“A Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations” or

The Disillusionment of a Prestige Brand Believer.

Eugene Rabkin is “Making The Case Against Fast Fashion Collaborations” in a popular Op-Ed on the Business of Fashion (BoF) blog.  He is joined in his criticism of the “democratization of fashion” and the “irresponsible consumer behavior” by many commentators.  Why?  Isn’t democracy a good thing?  It gives market participants the freedom to choose. What really bugs Eugene in his sympathizers are the marketing choices of certain fashion brands.  He is upset that houses which previously had a positioning centered on exclusivity, prestige and/or sophistication are now choosing to dip into the mass market to potentially reap incremental profits and/or notoriety.  Eugene – Don’t be upset, just vote with your feet.  Move on to a brand that corresponds better to your aspirations and definition of sophistication.  The interesting question being raised from a brand strategy perspective is if many of these fashion houses have become so greedy for growth that they jeopardize their long-term viability as premium image purveyors.  We call it the challenge of “Longing and Belonging”.  If you are too close to what people know, expect and do, you ‘burst the bubble,’ undo the mystique around your brand and lower its aspiration value.  If you are too removed, you don’t sell a lot.

About JP Kuehlwein

JP Kuehlwein is a global business leader and brand builder with a 25+ year track record of translating consumer and brand insights into transformational propositions that win in market. Principal at ‘Ueber-Brands’ a New York consulting firm, he now helps others to elevate brands and make them peerless and priceless. JP also teaches brand strategy at NYU Stern and Columbia Business School and leads the Marketing Institute at The Conference Board, all in New York. Jp previously was Executive Vice President at Frédéric Fekkai & Co, a prestige salon operator and hair care brand and lead brand- and corporate strategy development and execution at multinational Procter & Gamble as Brand Director and Director of Strategy. JP and Wolf Schaefer have co-authored the best-selling books “Rethinking Prestige Branding – Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” which lays out what drives the success of modern premium brands and "Brand Elevation - Lessons in Ueber-Branding" a guide to developing and executing a brand elevation strategy. Find the books here: https://bit.ly/UeberBooks
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