From high end to high street, reports this week indicated brands such as Mulbery and H and M have suffered sales slumps of late, once again making it clear no fashion company is safe. Mulberry is yet to reveal their plan of action, but Swedish retail giants, H and M have done what any clothing label worth their salt would do in this situation; roped in a familiar face (Beyonce Knowles anyone?). The undisputed power of the celebrity fashion endorsement deal strikes again.
In other news, this week saw the launch of women’s clothing label Issa’s first ever store in Japan. A contributing factor to this recent development will no doubt have been due to the fact Issa saw stratospheric surges in their sales a few years back after Kate Middleton famously wore one of their blue silk dresses to announce her engagement to Prince William.
Onto the other Kate whose name is synonymous with iconic style. A matter of days ago Arcadia owner, Sir Phillip Green announced that he would not rule out another Kate Moss, Topshop collaboration. Not exactly a shocking revelation considering the success of her previous Topshop offerings.
The legendary fashion model seems to be the go-to-girl for pulling in much needed crowds. This week alone saw Miss Moss fronting a new campaign for the relaunch of – defunct until recently – Motorcycle clothing brand, Matchless. She even found time to design a sushi box for the ‘Sushi Shop’, to coincide with the opening of the French food chain’s first ever British store next month.
Images of the latest hot celebrity, whether in a magazine or on the side of bus is a far more ubiquitous sight than ever before, it seems like everyday there is a new collaboration of some sort. So what is it about these celebs and their style that we all still just can’t get enough of?
It is generally believed that 20 years is a long enough period to wait before something becomes ‘de rigueur’ once more. It can even be classed, loosely in my opinion, but theoretically nonetheless, as vintage. Therefore, this explains the popular resurgence of all things late 80s/early 90s seeing an unprecedented comeback in to popular culture. From boy bands such as East 17 (FYI new album alert), TV shows like Absolutely Fabulous, even products such as the Sodastream, have all served their time out of the spotlight and can once again bask in the ‘coolness’ of their own nostalgia. Even if it weren’t that cool to begin with.
And this trend seems to continue with fashion brands. The resent explosion of Boy London back on, well, the London scene has been perceived as a revival of one of the 80s most hip brands. Well, that’s what I, someone born in 1989 and who wouldn’t know any better, was led to believe by the hype being generated by some cleverly placed PRs. It was not until last week, whilst attending the Drapers Record Next Generation Event, that one of the guest speakers mused in a perplexed way how Boy London was never actually considered that ‘cool’ back then. So why is it now? And what makes a brand by definition ‘cool’?
Now please don’t get me wrong. It is hard to fault a brand doing so well, but Boy London does baffle me. It is nothing more than a basic line of t-shirts, baseball caps, leggings and other basics in a monochrome palette and branded within an inch of its life. So how are they doing so well? Well, maybe we should ask Rihanna, Jessie J et al. It seems by getting the most talked about celebrities to endorse your product, no matter how little creativity goes in to the actual design, can pay off. Now, I’m not saying this is a new occurrence, more like the oldest marketing trick in the book, but surely someone must agree with me how tacky and blatant Rihanna’s outfit choices have been recently. And how much money must be being ploughed back in to Boy London to ensure that type of exposure. Rihanna’s people must be approached every single day by brands to market their products…so how have Boy London managed to literally collar the hottest woman in the world right now?
Therefore it will be interesting to see if the bubble will burst with Boy London as quickly as it has blown up in recent months, all courtesy of product placement. And as always, a celebrity can make or break a brand…just remember Hollister’s annoyance at Mike ‘The Situation’s insistence on wearing their hoodies!