Archive for November, 2008

Walking down a runway wonderland: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2008

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Victoria’s Secret, its faction of female followers and the millions of American men who love to see flawless models in next-to-nothing lingerie.

In case you’re living under a rock, it’s almost time for the intricately embellished angel wings, sky-high stilettos and the 2008 black diamond fantasy miracle bra (which only costs a small $5 million) to rock the runway at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Taping of the show finished up in Miami at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Nov. 15, and the show will air Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 10 p.m. on CBS.

What’s all the hype about?
It happens every year. People go crazy wondering who’s modeling, who’s not and what lucky girl gets to flaunt the multimillion dollar bra. Heck, Fashionologie was posting hour-by-hour updates about the show’s status.

The show has become quite a phenomenon, and I must say, I’m one of about 8 million people who sits in front of my TV, popcorn in hand, and watches these pin-thin models prance around a glittery runway like it’s nothing.

Since the first show in 1995, statistics prove the ratings have fluctuated. However, in recent years, ratings have declined from about 12.4 million viewers in 2001 to about 7.4 million in 2007. There are no “black and white” reasons why the show lost momentum, but I think the producers fell into a creativity rut. Each year, the shows seemed to be the same as the last. Big ratings won’t happen without big ideas.

How can good PR fix the problem?
Promote, promote, promote! But first, start off by brainstorming creative ways to take the show to a different level. It’s important for Victoria’s Secret to analyze past show statistics to see where they went wrong and why. They also need to continue to show off the hottest angels and hire the hottest music moguls to perform. And most importantly, keep up on the commercials! It’s then only a matter of time until the date of the show is drilled into everyone’s head and all of America will be watching.

What do you think Victoria’s Secret can do to boost ratings in the future?

SPOILER ALERT! Play the video to see the models the 2008 show!

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Affordable luxury clothing – no longer an oxymoron

vera wang wedding gown source googleIt’s almost every girl’s dream to walk down the aisle in a beautiful one-of-a-kind Vera Wang wedding gown. Most girls also wouldn’t mind wearing couture jackets and carrying designer hand bags. Well, this was just a dream for all of us “average girls” out there… until now.

Many high-fashion designers are considering those on a budget and are creating lines for bargain stores like Target, K-Mart and Kohl’s. So it looks like we can get a little taste of designer heaven after all.

Designer Duds in Discount Stores
Vera Wang is known as one of the most talented bridal gown designers around, so many were surprised to see her line of boots, jackets and more appropriately titled “Simply Vera Vera Wang” at Kohl’s stores across the nation. Most of the clothing ranges from $20 to $100. It may not be a “steal,” but you’re definitely getting quality garments.

Isaac Mizrahi is another one who chose to make “designer styles priced right.” Most people are used to seeing his clothing on pin-thin runway models at New York Fashion Week, but now, “everyday women” can wear his designs. His Target line has everything from cashmere sweaters to little black dresses in a price range from about $25 to $120.

Target also scored big when Anya Hindmarch launched a line of handbags. The London designer found a way to convert a $1,200 clutch to a $20 clutch, and she did a darn good job if I say so myself. Women now have a variety of quality handbags to choose from that still look classy and elegant.

Anya Hindmarch designer bag
Anya Hindmarch designer bag

Success of the Lines
Although these clothing and accessory lines have been successful, some think the discount aspect may “turn off” the designer label buyers. Those at Pierce Mattie Public Relations wrote this post and agree Wang made a good decision targeting a different market, but also second-guessed her designer status.

The line is largely successful in partial thanks to great brand communication (aka public relations). What about the “new” image of Vera Wang? Does this detract from her status as the go-to for the best bridal gown possible?

 

Anya Hindmarch Target bag
Anya Hindmarch Target bag

My PR Perspective

As a buyer looking for quality, designer-like clothing at an affordable price, I think Wang, Mizrahi and Hindmarch are smart for targeting these consumers and stores. Although some may think it will take away from their high-end designer status, I don’t think their sales will suffer because they have already established loyal buyers.

At the end of the day, public relations must come into the mix. If these designers see consumers demand something, they should give it to them. Pleasing the customer is always the most important thing, and those in PR know they must do that every day. 

What do you think of these designer transitions?

Check out Isaac Mizrahi’s Target commercial to see his luxury designs for an affordable price!

Tim Gunn’s saving the world – one fashion victim at a time

tim and gretta source googleTim Gunn is definitely one of my favorite people on television. I fell in love with his charisma and caretaker ways as a design mentor on Project Runway, but I really understood his expertise and compassion while watching him on his own show Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.

The show, similar to TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” helps a variety of women – from stay-at-home moms to successful business owners – discover their body shape, flattering clothing and inner and outer beauty.

The Fashionista Friend
Gunn teams up with Gretta Monahan, a fashion expert, personal stylist, owner of Grettacole Spas and Salons and Gretta Luxe Boutiques. Instead of Gunn and Monahan simply picking a fashion offender and making her over, they find women who will take their tough love and guidance to heart in order to make over themselves. I think this is what makes the show work.

Gunn expresses his excitement on the show’s Web site:

I am absolutely crazy about Gretta, and together, she and I want every woman to achieve her perfect signature look. It takes hard work and commitment to look good, but it should also be fun – our hope is that we’ll inspire women everywhere to put their best foot forward, and with cute shoes, too!

I think Monahan and Gunn make a great team because she helps women during their shopping challenges and offers advice and solutions, while he focuses on the “bigger picture” of each woman’s transformation.

Meredith before

Meredith before

Gunn also provides each woman with his essential shopping list which includes 10 basic pieces that no woman’s closet should be without.

After the women find clothes that fit their bodies and highlight their best features, Gunn finds the best hair and make-up stylists to complete their look.

The PR in the Show
Episode one in season two is one of my favorites. It’s about a conservative young woman named Meredith who moved to Manhattan from Washington, DC to continue working in politics. She was upbeat and excited about her wardrobe change, and so were her loved ones.

Not only do Gunn and Monahan establish a close relationship with Meredith, but they also communicate with her family and friends. They communicate the importance of fashion in the work world and how dressing to fit your personality and body shape can truly change your life for the better.

Meredith with Tim after

Meredith with Tim after

The View of a PR Student

Fashion is an expression and a way to build confidence. I think anyone can find his or her own style – some are born with the “style eye” and some just need a little push from people like Gunn and Monahan. But when it all comes down to it, PR and fashion go hand-in-hand. People communicate and I think fashion communicates, too.  What do you think?

 

Check out “Your Shape,” an episode from Tim Gunn’s Dress to the Sevens series that teaches women how to dress for their shape!