In 2016, the London College of Fashion was looking for someone to lead their brand-new Psychology of Fashion undergrad program. They found the perfect fit in Aurore Bardey, who has brought her considerable psychology experience to an industry hungry for a better understanding of the inner workings of today’s fashion consumer.
The Fashion Consumer
On one hand, consumers want to see the “real” in fashion sans Photoshopping. On the other, a new generation of AI models – used by the likes of Balmain, among others – introduces a sense of perfect that no human being can hope to match.
In 1968, three researchers came up with a model that became the industry standard for marketers trying to understand how consumers buy. And for decades, it was fairly accurate. In today’s world it’s not.
Fashion Santa wasn’t a guaranteed success. But the world took notice in 2014, after Paul Mason, aka “Fashion Santa”, showed up in a Toronto area mall. Massive international press ensured a great start for the brand, which five years later takes Paul across North America every Christmas season.
Fashion Designer turned Trends Forecaster Melanie Plank has developed a keen insight on what’s about to be “hot” in the coming seasons. She currently specializes in the complicated area that is fashion industry sustainability.
The word “magic” doesn’t naturally seem to fit with fashion consumer insights. But in today’s interview, Matt Tompkins, a laboratory researcher currently at Oxford University, shows how the world of illusion can help us better understand the consumer’s mind.
Most women know the pain that comes from dancing all night on a set of heels. It was one such experience that prompted the Leung twins to address the problem using space age materials, designing a shoe that allows the wearer to be on her feet longer with less discomfort. For more than 10 years, they’ve offered Hey Lady shoes to clientele ranging from teens to near-centenarians, and learned a lot about great customer service in the process.
When Meghan Markle wears a brand, sales tend to take off. That’s what happened for James Bartle, founder of Outland Denim. It’s an Australian firm that creates opportunities for at-risk women to learn a useful trade; something that then makes them self-sufficient.
Nike, Under Armour and Ralph Lauren have all benefited from Uncle Drew’s experience and insights over the years. As the first African American to hold various higher-ranking positions within the fashion world, he has a lot of wisdom to share when it comes to diversity, authenticity and effective storytelling.
Hermes understands that natural dyes work just as well as synthetic ones, without damaging the environment. However, a lot of industry folk are skeptical about this belief, including Keith Recker when he was first approached about it during his time at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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