Notable change seems to be the “name of the game” as of late when it comes to everything from social protocols to digital representation (hello, Meta; Goodbye, Facebook?). Now, these forward-thinking shifts are hitting the fashion industry, too, even affecting many of the industry’s greatest players.
For an industry that relies heavily on the history of a name and the connotation that comes with it, change isn't usually top-of-mind; but over the last 22 months, it's been more prevalent than ever. While it's no secret that COVID-19 disrupted many traditional practices like the cyclical fashion calendar (i.e. when holiday shipping and promotions should take place) or the avoidance of luxury e-commerce in favor of brick-and-mortar, industry players are also taking a proactive approach by going beyond what's simply "needed to get by" in these times and entirely stepping outside of the box.
To exemplify this practice, we’re taking a look at a handful of iconic legacy brands and retailers who’ve successfully turned the current challenges into an opportunity for innovation – undoubtedly, keeping all of us on the edge of our seats on what they’ll do next. So, without further ado, read on for the brands who’d like to re-introduce themselves.
Tiffany & Co.
In January of 2021, LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co. was finally completed; and since then, we’ve seen the brand focusing on updating their ethos through marketing. Kicking it off with a more classically-styled campaign titled “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” this summer, their most notable marketing moves include buzzworthy collaborators. Jay-Z and Beyoncé were the faces of the brand’s viral campaign which pictured the couple in front of a rare Jean-Michel Basquiat painting and with Beyoncé wearing a 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond, one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered. This week, it was announced that their latest collaboration will be with streetwear giant Supreme, consisting of a collection of jewelry and apparel adhering to a mix of their unique brand codes that’s launching just in time for the holidays. So, is this resonating? Well, searches for “Tiffany Bracelet” are up +33% compared to last year and searches for “Tiffany Necklace” are also up +8% for the same time period.
In a quieter approach than Tiffany & Co., Alexander McQueen has also been updating their strategy through marketing and ethical initiatives. For example, creative director Sarah Burton launched a fabric donation program that gives back to 20 UK universities as well as a partnership with luxury resale site Vestiaire Collective for authenticated selling opportunities and incentives for McQueen customers to donate their used goods. All in all, their marketing moves are grounded in ethics and are set to make such an exclusive brand a bit more accessible. Furthering the mission of breaking down exclusivity barriers, the brand launched a global guerrilla campaign taking over fashion capitals around the world with McQueen-branded graffiti to promote their Fall collections. What’s next for the brand? It’s hard to say, but we do know that it’s capturing consumers’ attention as their iconic logo-ladden “Alexander McQueen Scarf” is up +5% in searches this year when compared to 2020.
Shopping at department stores is an experience like no other; but with COVID’s in-person limitations and inevitable importance of e-commerce, legacy retailer Neiman Marcus honed the opportunity to reinvent their brand ethos and online presence. The legacy retailer has introduced more coveted, up-and-coming brands (similar to Palm Angels and Off-White who are currently ranking top 100 in our brand dashboard on Trend Radar) into their assortment through the direction of industry trendsetter Lisa Aiken as fashion and lifestyle director as well as invested in bringing the personal shopping experience online through digital stylists; all in all, setting themselves up as a destination for the modern shopper. Plus, they tastefully made their comeback through a campaign titled “Re-Introduce Yourself” which did just that while embodying the zeitgeist of our current state of society. It’s clear that content (from video to the revival of “The Book”) and connecting with their consumers –no matter if they are IRL or online– is a key focus moving forward.
If you're wondering who else consumers are buzzing about, StyleSage members now have access to a top 100 global brands dashboard in Trend Radar. Check it out here!