fashion week

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Not sure why, but I have a fascination with Fashion Week and the Milan and Paris fashion shows. Okay I know why, but let’s not go there. From an academic point of view, fashion is a “beyond the dashboard” pursuit.  That is, the best in new fashion designs must feel fresh. Unseen. And stimulate the senses and taste glands.  During fashion week a designer’s brand name may carry lots of water but the designs themselves are what everyone, especially the buyers, are there to see. The attention and vibe of the audience is the center of gravity.

kim karashian at heatherette

I remember being at a Richie Rich and Traver Rains show in NY when a crazy buzz and hum developed.  The din turned into “That’s Kim Kardashian walking.”  Everyone knew who she was at the time but me. That’s live buzz. Perhaps for the wrong reason but that’s what designers are looking for. For an artist to perform in front of a live audience is perhaps his/her most important form of expression.  Looking into the eyes of your target while performing provides the most visceral of feedbacks.

Much advertising and market are done via broadcast. One to many. You can’t look into the eyes of your customers when broadcasting an online display ad. Click or no click. The best marketers and brand planners get this. They seek out and soak up live impressions. Live is better. Find ways to do your selling live. Peace.

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I don’t know exactly why it is, but I love well-written restaurant reviews.  Good food writing does what ads are supposed to do “make you feel something, then do something.”  I sometimes feel the same way about Cathy Horyn, The New York Times style writer.  When reading Ms. Horyn, typically during Fashion Week, I find myself wishing for a touch of style. The do something part of the “feel then do” may be to go out and buy another pair of 501 jeans, but at least someone is benefiting.

Copywriters need to treat ads as food writers treat food.  They need to persuade through a love of the product.  A juicy scallop grilled perfectly, described loving and attentively, can make a person hungry.  A JPMorgan Chase Mastercard piece in a #10 envelope should be similarly treated.  It wouldn’t surprise me if there were robo- copywriting going on out there with the amount of direct response dreck being published. In fact, some of the robo-copywriting might be better than that of the human variety.

Hey copywriters, find the time to love the products about which you write. Savor them. And love  the craft. If you don’t, it’s time to step away from the keyboard and take a sabbatical. Peace!   

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As we jet (oops Dr. Freud) closer to the Super Bowl, I realize what an exciting time it is to be in  advertising.  The Super Bowl is our Fashion Week.  It’s when agency people get to lay some wood.  The best commercials of the year are put on display, much the way at Fashion Week the best designs are showcased.     

I wrote a brief once for an online music property in which I stated “an artist is never more in touch with his/her art than when looking into the eyes of the audience.”  Well, that’s sort of what we do in the ad business during the Super Bowl, we display our work and sit with people we care about, watching their reactions. The ad meters and USA Today polls are nice, but real time reactions from those around the chips and dip is most important.  Real consumers.  Our friends.  Our family.  And if you tell people it’s your spot it is cheating.

Granted, the best spots don’t always sell the most, just as the best fashion designs don’t…but the Super Bowl allows agencies and the builders of ads to represent (and learn a wee bit about their craft from the people).  Good times. Peace!

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I love Fashion Week in NYC.  Not sure what it’s called this year sponsor-wise, so let’s just call it Fashion Week. One reason I like it so much is it allows me to read lots of Cathy Horyn’s fashion reviews in The New York Times.  She is one of my favorite writers. There is something intriguing about her prose.  Often I don’t even know what fabrics and garments she’s detailing, yet I’m captured by her words, descriptions and metaphors.

Ms. Horyn is quite powerful and has been the subject of many designers’ anger and has, in fact, been banned from some tents because of her pen. It gives her more power.

In today’s paper, she had a column about Tom Ford’s show — he of Gucci fame. The review of the show, his first with women’s clothes in 6 years, was nice and painted a wonderful picture of the “glamorous, controlled” event.  It explained the amazing presentation of his new line, but it didn’t do what Ms. Horyn normally does so well, explain the clothes.  She was so caught up in the event and Beyonce and other personalities that she forgot to strap on her editorial eye and dig into the linen.  Glad I read it. Glad she was invited. (Wish I was invited.) Hoped she has been a teeny bit less star stuck. Peace!

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What Men Want.

mens fashion nyt

It’s Fashion Week in NYC and I love it. I read every word of Cathy Horyn the New York Times style editor and when it’s all over I wait until next season. Ms. Horyn is a wonderful writer and certainly has an opinion. Some designers won’t let her in their tent.

I always enjoy looking at the pictures of the men and women strolling down the runway, but today noticed something that has finally sunk in. The best new clothes and designs are for women. The men and their clothes just look goofy. Is anyone designing for men anymore? Red shorts and blue pork pie hats? Stupid loopy sweaters and lame diapers? Pants that show ankles and Capri pants? Come on! Close you eyes and squint…and you can see how these clothes might look good on a woman, but a dude?

We’re getting short shrift here men. Does anyone know what men want? I think not. Maybe next year. Peace!

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