Knowing kindred as I do, you’ll want to know of a new-to-me blog called TruthPlus. The blogger (Jessica Gold Newman) is a bit… unusual -when you consider apparel marketing is her day job in that she’s highly, uh, well, definitely not writing a pink pony fashion blog. I learned all kinds of nifty stuff about the history of the Coty Awards. Specifically about Eleanor Lambert, “the founder of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, of New York Fashion Week, of the International Best Dressed List and of the Coty Awards”.
When the NYDI hired Lambert, she swiftly and shrewdly suggested that the campaign be based on designers, not manufacturers. At that time, manufacturers, and not the designers who worked under them, were the face of apparel companies. Lambert knew she could create a cult of personality around these designers, much like the excitement that had surrounded their Parisian counterparts.
So with that we know who to blame. It was the beginning of the end!
In a follow-up to Bridget Foley’s piece in WWD, The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn has penned an intriguing response entitled ‘Are you Mad Too?’. Horyn notes that “everyone seems ticked off by something in fashion” of late, and she encourages the debate. However, I’d hazard to say that what concerns those who aren’t “peevish from too many pre-fall collections” is the future of their businesses, the health of their P&L statements, and the rise and fall of the consumer confidence level. Fashion designers, marketers and editors do not represent the entirety of the industry. Manufacturers, sourcing experts, factors, merchants, planners, CFOs, wholesale salespeople, fabric reps, sample and pattern makers, and others outside fashion’s public arena should be welcomed to the debate. Art and commerce must co-exist.
Right now, the fashion industry is indeed over-saturated with designers and brands, at the high, middle and low ends. And it’s true that celebrity partnerships and licenses, as Horyn states, have “existed in fashion since designers and their clever business partners realized in the 1980s that they could generate quick cash by licensing their names.”
Steely resolve in check, I haven’t read much more and wouldn’t have read that much if my mail server hadn’t been on the fritz all day (did you write me? I didn’t get it). There’s so much cogent deliciousness there that I find myself commiserating with designers who say they avoid my blog because they can’t leave without having spent half the day here.
I don’t know anything about her practice nor had the pleasure of her ecquaintance. If you find some time to explore, do report what must-reads you find. Now I have to go cook dinner. I’m too hungry to be articulate.