraldine Saglio, make-up artist Lisa Butler and hairdresser Christiaan Houtenbos.

Ms. Kerr further added, "Mango is a brand that I love. You always find the perfect garment for every occasion."

The brand is coming with a different communication strategy this season, with a stronger television and billboard advertising, and an even stronger presence in the magazines and online media, as well.

Hollywood youth icon, Selena Gomez, is the new face for Adidas and a guest designer for its fashion teen label, Neo.

Selena Gomez for Adidas NEOThe singer actress will be working with the Neo team to design and develop seasonal collections, beginning autumn/winter 2013. The partnership contract has been signed till 2015.

In addition to all that, Gomez will be the face for the four-season collections for the whole year and also for the ad campaigns, also choosing her own favorite pieces in the collection.

Chief Marketing Officer Adidas Brand, Hermann Deininger, said the fundamental inspiration for Adidas Neo Label is “teenage culture seeking excitement, adventure, and unexpected surprises”, and said that Gomez was chosen because, “teens everywhere admire her natural and enduring sense of fashion and style as well as her compelling charisma and warmth”.

Later, Ms. Gomez was herself quoted as saying, “It is a great partnership for me because Neo really cares about style and having fun with fashion and allowing you to be yourself.” “I am really enjoying being involved with the design process and Neo is letting me have fun with this. I get to wear the clothes first and have a voice and an opinion and I can’t wait to see the results of our new collection.”

 

The fashion industry is a competitive sport. Fashion companies change their marketing strategies every day to attract attention of the consumers, away from their competitors. Customer loyalty programs are important and beneficial strategies that need to be innovative to keep up with fashion’s varying seasonal changes.

Roger's Innovation/Adapter's Curve

Fashion brands use customer loyalty programs as an incentive to retain customers and, with time, build a one-to-one relationship. According to Roger’s innovation/adopters curve, consumers have diverse buying characteristics; this has a connection with the target market’s demographics and psychographics. It is of great importance for fashion companies to implement strategic customer loyalty programs targeted at a specific market.As featured in November’s issue of Instyle magazine, fashion companies have been catching up with technological advances and have decided to enter the “app world”. 

Diane Von Furstenberg LogoEbay and Trendabl have designed interactive fashion apps for Apple products. In Trendabl, fashion lovers can now check out fashion photos and read feeds from brands such as Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF). Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg is using Trendabl to build a closer relationship with her loyal customers and communicate her expertise on trends. On the other hand, Ebay has come up with a creative and interactive app called Ebay Fashion, where the customer can snap a picture of a pattern and the new image swatch feature on the app will search for matching apparel in every category to bid on and buy. Ebay Fashion is giving loyal customers an innovative shopping experience and at the same time pleasing them by making Ebay a user-friendly website. Customer loyalty programs are also interrelated with customer service experiences. 

Everyone has experienced positive and not-so-positive situations where a fashion brand either does an impeccable job at customer approach, or seeing retail stores reach the extreme of self-sabotage by delivering a non-friendly treatment when selling. In my personal experience, Ted Baker  (known for its classic yet urban designs and mind-blowing leather jackets) delivered an outstanding customer service. During my trip to London, I visited a Ted Baker retail store and ended up liking a garment but decided not to buy it. Once back in the United States, I changed my mind and started hunting for it. I ended up talking to a Sales Associate in England because the line had not entered the American market yet. The Sales Associate who was assisting me called their Los Angeles retail store, informed them about the exact date of arrival, and told them to hold the garment for me. The store made an exception of holding it for more than their regular 24 hours policy so that I, as one of their potential loyal customers, could be satisfied. Let’s talk about a fashion brand that cares about customer satisfaction, right?

Montblanc's special PackagingLuxury markets are all about service; fashion companies prefer to be identified as classic, exclusive, and sophisticated retailers, and use this image as a tool that is reflected in their customer loyalty programs.  The luxury industry uses approaches such as special events, after-sales services, and complimentary services. An example of a company using these techniques to perfection is the German luxury company Montblanc. The well-known fashion brand offers gift-wrapping on special packaging designed by the company with a personalized gift note, engraving and embossing on leather goods and writing instruments, and watch bracelet adjustments. Montblanc not only offers extraordinary customized designs through www.montblanc.com/pablo-picasso, the company also projects security by backing up their brand promise with a professional manufacturing process. In the purchase of a Montblanc watch, customers receive a two year free warranty with free repair offered on all Montblanc retail stores, free shipments to repair centers or in the case of limited editions: the shipment and repair in Switzerland. Montblanc is an inspiration to new emerging fashion and luxury brands that want to be a part of the customer’s life.

The A&F Club PageConsumers that are capable of spending on luxury products are not the only market that fashion brands should be aiming at. Let’s not forget that the “teen” demographic is one of the most influential markets to hit. Abercrombie & Fitch has announced the launch of a customer loyalty program for its U.S. retail stores.  The now popular A&F Club Card, offers the traditional privileges that most loyalty programs have, including: discounts, member-only offers and promotions and other rewards based on repeat purchases. Plus, free shipping for online purchases topping 150 US dollars. In addition, A&F Club members have access to an interactive website designed specifically for them, where their youthful audience gets access to exclusive videos, photo galleries, digital wallpaper, music playlists, and the privilege of V.I.P. entrance to special events organized by the company. Furthermore, the website has a fun “dressing for the weather” section, where members can check out fashionable styles and helpful suggestions on wardrobe that go accordingly to the five-day forecast for the member’s city. With this approach, Abercrombie & Fitch achieves a smart connection making buying their products an emotional experience, because the company not only connects with their target market but also communicates to parents that they care about their customer’s well-being. 

It is a fact to say that loyal customers are willing to spend more money if they feel important, if they can see that the brand is concerned and they feel being taken care of . Customer loyalty programs help create an emotional bonding, thereby resulting in a long-term customer relationship. Consumers have become more careful and selective on shopping - why wouldn’t they? With such a broad selection of Fashion brands out there, to choose from. Retailers have learnt to manage these attitudes through their creative strategies. Customer loyalty programs along with creativity are now a key to revenue growth of any fashion business. 

The British multifunctional retail giant, Arcadia Group Ltd., under the business tycoon Sir Philip Green is soon to expand its retail business to Far East and also digital.

TOPSHOP store, Oxford, LondonSir Philip is supposed to be taking Topshop into China, first through a Chinese website and then slowly entering the market with offline stores as well. The same goes for their planned strategic entrance in India.

Topshop already has franchise shops around the world as well as its own stores in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas.

Arcadia group, after a grand performance this year, is also seen celebrating its 10th year in the business following great results.

Qatar holding LLC, an investment firm founded by Qatar Investment Authority, signed an agreement with Italy's Fondo Strategico Italiano, a holding managed by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, to create a joint venture, IQ Made in Italy, with a view to invest in Italian business sectors.

Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani and Italian Prime Minister Mario MontiThe agreement, signed between Qatar's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, and Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, assures that the company will have total capital of 2 billion euro (2.5 billion dollars, at current exchange rates), provided equally by Qatar Holding LLC and the Fondo Strategico Italiano, the deal kept to work for the next four years.

The sectors that this joint holding is aiming at include fashion and luxury, food, furniture and design, and tourism and leisure.

Qatar’s prime minister also assured to be working with the Italian government to out another 1 billion euro (1.27 billion dollars) agreement, to support Italy’s small and medium-size companies.

Qatar investors are supposed to be aiming important brands like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, but a luxury goods analyst stated that “Qatar has plenty to deal with already, and the names that periodically appear in the papers are pushed forward by the banks interested in securing new deals. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have repeatedly said they don’t want to sell; Giorgio Armani is not interested; there are no transactions going on at Versace; Trussardi, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana have no plans to sell. These are all big, solid names to put out there in the papers, but it’s not the same as signing on the dotted line.”

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