White is the New Black: The Un-Branded “Brand”

“Luxury today is defined – and directed – by its very many contradictions: it is both Western and Eastern, extreme and subtle, public and private, worshipped and discovered. Our current fascination with white – and its qualities and applications – is just an example of one way in which we are rising to the new challenge”.

This idea that we need to ‘re-define’ luxury brands is news.  Why?  Because there are too many luxury brands out there who are rushing into new markets with a ‘luxury answer’.  The visual experience is crowded.   This notion of  ‘rising to a new challenge’ creates a sense of calm for nervous luxury companies who just survived the crash.   Also, digital media and its mega success in reaching  new audiences was a huge surprise to most luxury brands. What we’re really talking about is reaching “New” markets with the same products and new campaigns and  introducing new products to established markets that are already  ‘over-saturated’.  The challenge for a luxury brand is to look at ‘new’ or ‘new/old’ ways to refine messages and clean up the ‘visual dumpsites’ that have entered the landscape in the past 5 years.

The GIVENCHY summer  2011 campaign has reminded us that sometimes its just all about being simple.  This campaign was done in ALL WHITE:  Many features of this campaign are in play:  The elements of surprise or the “AHA” moment and the connection to many cultures that the color creates, is limitless.  Even the personality of the models is adding an element of content to the presentation.  Also, the history or content of a BRAND already known to its loyal audience is key.  Thus, Givenchy with its extraordinary past, simply doesn’t have to add any more;  just the color White.  It is a stark  yet gentle reminder that a name can stand alone.   What we know is:  When Brands can speak and tell a story with a whisper,  that is the ultimate in allure.   This mystique, can’t be duplicated except in some instances where it can be retold in fresh new ways.

The Editors

Note: Our thanks to PEARLFISHER for their unique insight quote from the Luxury Society, Paris.