Monday, 22 November 2010

Swishing and the 10:10 Campaign

In conjunction with the 10:10 carbon reduction campaign the Creative Fashion Forum hosted a Swishing Event at the Brighton Media Centre. The whole idea was to educate people about the need to investigate sustainable fashion.

Tom Chute from the 10:10 campaign gave us some worrying statistics about our disposable fashion habits and the results in landfill sites, which will be with us for up to 200 years with garments made from Polyester.

The Swish required each participant to bring two items of clothing or accessories to exchange for two items brought by other members. I went home with a rather interesting Black Watch silk jacket which I have since customised with new buttons and a vintage leopardskin (fake) collar.

It was good fun and in keeping with the topical debate about reducing our consumption on fashion items.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The dash for cash - how wholesalers can ruin the reputation of a brand

Have you ever bought an item at full price only to walk round the corner and find it on sale for a third of the price? Well its very galling I can tell you. It happened to me today in Brighton. Wholesalers trying to get rid of past season's stock while its still for sale in the independent stores for full price.

Everyone needs to sing from the same hymn sheet - isn't that what corporate responsibility all about? Its fine to want to move old stock to get the cash in but we all need to be responsible for the likely repercussions. Its like grey imports. You buy cheap overseas in another market and undercut the brand in your own country. It happened to Tesco with Levi jeans and that resulted in a court case where they proved the supermarket were devaluing the brand.

As a small retailer you are in a vulnerable position so make sure that you can trust your brands otherwise in an instant you can loose your credibility. Thats why sourcing the right mix of brands in a small retail boutique is so very important.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Brand Signature

The Creative Fashion Forum got together to talk about promoting brands. Sarah Appelhans from Unravel gave us an interesting insight into the importance of knowing what you stand for. What are your brand values and how do you present a coherent image that customers resonate with?
In the same way that fashion designers talk about having a design signature, an aesthetic that makes the brand recognizable, fashion brands also need to have an image and personality that promises a brand experience.
All too often there is a mismatch between the products, the owners and the brand image. If all the aspects of the business create a synergy customers know what to expect and can buy into a brand on a regular basis. Maybe the intangible brand elements need greater attention like visual merchandising, in store design and customer services. Perhaps we need to spend more time thinking about what we are saying about our business through the subliminal messages we transmit.