A Passion For Fashion With A Marketing Flair™

Social Media Marketing

4Fashionistas Has A New Look

We have a new look for our fashion blog.  There are new colors.  We are sharing a passion for fashion with a marketing flair. But, what does that mean?  See below with some of our earlier blog posts for a clue.

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Talk to us on our Facebook page and tweets on Twitter.  Our next move may be Instagram.

  

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 Fashion now lives in the digital world with an engaging and creative approach. Early on, it was called Fashion 2.0.  Now fashion is totally immersed in the digital landscape.  It’s where technology and fashion meet at the intersection of social media and mobile marketing.


Pre-order Exclusive Runway Fashions Online

Aslaug Magnusdottir (l) and Lauren Santo Domingo (r)

Frequently runway designs do not end up in stores as the designers intended.  Furthermore, every size is not always available.  Moda Operandi offers an exciting, new way to buy runway fashion directly from designers.   With prices ranging from $500 to $5,000,  Moda Operandi is not for the financially challenged.

Selections from designer collections go on sale on modaoperandi.com for presale within 48 hours of the runway show.  This happens while the collection is still newsworthy on all of the style blogs and fashion editors are compiling their coverage.

Vogue editor Anna Wintour is a high profile partner.  The site has 50,000 members who see the collection online.  They place their orders by paying 50% upfront and the rest upon delivery.

Former Gilt Noir merchandiser, Aslaug Magnusdottir, recognized a void in the fashion world .  Partnering with Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo, they came up with Moda Operandi.

The 7 month-old, Manhattan based website, Moda Operandi, is a members-only online shopping portal that offers runway designs to Fashionistas the way designers intended them to be …  and weeks before the full lines are available in the retail stores!

modaoperandi .com Website

The Moda Operandi website not only offers an online portal to shop the runway shows, it is also an online magazine with slideshows and photographs from the latest  fashion shows and fashion editorial with video clips from the runways.

Moda Operandi Online Magazine

There’s even a list of all of the designers.  I love the clean, simple uncluttered design and fashion magazine-look of the website.  Furthermore, Moda Operandi is on Facebook and Twitter too.

Fashion Shows

The forward thinking of the Moda Operandi founders created what Fashionistas and designers alike were waiting for.  Bravo Aslaug Magnusdottir and Lauren Santo Domingo  … true Fashion 2.0 thought leaders !

 


Missoni For The Masses … Keeps High Fashion Edge

Classic Missoni Graphics Coming To Target

Missoni Campaign 2011 … in all of it’s awesomeness!


Love, Peace & Joy To You & Yours

CLICK PICTURE BELOW TO VIEW HOLIDAY VIDEO MESSAGE


Louis Vuitton Leads Luxury Brands In Fashion 2.0

On Wednesday, October 6, the 156-year-old Parisian fashion brand, Louis Vuitton, will expand, even deeper, into the world of fashion 2.0 with their latest digital marketing activities.  Louis Vuitton will run its third live fashion show on Facebook in the last year.  The 7:30am ET show will feature the Spring/Summer 2011 Collection of designer Marc Jacobs.  It is scheduled to run for 10 to 15 minutes and will also be accessible on the Marc Jacobs iPhone and iPad apps.   The video presentation and additional footage will be available on Facebook a few hours later.

Louis Vuitton Facebook Page

Louis Vuitton - Facebook

During the last 16 months, Louis Vuitton has attracted 1.3 million Facebook LIKES and 145,000 Twitter followers (US and Paris). Those audiences, along with 26,400 Foursquare followers, will be leveraged to spread the word about the Facebook fashion show.

Louis Vuitton - Twitter

Louis Vuitton - Foursquare

The Art of Travel by Louis Vuitton, your official destination for everything Louis Vuitton, is the theme for an ongoing Facebook campaign used to promote the webcast.  After visitors sign up to be on the guest list for the live fashion show webcast, they will unlock the Louis Vuitton 360° Fashion Badge.  The badge will also appear on their Facebook profile.  Video footage will be uploaded to the Louis Vuitton YouTube channel, which has more than 679,000 views.

Louis Vuitton - YouTube

Currently the Louis Vuitton website features Bono and Ali Hewson, founders of Edun – a for-profit fashion company.   They take website visitors on a Journey To the Heart of Africa. The interactive, international e-commerce site describes the mission of  Edun – to raise awareness of the possibilities in Africa and encourage the fashion community to do business there.   To further celebrate the creative potential of Africa, Louis Vuitton is hosting a temporary exhibition from October 5-17, 2010 in Paris.

Annie Leibovitz photographed Bono and Ali for the Louis Vuitton ad – Every Journey Began In Africa.

Louis Vuitton - Website

The Louis Vuitton website stands out from competitors, gains attention and attracts traffic to the website.  It converts visitors into customers and transforms their past and present successes into dynamic, inviting forces of attraction.  The Louis Vuitton website differentiates itself from competitive luxury brands with engaging, interactive campaigns – The Art of Travel and Journey To the Heart of Africa.

Visualize the Louis Vuitton website as a presentation of fashion with a heart.  It is an awesome integrated marketing effort where e-commerce, fashion and Louis Vuitton core values merge.

Louis Vuitton marketing efforts take fashion 2.0 to the next level.


Fashion 2.0 Stylists

The fashion media landscape is buzzing about The Rachel Zoe Project and über celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. What’s a girl to do if she is not a celeb and wants her own, personal stylist?

Well there’s an app for that! Earlier this year in their March issue, Vogue launched Vogue Stylist, an iPhone app to assist users in styling their wardrobes by uploading pictures of items they already own and allowing the app to mix and match those pieces with timely monthly picks from the Vogue staff along with products from Vogue‘s advertisers.  Content is updated monthly and synchronizes as issues release on newsstands.

Here’s a video that shows how the Vogue Stylist works on your iPhone.

Vogue Stylist users can shop any of the looks straight from their phones or locate the closest store that sells the items, as well as share favorite styles via Facebook.   In addition they can unlock exclusive content from the current issue by taking an iPhone picture of select ads which will result in special event invitations, product sampling offers, shopping discounts and exclusive videos.

Vogue Stylist iPhone App

Not only is this an awesome app for consumers, but it also adds value for advertisers and extends their reach.  According to Vogue VP and Publisher Susan Plagemann, “This new app is a perfect example of how Vogue provides advertisers the opportunity to maximize their connection to our reader with an interesting and organic approach.  It gives users a personalized interactive experience that allows them to apply Vogue‘s point of view on the trends to their wardrobes on a daily basis.”

CLICK HERE to learn how to get the Vogue Stylist app for your iPhone.

Another fashion/tech fusion is Harper’s Bazaar Personal Stylists,  an online personal style resource.  At the website you can shop Harper’s Bazaar stylists’ favorite finds, access special offers and giveaways, download exclusive shopping maps and book private New York City shopping trips. All are customized based on your individual needs, taste and budget. In addition, they include insider experiences, offers and gifts.

Harper's Bazaar Personal Stylists Website

CLICK HERE to check out Harper’s Bazaar Personal Stylists

Fashionistas … you will be on top of the latest fashion trends and know exactly where to buy them with these awesome, interactive fashion tools.   In the words of Coco Chanel, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”  These amazing innovations will help you to get there.


Fashion 2.0 Thought Leaders – Fashion’s Collective

This week 4Fashionistas recognizes Fashion’s Collective as our next social fashion thought leader and its founder/strategist – Elizabeth Schofield as well as digital strategists Tamar Shamir Koifman and Agata Seidel.  Fashion’s Collective is a resource in digital and social media marketing for fashion and luxury brands.

One of my favorite places online for fashion 2.0 vision is Fashion’s Collective.  Visiting the website is like taking a tour of a museum where knowledgeable curators guide you through the collection of brand profiles and fashion 2.0-related articles.  Everywhere visitors to the site can easily navigate the various sections and also share their findings with friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Website - Brand Profiles

I especially enjoyed the Fashion’s Collective, three-part series (The Facebook Dilemma) about Facebook marketing for luxury brands.  Part I discusses whether to use Facebook or not because the audience interacting with a luxury brand does not always align with the brand’s target demographic.   Part II is about being strategic in finding your brand voice, how should the brand interact and determining what is the  actual audience the luxury brand reaches on Facebook.   Part III, the last in the series,  takes luxury brands into thinking long-term and to always have an exit plan.   In addition, Part III in the series encourages luxury brands to decide if  they have the resources in personnel and budget to maintain a social media campaign on Facebook.

Website

The Facebook Dilemma series provides an astute analysis of how luxury brands can strategically approach Facebook and decide if it is a good fit for them.   What I particularly like about Fashion’s Collective is that the marketing insights are also transferable to other industries and disciplines giving social media marketing a try.

Check out the Fashion’s Collective website and CLICK HERE.


Talbots Makeover – You’ve Come A Long Way Baby!

Talbots is not you’re grandmother’s store any more.  This savvy retailer is boldly moving their 63 year-old company ahead on the fashion 2.0 landscape with an updated, e-commerce website, engaging Facebook page and Twitter account.   In addition, Talbots Inc. is now a favorite on Wall Street, thanks to cost cuts and a complex financial arrangement for unloading its enormous debt.

Photo: Talbots

The Company
“The Talbots, Inc. is a multichannel retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories known for modern classic style. Its signature Talbots brand serves a broad diversity of women within the fast-growing 35+ population through an extensive range of styles and sizes. It operates seamlessly across three sales channels – stores, catalog and Internet.”

The Brand
“Talbots is a leading specialty retailer and direct marketer of women’s classic clothing, shoes and accessories. Established in 1947, the company is known for legacy items like the perfect blazer, trustworthy trench, versatile white shirt, ballet flats and pearls, as well as its fine workmanship, gracious service and welcoming red doors. With a nod to tradition infused with modern flair, Talbots offers an array of timeless wardrobe options to flatter women of all shapes and sizes. The Company currently operates stores in 580 locations in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Its online shopping site is located at www.talbots.com.”

Photo: Talbots

To solidify its comeback and boost sales, Talbots must complete a merchandise and image makeover that targets younger customers. Rejuvenating a brand that many women think of as perfect for their grandmothers is complicated.  Talbots must make its clothes more youthful without alienating its core customers during the transition as well as persuade a new segment of women in their 30s and 40s to consider shopping there.

Trudy Sullivan, Talbots chief executive, is attempting to refocus on women 35 and older.    She joined the company Fall 2007 and has introduced some younger items, including slim jackets and feminine dresses.  With Sullivan’s help, Talbots is aiming to make their fashions more hip with looks that include a sequin-trimmed sweater and leopard-print-lined black booties. So far, they have had some hits and some misses. For example, last spring, “ethnic” prints in bright colors including orange and lime green did not work for them.  But this fall, a “pant fit initiative” gives customers a $5 gift card for trying on a pair from the new pants styles. The retailer sold 590,000 pairs in nine weeks. In addition,  First Lady Michelle Obama has been spotted numerous times in Talbots clothing.

Dress by Talbots

Judging by the comments to a WSJ article this year in April about the  Talbots image makeover, some of the core customers are not happy with the changes.  Fortunately there were also those that embraced the change, “Classic can mean timeless, not just dowdy and that, I think, is what Talbots is trying to do.”   It’s a catch-22 situation.  “Talbots not only needs to get its core customer spending more, it also needs to get a new customer,” said Roxanne Meyer, executive director of specialty retail at UBS Investment Research.  Only time will tell.

Another effort to refresh their image is making Linda Evangelista the new face of Talbots.   The 44-year-old supermodel and mother was photographed by top photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for a glossy advertising campaign which will be launched in September.  According to Talbots chief marketing officer, Lori Wagner, “She possesses this timeless yet spontaneous glamour that’s irresistible in our minds.”

It is obvious that social media is an important tactic in Talbots marketing strategy to reposition the brand. There are 4 key steps to success in social media marketing: LISTEN, SEGMENT & TARGET, INTERACT and NOTIFY & SCORE that Talbot incorporated on the way to re-branding.  The following are examples of how they did it:

LISTEN
Talbot listened and aimed to attract younger customers.   According to Kate Goodman, director of e-commerce at Talbots, “Customers are encouraged to share their insights, advice, wisdom, and humor. This platform (“Pearls of Wisdom”) allows our customers to speak freely to us about who they are and what Talbots means to them … This allows us to create a broader, more relevant community by encouraging customers to share emotional experiences — within Talbots.com instead of some third-party site.”

Talbots website

SEGMENT & TARGET
Talbots refocused on women 35 and older, persuading a new segment of women in their 30’s and 40’s to consider shopping there and making their clothes more youthful without alienating their core customers during the transition.

INTERACT

The Talbot website has an engaging, interactive section, “Pearls of Wisdom,” that is powered by the Bazaarvoice social commerce platform.   According to the company, “Pearls of Wisdom: Your Voice” provides Talbots customers with a place to share their stories, opinions, and style.  They are encouraged to address topics close to their hearts, including summer reading lists, embarrassing moments with moms and their absolute worst Valentine’s Day gifts. Topics are promoted by email and Facebook.    Top stories and writers are highlighted on Talbots Facebook fan page.

Talbots Facebook fan page

On the Talbots Facebook page, there is also an interactive Look Book, link to an article in  WWD about Talbots, exclusive offers for fans and a link to find a store near you.

Talbots Look Book on Facebook fan page

NOTIFY & SCORE
The “pant fit initiative” gives customers a $5 gift card for trying on a pair from the new pants styles. The retailer sold 590,000 pairs in nine weeks.  Promoting “Pearl of Wisdom” topics by email, tweets promote what is going on at Talbots and an opportunity to sign-up for email notification about special offers are other ways that Talbots is using social media marketing.

Talbots on Twitter

Talbots was known as the label for suburban moms.  Now, with the repositioning, “Talbots blends equal parts tradition and imagination to surprise and delight with timeless apparel and innovative experiences that women crave.”  I love the new look and their fashion 2.0 achievements.  Creating “Pearls of Wisdom” and promoting it through email and on Facebook is definitely an innovative tactic.

However, Talbots still has work to do. For example, why not include the Facebook and Twitter icons on the website as well as add a YouTube channel featuring runway videos?  These minor adjustments will expand their reach even further among younger women and ultimately take Talbots to the next level of fashion and retail success.

Talbots.com website home page


How To Be A Fashion 2.0 Diva In 6 Easy Steps

The fashion industry is among the last to grasp and embrace web 2.0 – the social web.   Content push, user-created material and connecting people are key elements of web 2.0.   To push content, web 2.0 marketers use blogs, podcasts, webinars and RSS.  Components of user-created material are the forum, wiki, video and user review. Connecting people is the final web 2.0 tool.  This part involves the social network, community, the virtual world and collaboration.

Fashion 2.0 is about the adaptation of web 2.0 tools into the fashion world.  So … where do you begin?  The following are 6 steps that will get you started:

  1. LISTEN

  2. RESEARCH

  3. TARGET

  4. ENGAGE

  5. SHARE

  6. ANALYZE

Keep in mind:

  • Web sites should be usable, useful and desirable

  • Relationships are built on interactions

  • Work towards creating a positive experience

And … voilà,  you’re on your way to becoming an amazing Fashion 2.0 marketing maven!


Fashion 2.0 Thought Leaders: Gilt Groupe

This week 4Fashionistas recognizes viral marketing phenomenon, Gilt Groupe  as our next social fashion thought leader and its founders (Kevin P. Ryan, Alexis Mayback and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson).

An idea for selling discounted luxury brands online was sparked when Kevin P. Ryan, former CEO of the online ad company DoubleClick, observed a long line of women waiting to get into a Marc Jacobs sample sale in NYC. It was his Aha! moment. Ryan was aware of Vente Privée, the very successful French company selling fashion overstock online and believed that the Vente Privée business model could work just as well in America. According to Ryan, “All I could think was, if there are 200 people who are willing to stand in this line, that means in the United States there are probably hundreds of thousands,” Ryan says. “But they don’t live in New York, they’re busy right now, they just can’t do that. And I can bring this sample sale to them.”

Ryan hired two computer engineers to start building a website and Alexis Maybank as the company’s chief operating officer.  A few months later, Maybank brought in her longtime friend and Harvard B-School chum, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson to leverage her luxury fashion contacts and experience for the company.  Then in November 2007, Gilt Groupe was formed.  What Gilt Groupe does is called a “flash sale” – a virtual version of a designer sample sale.  It seldom advertises.  Instead Gilt Groupe relies on word-of-mouth; offering current members incentives to invite their friends to join.  “What Gilt did, I think it’s a combination of vision and smarts and timing,” says Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which has been working in partnership with Gilt Groupe, acting as a bridge between the company and designers.

Gilt Groupe takes the fashion merchandising business model to the next level integrating e-commerce, WOMM and SMM … voilà Fashion 2.0!  It blends social media into the marketing plan with a blog on the website, email, Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, etc. that transforms data into actions to engage, amplify awareness and generate leads.  Cloud computing, a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the Internet, is the technology behind the Gilt Groupe website.

Gilt Groupe is part of the AlleyCorp network, a network of affiliated companies founded by Kevin Ryan and Dwight Merriman.  It is the leading source for today’s top designer brands for women, men, children and luxury living …  insider prices at up to 70% off retail.

The Guild Groupe vision: “Lead the world to a life more beautiful.”  And, what a beautiful life it is with discounted designer brands, 70% off retail, at a click of the mouse.


Building An E-Commerce Fashion Business

A recent article in The Business of Fashion (BOF) provided a case study about how Company of We built a strong online sales channel.   CLICK HERE to view that article.  Their web site, Facebook page and Twitter account take Company of We to the next level of Fashion 2.0 ferocity.

4Fashionistas is about social media marketing in the fashion industry. The following are tips to move your online, fashion business ahead on the road to becoming fierce in Fashion 2.0:

7 Tips To Becoming Fierce In Fashion 2.0

1. A Consistent Online Brand Identity

Customize your Facebook page, Twitter background, YouTube channel, e-mail messages, etc. to be consistent with the look and feel of your web site.  It will strengthen and enhance your brand message.

2. Engage

Be imaginative, ask questions, monitor conversations and then respond promptly.  You can be the first to answer your own question to get things moving.   As people become interested in the discussion,  everyone will want to give their opinion.

3. Share

Remember social media is not about tooting your own horn. You have to give to get. You cannot provide something of value to others if your top priority is selling more of your product. Approach your online consumers with the attitude that you have something of value to provide, free of charge (i.e., newsletter, whitepaper, promotion). In exchange for that, you hope to build and strengthen relationships. Over time, those relationships, will equal a much higher return on investment than one-time customers.   Finally, offer advice as well as ask questions.

4. Interact

It is very simple to answer questions from customers, potential customers and those that haven’t yet become potential customers. When you respond to questions, you are providing many people with instant gratification. When people interact, they discuss matters that are important to them and topics of interest to them. Many times that includes speaking about products and services that are on the market … including yours.

5. Be Human

Personalize your conversations with people and improvise based on where the conversation takes you.  Speak in the language that people understand.   Sincerely flatter your subscribers, friends and those that leave a comment by responding to them.  This nurtures your growing community.  Actively reach out to people you admire using social media and pay them a compliment by commenting on their blogs, following their tweets, linking to their content, etc.

6. Listen

Listen for and respond to both positive and negative comments.  This multiplies the good vibes around your brand.  Pay attention to what your competitors are doing, which trends are important to follow, which new products and services might help you in your business, what is going on with pricing and of utmost importance … what people are saying about you and your business.  Then talk about what people want to hear.

7. Measure

Each social media community has different types of measurements.  Decide which ones best help you define your success or failure.


New Focus For This Blog – Fashion 2.0

Since I am no longer a Carlisle Consultant, the focus for this blog will change … slightly.  FASHION will remain the primary direction.  However, the Carlisle and Per Se Collections will not be previewed here anymore.  Instead I will talk about how FASHION uses social media marketing and the Internet to get their message across.

My Tweets and Facebook comments that are fashion-related will be included here.  There will be information about FASHION thought leaders that are doing awesome things in the digital world. In addition, I will ask you to share your best 4Fashionistas comments and perhaps become one of my guest bloggers.

I’m developing a new look for this blog … so look out 4Fashionistas and stay tuned!   The best is yet to come :-)