Monthly Archive: September 2016

An Open Letter to Vogue

Dear Vogue Editors
I can deal with the fact that your magazine and online platform have basically turned into an homage to the Kardashians and that you covered The Yeezy Season 4 show like Kanye West is the second coming (if Jesus designed nude bodysuits). But for a fashion magazine you are completely unabashedly biased and pro-Hillary Clinton and quite frankly, it makes me sick. Aren’t there enough politics in the fashion industry, itself? Do you honestly believe your writers understand enough about the economy and foreign affairs and the military to deliver informed political content to readers? Why don’t you start with critiquing Hillary’s godawful pantsuits and leave the actual politics to the appropriate forums.

See-Now-Buy-Now is a Joke

Last night, Tom Ford showed a curly shearling fur coat that is available this morning on Bergdorf Goodman’s website as part of their See-Now-Buy-Now inventory. But the joke is on us because stylist Christine Centenera, who sometimes works with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, wore this same coat back in February! Basically, all See-Now-Buy-Now did was move the buying season forward because clearly the clothes existed months ago.

imageimage

The See-Now-Buy-Now Experiment

Luxury labels like Tom Ford are shaking up the fashion timetables and experimenting with See-Now-Buy-Now business models. Traditionally, designers show their clothes a full season before they will be available for purchase in stores. High-street fashion stores like Zara and H&M have always sold in season clothing and designers are starting to catch on. How will this new business model affect the brick and mortar and online department store buyers’ relationship with the brands? How can these brands possibly fulfill the buyers’ orders in such a short turnover? Moreover, will this lead to more overstock if designers are too optimistic with their production? Or, will they be nervous and underproduce and drive up demand that leads to bidding wars on ebay?

 

Update Sep 8:

Tom Ford’s runway presentation from last night is already available this morning on Bergdorf’s website. This leads me to believe that buyers saw these clothes and placed their orders several months ago. Were the editors given the same sneak peak? Does this new business model make runway shows a mere formality? The shows are an expensive marketing tool for designers to build excitement and demand for their product for several months before the clothes become available. As consumers, we see the show images online and in magazines and build wishlists and obsess over them for months. Where’s the excitement and anticipation in See-Now-Buy-Now?

Sponsored Bloggers: Buyer Beware

In 2013, The New York Times published an editorial piece by legendary fashion editor, Suzy Menkes, titled “The Circus of Fashion,” in which she laments the onslaught of fashion bloggers peacocking before the shows and shamelessly accepting free gifts from designers. Peacocking refers to the bloggers wearing ridiculous outifts to get noticed by the streetstyle photographers. Menkes believes this “circus” takes away from what’s going on inside the tents and she describes a pre-Internet fashion week, where editors dressed in head to toe black moved unnoticed from show to show.

Fast forward a few years and there is a bigger problem than bloggers dressing crazy and accepting free gifts. Designers and big brands are actually paying bloggers to promote their products online, and until now there has been virtually no government regulation. Consumers browsing Instagram and Facebook or watching Youtube are being misled because their favorite bloggers generally aren’t revealing the fact that they are sponsored.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to crack down on bloggers by enforcing a strict set of guidelines– and using a “#sponsored” amongst dozens of other hashtags may be insufficient. The ad agencies who pair bloggers with big brands are furious, but they had to know they could not go unregulated forever. The bloggers basically carved a new industry and the government was bound to catch on. And shouldn’t consumers know the truth?

The bloggers created jobs for themselves in a time when the government and the economy failed them. They accepted free clothing and paraded in front of the shows because they couldn’t get the traditional editorial jobs in fashion, often despite their qualifications and experience. They hustled and they posted tirelessly to gain followers and create a new branch in the fashion industry. And while I understand why Suzy Menkes is disheartened with the blogger movement, the fact remains that times change and the fashion business is no exception. That said, I believe the bloggers should want to be better than the previous generations that failed them and ruined the economy, and they should be loyal to the millions of followers that gave them a livelyhood. It’s as simple as revealing to your followers that they are viewing sponsored content.

Read more about the FTC guidelines and their affect on the fashion industry at The Business of Fashion.