Monday, June 17, 2024

What Fashion Marketing Professionals Need to Know Today

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Discover the most recent and relevant industry news and insights for fashion professionals working in marketing, to help you excel in your job interviews, promotion conversations or simply to perform better in the workplace by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events, as well as the exclusive interviews and conversations we have with experts and market leaders every day — to deliver key takeaways and learnings in your job function.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for marketing professionals today:

1. Did Mall Brands Just Win the Met Gala?

Zac Posen, in a Banana Republic suit, and DaVine Joy Randolph, wearing a custom Gap gown, attend the 2024 Met Gala. (Getty Images)

Dressing stars for the Met Gala hasn’t always been exclusively the domain of luxury powerhouses: Gap worked with designers including Alexander Wang and Rodarte on looks in 2010 and Aurora James, founder of the footwear label Brother Vellies, in 2021. H&M made its first appearance in 2015, dressing Sarah Jessica Parker, […] while British high street retailer Topshop was the first to dress supermodels Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid for the event. But the category’s presence was felt this year more than most.

The Met Gala — and the red carpet generally — holds major appeal for mass market players, especially as many set their sights on generating more brand desirability amongst consumers. Still, the gap between what’s on the Met steps and the products that sell is bigger for mass-market brands than it is for luxury, and labels run the risk of confusing consumers with a Met appearance. Case in point: Many mentions of H&M’s looks on social media are centred on surprise that the brand is there at all, despite plenty of past appearances.

Related Jobs:

Content Manager, Carhartt WIP — Berlin, Germany

Consumer Insight & Loyalty Director, AWWG — Madrid, Spain

CRM Manager, Kate Spade New York — Tokyo, Japan

2. Case Study | How to Create Cultural Moments on Any Budget

Introducing BoF's latest case study: How to Create Cultural Moments on Any Budget
Introducing BoF’s latest case study: How to Create Cultural Moments on Any Budget (Reformation)

Every brand dreams of achieving what Calvin Klein did with its [Jeremy Allen] White campaign: creating a genuine cultural moment. Most marketing captures consumer attention for a few fleeting seconds by hopping on a trend or jumping into an ongoing discussion. But the best campaigns aspire to more than that. Their goal is to not just draft off the cultural conversation but to drive it. When these moments are executed well, they create culture rather than just responding to it.

But creating a cultural moment is, by definition, not easy. […] Simply casting a beloved celebrity or coming up with a clever concept for an ad isn’t enough. Brands need to find the partnership that strikes the balance between perfectly fitting yet remaining unexpected. That could mean using an unexpected face for a campaign, or deploying a familiar one in a surprising way that breaks through the sea of other celebrity-driven marketing. Or it could mean releasing a product collaboration with an under-the-radar television show that’s about to go big, or engaging with the right event.

Related Jobs:

Brand Marketing & PR Manager, Anest Collective — Milan, Italy

PR & Marketing Intern, Tiffany & Co. — Munich, Germany

Demand Capture Media Assistant Manager, Coach — New York, United States

3. Why the Public Is So Fascinated With Publicists

Savannah Engel, founder of communications firm Savi (first in on the right) is one of several publicists who are taking a more forward-facing approach to their work.
Savannah Engel, founder of communications firm Savi (first in on the right) is one of several publicists who are taking a more forward-facing approach to their work. (Getty Images)

Fashion PR leaders are embracing a more public profile, whether that means building a following on social media that sometimes rivals their clients, or earning their own media placements. They are responding to a shift in how audiences interact with brands and celebrities; rather than passively consuming content, there’s growing interest in what goes into creating a runway show, a fashion week party or an influencer trip.

Such content also demonstrates an ability to tell a brand’s story, often a key selling point when wooing potential clients. While always a part of the business, this sort of immersive storytelling has become more important as a PR firm’s purview has extended beyond securing press placements and staging runway shows to include services that didn’t exist not so long ago, such as influencer relations and affiliate marketing.

Related Jobs:

Publicist, KCD — London, United Kingdom

Social Media Manager, Marla Aaron — New York, United States

Social Media Manager, Amiri — Los Angeles, United States

4. Adidas Prepares for Samba Slump

Adidas Sambas.
Fashion Photo Session In Paris – October 2022 Adidas Sambas. (Getty Images/Getty Images)

As Adidas aims to build on hot demand for its three-striped white and black Samba and multi-coloured Gazelle sneakers, it’s also taking steps to prevent the shoes from becoming victims of their own success. Investors and analysts are watching closely for signs of Adidas becoming overly reliant on the shoes, with the abrupt ending of the highly profitable Yeezy business still fresh in their memories. Adidas made a loss last year for the first time in 30 years after its break-up with U.S. rapper and producer Kanye West brought that trendy sneaker line to an end.

So Adidas is trying to spread its bets. Its chunkier, skater-style Campus shoes are becoming more popular and out-selling the Samba in some markets, Gulden said. Adidas also plans to ramp up marketing of its classic Superstar shoe to drive a renewed trend for it next year.

Related Jobs:

Social Media Associate, The Business of Fashion — London, United Kingdom

Head of Performance Marketing, On — Berlin, Germany

Social Media Manager, Mac Duggal — Chicago, United States

5. Fashion’s Golden Opportunity With Older Shoppers

Older shoppers represent a big opportunity for fashion.
Older shoppers represent a big opportunity for fashion. (Ann Caruso for J.McLaughlin)

Fashion may be eager to attract Gen-Z shoppers (and increasingly, Gen Alpha), but it is Gen-X and Boomers that have real spending power. According to the US Census Bureau, in August 2023, 17.7 percent of the population was 65 or older; a record high that is up from 13 percent in 2010. The number of women over 50 is expected to grow 70 percent by 2050, according to AARP.

But finding and speaking to older shoppers has only gotten more complicated — it takes more than just a viral TikTok, or even a well-placed TV ad. Some stick to magazines and TV, but most consume across digital, print and brick-and-mortar. They’re savvy and expect a higher level of service and personalisation. It can take sharp targeting and time to reach them in a meaningful way — and messaging based on age has long been passé.

Related Jobs:

Media Planning & Buying Coordinator, Burberry — London, United Kingdom

Marketing Executive, Turnbull & Asser — London, United Kingdom

Marketing Communications & Content Management Intern, Hugo Boss — Metzingen, Germany

6. KidSuper’s Big Ambitions for His Funny Business

Trevor Wallace at KidSuper's "Fashion is a Joke" set.
Trevor Wallace at KidSuper’s “Fashion is a Joke” set. (BoF Team)

Days after Colm Dillane presented the Louis Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2023 menswear collection he guest designed for the brand, the founder of Brooklyn-based streetwear label KidSuper […] put on a stand-up show, which doubled as KidSuper’s Autumn/Winter 2023 show, [called] “Funny Business” at the Casino de Paris. This month, Dillane took to the stage again, curating a “Funny Business: Fashion is a Joke” set for the “Netflix is a Joke Festival,” a week-long comedy event in Los Angeles. Comedians Joel Kim Booster, Trevor Wallace, Zainab Johnson, Mark Normand and Mark Gagnon took to the stage, naturally, wearing KidSuper head-to-toe.

KidSuper is self-funded (save his $150,000 LVMH Prize co-winnings) and Dillane is reluctant to give up equity. Instead he relies on collaborations — KidSuper has worked with Puma since 2020, Canada Goose on a capsule in 2024, Meta, The NBA, Stuart Weitzman and even bean bag and couch-maker Lovesac, toy company Superplastic and Starbucks in 2023 — to keep the bottom line growing while still being able to take creative risks.

Related jobs:

Press & PR Manager, Ralph Lauren — Paris, France

Deputy Marketing Director, The Bicester Collection — Barcelona, Spain

Retail Marketing Manager, Alexander Wang — New York, United States

7. Lilly Pulitzer Wants to Win Over a New Generation of Preppies

Lilly Pulitzer chose a nostalgia-inflected typeface for its first logo refresh in 15 years.
Lilly Pulitzer chose a nostalgia-inflected typeface for its first logo refresh in 15 years. (Courtesy Lilly Pulitzer)

In an era of quiet luxury, Lilly Pulitzer’s aesthetic — affordable facsimiles of the loud colours and patterns favoured by the wealthy denizens of Palm Beach — looks out of place. Sales reflect that stagnation, growing 1 percent last year to $343.5 million. Looking to usher in the brand’s next era, Lilly Pulitzer recently unveiled a new logo that retains its signature bright pink hue, but now with a typeface that looks straight out of the 1950s, the decade the brand was founded. Connecting with a new generation will take more than a new font, however.

Gen-Z tastes reign supreme now and they have a very different idea of what preppy looks like. They’re big on neutral oversized blazers and baggy jeans, rather than shift dresses. But Lilly Pulitzer is targeting customers who “love the brand that maybe hadn’t shopped in a while,” said chief executive Michelle Kelly. That includes occasionwear, where bright and bold still flies, even in today’s quiet luxury moment. In March, it released a collaboration with Badgley Mischka, with pieces running from $400 to $700, versus a $100 to $300 standard price point.

Related Jobs:

Social Media Coordinator, Tomorrow — London, United Kingdom

Brand Communications Manager, Smithe Studios — Los Angeles, United States

Senior Trade Marketing Associate, Chalhoub Group — Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

8. The BoF Podcast | How Calvin Klein Taps Into Culture

Jonathan Bottomley speaks on stage at the BoF Professional Summit in New York in March 2024.
Jonathan Bottomley speaks on stage at the BoF Professional Summit in New York in March 2024. (Getty Images)

When Calvin Klein dropped its new spring 2024 campaign with a shirtless Jeremy Allen White wearing the brand’s signature underwear on Jan. 4, it set the internet ablaze. Social media feeds flooded with reaction videos and media outlets covered the campaign widely. The following week, Calvin Klein saw a 30 percent year-over-year increase in underwear sales.

While the brand could never have predicted the gigantic response the campaign would generate, Calvin Klein’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Bottomley says the brand did everything it could to put the strategy in place for it to do so. “In a culture that’s very flat, how do you create those spikes… we adopt what we call an entertainment mentality,” said Bottomley on stage at the BoF Professional Summit in New York.

Related Jobs:

Social Media & Content Executive, Emilia Wickstead — London, United Kingdom

Internal Communications Director, Banana Republic — San Francisco, United States

Communications Intern, Gucci — Singapore

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