Solutions or plans? Maybe both, just an idea…

Dear readers,

This time New York Fashion Week was a bit different. Well, on a personal level it was pretty much the same as like last years. But I was just remembering my first time I walked and woah, a lot changed. My perspective changed as well. I’ve attended a couple of shows – one runaway, one opening party, and a showcase – plus I got the chance to walk in one show for African By Art. However, as a fashion junkie with a hint of investigative and journalistic attitude, I couldn’t ignore the news around fashion week and how the whole business around it is drastically changing.

There were articles and people claiming that fashion week is not anymore a trending thing. And I could see it. I realized that Fashion Week events, specifically New York Fashion Week, is becoming a whole series of multimedia events intertwined with fashion, but not just merely into or specifically about fashion. What is trending in New York is the market and the fluidity that the industry is facing on a daily basis, every season. This is indeed the reflection of a city and society full of diversity. For this reason, a variety of performances and representation is demanded and expected in a centre like the Big Apple.

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Today’s consumers are more loyal to brands that claim a larger purpose than just selling products. Young fashion and beauty brands, in particular, need to articulate a distinct point of view, or run the risk of competitors copying their approach. Take the example of Billie. Georgina Gooley and Jason Bravman launched the brand in 2017 to target what they saw as an opening in the women’s razor space. The men’s market had been disrupted by low-cost digital players like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, and the founders felt female shavers were overdue for a similar shakeup. In addition to the usual DTC advantages — internet-friendly graphics, eye-catching product design and lower prices — Billie's Project Body Hair made waves as the first women’s razor brand to show body hair in campaign imagery. ⁠ ⁠ The ad was a hit because it was novel, yet simple. By framing shaving as a choice, Billie was able to both celebrate body hair and sell a product designed to remove it. Models were cast from Instagram and their images were not intended to be overtly shocking or sexy. “Obviously, we were going to have messaging around it, but the image should be powerful enough that it can stand on its own,” Gooley said. While the Project Body Hair campaign got mainstream attention, the brand still needed to balance it with social media images that showed off the razors themselves, including differentiating features, such as their five blades encased in charcoal shave soap. But shots of products and models had a similar aesthetic, appearing to come from the same shoot. Billie’s point of view strengthened the brand in the face of competitors, including Harry’s, which launched its Flamingo line for women in the fall of 2018.⁠ ⁠ Learn more about the different strategies that can help market a new brand in our case study. Download your copy now. [Link in bio]

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Now with London‘s and Milan‘s fashion week it is possible to see more upscale and niched events. It is the reflect also of the new old continent: elegant, classy, conservative, feeding mostly the highest positions of the fashion’s hierarchy, in terms of audiences and consumers. However, no matter how different the targets might be or where we are, the fashion industry is working hand in hand with the younger generations, by satisfying their needs and philosophies. In order to stick up to an ideology or a statement, millennials and gen Z members are more willing to purchase and support a business’s idea rather than their products.

I came to the conclusion that fashion is being more global and inclusive, as well as divided and stagnant in their marketing mobility. This could be an aspect of the industry prone to change, but at the moment this is what it looks like. And I’m not talking only about clothes, but also accessories and beauty products.

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The beauty industry is still figuring out how to talk about gender in a time when more than one-third of their Gen-Z customers say they know someone who prefers neutral pronouns, according to a Pew Research survey. While many of the biggest #makeup and grooming brands are typically still instantly identifiable as stereotypically “male” or “female” by their packaging and marketing, many new products launch without explicitly targeting either gender — and some are embracing the concept of gender fluidity outright.⁠ ⁠ Brands like Fluide and Covergirl are chasing a market that is increasingly shaped by younger consumers, who “value diversity in all its forms and… are ruthless about holding their brands accountable,” says Jenni Middleton, director of beauty at trend forecaster WGSN. Gen-Z is growing up and many in that cohort expect brands to acknowledge gender inclusivity, even if these shoppers don’t identify as non-binary themselves.⁠ ⁠ But, brands don’t need to overthink how they approach the subject of gender. Lipstick is still lipstick, whether it’s worn by a woman or a man or someone non-conforming. “Gender inclusivity is part of a larger movement in the #beauty industry towards better serving those consumers who belong to historically underrepresented and marginalized groups,” says Sam Escobar, the digital editorial director of Allure. “Those consumers were always there, and they loved beauty so much that they supported an industry which, for the most part, rarely acknowledged them.” [Link in bio] 🖋: Leah Chernikoff 📷: @fluidebeauty

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All these issues rise up solutions and plans that are taking space in the market. Is it a solution to shift events like New York Fashion Week from a fashion manifestation to an assemble of fashion-related events, in such a massive way? Where is the future of fashion. I believe that it’s gonna be worldwide spread, with no more a centre, unless we’re considering the economics – whose center looks like to stil be between New York, London and Milan. However, besides sustainability, are there any other plans that we should consider to implement in fashion? More observations to come.

Beijos,

the curly flower

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