Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's not enough to be in vogue.

       I'm writing this in Los Angeles. The Fall Collections issue of Paris Vogue is on the newsstands, and all seems right with the world. Carl Sandburg called Chicago the City of Broad Shoulders. This is the City of Bare Shoulders. Everyone seems to be fit, was fit, or is considering being fit tomorrow.

       With my sprained foot and cane, I'm hobbling through the morning as the beautiful people are stretching in the spas, walking with good chest-out posture along Wilshire Boulevard, and jogging breathlessly to the beach without seeming to pay much attention to the 70%-off windows in the shops.

        We who are into fashion marketing love clothes, of course, and try to be up to the minute on every nuance of fashion. We'd spend our last dime on it. But these are tough times. If people are not personally suffering from the recession, they go through the day half-prepared to be. Spending doesn't come easy.

        Even the affluent are careful not to look too well off. And, of course, we Americans are always our cynical selves. It's not enough to tell us. You also have to sell us. We want reasons.  Which is something we marketeers cannot allow ourselves to forget.

       In our ads and promotions and plans, we always have to be in touch with our customers and what they're going through. They're far more important than our own goals. Research, observation, hand-holding --- whatever it takes to understand our market, we have to meet their needs in order to meet ours. That's what we marketers are paid for.

        Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent were geniuses, of course, but they were also right there on the cutting edge of their culture. Anthropologists tell us that fashion is a part of culture, and we have to become students of our own.

       Read Vogue and WWD, of course, but don't stop there. Study which books are popular, which movies, which TV shows. Read and see everything you can, including The Wall Street Journal and People. 

        That last one's important, because ultimately that's where your future lies. With people.






1 comment:

  1. Very poetic and poignant. Why the sprained ankle?