Communication and Media IED 2011 LinLin Kearney Shira Kela Stefania Fanney
Table of Contents
1. History 2. Quantitative Analysis of brand 3. Product List 4. Brand Value 5. Positioning 6. Relation between brand image and product 7. Target Audience 8. Consumer Drivers 9. Main Competitors 10. Media Strategies
1. History Vivienne Westwood is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream world. She has designed clothing since the mid 1960 and she is still the creative director and designer for the brand. She has been rewarded the British Fashion Designer of the Year three times in her career. Westwood was awarded the Order of the British Empire, which she collected from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in 1992. Vivienne Westwood was born on April 8th 1941, in England. At aged 17, Westwood studied at the Harrow school of art, taking fashion and silversmith, but left after one term. She became a primary school teacher. During this period she also created her own jewellery, which she would sell at a stall on Portobello Road. Westwood began by making Teddy boy clothes for McLaren and in 1971 Malcolm decided to open a boutique at 430 King’s road- “Let it Rock”. Westwood began to sell her outrageous and outlandish designs in the shop, which drew inspiration from bikers, fetishists and prostitutes. During this period, Malcolm who she met in the late 60’s became manager of the punk band “Sex Pistols” and subsequently the two garnered attention, as the band often wore Westwood’s design and shopped at 430 King’s Road. By 1972 the designer’s interests had turned to biker clothing, zips and leather. The shop was re- branded with a skull and crossbones and renamed “Too fast to live, Too young to die”. Westwood and McLaren began to design t-shirts with provocative messages leading to their prosecution under the obscenity laws. Their reaction was to rebrand the shop once again and produce even more hard-core images. The pirate collection of 1981 was Westwood and McLaren’s first catwalk show. This offered a romantic look, which burst onto the London fashion scene and ensured this collection’s place in history. Native Americans inspired her, Ethnic cuts- keeping the original cuts as fashion. At this important point of her career, Westwood developed ethnic cutting techniques, which are based on rectangles. She continues to mix this in with historical cuts.
In the late 80’s Westwood’s heroes changed from punks and ragamuffins to ‘tattler’ girls wearing clothes that parodied the upper class. A chance encounter inspired
one of her most important and influential collections, the Harris Tweed collection of Autumn\Winter 1987. She saw a little girl on the tube one day. The girl had a little plaited bun, a Harris Tweed jacket and a bag with a pair of ballet shoes in it. The girl looked so cool and composed standing there. During this period she was inspired heavily by the 16th Century, most notable by corsets, The Ballets Russes, and the famous oil paintings of this era. In the 90’s Westwood believed that fashion is a combination and exchange of ideas between France and England. On the English side we have tailoring and an easy charm, on the French side that solidity of design and proportion that comes from never being satisfied because something can always be done to make it better, more refined. And this is where she drew her inspiration from in this decade. From the beginning of this century Vivienne Westwood her focus is on the beginning to put historicism one side, Westwood returned to a more asexual cut, exploring the natural dynamic of the fabric by treating it like a living mass.
2. Quantitative Analysis Through an extensive distribution global network Vivienne Westwood sells in a total of 86 countries in 5 continents with namesake stores all over the world. She has 7 stores in the UK but only one store in Central London, the longstanding “World’s End” in Kings Road. Her brands are also stocked in department and independent stores. Sales for a year ending 2006 were 13.3 million pounds, up from 11.7 million in 2005. Of these, 8.7 million was generated in the EU, up from 7.2 million in 2005.
3. Product List Women and menâ€™s RTW, women and men haute couture, bags and wallets, shoes, eyewear, neckwear, beachwear, costume jewelry, diamonds
4. Brand Values The brand has self-described themselves as high fashion, expensive brand but they justify their price saying that buying their garments is an investment. She wants people to spend money on something that is good that will last forever. She is against consumerism in principal, identifying that people should buy one off pieces that will last for a long time and not on bulk cheap items. In the global economical hardship, consumers tend to opt for better quality garments and accessories that will last for longer, being more economically smart. It is important to note that this shift in consumer mind frame has benefitted designer brand companies. It has opened a valuable opportunity for the Westwood brand, as their core values are to produce premium quality items that you pay more for at the beginning but have a much higher quality and longer life cycle than cheaper disposable fashion.
5. Positioning The brand has always positioned itself as an avant gard, contemporary brand that doesn’t follow the trends/constructs of society, be it in fashion or in politics. From the roots in the punk era of the 1970’s, the Westwood brand image has always been strong. It has a strong heritage and long lineage of history, with each of her collection’s relating to contemporary issues or historical themes. The brand’s core values are to challenge common preconceptions of what fashion can or can’t be.
6. Relationship between brand image and product There is an intellectual method to the madness of her creative energy. Historical references, techniques and fabrics are intrinsic to her approach to design. The results are unconventional and alluring garments and accessories. Her subversive shapes and constructions in her garments have consistently proved to be ahead of their time. The brand image is challenging, avant gard, extravagant with a contemporary style. This image is clear and evident in all her products, from her haute couture garments to her RTW line. The products are bold and audacious yet remain dignified and this is consistent with the Vivienne Westwood brand image and values.
7. Main Competitors Alexander McQueen is one of the main competitors for Vivienne Westwood. The brand has an impressive reputation for creativity and fine tailoring. McQueenâ€™s target audience is people that have a bold and fierce style. The brand positions themselves in the highend designer market, creating avant-garde collections with whimsical and eccentric elements that are creative and modern. One weakness that can be found in the brand is in its very high fashion and haute couture designs. These garments are not as accessible to a large target audience and less RTW. Vivienne Westwoodâ€™s lines are catered for both high end haute couture wear as well as lower demi couture RTW lines for the younger generations. Paul Smith is another big competitor for the Westwood brand. Paul Smith is one of the most renowned British designers and is an English icon. Although competing in the same exact market as Westwood, making them direct competition, Paul Smith fall short as his brandâ€™s growth is limited within the UK. Westwood has a very strong heritage and reputation in the UK as well as the rest of the world and this differentiates her from her main competitor.
8. Target Audience The target audiences are those people with a mixed style, taste for sub-culture, they like different unique clothing and accessories, textiles, shapes, cuts and patterns. The typical Vivienne Westwood consumer looks for garments with an attitude and a “do it yourself” style, a chic take on punk style. The target audiences are those that are socially, politically and environmentally aware. They identify with Vivienne Westwood’s sense of social awareness and like to convey this through their style and the designers they choose. The style of Vivienne Westwood is such that it transcends age or generations. Therefore the target audience is a broad mix, ranging from 25 years old up until 55 years old men and women. 9. Consumer Drivers The main driver of consumers of designer clothing is the idea of rewarding themselves with these items. Their motivation stems from the feeling of treating themselves to high quality items that will boast their self esteem and also contribute to their social status. In terms of specific target audience, their drivers are to purchase high quality clothes that are a statement, that do not follow the contracts of current trends and that will identify them with Vivienne Westwood’s distinct style and image. The brand’s most popular consumers are mainly from UK, USA and Asia. Red Label RTW is for women who want to wear designer clothes everyday. This lower price line takes on a younger aesthetic and adheres to current trends while still maintaining the elements of the iconic brand image. Key attributes in this line are tartan plaid fabrics; body conscious cuts and dandified coats with rounded lapels. Gold Label is the demi couture line, which is Vivienne Westwood’s most fashion forward and innovative woman’s collection. This line is for women that push the boundaries of fashion, not adhering to social trends. Man is designed for a fashion conscious man who enjoys a new take on classic designs. Anglomania brings Vivienne Westwood’s avant gard designs to the new younger trend setting generation, diffusion woman and men’s wear.
10. Media Strategies The brandâ€™s media strategy is simple yet effective. They only advertise in print magazines and online. Their media outlets do not include TV, radio or billboards like other designer brands. Their print advertisements always feature Vivienne Westwood herself and this is coherent and consistent with their brand image. Vivienne Westwood is an icon and the face of the brand. Her style and personality are the backbone for the brandâ€™s image and by using her in all the advertisements, it reinforces the message being sent. Consumers see her in context with the other models wearing the clothes and this links the heritage of the brand with the latest collection. The history of the Vivienne Westwood brand is essential in their style and image and this is being conveyed through their print advertisements. Vivienne Westwoodâ€™s advertisement campaigns are featured all around the world in Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, Vanity Fair and New Woman, Grazia and Look. As the brand is quintessential British icon, the advertisements are feature more regularly in the UK magazines.