Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fashion 2.0?

A recent NYT article gently admonishes high fashion brands for not fully investing in the digital media/'web 2.0' sea change. Fashion companies, the article reasons, are typically at the forefront in terms of innovation and dictating future trends--even beyond just the sartorial sphere. So why aren't they doing more online?

Good question. Mme. Cathy Hornes points to Burberry's The Art of the Trench as a salient example of said web 2.0 fashion marketing.

She also points to Uniqlo's delightfully interactive website. Even my boyfriend was charmed. I was tempted to buy one of their puffy jackets--the whole gamut of colors reminds me of ipods. Ah the possibilities for personal branding through the simple election of one, telling primary color!

I decided to check up on some of my fave, oft-Googled brands to see what they were doing to be sociable, Twitter-able and accesible via the webs:

Isabel Marant

Elusive as usual, Isabel Marant's site allows you to watch, but not embed, a video of the recent collection. However, she does have a Facebook page.


Balmain was the first luxury brand that had me actually contemplating spending $1500+ on a pair of boots.


Balmain's site does not offer much in the way of interactivity either. A few snaps from recent shows, publicity stills, and text entirely available in French (a language I wish I spoke, but nonetheless...) means that I get more info on the brand from net-a-porter and Wikipedia.

There is some logic behind the luxury brand's hesitance to allow the internet swarms to create conversation about them. It is scary not controlling the dialog, and of course, a luxury fashion brand thrives on a carefully cultivated image. Expensive goods draw much of their allure from the aura that surrounds them...I have to admit that if Isabel Marant's brand weren't painted as so quintessentially French, so under-the-radar chic, and so very much on a pedestal of unavailability, I might loose a bit of interest. The Lindsey Lohan tabloid ubiquity of much high end fashion does slightly diminish the appeal of the goods for me.

However, casual browsers (read: thrifty me) don't 'convert' (to use the annoying webby biz school lingo) to actual buyers until they begin to covet the goods in question. We can't covet what we can't relate to, what doesn't seem to fit into the fabric of our day-to-day lives. Maybe with the downturn in luxury goods sales, marketers will start to consider the value of allowing the nameless browsing throngs to actually relate to and interact with their brands.

1 comment:

  1. amazing boots! it looks very nice! love them!! and the model with the wetsuit is very fashion!

    Izzy Mayok

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