For the last 3 months there has been something that has been top on many fashion followers calendars; the Alexander Wang release for H&M. The event was open to those with an early bird ticket which were rare. With faces like Ellie Golding, and champagne, live music and the chance to get their hands on the first Alexander Wang pieces, it was packed that night, and by mid-day on Thursday the website had crashed and all stock had been sold. This sudden rush for H&M is why it is so developed and ahead of many other high street shops, as it offers something different to entice new customers as well as holding onto the existing. This is key, not only for the store but for the individual designers as it allows a large audience for the brand as the prices and the audience have changed to suit the occasion. It is, and will always be remembered as an incredible event.
BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India, China
TIMP – Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines
MINT – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey
Despite the wet and windy weather on Monday, I headed out at 9am to gain a true understanding on where shops are placed within central London; looking and individual brands and their key locations. How fashion brands create a visual presence on the hughstreet and the shopping districts; creating a strong and well developed awareness of the market level clusterings. In particular, I was focusing on Dior and the way the company had presented themselves to the audiences, and how they enticed their target market in competition with other big brands.
To start the exercise off, I started at Oxford Circus, making my way to Conduit St, which is where a lot of luxury brands are found – Vivienne Westwood, Donna Karan, Moschino, and most importantly Sketch – which is the original show room in London that Dior used to use; a lot of presence of the Dior company still lies there, and the feel of the brand is very much still present. Down this hughstreet is one of many Dior stores; this one predominately selling shoes and bags – which allowed me to explore the new Diorissimo bags for the first time. Then onto Saville Row – the home of tailoring in London, and where Henry Poole & Co and Norton & Sons can be found; all lined up offering something different with their tailoring. Each and every store looked sophisticated and well thought out – which is vital in that particular section of the fashion market. What was also very interesting is that I was able to watch a lot of adjustments and actual tailoring take place, as the lower level of the shop was visible from the street; letting the customers have a more personal experience with the individual store.
With this close knit shopping sector, there are many different classes of shops; Haute Couture all the way to Economy, which was very interesting to look at the precise grouping and classes and where each shop was placed within the market. Stella McCartney is several doors down from the famous Hartnell Gallery, which sat right next to Matthew Williamson; this close connection between the shops is a clear grouping of the Brand Diffusion market. The hierarchy of fashion is something that is taken very seriously, and walking along Bond Street, Mayfair, Oxford street and even Conduit Street, it is very easy to identify the target audience for that particular street – a very in-depth and personal shopping experience.
Brand Diffusion is a label which is a low-budget line, which is targeted at incurable label addicts who have the desire to shop at upper market labels but don’t have the money to to spend on the real designer brands. It sits below luxury fashion, but just above the high street, however, many do get mixed up with Brand Diffusion and high street. Labels such as DKNY, Miu Miu, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Moschino – this is therefore controlled by the professional body within the market, decided by the fashion houses, depending on the retail prices they want to set. For this section of the fashion market, the entry price ranges between £40 – £400 due to the specific brands, as they are commonly priced 30% less than the catwalk prices, which in turn makes the brands a lot more affordable for the target audience, and allows a sense of luxury and designer into our lives. Diffusion lines are bulk produced stock that sells a large variety of the original luxury brand’s stock, which can include fragrances, accessories and clothing, however this is distinguished by the fashion houses instead or the original brand as they don’t want to devalue their brand. Due to this, it attracts a younger market, and has enticed a new target audience, enamelling the younger generation to afford the more mature and higher end products and garments. This is therefore a positive thing as it enables a large client base, it diffuses the audience and makes certain products a lot more accessible for all. However, for the brand itself, it makes some people question the wholes brands quality – which can over time have a negative effect on their target market.