This was such a beautiful show, I thought I would start with it this week. Valentino and Louis Vuitton both showed a lot of lace as a trim on lovely textured fabrics, satin, cashmere, silks and plaids. Louis Vuitton particularly did a very sensual range with inspiration coming from sleep wear and slips.
There is a lot of lace in stores at the moment, most of it as inserts more than a trim.
I have been thinking about marketing and merchandising a bit this week and about how you can market just about anything. People market themselves, their homes when they need to sell them and obviously stores market their merchandise. The concept of getting people to buy into an appealing lifestyle or to get them to long to be part of an image you create is what marketing is all about. I have had estate agents suggest bowls of flowers, place settings on tables and cakes baking in the oven when trying to sell a house. It supposedly makes the house more homely and appealing and makes people think they want to live there. That is a form of marketing.
There are so many stores doing this, J Crew and Ralph Lauren do it really well but I think the store that is the most successful at it is Abercrombie and Fitch. They know exactly who their target market is and how to attract and keep them. The stores are beautifully fitted, there is amazing lighting, often shining through perspex insets on stairs, all the store assistants are beautiful looking, the boys are well built and the girls have lovely figures (I’ve often wondered how they get away with this, they don’t seem to employ average and ugly people which has to be a prejudice or sorts!) The clothes are well displayed, the music is current and there is a system that sprays their signature perfume into the store at measured intervals. Even the carrier bags are infused with their fragrance and it lingers for days after you get home! Basically they are appealing to the senses, visual and olfactory. In addition, during the summer months there is always a shirtless very well built young man at the entrance who will pose for a photograph with people coming into the store. This whole strategy works really well and most of the stores have ropes outside for queues and crowd control they get so busy. For me at my age, going in there is a nightmare, the lighting is so dim I can never see the prices or sizes even with my glasses, the music is too loud to ask for assistance and the perfume is overwhelming but as I am not the target client it doesn’t really matter!
I was thinking you can also market people and not just film stars and celebrities. Maybe you market yourself in life without even being aware of it. If you are seeing the bank manager, your child’s teacher, going for a job interview, meeting someone for the first time, it’s all about making a positive impression and getting people to buy into you, which is marketing. Take a woman who is well groomed, her hair is well cut and styled, her clothes are clean, pressed and suit her, her perfume is not overpowering, her nails are done, her shoes are not scuffed. Even if she did not have on the latest fashion but had on something that suited her specifically, you would probably say she had style. It is so easy to market yourself and make yourself more appealing to others. It just takes a little time and effort.