Clothes, Trends

Podcast: European Fashion

In this podcast, I am conversing with my friend Koreen, who is also in my Fashion and Society class. We discuss the types of fashion she experiences in Barcelona and the places’s she’s traveled to, specifically Paris and London. l asked her a serious of questions in which she had to go in depth about her self-expression. This included questions on what her style and fashion sense is like. At home, she used to dress more for comfort with leggings and sweatshirts, but ever since being in Barcelona she dresses a lot nicer in her day-to-day activities.

Her fashion evolution was also brought about due to the low pricing of retail items. “The fashion here is a lot cheaper than in the United States, but the same quality if not more,” stated Koreen. 

She found that everything was more accessible and affordable for people that are budgeting, specifically college students.This is very relatable to me because I’m also on a strict budget and having stores that sell cheap clothes, make it easier for me to actually buy clothes while being abroad.Additionally, we discussed her favorite go to store chains to shop at which were Bershka and Pull and Bear and her favorite trends. These included Puffer jackets and small sunglasses, which currently are trending here and all around the globe.

We then conclude with how she sees herself this summer and in life as a result of the Barcelona and European fashion encounters from Abroad. Koreen said, “I definitely see myself wearing nicer shoes. Shoes are definitely going to be a bigger accessory then how I used to wear them.” With everything we discussed, it became very clear that Koreen’s fashion had forever changed for the better through her abroad experience.

 

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Influence, Trends

Brands on Brands on Brands

Ever wonder why people will buy clothing or accessories just because they are made from a highly recognized brand? Or have you ever thought about the fact that people will only by the same brand and not try others? We see this become a thing for various reasons including but not limited to, having good experiences with the brand in the past and wanting to portray a certain image.

Good experiences can be the reason a product makes or breaks it in the retail industry. If that product has positive feedback on it, people may look into it and the brand it comes from. According to Neil Kokemuller, a renowned author and marketing expert, “Recognized brand names typically have shown a consistency in product quality that has contributed to the evolution of the brand.” Often, consumers rely on prior experiences or public word-of-mouth when selecting brands. Word-of-mouth is one of the main reasons for people choosing to try a brand for the first time. If other people have liked a certain brand, they might tell their friends, who then may go to buy that brand as well.

Image can mean everything to people. What we wear or what we own says a lot about who we are. It can display our values, culture, power, and upbringing. Some people may dress how they feel or what they can afford, while others will strive to look cooler and more expensive.People will buy designers brands like Gucci, Off-White, or Supreme since those are considered the trending cool brands in the fashion industry. People, especially young adults, who still care about their image and reputation, will do anything to look and dress the part of someone who can afford those.

Celebrities can be the biggest factor in making the world conform to the trending society we live in. Whether they are being paid to be promoters and having endorsement deals, or just wearing what they feel, fans will continue to follow their style. We saw this happen when Justin Bieber and the Kardashians were recruited by Calvin Klein in their #MyCalvins campaign. People everywhere started to buy calvin Klein intimates as a result. It became a huge fashion statement and people started to even show theirs off through their clothing by wearing high up shirts displaying the classic Calvin brand or having the tops of underwear show while wearing baggy pants. According to Paul Roberts from Our Social Times, “Mr Bieber duly obliged and the campaign went on to reach a global audience of more than 469 million people. CK’s social audiences grew by a combined 5 million.” These numbers are an indication that people are willing to spend money on something if it’s worn by someone as cool and sexy as Justin Bieber.

If it wasn’t for celebrities, word of mouth, or our intentions to become cool, brands would die before ever really hitting the market. The consumers are the one’s who really have a say, and without them it’s hard to know if a product will work. Brands will always be around, but they would be nothing without consumers.

 

Marketing, Media

Marta Llibre: PR Extraordinaire

On Monday we were graced with the presence of Marta Llibre, an expert in PR and Communications. She discussed various things about her job and interests. She is very passionate about startups, is a huge supporter of early investing, big fan of Girls Support Girls movement, and likes to think about her past and connecting the dots into her future. She is pretty young for her age but that’s because she had the ability to start early at Canela PR, at the age of 19. This gave her the background she needed to get started industry. She later made the switch to Lewis PR, and gained the position of an account manager. At the age of 25, Marta had an epiphany, which allowed her to follow something she loved, which was investing in early startups. This led her to travel all around the United States, and eventually land back in Barcelona. Her return encouraged the creation of her own business as a PR and Communications Consultant.

But besides her astonishing background, Marta had a lot of great insight into her field. She discussed how society can be altered by the various PR associated with advertisements. We unknowingly saw this happen through the alteration of typical American breakfast food.

Bacon, a food we always see on any breakfast menu in the U.S., wasn’t always so prominent. A man named Edward Bernay, or the Father of PR, was hired by a Beech-Nut Packing company to help sell their bacon as a main breakfast food. Bernay, decided to use a form of deception that appealed to everyone’s emotions through the use of scientific evidence from doctors. He got this idea from the philosophies of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. He understood that people want to buy, and don’t want to be sold to. With all of this, he made the bacon ads sound more as nutritional then as an advertisement.  Heather Arndt Anderson, author of the book Breakfast: A History, compares the ads as being like, “General Mills hired Weiden and Kennedy to get people back into eating gluten as a health food”. People will buy anything if medical professionals say it’s healthy.

 

In today’s world, we see new adds for companies like JUUL, an electronic cigarette brand, whose goal was to try and switch already smokers to something with better.

They used PR and ads to try to appeal to a wider audience. From their efforts, they made smoking look cool again. This was done through the use of younger actors and models on ads. Unfortunately, this backfired since adolescents started to get a hold of them and abuse them. This PR wasn’t exactly good PR, but it did get their name out there and people are still buying them everywhere whether it be for the intended consumer or younger. According to Dr. Jonathan Philip Winickoff, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, one of the concerns Juul poses is the ease of inhaling enormous amounts of nicotine. “You can inhale a whole package worth of nicotine without even thinking twice”. As bad as this sounds, people don’t care that much, as long as they look cool in the end.

From the past, we see a few outcomes that result from this from of PR. The first is that good storytelling leads to things becoming newsworthy. As long as you have something that’s worth listening to, people will be interested. The second is that PR solves most business problems. If we didn’t have PR, many companies will fail especially if they have done something offensive.

Media Reporting

FC Barcelona Multimedia Report

Last January, I had the pleasure of attending the Barca Soccer Match AICAP activity. I went to it with my roommates and friends. Everyone was so excited since FC Barcelona is known as being one of the best soccer teams in the world. Many of us had never been to a real-life game before. It was a home game at Camp Nou, against the CD Leganes Team from Madrid. This was the first time I had ever attended a real soccer game. I went to one game at my University, but I personally never attended a professional match.

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As a child, I played on my school’s soccer team. I mostly played defense since I was not much of a runner. I would get boosts of energy at random times and took many power kicks that flew down the left side lines. Unfortunately, my soccer career ended when I realized I liked to pick up and hold balls, after one game when I picked up the soccer ball, but I wasn’t the goalie. I soon switched to Basketball which allowed me to throw and shoot instead of kick. I also thrived because the court wasn’t as big as a soccer field and due to the fact that I was pretty tall. However, even with the switch to basketball, I never lost the love of soccer. It was great getting the chance to experience an FC Barcelona game that wasn’t on the Television. Additionally, it was very cool getting to embrace the Spanish culture and watching it from their point of view. I didn’t know too much about FC Barcelona so I decided to do some research on them.

FC Barcelona, also known as Football Club Barcelona,  was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English, and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper. The team was created due to increasing popularity of football and other British sports all over Europe. Gamper was the driving force behind the team in its first 25 years of existence. He went far beyond the role of being a player, director and president. Up until 1910, FC Barcelona played amateur football in different regional matches. In that same year, FC Barcelona participated in their first of many European competitions, and has gained over fourteen UEFA trophies and a sextuple. In the year 1928, Barcelona co-founded La Liga, the top-tier in Spanish football, as well as of other clubs. As of 2017, Barcelona has never been relegated from La Liga.  This record is shared with Athletic Bilbao and arch-rival Real Madrid.  

Additionally, there have been some political issues within the club. They are due to the fact that the team was created by both Spanish and Catalan people. Catalan values have always been incorporated in the club. After Spain’s transition to autocracy, there were some hostile issues with the main government of Madrid and Catalonia. The stadium for FC Barcelona became one of only a few places that people could express their opinions about the ban of the Catalan language. FC Barcelona has always been behind Catalonia an them becoming an independent state.  

One thing I noticed at the game was the sense of pride everyone had for the team. People went crazy when their favorite players came out to play. I interviewed Emily Darpino, who has never been to soccer game or even played soccer before, about this and she mentioned, “I remember when Messi went in. Just before it happened it was silent and when they announced him, and he ran around, the crowd went wild. It was insanity.” Lionel Messi, if your not farmiliar with him, is a forward on the FC Barcelona team. He wears the number 10 on his jersey and is viewed as one of the best players in the world. He is seen as being technically perfect, and brings together unselfishness, pace, composure and goals to make him number one on the field and in our hearts. Like Darpino said, fans will go crazy for him and will just show up to a game to get a glimpse of him whether he plays or not. Even though, he is not the only player on the team, he is still a huge reason for the Barca pride.

Now this sort of pride, whether it be for the sport or a player, can happen at any professional game anywhere but being in a different country really made it stick out. Additionally, Lauren Zwall, another attendee who has played soccer most of her life, recounted on the pride. She stated, “The crowd started their own cheers. Regardless if you’re a huge fan or not, everyone there was engaged.

Fashion merchandise also adds to the sense of pride in any soccer game. Everywhere you go whether you’re at the stadium itself, in front of it, or event just walking on any street at any time of day, you can find FC Barcelona merchandise.

A majority of the merchandise is sold at ridiculously high prices. Lauren Zwall, also mentioned, “The Merchandise is biased. You can go to so many stands and buy the same things for all different prices”.FC Barcelona makes tons of money off of their brand. In fact, According to an article published in Forbes Magazine, merchandise revenue and sponsorships make up 31.7% of the Clubs revenue. As long as they have the fans, people will keep buying FC Barcelona memorabilia. “I bought a scarf to blend in. I didn’t feel like a foreigner when I was wearing it since everyone had one”, said Darpino.

 Both the people I interviewed would go back and see another game. They both liked the fans and were very engaged with the whole event. “It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I have already done so much,” said Darpino. Having the ability to be there and witness it all was a dream to them. Zwall also mentioned, “It was less of a soccer match, and more of a spectacle.” We all agreed it was all so cereal and they will cherish that memory forever.

 

 

Marketing, Social Media

Fashion Marketing 2.0

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and see a advertisement pop up on your feed regarding some type of clothing brand selling a new item? If yes, we’re all in the same boat. These ads are not typically any account you’ve been following.

They are a direct result of information being gathered on what you like and displaying an item or work that you might enjoy depending on your buying, spending, or viewing behaviors. All of these analytics are gathered by various companies and corporations who are dying to get your money. This act is known as being Marketing 2.0.

Marketing 2.0 is a concept of a brand communicating through us. We see companies and corporations trying to make us, the customer, the center of attention because if not, they are done and have no way of getting us to buy their goods. The goal is to be tailored more towards people than to be tailored towards just massive groups like it was before. You know a company’s marketing has been successful and gone viral, if they have used one or multiple of the six types of viral marketing. These include Send it, Viral or Incentivized, Masked Marketing, Rumor Marketing, Social Database, and Invitations. In the fashion world, we see the send it method, Viral, and Invitation marketing a lot.

The Send it method, is an easy way to reach a lot of people through SMS. This will send people texts, if they have signed up for them, about upcoming deals and promotions the brands will be having. This method is highly effective because it’s fast, sends it to everyone signed up, and is seen almost immediately. In an article by Nisheeth Mohan, he mentions Ross Rubin, the director of industry analysis for marketer reasercher NPD Group, who stated, “a recent study had shown that, beyond voice telephony, text messaging is the second-most requested option after a camera phone.” This is huge since everyone has texting if you have a cell phone at this day and age. 

Viral or incentivized is another great one, because people get something out of it. Most of the time you get money or a coupon if you send a message to someone and them to someone else. We see these on many apps like urban outfitters, which will give you a code to send to your friends when you market it to them. This is a great way of spreading the word if you really like a brand and want to keep buying from them.

Finally, invitations can be very beneficial in fashion since only selective people will receive information on an upcoming event or deals. This is seen through sample sales or fashion shows that only people who are loyal customers or buy from a company often will be the first to attend them. Everyone else may have access to them later but they won’t get to see the first or all the items they had originally since they may be sold out.

A great example of this is the company Nordstrom. Every year, Nordstrom has an anniversary sale that allows anyone with a Nordstrom credit card to be among the first to see the sales of the season. Everyone else who doesn’t have the card will have to wait a week or two until it opens up to the general public. Having this advantage will make more people want to sign up for their credit card which will help them make more money.

With all of these forms of marketing, companies and corporations are now able to gain a bigger audience and appeal more towards an individual. The future of all marketing is unknown, but if this form of marketing continues to work as well as it does now, it will most likely stay around for a long time.

 

Media, News, Social Media

They Wore What?!

Picture this; You see a celebrity walking down the street. What is your first initial reaction? To take a picture or video of them, right? This is what the majority of us do unless you’re one of those fans who just freezes up from the shock. People dream about meeting their favorite celebs and want to capture it for proof either for themselves to have a keepsake or to show off to others. Now sometimes you may not be able to get a picture with them because of their body guards, them being too far from you, or plainly because they don’t want to take one. This makes people want to stalk them through recording them and snap pics from the side or at a distance. They may shout things like who or what are you wearing today and get reports on it all.

Sometimes they might get asked on political topics and what they think about the current government status.But what without realizing, people’s actions turn them into citizen journalists by reporting on celebrities, their whereabouts, and their clothes. A citizen journalist is anyone in the general public that collects, disseminates, analyzes, and reports on some news topic and publishes about it typically on the Internet, but does not already work as a journalist. They may do it for fun like having their own blog, or they may do it without even realizing that they were being one. They are the eyes and ears of the world when paparazzi and professional journalists are nowhere to be found.

If it wasn’t for this day and age, we wouldn’t have as much celebrities being captured as we do now. Social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow us to follow and be updated on celebs all over the world.

“Citizen journalism is growing into a powerful movement, giving people an opportunity for testimony unfiltered by the media’s lens, using social media, such a Facebook’s live stream.” Through this, the journalism we see is turning into live streaming videos  from smartphones, in which you can now stream direct from your webcam or by sharing what’s on screen.

But with the use of these applications for this form of journalism and the increase in the amount of people using it’s features, leads to journalism issues such as fake news reporting. This is when false information is spread, and eventually will snowball around through tweets and shares making the whole world able to see it. We see this more in politics and with different campaigns, but it can happen in celebrities lives as well.

This is referred to as gossip, when we tend to make up information about someone famous like having drug problems, gaining weight, or which celebs are having the next sex scandal.

Through all of this, we see that the use of citizen journalism has become very beneficial to the general public and the world. Without it we wouldn’t have as much access to everything we do today.

Media, Media Reporting, News, Social Media

Fashion MOJO

As the digital world progresses, we see new forms of journalism being brought in to help tell stories about the world we live in. Mobile Journalism, also known as MOJO, involves the use of small devices such as smartphones and tablets, which help to create and edit videos, audio, and images.

Mojo has been known to be both effective an ineffective. It can give you freedom, good quality, it’s easy to travel with, always with you, can be fast to report, it’s cheap, and it provides you with reality since people are used with smartphones. But on the other hand, there are issues with the lighting, stability, and audio systems. From these pros and cons, we see that the positives tend to outweigh the negatives.

The first early adapters of MOJO, have typically been journalists who usually come from backgrounds of broadcast, news wire services, or photo journalism. These people have already been using and are familiar with reporting, editing, writing, producing etc. MOJO, has been used to facilitate stories in all aspects of life and industries. It has been seen to be used very vigorously in the Fashion industry. Fashion journalists reporting on stories and telling narratives about fashion are expected to know how to use MOJO as a skill. It is important for them to know how to edit videos and sounds, still images, and balance narratives. In this new era of time, we see students immuring into the Fashion MOJO area in hopes of becoming journalists. These Fashion Journalists who are just starting out, and know how to use Flipboard and Issuu, are more likely to get noticed and connect with others in the industry in hopes of obtaining employment.

According to a Huffington Post article, “By partnering with academic programs like the Academy of Art University’s Fashion Journalism, we are able to not only bring some of the latest tools we are designing for the real world into the classrooms, but also test drive those [tools] still in beta.” These words provide us with incite on how MOJO, with the right backing and funding, can be used for educational purposes as well as in the professional world. With the right background experience with core journalism and social media, the more likely you are to get a job.

The world wants people to get into this type of mobile journalism since there is no longer just your average broadcasting with a camera crew. We are being told to as well as given the tools to become more individualistic as technology improves. Media, in all forms, whether it be fashion, or anything is looking for change, and we need to embrace it otherwise we will get left behind.