Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nowness: fashion and style in demand, on demand

In the giant universe of seemingly infinite quantities of voices shouting out their opinions and views on style and fashion, I think my voice has a different pitch. I've been the sales force and leadership at both big box retailers and luxury fashion boutiques, I've consulted with luxury boutiques and companies for a handful of years now, and I've been personal shopping for a discerning group of fabulous citizens. I've been behind the counter, in front of the shareholders, and held the pocketbooks, and draw on these three views when looking at the magnetic world of beauty, fashion, and style.

One of the biggest messages I present to clients, whether in consulting or personal shopping, is simple in word and powerful in meaning: selling the message, the romance, and the story behind any product is just as important as the product itself.

It's most than just an appeal to your customers' emotion. Starbucks doesn't just sell bottled water called "Ethos" - it has contributed more than US$6,2 million for one powerful mission: to bring clean water to children around the world, and raise awareness of the global water crisis.

LVMH - Mo√ęt HennessyLouis Vuitton has captured the essence of luxury living with their new website Nowness. Fashion, Art, Culture, and Travel. The most captivating multimedia experience, Nowness highlights the inspiration, the pulse, and the unadulterated spirit of all things luxe. There are no products for sale. There are no giant advertisements even pushing products.

I read an article in one of Conde Nast's fashion magazines for men recently that highlighted the attention to detail, the attitude, and the charming character of some of the world's best dressed men. Sure, being outfitted in some of the most sought after designs can make you look good; but possessing real depth, real character, and real manners, compassion, and joy make you look world class.

The same can be said for luxury fashion labels. Whether Haute Couture or of humble design and construction, when the inspiration, the depth, and the character of the brand's design is visible and understood, you suddenly appreciate and feel more affinity for that brand. To the unknowing shopper, Vietri is just another maker of dinnerware and flatware; yet to the educated client, Vietri is a fabulous American company founded by a mother and her daughters (the name Vietri signifying three lives) who fell in love with the ceramics they saw while on vacation in Italy, extended their trip to allow time to source a vendor, and began selling high quality Italian dinnerware in America. And I must say, bringing a beautiful plate from the freezer to the oven to the table is incredible luxury and convenience!

Everyone likes to feel good. As consumers, we want to know that the companies we love are doing their best to bring us the best possible product at the best possible price while making the best possible decisions. We understand that quality costs money, and you get what you pay for. And behind the counter on the business end, we understand that without quality products, and more importantly, without customers, our business would simply not exist.

Fashion travels. Style speaks. Fashion rocks. Style is art. Style and Fashion are now. Are you?


kelliG said...

This is a really great post. Thank you for sharing it with me. I love how you describe what a true business is and the intimate details of the business! It opens a customers eyes who would otherwise overlook the product and quality because of cost...which is what many people do.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Some GREAT information in the blog, I must say! You're writing is excellent!! Definitely checking out the nowness website. Keep up the great work! May need your advice when I do a blog of my own. :)