“A Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations” or

The Disillusionment of a Prestige Brand Believer.

Eugene Rabkin is “Making The Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations” in a popular Op-Ed on the Business of Fashion (BoF) blog.  He is joined in his criticism of the “democratization of fashion” and the “irresponsible consumer behavior” by many commentators.  Why?  Isn’t democracy a good thing?  It gives market participants the freedom to choose. What really bugs Eugene in his sympathizers are the marketing choices of certain fashion brands.  He is upset that houses which previously had a positioning centered on exclusivity, prestige and/or sophistication are now choosing to dip into the mass market to potentially reap incremental profits and/or notoriety.  Eugene – Don’t be upset, just vote with your feet.  Move on to a brand that corresponds better to your aspirations and definition of sophistication.  The interesting question being raised from a brand strategy perspective is if many of these fashion houses have become so greedy for growth that they jeopardize their long-term viability as premium image purveyors.  We call it the challenge of “Longing and Belonging”.  If you are too close to what people know, expect and do, you ‘burst the bubble,’ undo the mystique around your brand and lower its aspiration value.  If you are too removed, you don’t sell a lot.

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About JP Kuehlwein

JP is a proven business leader, recognized strategy expert and global brand builder. He has a 20+ year track record of successfully creating, re-staging and growing brands and their organizations around the world. Before co-founding Ueber-Brands Consulting, JP served as Managing Director of Global Strategy & Innovation, Premium Consumer at Procter & Gamble and was Executive Vice President of Frédéric Fekkai, a global prestige brand and fully owned subsidiary of P&G. He is also an External Director of Smith & Norbu, a Hong Kong-based luxury optical frame maker. JP has co-authored the bestselling “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” with Wolf Schaefer, which is quickly becoming a marketers reference book. JP is regularly involved in public speaking and teaching across industries and markets in English, French or German language. JP and Wolf’s blog and podcast ‘Ueber-Brands’ and related events are sought-after by brand builders and marketing leaders around the world. He has been named ‘Inspirational Marketer of the Year’ by the Association of National Advertisers/The Internationalist among other awards. Based out of New York City, JP is on the advisory board and a guest lecturer at the Masters Program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology (NY), an advisory board member of the CMO Council (San Jose), L2 Inc. (NY) and L2 Inc. (NY).
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