February 9, 2023

First Washington News

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What Fashion Marketing Professionals Need to Know Today

Discover the most recent and relevant industry news and insights for fashion professionals working in marketing, to help you excel in your job interviews, promotion conversations or simply to perform better in the workplace, by increasing your market awareness and emulating market leaders.

BoF Careers distils business intelligence from across the breadth of our content — editorial briefings, newsletters, case studies, podcasts and events, as well as the exclusive interviews and conversations we have with experts and market leaders every day — to deliver key takeaways and learnings in your job function.

Key articles and need-to-know insights for marketing professionals today:

1. The New Rules of Sustainability Marketing

The Higg Index is the closest the industry has to a standardised set of metrics, but its methodology and the data it uses to assess the impact of various different materials have become points of controversy, with critics ranging from independent experts to lobby groups for natural fibres.

Dutch and Norwegian regulators have published new guidelines outlining how the [Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC)] should address issues with the Higg Index’s material assessments, foreshadowing broader regulatory action by the European Union. The guidance, though not a formal legal framework […] is ultimately simple: So long as brands can back up marketing claims and are presenting them in a way that’s plain to the average consumer, they should be in the clear.

Related Jobs:

Impact Apprentice, Vestiaire Collective — Paris, France

Investor Relations Manager (Sustainability and ESG Reporting), Hugo Boss — Stuttgart, Germany

Senior Manager Materials Innovation, Burberry — Milan, Italy

2. Ralph Lauren Has Restored Its Best-in-Class Reputation — But Can It Go Full-Tilt Luxury?

A model walks the runway for Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2023.

Under [Patrice] Louvet, a Procter & Gamble veteran who was appointed CEO in 2017, Ralph Lauren has cut costs, raised prices and moved away from obvious discounting with the intention of cementing the label’s status as a luxury brand. (Internal surveys show that globally, 74 percent of consumers view Ralph Lauren that way.) In the past four years, the company has acquired some 20 million new customers, many from segments of the population — geographically, ethnically and gender-wise — that it might not have engaged with in the past.

Louvet also wants to continue trekking upmarket through marketing spectacles like the [brand’s Spring/Summer 2023] show, but also by increasing sales of higher-end products, including designer fashion and leather goods, in order to directly compete with Europe’s biggest luxury players.

Related Jobs:

Social Media Content Creator, Tommy Hilfiger — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Senior Social Marketing and Content Strategy Manager, Ralph Lauren — New York, United States

Communications Manager, Coach — New York, United States

3. Why Brands Cast Older Celebrities to Court Younger Consumers

Diane Keaton is one of the stars of J.Crew's "Heritage Made Modern" campaign.

For J.Crew to pull off its brand revival, it needs to attract new, younger customers. Why, then, did the retailer cast 45-year-old “Yellowjackets” star Melanie Lynskey, 61-year-old actress Julianne Moore and 76-year-old Diane Keaton, the patron saint of the coastal grandma aesthetic, in its latest celebrity campaign?

Brands do this not just to showcase multi-generational appeal, but also to give themselves an aspirational bent. Who, after all, wouldn’t want to be as chic as Diane Keaton at 76? There’s a prestige that these women exude because they have reached true pop culture “icon” status. It’s also a surprise and a delight, to use a marketer-favourite term, when consumers see older celebrities cast in ads, because brands typically feature much younger models, marketing experts say.

Related Jobs:

Head of Marketing, Feng Chen Wang — London, United Kingdom

Manager Member Lifecycle and Engagement, Vivrelle — New York, United States

Marketing Manager, Union — Los Angeles, United States

4. Should Your Brand Have a Discord?

A mobile phone displays a screen with the Discord logo.

Fostering community is a vital element of successful NFT projects, and Discord’s appeal is that it offers a space for members to gather and interact with each other and the brand directly. It also has a flexible architecture that allows a brand to set up different channels within a server, or add features like gated access or third-party apps. But when a brand plays host to a community, it also becomes responsible for managing it and keeping it safe.

“You’re creating a new mouth to feed,” said [Ian McMillan, chief growth officer at web3 platform Mojito]. “You’re creating a channel that needs constant management, updating and moderation. You’re creating a new cost for yourself. And unless you really invest, you’re not going to see a return on that investment.”

Related Jobs:

Digital Marketing Specialist, Tiffany & Co. — London, United Kingdom

Digital Marketing Intern, Aeyde — Berlin, Germany

Digital Product Designer, Prada Group — Milan, Italy

5. Luxury’s Big Resale Experiment Is Just Getting Started

Three models pose in Balenciaga products with the text "resell your Balenciaga pieces" superimposed over the images.

Balenciaga’s new [resale] programme is an interesting and early test case that represents one of the boldest moves yet into the market by a storied luxury brand, embedding resale into the customer journey on the brand’s website. The label has partnered with Reflaunts, a white-label tech platform that provides brands with the architecture to run their own resale programmes and plugs them into dozens of marketplaces globally.

That takes care of a number of potential pain points: Balenciaga retains control of pricing, presentation and authentication, without having to handle the transactions itself; logistics costs are baked into an item’s price and will vary depending on where the seller and buyer are located; targeting multiple marketplaces maximises the chances of a swift sale; and the challenge of customer acquisition becomes an opportunity for retention.

Related Jobs:

Circular Business and Sustainability Models Intern, PVH — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Head of Brand and Product Marketing, Acne Studios — Stockholm, Sweden

CRM Associate, Farfetch — New York, United States

6. Fashion’s Metaverse Obsession Has Cooled – But Don’t Count the Virtual World Out Yet

Digital billboards display Tommy Hilfiger campaign imagery in Decentraland.

There’s no bigger symbol of the technology’s growing pains than Facebook parent Meta […] The company has positioned itself as the metaverse’s biggest champion, but has struggled to convince its billions of users to log on amid a seemingly endless storm of bad press. Recent reporting from The Verge, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others has painted a picture of empty virtual worlds that even Meta’s own employees have yet to embrace, as well as the usual issues with harassment and content moderation that come with any online platform.

Young consumers may be ignoring Meta’s Horizon Worlds, but they spend much of their time in the virtual worlds of Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox. Roblox recently rolled out sleeker graphics that could make it easier for brands to release compelling content. Luxury brands, which are still reporting record sales and profits despite the worsening economic outlook, have plenty of resources to make available to their new chief metaverse officers.

Related Jobs:

Social Media and Influencer Manager, Endource — London, United Kingdom

Head of Marketing Analytics, Zalando — Berlin, Germany

Senior Coordinator Digital Strategy, Calvin Klein — New York, United States

7. What It Takes to Crack a New Market In Beauty

Sephora is returning to the UK. The [online] roll out will start this week, with the transition of Feelunique’s site to Sephora UK, at sephora.co.uk, on Oct 17. A Sephora store will open in London in March 2023 at a yet-to-be-disclosed location. [However], to compete with about 2,200 Boots locations and department stores like Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, Sephora needs to open more than one outpost.

The UK’s department store fleet has best-in-class product assortments, experiences, services and more, while Boots is omnipresent in the country and has a larger beauty assortment than is standard at American stores. (Select stores even sell Chanel and Dior). There’s also SpaceNK, which sits at the high end of beauty retail in the UK with around 70 doors. With a category as sensory as beauty is, it will be difficult for Sephora to make a splash in the market with just one retail location when it’s so heavily outnumbered by its competitors.

Related Jobs:

Social and Community Coordinator, Dr. Barbara Sturm — London, United Kingdom

Senior Art Director (Beauty), Bloomingdale’s — Long Island, United States

E-Commerce Merchandiser, Fashion Nova — Vernon, United States

8. BoF Insights | Gen-Z and Fashion in the Age of Realism

BoF Insights

In the US, Gen-Z is particularly shaping the culture and moving the economy with a purchasing power of about $360 billion. But Gen-Z is truly unique. As the first digital natives, their formative years have been unlike that of previous generations, creating a greater cultural chasm between Gen-Z and older generations.

Social platforms have given Gen-Z tastemakers an unparalleled ability to convene and speak to audiences. [However,] keeping up with fads has become more difficult than ever, as social media has accelerated trend formation. As a result, many Gen-Zers tend to adapt pieces representative of trends into their own personal styles, as opposed to following trends full-scale.

Related Jobs:

Marketing Project Coordinator, Luminaire — London, United Kingdom

Social Media Specialist, Bally — Milan, Italy

Senior PR and Marketing Manager, Heliot Emil — Copenhagen, Denmark

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