What’s the point of Les Mauvais Garcons?
Les Mauvais Garcons started when I worked at a high end retailer whilst studying at university. I wouldn’t start this blog for a few more years, but that’s when I became aware of a shift in fashion and the impact of brand strategy. The brand I was working for hired a new CEO who immediately changed the direction of the company; investing heavily in digital marketing and e-commerce, targeting a new demographic of consumers and injecting a fresh dynamism to the brand. Even on the fringes of the industry, working as a stylist in retail, it was obvious the huge impact digital marketing and brand strategy can have on a brand (and an industry). This shift inspired me to write my MA thesis on luxury branding, focussing on the difference the difference in brand strategy between Asia and Europe. Since then, communications and branding within the fashion industry has continued to intrigue me.
So why should you keep coming back to Les Mauvais Garcons? Well, fashion branding in 2017 is a fascinating thing. What makes a ‘luxury’ brand these days? Is it exceptional product craftsmanship? A hefty price tag? Paying an A-lister $250,000 for a sponsored Instagram post? Having flagship stores in exclusive districts in Paris, London and Milan? Being stocked on Net-A-Porter? Who knows. I don’t think the brands themselves know, so we’re here to watch them try to figure it out.
There’s no doubt that the internet has had a huge impact on fashion; consumers are more aware, brands are more accessible and there are multiple channels through which the two can connect.
There are pitfalls, too. New, internet savvy brands are quickly challenging the old guard, and established brands are coming to terms with the fact that the traditional methods of communication just aren’t as effective anymore. The glossy print magazines are being replaced by the frenetic pace of digital media, and luxury fashion brands are trying to maintain and project a consistent identity to an engaged, global audience across a host of online platforms. The industry is experimenting with new models (See Now, Buy Now, anyone?) and seeing new challenges from a fast fashion industry which has mastered supply chain management to the point where new product can be designed, created and merchandised in weeks, not months. Some brands have resisted e-commerce, while others have embraced it wholeheartedly. Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers are calling out copycats, and influencers are the new supermodels.
So that’s why we’re here. To document the highlights. I’m not going to post every day about the latest goings on in the industry – there are plenty of established big players and fashion blogs who already do that – so instead I’m going to write about the things that pique my interest. I hope you like what I have to say.
Thanks for reading – Conor