Spring always arrives and with it, a chance to look at things in a fresh new way. That said, we’re taking a cue from the recent fashion weeks in four world cities (London, Paris, Milan, New York) to see what the trends are. One of the most powerful messages that comes out of these displays of brands, luxury and beauty is that we get to see what’s happening collectively in the fashion community. Some statements are candy-coated fantasies. Others, with darker or more complex ideas are demanding we take them seriously or be a bit smarter. Some shows told us to forget reality entirely and escape from the dreary world we live in. There were collections with faded personalities or directionless in their intention or backwards in fashion time. This line between fantasy and reality is always in play during fashion week. Fashion continues to seek relevance and brands continue to grapple with the best ways to communicate with us on a variety of channels. With new ways of sharing visual information audiences can “engage” with a brand and have more influence on the story. This is a key issue for luxury brands who have before this moment, been the directors of their own destiny. They must continue to embrace the extraordinary; the visionary; but also consider the reality of their customers who connect with them.
Designers, are no longer alone in a room with nothing but a pencil. Now, they collect their “tribes” of people whom they believe represent their own collective consciousness or creativity to assist them. This collective “audience” more and more reflects the world of fashion we live in that is more connected than ever before. Designers are also walking this fine line of “reality show” and their personality and vision. Bravery, is what it takes now in this complex world of fashion branding and there are few who can muster up the courage to be individuals. The true heart of a luxury brand is the power of the individual and his or her story on why they create. Luxury brands have recently returned to their origins to tell their story. This is a good sign, as this reminds us why we aspire to own, wear, experience and engage in a luxury product or experience to be a part of this unique vision. The power of the “one” artistic voice, is still the key to an authentic brand platform.