Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Fashion, Luxury, POSHGLAM

Editorial Throwback: How Attainable Luxury is Changing the Market

JimmyChoo 300x298 Editorial Throwback: How Attainable Luxury is Changing the Market

The World Wide Web has given way new online culture of fashion addicts who love the finer things in life but don’t necessarily want to pay full price for them. This new demand for luxury goods at discounted prices is playing a huge role in the diminishing returns traditional retailers are seeing. Department stores like Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman can hardly compete with companies like Gilt.com and HauteLook.com. Luxury resale is growing market as well. A swift fashionista can pick up a gently worn item over at Portero and save a huge chunk of change.

As luxury marketers and consumers we have to wonder what this means. Has luxury lost it’s exclusivity?

I would say absolutely not. Though marketing of luxury goods is changing, exclusivity is something that is determined by stable, consistent prices and scarcity of goods. If the “true” luxury brands refuse to discount, then luxury can stay exclusive. Some brands discount for the sake of moving stale merchandise. Even Jimmy Choo, one of the most popular luxury handbag and shoe brands, hosts a sample sale twice a year.

It’s important not to forget the emphasis that luxury brands must place on quality and craftsmanship. What sets a luxury brand apart from its cheaper counterpart is its distinct elegance, that stands out among lesser quality goods.  True luxury brands are timeless and transcend trends. When determining if something is luxurious many point to the price tag. However, I would ask myself a few other questions as well. For instance, how long will the product last? Will it get better with age? Is it an heirloom piece or more of a trendy item? Where did it originate from? Are the textiles trustworthy?

Many marketers try to pass non-luxury items off as luxury pieces in an effort to add value and prestige. We are all familiar with knockoffs and luxury “inspired” goods. One of the many factors contributing to diminishing value of luxury goods is knock-offs. When a consumer is paying a low price to obtain a luxury knock-off, the value of the original item depreciates.  The rat race to sales and immediate accessibility combined with the global presence of the online realm has led to a marketing “Catch 22″: if a brand presents a product online for the sake of the sale, it  makes itself vulnerable to knock-offs and replications. What’s a luxury brand to do? I would say it’s important to concentrate on authenticity, or focus on an element that cannot be easily replicated by a competitor.

The lines between the authentic and the faux-luxe are blurred, and the inundation of affordable luxury goods and knock-offs into the luxury world is making it more and more difficult to distinguish the two. If luxury is more readily accessible, so what? People are still buying luxury goods, but the economic climate and market have changed. Consumers are still vying for the same luxury items as before the market tanked, they just want them at a better price point. Most luxury brands are dependent on their loyal customers with whom they have built lasting relationships, so if the brands don’t discount they can still stay in the market. The only proven way to maintain brand equity is to refuse to discount, and the only way to keep some customers is to give them a break. So what’s a luxury marketer to do? Perhaps luxury marketers should be more creative with their marketing tactics and more careful with the placement of their goods.

Keep in mind, exclusivity isn’t tangible, it’s more of an intrinsic quality or an idea. Luxury is about an experience, so as long as the brand provides a unique experience for the consumer, it can still stay afloat in this economic climate. It’s really a matter of defining one’s market and sticking to it. If the brand is aiming for the luxury market, it’s important to narrow the scope, and do what it takes to retain customers.

Though discounts may not be an option, diffusion lines are more popular now than ever. Some designers see diffusion lines as the end of their careers, while others see them as mass marketing opportunities. It’s all in how a brand structures its marketing initiatives and the way it reaches customers. After all, Luxury isn’t in a price tag, it’s in the feeling one gets from owning something that enhances one’s lifestyle. Enjoy icon wink Editorial Throwback: How Attainable Luxury is Changing the Market

A good read Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster http://www.amazon.com/Deluxe-How-Luxury-Lost-Luster/dp/1594201293

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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014


Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories

POSHGLAM, a mere venture started in college while attending school for Entrepreneurship & French. A young college girl, in love with emergent fashion in NYC, living on touristy 42nd street looking for adventure and globalization. New creations and their miraculous appeal explored by tapping into the world wide web as a vehicle for adequate and economical promotion. Later discovering blogging for it’s quick push efficiency and ease, happy to announce 9 years of #Amazing business May 16th and a new phase in the development of the global hub.

We’re excited that you love us, we adore you more, and are elated to share in your social memories, milestones, discoveries and dreams. Looking to gaze into each others eyes again soon with fun, captivating fashion with a pique of luxe. Keeping you on the edge of your POSHGLAMorous seat. Love you, Talk Sooooon! POSHGLAM xx

Screen Shot 2014 04 07 at 7.18.36 PM 785x491 Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories
Screen Shot 2014 04 07 at 7.21.35 PM 785x528 Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories
Screen Shot 2014 04 07 at 7.16.52 PM 785x450 Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories
Screen Shot 2014 04 07 at 7.20.43 PM 785x451 Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories
Screen Shot 2014 04 07 at 7.20.29 PM 785x427 Anniversary May 16, 2005: Great Memories
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Atlanta, Beauty, Celebrity, Fashion, POSHGLAM

Opinion Poll | Originally Jan 5. 2011 #Throwback | Inclusion, Or No? How far has the industry Come?

JoanSmalls Opinion Poll | Originally Jan 5. 2011 #Throwback | Inclusion, Or No? How far has the industry Come?liyakebede Opinion Poll | Originally Jan 5. 2011 #Throwback | Inclusion, Or No? How far has the industry Come?
JessicaWhite Opinion Poll | Originally Jan 5. 2011 #Throwback | Inclusion, Or No? How far has the industry Come?

Estee Lauder adding Joan Smalls to its beautiful roster in December helped end 2010 on a hopeful note for the beauty and fashion industry. It’s no secret that diversity has long been a challenge on the runways and within magazine pages. Although make-up campaigns became increasingly more diverse in the last decade, celebrity faces like Halle Berry and Beyonce dominated for black women. Black models, including Jessica White for Maybelline, were not nearly as prominent. On the other side of the counter, Caucasian models were not overwhelmingly outnumbered by celebrities.

The true exception, when it comes to prominently featuring models of color in a context in which the mainstream industry actually pays attention, has been Iman Cosmetics. In 1994, she launched Iman Cosmetics precisely because she spent so many years of her top model days mixing foundations to match her rich complexion. She has since featured a bevy of ethnic beauties that are still pleasantly arresting in the make-up aisles. I was quite excited to see the gorgeous face of my friend, model Nichole (Robinson) Galicia, in the early campaigns. Of course Fashion Fair, Flori Roberts and Posner, among others, were always ahead of the game but Iman’s impact was greater because she was an honorary member of the industry elite. For her to make such a statement turned heads and made headlines.

But, to its credit, Estee Lauder has long stood out from its mainstream peers precisely because it has always favored models over celebrities. And, in regards to its spokesmodels of color, Joan Smalls was very much preceded by Liya Kebede. Even still, the Joan Smalls addition is wonderful news, especially on the heels of Estee Lauder signing its first Asian model Liu Wen. The face of beauty has long been multicultural but the mainstream fashion and beauty industry just began waking up to this in the 21st century in a major way and they are still moving at a snail’s pace for too many.

This struck me quite strongly when I visited Dakar, Senegal over the holidays to attend the Africa Fashion Awards. Although cultivating the fashion industry on the Continent, particularly in regards to designers, was very much the topic, I could not help but notice the beautiful Senegalese women who represented all that the industry says they want everywhere I went.  Tall and thin is the norm in Senegal for both women and men. Needless to say, flawless skin is also common.

Yes I know it takes more than height, proper weight and flawless skin to make a model. Personality is also a huge factor. Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director of Estee Lauder, told Vogue.com “When we pick someone to represent the brand, it’s about her personality, too. It’s not just the face.”

But personality is very tricky because it’s very subjective as well. Like beauty, personality can also be in the eye of the beholder. Suppose someone makes a culturally insensitive statement or gesture and a model points it out, does she become less personable?  Is she now difficult to work with?

Sometimes we really don’t know. This industry is so not an exact science but one thing is certain: diversifying the faces of beauty that we see will help bridge the gaps. The more we see reflections of the world and not just one idea of beauty, the more comfortable we all become with the world of hues that’s our reality.

As we nestle into 2011, the fall shows are just around the corner.  Of course we never know if the message is getting across until we see the runways and the pages of our favorite magazines. In 2009, French Vogue disappointed greatly with its blackface spread with Dutch model Lara Stone and, last year, blackface photos of Claudia Schiffer shot by Karl Lagerfeld surfaced. And, of course, the runways were not nearly diverse enough. Hopefully 2011 will not unleash similar disappointments.

I know that I am not the only one ready to celebrate the beauty of all women and not just a European standard of beauty that hasn’t quite mastered its disappearing act. It’s a new year and we have plenty of reason to believe that, in 2011, we will continue to see the beauty and fashion industry move even closer to embracing us all.

Pop culture critic Ronda Racha Penrice is a veteran freelance writer and the author of African American History For Dummies. Her work about race, history and culture appears regularly on theGrio.com plus she serves as the Atlanta Editor for UPTOWN Magazine, which targets affluent African Americans.

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014


Editorial Throwback: Viral Fashion Marketing, Social Media and Branding

gucci 1024x676 Editorial Throwback: Viral Fashion Marketing, Social Media and Branding

(GUCCI ad that sparked conversations)

Original Publish: May 2010 — With the Web 3.0 concept, it appears that viral marketing via social interactions online is here to stay. Consumers are playing a greater role in determining whether a brand sinks or swims. After doing some careful research online about consumer trending and how it affects the fashion community and fashion marketing, I was able to gather some assumptions. Most major fashion brands have a Facebook fan page and maintain a Twitter presence because for now, online consumer conversations rule when it comes to events, sales and consumer trends. However, years ago, experts determined it took more than viral communication to build a brand, and the same holds true today.

According to Douglas B. Holt:

Viral branding assumes that consumers, not firms, have the most influence in the creation of brands. Cynical consumers will no longer heed the missives of mass marketers, and instead must “discover” brands on their own. The Internet provides a means to accelerate this discovery. As a result, what was once considered an important process that marketers might want to stimulate has now often become an end in itself.

In his article “The Problem with Viral Branding”, Douglas explains that basing a brand’s core marketing strategy on viral marketing can be self-defeating and lead to the brand’s premature death. I do agree with this theory in some capacity; though Viral Marketing and Branding is great for complementing an otherwise strong marketing mix, to rely solely on viral marketing can create a faddish idea of the brand with little brand equity to back it up.  Success depends on the brand’s exit strategy: if a brand grows overnight due to explosive consumer demand triggered by viral marketing, then it is to be expected that the product lifecycle will shorten.  A wise marketer will take note and exit earlier.

In terms of building brands with strong longstanding consumer demand and iconic sustainability, it’s important to understand the role viral or social media marketing plays. After all, successful viral brands are ones that overlap their online messages to consumers with even more powerful communication from the brand. It’s important for fashion marketers not to get caught up in the social element of marketing. Though it can work in a brand’s favor during the upward slope of the product lifecycle, it can also work against the brand’s core competencies on the downward slope. If a brand is completely dependent upon the viral marketing component of P.R. and advertising and refuses to overlap more traditional channels and brand driven messages, the brand can become stifled by consumer driven messages and fluctuating demand. It’s important that brands remain in control of advertising messages and drive interest from the top down, not from the bottom up. If a brand relies too heavily on consumer messaging, it may cause dilutions in brand equity and a lack of control overall brand image.


Brands are built on trust and consumer perception. It’s important to understand how social media can be used to pique consumer interest in a brand and help build trust via viral marketing. Equally important are traditional marketing mediums in maintaining market share and reinforcing brand credibility and appeal. Though traditional advertising has been abandoned by some brands in an effort to save costs, eventually, a balance between traditional and viral advertising will occur. Brand managers must understand social media, and substantiate their viral marketing campaigns with brand driven messages via traditional advertising and marketing. Social media has its place and is a great tool for public relations and gaining market share. However, in terms of retention, advertising is more reliable for maintaining marketing share.

Buzz marketing complements a well executed traditional marketing campaign, but if not effectively managed in terms of expectations, it can easily hinder a brand’s longstanding success.

I operate on the belief that marketing knowledge is transferable across industries. Since the same rules that apply to other sectors of marketing apply to the fashion realm, it’s important to understand the role publicity plays in a fashion brand’s marketing mix. Social media is a form of consumer driven communication and publicity for a brand—it should never be the only component of a brand’s marketing strategy.

I decided to share this knowledge with you after struggling with my own objectives for POSHGLAM and achieving its longstanding success. Hopefully you were able to gain some insight into my thoughts on branding and social media’s role in building brand equity.

Check out my article on Forbes.com

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Beauty, Fashion, POSHGLAM

How to deal with A Jealous Bitch

Mean Girls Christmas How to deal with A Jealous Bitch

Many of you: POSHGLAM Gals, being the Smart sophisticates you are, the Fashionable dressers and Glamorous beauty queens, have experienced at some point in time, A JEALOUS BITCH. Well, here’s a foolproof way to put her in her place:

Rid Yourself of All Malice — Don’t tell her anything, make sure she can’t get her hands on your business, or your man.

Put her in her place — Doll yourself up and wait for a snarky remark, then jokingly accuse her of being jealous.

Self Improve — The only cure for a jealous bitch is…more jealousy, maybe she’ll get fed up enough to crawl into a hole and die.

Pray for Vindication — Afterall envy is a sin that CAN’T be rewarded.

Get to Know Yourself — You’re not surprised, are you? You have a lot going on, take it as an ego boost.

Thank GOD – It’s better to be enviable than to ENVY.

Get Real — Maybe she’s not as jealous as you think & you have some personal development to do. Yeah Right?

Forget about her — She doesn’t exist…tell her!

Last but not least — Maybe her jealousy stems from admiration, love your enemy. Her catty publicity is making you famous!

Whatever you do, don’t let her see you sweat. You’re strong and don’t have time for little girl games. If you have it flaunt, those who don’t envy!

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