In The Name of Fashion

LFW Front Row Seats for Free

Posted in London Fashion Week, Web by inthenameoffashion on February 3, 2010

British Fashion Week is taking their pursuit of being the top fashion week seriously. Just reported today in WWD, BFW is giving the option to designers at the Somerset House and on-schedule designers to live stream their fashion shows. You can also expect film shorts by Hussein Chalayan, Boudicca, Antoni & Alison, Danielle Scutt and Twenty8Twelve playing in between shows on the website londonfashionweek.co.uk/digitalschedule. They also have created a LFW Blackberry application! Read the press release here.

This is absolutely revolutionary in the democratization of fashion. You no longer have to be an EIC, hold major influence or know someone in the industry to have the best seat and view fashion shows in real time! Bloggers will not have to wait for other people to upload photos or go to company websites to view the shows, it will be all in one website. Without a doubt, this will create a huge buzz for LFW which is slowly taking the lead as the most anticipated fashion week (even if it isn’t just for the designs). It will only be a matter of time before NYFW jumps on this bandwagon, though I can see Paris and Milan taking their time to catch up.

Some fashion houses may not want to participate in this program, as it will take away traffic to their individual websites.  Others may not want to participate because they want to preserve the traditional fashion week protocol. With the allure of free publicity, many of the smaller designers will stream their shows and perhaps with the influence of the British Fashion Council, more prominent designers will agree to the same. On the other hand, this adds a layer of complexity to running fashion week. Not only does PR / production have to plan, organize and successfully pull off fashion shows, but now they have a technological element that may be out of their control. Probably a good idea to have Nick Knight on hand to advise.

Regardless, we all know what this means: a huge lack of productivity Feb 19 to 24.

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Vogue: the New Economists

Posted in Economy, Events, Influence, Vogue by inthenameoffashion on January 27, 2010

Oh lala! Vogue’s influence has reached beyond their target audience of all women everywhere, and to an older gentleman who just happens to be the Industry Minister of France, Christian Estrosi. Beyond that, Vogue is going to single-handedly save the French economy from collapse and reinforce their currently waning fashion presence. In between the imaginative couture shows, meeting and greeting designers John Galliano for Dior and Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and trying to avoid Kanye, some of the most influential names in the fashion industry, Anna Wintour (EIC of Vogue), Carine Roitfeld (EIC of Vogue Paris) and Hamish Bowles (Editor of European Vogue) had time to chat with Christian Estrosi about the state of the fashion industry in France. Anna urged the minister to consider supporting emerging designers and other careers in the industry to ensure the future of the trade.

First, it was fashion taking on media and entertainment (including television, artists and web) and now the industry is taking over the world. France has always been the synonymous with top designers, unbelievable couture and the most reputable brands in the industry. This past year the country has taken a huge hit to the trade, which employees about 125,000 Frenchmen and women. This fashion investment could be exactly what France needs to revitalize the industry and regain it’s power as the leading fashion capital of the world. At this rate Vogue may soon become another political party in the American system! They have enough believers, money, power and influence to do so. Anna for President 2012? But then who would run Vogue? Dilemma.

This isn’t the first time that Anna has influenced a retail stimulus.  Little know fact is that Anna Wintour is an honorary chair of Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. In 2003 she set up to CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund to support emerging designers, and in 2009 she worked with Mayor Bloomberg to create Fashion’s Night Out, another event (which wasn’t completely successful) to lure shoppers to stores and spend.

Retail has always been dependent on the economy, but in the age of Anna, it might just be the other way around.

China’s Going To Take Over The World

Posted in Companies, Influence by inthenameoffashion on January 22, 2010

First Chanel, then Prada and now Hermes?

Designers are going where the  money is – and in this case, it’s China. Bain expects that China’s luxury spending will increase by 12% in 2010, thus spurring new found attention to customers living in China. WWD reports that in addition to being the most populous country, China has also endured and recovered from the recession better than the U.S., Japan and European countries. Surprisingly, China’s GDP also gained 8.7% in 2009, a nice little surprise for their government, who only expected an increase of 8%.

Starting off with Chanel, they recently released a collection debuted in Shanghai with heavy Asian influences. Additionally, Karl directed and produced an imaginative web video called Paris-Shanghai A Fantasy, The Trip Coco Only Made in Her Dream, of Coco Chanel and her China inspiration. But a thumbs down because they used non-Asian actors / models to portray Asian people.

Then off to Prada, who’s First Spring video was produced by Chinese artist Yang Fudong. The video showcased some of Prada’s menswear, while taking place in Shanghai. Despite the fact that there was no actual story to this video, it had actual Chinese people playing Chinese people (can you imagine??), so a thumbs up.

Most recently is Hermes, who has recently supported a new brand in China called Shang Xia (meaning “topsy turvy” – something had to have been lost in translation there). They will sell clothing, accessories, furniture and other lifestyle necessities. The managing and artistic director is Qiong Er Jiang, who has designed for Hermes in the past. Can’t wait to see these products and how the Chinese customer will react to them.

Despite China being a superpower now, there are no local luxury brands that have thrived in the Chinese environment. China’s population mostly looks to the U.S. and Europe to fulfill their luxury fantasies, but will things change now that they are becoming increasingly important in the global arena (look at how they tried to stop Google!)?

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Fashion Blogs – Hype or Future?

Posted in Influence, Web by inthenameoffashion on January 19, 2010

I religiously follow Imran Amed’s Business of Fashion blog and twitter. Imran and his team of writers always have clear foresight into the changing business model of fashion, marketing and branding. BoF also serves as my main resource o all the current events and challenges in the industry, as well as emerging designers and artists.

He and international fashion journalist Suzy Menkes will be at the Premium Fashion Trade Show in Berlin to speak on the topic of fashion blogs. Suzy Menkes has written that “The world changed, when fashion instead of being a monologue, became a conversation. And that’s never going to stop.”

I’d be interested to hear the full discussion, being that it seems that Suzy, the embodiment of traditional media / print, has embraced social media as the new frontier for changing the face of fashion. Imran, on the other hand, has almost led the pack, with his fame as an digital marketing strategist.

The idea of the democratization of fashion and opening up a new channel of feedback to designers, fashion will truly become something for the people, by the people. I’m enjoying this new freedom of creative expression, instead of being stifled by what designers think I should be wearing. It’s thrilling to think that D&G will be actually looking at my input and comments to create their newest line, which will increase my interest and purchasing potential to that brand. People don’t want to be told what to do anymore and the rise of the web has created a new method to create our path. Those who will survive will take advantage of the web. Those who don’t will be left behind. Fashion blogs are a way to bring us back to what fashion should be: FUN. Create, blog, rinse and repeat!

Blogger Panel: http://www.premiumexhibitions.com/news/bloggerpanel/

Most Influential Style Blogs

Posted in Influence by inthenameoffashion on January 15, 2010

Signature9* is a company (I don’t know where they came from or how they measured this, but they have good metrics on their website) that has quantified the “99 MOST INFLUENTIAL STYLE BLOGS”. With a couple of the heavy hitters on their list (The Sartorialist, Style Bubble, Fashionista and SHOWStudio) there’s also a lot that I’ve never seen referenced before (High Snobiety, Le Blog de Betty). I wonder if there is anyone out there that knew all of these blogs and check them regularly?

99 MOST INFLUENTIAL STYLE BLOGS from Signature9*: http://www.signature9.com/style-99

There’s a huge influx of media and content on the web now. More connectedness means that we are now flooded with information, some redundant and some gems. Content management tools will be the new essential for market research. It’s all about the content, baby.

*Correction: the company that publishes this list is Signature 9. Thanks to the guys at Signature9 for the clarification! You guys are really on top of your web analytics 🙂

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EICs = God

Posted in Influence, Magazines by inthenameoffashion on January 14, 2010

Anna. Glenda. Carine. Andre. Grace. Have you heard of them?

I’ve always thought you have really made it once people know you by first name only (think Oprah, Tiger, Lindsay, etc.). So what makes our favorite Editor in Chief’s different than famous actresses and actors? NOTHING.

This people, is the rise of the EICs. As if ruling over the fashion industry with an iron fist isn’t hard enough, the movement toward merging fashion, music, video and entertainment will increase their star power and influence more than we have ever imagined.

Take Grace for example. Before The September Issue, she was never recognized and another unknown in the industry. She is now the darling child of the fashion industry, as well as being embraced by other entertainers (she was a guest on Martha to promote her new book on cats, won BFC’s Fashion Creator award).

Living in NYC, I saw Kate Lanphear at a restaurant in Soho. My jaw dropped, I started nervously tugging at my hair and I couldn’t hold a conversation with my non-fashion obsessed friend, who had no idea who the hell the coolest Senior Fashion Editor at Elle was (the horror!). What IF she knew who Kate was? Would I love Kate as much?

I’ve always been someone who likes to be on the outside, or become a part of a secret society. Having this power / knowledge always interested me more than the bland pop culture that the majority of people embrace today. If in fact, the EICs and fashion industry figures become more well known and mainstream, will that affect my admiration of them? Probably.