NEW REALISM & the strive for
NEGOTIATED PROJECT STAGE 1 ROSE LEWIS N0383955 FASH30001 7, 862 WORDS
Negotiated project stage 1 Rose Lewis N0383955 FASH30001 7, 862 words
NEW REALISM & the strive for
THE AUTHENTICITY COMPLEX
3 5 7 METHODOLOGY
CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION; FASHION & CONSUMERISM
14 21 23 27
ETHICAL AUTHENTICITY & THE ART OF TRANSPARENCY
THE NEW REALIST
THE DEVELOPMENTS & DETRIMENTS OF DIGITAL
31 34 35 43
ONLINE & OFFLINE CONVERGENCE
51 57 60 79 CONSUMER PORTRAITS
THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING
THE AUTHENTICITY ?COMPLEX?
IT MAY BE AMBIGUOUS OR PARADOXICAL OR HYPOCRITICAL, BUT AUTHENTICITY IS GOING TO TAKE AN INCREASINGLY STRONG GRIP ON THE WAY WE LIVE OUR LIVES. (BOYLE, D., 2004, P.25)
In today’s brand and technology- immersed world, authenticity reigns supreme in reminding humanity of the raw nature of our existence. Following the Postmodern movement, pretence, fabrication and the favour of the ‘fake’ was instilled throughout western culture. Aided by artist and visionary Andy Warhol, the glamorisation of consumerism became widespread circa 1964, transforming fashion, art and advertising in the process. Since then, our western world has succumbed considerably to greed, resulting in the choice trauma of the modern day; to put it simply, we have a copious amount of ‘stuff’. To cite the Business of Fashion’s Vikram Kansara, ‘we have too much of everything. Masses of goods, masses of clothes, masses of options.’ (Kansara,V.A., 2010). As a society, we are constantly referred to as ‘consumers’. It would seem our spending habits have culminated in the de-humanization of ourselves, whereby our only purpose it to shop. It is no wonder then, that a contrasting search for authenticity has arisen from the all- consuming nature of western civilisation. David Boyle’s ‘Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin & the Lust for Real Life’ explores this cultural shift acutely. Published in 2004, much of the author’s argument remains prevalent today. Of the strive for authenticity, Boyle remarks (2004, p.12), ‘the effect of an increasingly virtual world, where nothing is quite what is seems, has led to a growing clamour for what is genuine and human’. Boyle’s use of ‘clamour’ is deliberate here, indicating the struggles that have stemmed from advertising’s adoption of ‘authenticity’ as a sales driver. This notion of ‘authentic advertising’ seems shamelessly paradoxical, with the fashion industry taking centre stage in its application. Given this, the following investigation will question how fashion brands and advertisements can still assume to be authentic in the modern day. Through considering the credibility of these cases, the study will then explore how and whether brands can implement certain strategies in order to obtain true authenticity.
So what exactly is authenticity, when set within the commercial context of branding? In a recent Datamonitor (2009) report, the term was described as ‘a nebulous concept devoid of the definition and guidelines inherent to labels such as organic or Fair-trade’. This ambiguity means that interpretations of the word can differ entirely depending on the person or context. Through fostering authenticity, advertising and branding industries have come up with rigid criterion regarding the concept, which somewhat contradicts its lack of distinction; A recent quantitative study has identified three core attributes of a brand critical to consumer judgments of authenticity: Quality leadership (passionate artisans), heritage (connections to time, place & culture), and sincerity (lives up to espoused values/commitments) (Beverland, M.B., 2009, p. 27.)
Fig 1. Lewis, R., 2013. Word diagram presenting survey participants’ views on authenticity [infographic]. Own image.
The subsequent chapters of this investigation will therefore consider the latter interpretations of brand authenticity, as well as additional insights formed from primary research methods. A comprehensive exploration of these ideas has been executed, through analysis of the brand advertisements that have applied them and the extent to which they successfully portray authenticity. Figure 1 displays a number of interpretations of ‘authenticity’ gathered from survey participants.
WHAT EVALUATION TRANSPIRED
METHODOLOGY Online questionnaire via Surveymonkey
To find out peoples’ perceptions towards different aspects of authenticity
To focus in greater depth on consumer perceptions towards authenticity within advertising
Face to face interviewGreenfibres ethical clothing company founder William Lana.
In order to gage how retailers are aiming to sell the idea of ‘authenticity’, and to further understand the importance of sustainability.
Written InterviewExposure creative agency
To see how certain branding/ advertising agencies go about marketing authenticity, and understanding consumer needs regarding this.
Phone interviewBob Hurling, Behaviour Psychologist & digital expert for Unilever
To explore the psychological aspects of branding and how digital has impacted on ‘authenticity’
A 30-minute phone Written interview, responses to a 40 responses involving number of ranging in questions asked discussing a opinions and number of via email. viewpoints. subjects such as digital forms of communication, and the notion of self-esteem in advertising. It was very This approach was William was very This method was useful, yet it was insightful; having Exposure’s interesting responses were useful in hearing Bob’s hard to tell if talked at a useful in seeing understanding the others affected insights into the number of how advertising perceptions of a viewpoints. In idea of authenUniversities, he experts go about wide audience. ticity within adcarrying out a was very incommunicating Some responses focus group again, formed. It was vertising; he was ‘authenticity’. were particularly more of a variety also interesting refreshingly honinsightful. est and passionof ages would per- to gain an insight ate about many haps enable a more from a business of the subjects informed insight. context. addressed. A 40-minute discussion with 6 individuals surrounding ‘authenticity’. The discussion included watching a short video, as well as feedback on this via whiteboards.
A 30-minute interview/ discussion surrounding the concept of provenance and ethical fashion, and its relation to ‘authenticity’.
Books including Building Brand authenticity, No Logo, and Authenticity; Brands, Fakes, Spin & the Lust for Real Life
Online sources including The Business of Fashion, the Ethical Fashion Forum, Advertising Age and Ted.com
Reports including Positive ProvenanceStylus, and Fashion OnlineMintel
Talk- LS: N Global ‘XX vs. XY’
To gain a wider understanding of advertising, and the trend for authenticity within this, as well as understanding fashion & consumerism
To explore chosen case studies in more depth, as well as to investigate the role of digital in branding & how it effects authenticity
To gain an industry insight into the concept of sustainability, as well as the importance of ‘online’ for brands.
Reading a number of books thoroughly, whilst extracting quotes relevant to the project’s subject matter.
Investigating subjects regarding authenticity through these websites, as well as using quotes if appropriate
This form of research was particularly useful as it was a lot more up-to-date than other methods. Watching TED talks was an engaging form of research.
The books that were read in researching my e subject were very appropriate. - It was perhaps s one of the most n- useful methods - of research due to the books’ close relevance to the subject.
TalkOnline vs. OfflineTrend Boutique
Articles including Philanthropy in FashionNew York Times,
To gain an understanding of current cultural trends and how they are impacting on gender roles.
To further comprehend the debate between online & offline forms of communication with industry insight.
To see how the idea of authenticity & provenance is being interpreted in the media
Reading through a number of reports, as well as obtaining statistics to give weight to the subsequent investigation
A day of talks from the Future Laboratory trend-forecasting agency, surrounding the idea of gradual gender role reversals in the present day.
A day of talks from industry professionals such as Folk Digital agency’s Paul Sheehy and Richard Danks from the Portas Agency.
Reading various articles online relating to the subjects being explored throughout the following investigation.
This was relatively useful in providing an insight into current consumer trends.
This series of talks was especially inspiring; although it didn’t have a great deal of relevance to my subject specifically, It did provide some great ideas for documenting consumers within the project.
This Trend Boutique conference was very informing; Folk digital’s talk had particular pertinence regarding ‘digital authenticity’, whilst it was interesting to hear professional insights.
Articles provided a good form of research due to their often objective viewpoint, which supplied an insightful overview on certain matters.
CONTRARY TO THE MYTH OF IMPROVISATION, OF CAPRICE, OF FANTASY, OF FREE CREATIVITY, WE CAN SEE THAT FASHION IS STRONGLY CODED (BARTHES, R., 2006 P.100)
Fashion’s constant state of change is advocated by its use of advertisements; it is in the glossy pages of magazines that one will be most susceptible to the bewitchingly persuasive power of the fashion image. These advertisements are designed to create envy, encouraging consumers to buy products due to their want for status. As outlined in Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics, ‘It is through the mechanism of emulation…that new goods serve, often only fleetingly, as goalposts in the game of social distinction and the reproduction of hierarchies of taste’ (Sassatelli, R., 2007, p.67). This idea relates to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, in which the psychologist Abraham Maslow outlined the stages of human development. ‘The central import of Maslow’s work was his hierarchical analysis of that which drives or motivates individuals to fulfil basic needs’ (Lynch, A et al. 2007, p.23). Presented in a pyramid structure, fundamental needs are displayed at the bottom of the formation, whilst aspirational needs such as self-actualisation are situated at the top. As humans, our desire for ‘esteem’ makes us vulnerable to the lure of products; it is this competition for status that enables both fashion and advertising to thrive.
Originally written circa 1956, Roland Barthes’ theories on fashion above carry more pertinence now than ever before. Technological advancements have allowed fashion to be both democratised and globalised with regards to trade and communicational methods. Some would say this is a positive; it has opened our eyes to the myriad of cultures that make up our world, as well as having created jobs. Adversely, it has allowed for exploitative conditions in the workplace, in which brands will take advantage of cheap labour in order to mass-produce. As Michael B. Beverland outlined in his book Building Brand Authenticity: 7 Habits of Iconic Brands, ‘the defining characteristic of the fashion industry is change, stage-managed “alternatives” masquerading as seasonal styles’ (2009, p.39). The industry’s shifting state has been emphasised through the concept of fast fashion, in which mid-market retailers take advantage of quick manufacturing so as to sell high fashion trends for lower prices. These aspects confirm the truth in Barthes’ words; beyond fashion’s playful exterior is an industry defined by consumption.
So if truthfulness is the key to authenticity, then can the complicit nature of fashion advertising ever be seen as trustworthy? Above all we have to consider that the attraction of authenticity is not simply the antithesis of commercialization, and that in fact there are different ways of putting together the logic of commodities with that of the authentic (Sassatelli, R., 2007, p.80). In the 1950s, blatant selling tactics were employed in advertisements, as Post-War prosperity allowed for the growth of a ‘consumer’ society. However, the results of the recession in the present day have seen a rise in austerity, whereby conspicuous forms of advertising are disregarded. This has lead to a shift in the industry, in which the communication of experiences to people as a pose to products is key.This supposed lack of commercial interest in brands has caused us to speculate the honesty of such motives.
A principal interpretation of being ’authentic’ with regards to fashion is that of authenticity in a creative sense; brands that are displaying true originality and a visionary approach to fashion. The 1980s in fashion is widely known as the decade of materialism. Wealth was exhibited in excess, with overt statements of ‘glamour’. The 1990s hence gave way to a contrasting style; As the 1980s had proposed a somewhat arid, dare we say pompous cult of designer style- making a fetish of unaffordable glamour- so in the 1990s there was a pan-cultural desire for the image and energy of authenticity (Olfers, S.V et al. 2010, p.19).
This indicates the origins of the ‘anti-fashion’ movement that emerged during the Nineties, also inspired by the grunge music subgenre that arose from Seattle, U.S during this time. The movement heralded significance in all aspects of fashion, from styling to advertising; people were striving for images of authenticity rather than luxury, with the Japanese avant-garde designers at the forefront. Headed by Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons is a fashion label that has always remained intelligently subversive. ‘Restlessly innovative, Rei Kawakubo has overturned every fashion convention over the past twenty-five years, ultimately redefining the very meaning of fashion itself ‘ (Grand, F., 1998). The label’s name in itself signals its lack of ostentation. By deciding not to market her designs under her own name, Kawakubo makes the brand less about the ego, and purely about the designs themselves. The brand’s collections are non-conformist in relation to current fashion trends, instead focusing on art as a stimulus; their advertisements are a further embodiment of this.
RESTLESSLY INNOVATIVE, REI KAWAKUBO HAS OVERTURNED EVERY FASHION CONVENTION OVER THE PAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, ULTIMATELY REDEFINING THE VERY MEANING OF FASHION ITSELF (GRAND, F., 1998)
Figure 2 is an Autumn/Winter 1988-89 Comme des Garçons advertisement, created by the artists Inoue Tsuguya and Jim Britt. The advertisement features two young girls, who create the focal point in the foreground of the image. A sparse effect is created through the tonal range of the girls contrasted with the blank white background, which makes for an immediately striking image. Overall, a picture of uninhibited youth is formed through the girls’ carefree laughter, whilst their braces and lack of make-up hint at their young age. A candid and natural photograph, some might say; yet put it in the context of a high fashion advertisement, and it still seems cutting-edge to this day. Firstly, the advertisement’s casting is revelatory.With a spattering of freckles and sizeable train-track braces, the young models don’t fit the ‘perfect’ beauty mould that most brands adhered to at the time. Secondly, the lack of actual brand products shown in the advertisement is unusual, as well as its discreet placement of the Comme des Garçons logo. These elements enhance the idea that the brand are not purely driven by profit, and hence elevate their sense of authenticity.
Fig 2. Britt, J., and Tsuguya, I., 1989. Comme des Garcons Autumn/Winter advertisement [digital image]
Fig 3. Shanabrook, S.J., 2010. Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer advertisement [digital image
Figure 3 is a more recent Comme des Garçons advertisement, created by the artist Stephen J. Shanabrook to endorse the brand’s 2010 ‘Shirt’ collection. Subverting all elements of traditional fashion advertising, the image is arguably more compelling than the latter. Again there is an absence of product in shot, whereby a scrunched up fashion image is presented instead. By deliberately dissembling the model’s face, the advertisement gives an ironic take on the glossy fashion image, suggesting that the ‘beautiful model’ used in most advertising is nothing more than superficial nonsense. In wishing to explore the general publics perceptions regarding the above image, the creation of a survey was necessary. A comparison of the Shirt campaign to a typically glamorous Louis Vuitton advertisement (Figure 4) was included within the survey; through this, participants stated their preferences. 80% of respondents said they were drawn more to the Comme des Garçons advertisement, indicating that consumers are perhaps tired of seeing perpetual images of unobtainable glamour, and are instead looking for something more. As an example, one respondent said of Figure 3, ‘it’s so much more eye catching, unique, different and also ever so slightly shocking (to see a distorted face for a fashion/beauty is something rarely seen). It’s also a lot more engaging as it has texture’ (Lewis, R., 2013).
Fig 4. Alas, M., and Piggott, M., 2008. Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer advertisement [digital image]
Further survey insights on Figure 3 are visualised below. An aspect that augmented Comme des Garçon’s status as a creative connoisseur was the emergence of their magazine ‘Six’ in the late eighties. Featuring visionary photography and art, the publication embodied the spirit of the brand without the blatant self-promotion of their products: ‘While fashion is central to six, it is not foregrounded as the image content. Instead, the magazine sets out to give centre stage to a specific atmosphere.’ (Olfers, S.V et al. 2010, P.34). It is boundary-pushing ventures such as these that have enabled Comme des Garçons to be creative pioneers in the world of fashion, in turn communicating a sense of authenticity. However, although the brand is undoubtedly original, their ethos is only authentic to a certain degree. Authenticity also signifies honesty, to which Comme des Garçons cannot account for, as ‘mystery’ is a core attribute of the brand. This concludes that ‘creativity’ in the advertisement of a brand can only be authentic on a surface level.
Fig 5. Lewis, R., 2014.Word diagram presenting survey participants’ views on Fig 3 [infographic]. Own image.
ETHICAL AUTHENTICITY & THE ART OF TRANSPARENCY
The prevalence of fast fashion in recent years has called for a number issues to be addressed. Firstly, that of the exploitative conditions in which this kind of fashion is often made; secondly, the harmful impact it is having on our environment, raising concerns of reducing this impact throughout the supply chain. In short, this indicates the importance of ethical awareness in fashion. ‘Anything that undermines the way we live or upsets the planet’s systems is not authentic.’ (Boyle, D., 2004, p.19). Here David Boyle emphasises the idea of ‘fashion with a conscience’, and its relationship with authenticity. The concept is simple; the more transparent and honest a brand is about their supply chain, the more genuine we deem them, hence enhancing their sense of authenticity. Boyle further describes the notion of ethical transparency, writing, ‘If a manufacturer tells you about where their product is made, or the person who made it, it is more likely that it is the result of an equal exchange’ (p. 21). The ethos of the clothing brand ‘Honest By’ supports this, in which the brand is claiming to be the ‘worlds first 100% transparent company’. Launched in January 2012 by former art director of Hugo Boss Bruno Pieters, the company are undoubtedly unique in that they purposefully share the full cost breakdown of all their products. A pure-play online retailer at present, the brand’s website offers an extension of their straightforward mindset, with simple navigation throughout. Figure 6 outlines this, detailing a dress from their product range. A drop-down menu is featured below, whereby one can gain extensive information on the garment’s material and manufacturing information, as well as its carbon footprint. The online blog EDITD wrote of Honest By, ‘Pieters has developed a unique retail business which reveals the complete supply chain, including the costings of every component and price paid for labour skills.’ (Smith, K., 2013). By providing an abundance of information regarding their clothing production, Honest By are successful in presenting themselves as trustworthy retailers.
Fig 6. Lewis, R., 2013. Screenshots of Honest By product detailing [digital image/screenshot].
Fig 7. Salinas, A., n.d. Honest By Campaign imagery [digital image] Honest By.
AS GLOBAL BRAND-BASED CONNECTIONS GAIN POPULARITY, THAT TRAIL FROM THE MALL TO THE SWEATSHOP BECOMES BETTER TRAVELLED (KLEIN, N., 2010, P.358)
A preconception of many surrounding ethical clothing is that it may not look up-to-date. With this in mind, Honest By further excels in presenting their clothes as both stylish and modern. The brand’s promotional material further illustrates this, in which understated monochrome images have been given a contemporary update with vivid stains of colour (Figure 7). Although fashion-forward, there is a lot of scope for the brand to present their honest ethos further through their imagery; this is perhaps something the brand could take note of. Overall, the reliability of Honest By affirms that honesty is a true symbolisation of authenticity. In this climate it is flauntingly evident if a brand’s image does not correspond with its reality. Naomi Klein outlined this increase in information regarding brands in her book No Logo: ‘As global brand-based connections gain popularity, that trail from the mall to the sweatshop becomes better travelled.’ (Klein, N., 2010, p.358).
The significance in understanding an items production journey also relates to the concept of provenance. Provenance equates to knowing about a product’s origins; having become a widespread trend within the food industry, the term is now infiltrating fashion. As detailed in a Datamonitor (2009) report on the subject, Origin is core to the provenance theme within the overall notion of authenticity. The places of production of a good as well as the location where a service is provided are important attributes by which consumers assess/perceive quality.
This demonstrates the relationship between authenticity and provenance. If a garment has been handcrafted locally using artisanal methods as a pose to it being mass-produced, a consumer will deem it better quality and hence more authentic.Vikram Kansara recently encapsulated the rise in provenance, stating, We are driven today by a desire for the original, the regional, the handmade, a longing for a time before globalisation when factories were small and handicraft big, no mass production but the manufacture of unique items. (Kansara,V.A., 2010)
Emerging as a backlash to globalisation, in which the traceability of a product’s origins can often become blurred, local production also encourages the thriving of communities. Not only does buying local help keep our British high street alive, it also reduces one’s carbon footprint. On a larger scale, local provenance can encompass something being made in Britain, or of one’s country of origin. As the pace of life becomes increasingly fast, provenance essentially allows people to gain a firm-handed grip on their day-to-day choices. This exploration of provenance lead to a discussion with the founder of Greenfibres ethical clothing company William Lana. In asking him why consumers want to know more about their clothes, Lana acknowledged: Why does anyone want to know anything about their lives? I think it makes life more worth living. If you’re exploring where your clothes and food come from, you’re really exploring your life, and why you made those choices (Lana, W., 2013).
Fig 8. Bolofo, K., 2012. Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2012 campaign [digital image]
Margaret Howell is a brand whose philosophy surrounds that of British tradition and craftsmanship. Having set up the label in 1972, Howell has since maintained a quietly confident approach to design, with androgynous offerings for both men and women. Howell’s advertisements are aesthetically engaging extensions of the brand’s ethos. Figure 8 (opposite) presents the brand’s Spring/Summer 2012 campaign. The advertisement is simple in terms of graphics; the expanse of white space gives a minimal effect, reflecting the modest nature of Howell’s clothing. Two black and white images create emphasis within the frame, with their subdued tones mirroring the thoughtful essence of the brand. The first image outlines the sewing process of a Howell shirt, whilst the second shows the finished product on a natural looking model. In charting the production process of their clothing through their advertisements, Margaret Howell present a further expansion of their artisan values.This in turn impels consumers to regard their products as high quality. To conclude, both the idea of provenance and ethical transparency are almost entirely authentic. This is because both concepts thoroughly support the idea of honesty, whilst in the wider picture they fundamentally encourage caring for our planet. Regarding the importance of ethical consciousness, William Lana said,
IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE A CONSCIENCE BECAUSE THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY DEPENDS ON IT. I THINK IF WE CONTINUE TO MAKE SHORT-TERM DECISIONS, THEN WE’LL CONTINUE TO DESTROY OUR FORESTS, WE’LL CONTINUE TO PUMP CO2 INTO THE AIR, AND WE’LL CONTINUE TO SLAUGHTER SPECIES (LANA, W., 2013).
Although the foundations of ethical brands are indeed authentic, communicating their honesty through effectual advertising strategies presents a relatively unexplored gap in the market for brands.
THE NEW REALIST
EVERYONE HAS THIS DESIRE FOR AUTHENTICITY, AND AUTHENTICITY IS THEREFORE BECOMING THE NEW CONSUMER SENSIBILITY (JOSEPH PINE, 2004)
On an average day for a city dweller, one is likely to see around 3,500 marketing messages (Gibson, O., 2005). This staggering statistic is merely a hint of the extent to which people are unconsciously controlled by advertising. Despite this, in the present day, society is a lot more perceptible to marketing ploys. Roberta Sassatelli underlines this dilemma for advertising in Consumer Culture, writing, ‘Advertising has to attempt to take account of, and still seduce, a consumer who is well aware of the critique of mass society and consumption’ (Sassetelli, R., 2007, p.130). Having grown up in a brand- saturated world, the informed consumer is more likely to be attracted to the idea of authenticity than one blind to the often complicit nature of advertising. Although this type of consumer may be nostalgic for tradition, they are not unrealistic in their strive for authenticity; they will still buy into products, but are selective in their choices. Although the desire for authenticity is becoming increasingly pervasive, its adopters remain a relatively niche consumer group. These are people who are suspicious of mass production, who want things customized or tailor made, who may or may not be excited by information technology and computers- but who are definitely part of the world of self-actualization, and maybe self-employment (Boyle, D., 2004, p.41) Above, David Boyle highlights the needs of this consumer group, which he describes as the ‘New Realists’. These attributes segment the ‘New Realists’ widely within the Generation Y consumer group, also known as the ‘New Millennials’. Having been born within the late- Seventies to the mid- Nineties, Generation Y cohorts are generally known to be less brand loyal than their Generation X predecessors. This is mostly due to rapid digital expansion and the Internet, which has hence created an influx of choice for consumers. As Folk Digital’s Paul Sheehy acknowledged during The Trend Boutique’s ‘Online vs. Offline’ conference, ‘ Today’s audience is totally connected, and it’s moving at such a pace’ (Sheehy, P., 2013). This constant digital absorption has caused Generation Y cohorts to be considerably tech- savvy, resulting in their want for experiential forms of advertising, branding and retail. In an attempt to engage the disloyal tendencies of Generation Y consumers, brands are now embracing experiential forms of communication across all platforms. We are currently living in what is being deemed as the ‘century of the self’. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have allowed us to project a desired and often fabricated image of ourselves to others, culminating in the phenomenon of ‘self-congruent consumerism’. Described as a ‘pervading reality of consumer behaviour’ in which ‘the image that a person has of her/himself often influences the brand/product choice’ (Datamonitor, 2009), the concept has brought new meaning to brands. Rather than being adopted solely for their product offerings, brands are now being used by consumers to form extensions of their lifestyle and, to some degree, their identity. This raises a paradox; how can people have ‘authentic’ experiences if their brand choices are purely based on image? Michael B.Beverland discusses this in Building Brand Authenticity (2009, p.22), explaining, ‘when consumers want to identify with a particular community they often seek out brands that will mark them out to other members. In doing so they confer authenticity to certain brands, while rejecting others.’ This informs us that the meaning of authenticity can be skewed from person to person, whilst often being fabricated to suit his or her needs. In this day and age it is becoming increasingly difficult for a person to lead an entirely ‘authentic’ life in the sense of wholly conforming to nature without buying into products. As Maslow theorised in his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, if a person has surpassed the need for ‘esteem’ to become ‘self-actualised’, they can become closer to fulfilling a frugal lifestyle.
THE DEVELOPMENTS DETRIMENTS OF DIGITAL
SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER FORMS OF USER- GENERATED CONTENT MEAN BRANDS AND RETAILERS ARE LESS IN CONTROL OF THEIR IMAGE AND REPUTATION THAN EVER. (MINTEL, 2013)
The above citation underlines the struggles branding and advertising have faced through the rise in digital forms of communication. The second a marketing or advertising campaign is released into cyberspace, it is subject to the ruthless criticisms of the public. Social media has certainly increased exposure for brands, which in many ways is a positive scenario; in providing companies with a platform in which to have their say, brand identities are becoming stronger than ever. However it has also meant brands have to be particularly careful with what they put online, as they are especially vulnerable to the public’s scrutiny. Having discussed this topic with Bob Hurling, a behaviour psychologist for Unilever, Hurling explained, ‘I think social media’s really helped open things up, so it’s very hard for brands to hide stuff; I think the downside to social media is that, like a lot of gossip, things can get wavered from the truth’ (Hurling, B., 2013). The sense of openness that social media has instigated has been aided by the opportunity for dialogue between brands and consumers. In admitting companies to converse with their followers on Twitter and Facebook, brands are in turn being seen as less corporate and more relatable. This confers authenticity onto them as they are proving their capacity for honesty and trust. Hurling spoke of the way in which traditional bricks and mortar shopping experiences allowed for interaction between customer and shopkeeper. He interestingly related this to digital, saying; ‘digital can allow you to have that similar dialogue with a business about the thing that you’re going to buy, which enhances our sense of trust in a brand’ (2013). The rise of digital has also affected the supposed authenticity of brands in making their supply chain more traceable. As touched upon previously, this is a positive for ethically- orientated brands; it’s bad news, however, if a company are failing to live up to their moral claims. Despite this, there are still large amounts of people who will purposefully disregard knowing about the origins of their clothing, for the sake of being ‘on-trend’. Greenfibres’ William Lana spoke of this, ‘because of this element of identity that comes with fashion now, it almost allows people to get away with not caring about the provenance’ (Lana, W., 2013). This means that brands have to work harder than ever to engage unwilling customers.
Fig 9. UNKNOWN., 2012. Sourcemap [digital image] Ritholtz.
The emergence of websites such as Sourcemap (Figure 9) has encouraged people to start gaining a deeper insight into product journeys. A ‘social network’ for supply chains, Sourcemap charts the environmental footprints of thousands of products through an interactive and easy-to-use directory.The site also gives companies the opportunity to embed ‘traceability’ maps onto their own websites. This proves that, as sustainability becomes more vital, there is no excuse for a lack of clarity regarding company supply chains online. A brand’s authenticity can often be wavered if their identity shifts too far from its origins.The instant nature of digital communication has in many cases had a negative impact on brand tradition and heritage. As Paul Sheehy discussed during ‘Online vs. Offline’: ‘Along the way, brands have fundamentally lost the story of why they do what they do, through the rise of digital/ social media’ (Sheehy, P., 2013). This underlines the importance of maintaining a consistent tone of voice across all platforms for brands, in order for them to preserve their essence. In addressing this subject to the creative agency Exposure, the company’s board director Heather Ogie explained: The fact that the Digital channel has quickened the speed and route to the market should not damage brands in any way, if it is done correctly. Some brands do this really well and successfully preserve and maintain all the brand’s attributes, tonality and image in the Digital space. But others do not. (Ogie, H., 2013)
In allowing open dialogue between brands and consumers, online communication presents a powerful tool in permitting the honesty of certain brands to manifest. Integrating this element into a brand’s advertising or marketing strategy would assuredly promote their sincerity.
ALONG THE WAY, BRANDS HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY LOST THE STORY OF WHY THEY DO WHAT THEY DO, THROUGH THE RISE OF DIGITAL/SOCIAL MEDIA (SHEEHY, P., 2013).
Taking the idea of ethical awareness in fashion a step further is the concept of Philanthropic Marketing and advertising.The notion of philanthropy involves caring for humanity, often through attempting to solve social problems rather than purely relieving them. Acts such as ‘giving back’ to impoverished communities through helping them rebuild their towns are examples of this altruistic idea. In the past decade we’ve seen a surge in brands adopting this form of benefaction, with specific regards to fashion. One would think a label of ‘authenticity’ would be granted easily to a brand committing themselves so generously to a charitable cause. However, nowadays people are only too aware of the preconception that branding is purely motivated by commerciality. This has resulted in a great deal of controversy surrounding the subject of Philanthropy in branding, as many people believe it is a marketing ploy in order for brands to show off their ethical credentials. As Naomi Klein discussed regarding the topic in No Logo: Branding, as we have seen, has taken a fairly straightforward relationship between buyer and seller and- through the quest to turn brands into media providers, arts producers, town squares and social philosophers- transformed it into something much more invasive and profound. (Klein, N., 2010, p.335) Invasive is a description that seems apt if a brand is purposefully transforming themselves into ‘thoughtful’ philanthropists merely for the sake of being seen as genuine; although charitable engagements may not gain immediate profit, it assuredly enhances brand loyalty in the long run. As previously noted however, a lot of shoppers are now rightfully discerning about the brands they choose to buy into. In asking Exposure’s Heather Ogie about whether Philanthropic Marketing truly adds sincerity to a brand, she stated: ‘If the CSR programme is genuine and rooted in a brand truth, then it can work very well. But if it feels like a badging exercise, consumers are savvy enough to see that it is just another marketing exercise’ (Ogie, H., 2013). Ogie’s mention of ‘brand truth’ has particular pertinence with regards to judging the reliability of a campaign. If a brand is notoriously known for their immoral practices, it is more than likely that their scheme is less about goodwill and more about artifice.
Levi’s are a brand who have always been considered authentic. This is primarily due to their deep-rooted heritage; having been founded by Levi Strauss in 1853, the brand are remarkably known to be the first creators of denim. Additionally, their authenticity no doubt stems from their long-standing ethical policies, which have thus enabled consumers to trust and rely on the brand. An example of this is when, in the 1990s, Levi’s found that its contractors in Bangladesh were using child labour. Rather than firing these children, who in most cases were the sole breadwinners in their family, the brand took a more considered approach. They paid for the children to go back to school, whilst they continued to receive their wages from both Levi’s and its contractors, as well as being offered work later in life. This manner of admitting to mistakes rather than concealing them usually works in a brand’s favour as it makes them appear more ‘human’. Due to their affiliation with music, Levi’s have always been seen as a ‘lifestyle’ brand. This meant that their recent use of Philanthropic Marketing methods in the brands 2010 ‘Ready to Work’ campaign was a natural progression. The integrated campaign featured real workers rebuilding the deteriorating town of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Led by the town’s mayor, Braddock’s restoration in turn symbolised the pioneering, hopeful spirit that Levi’s’ former ‘Go Forth’ campaign embodied.The brand contributed to the town’s initiative by funding the rebuilding of its community centre, as well as its urban farm. In turn Levi’s advertised their Fall Work Wear Collection, modelled by a diverse collective of Braddock residents. Developed by the advertising agency Wieden & Kennedy, the campaign’s mise-en-scène was charmingly candid. Shot by ‘The Road’ director John Hillcoat, its TV advertisement features a young girl’s impassioned speech, professing, ‘people think there aren’t frontiers anymore. They can’t see how frontiers are all around us’. (Figure 10) These powerful words are set against a backdrop of beautiful slow-motion shots, combined with a crescendo of classical music; this makes for an inspiring effect overall.
Fig 10. Hillcoat, J., 2012. Levi’s ‘Go Forth to Work 2012 TV campaign still [digital image] Vimeo.
Fig 11. McDaniel, M., 2012. Levi’s ‘Go Forth to Work’ 2012 campaign [digital image]
The campaign’s print advertisements synchronise effectively with its moving image material. Figure 11 is one of a range of the campaign’s promotional imagery. A sincere mood is created through the use of black and white tones, as well as the touching documentation of a loving father-and-son relationship.The advertisement is relatable through its use of ‘real’ people, whilst a motivational effect is again created through its rousing tagline, ‘everybody’s work is equally important’. Having showed both the print and video ‘Ready to Work’ promotions within a focus group, the reactions regarding the campaign were mixed. Generally, participants found the TV advertisement stimulating and engaging, yet unclear in its relation to jeans. This concludes that the success of the campaign relies on an inquisitive audience who would want to research its background story. Some participants deemed Philanthropic Marketing wholly positive, saying, ‘as long as the community gets help then everyone’s a winner’ (Lyons, J., 2013). Others thought differently, stating, ‘I reckon it’s just to promote themselves’ (Randall, M., 2013). Through investigating Levi’s’ use of Philanthropy, we can see that the idea is subject to a lot of scrutiny. ‘Ready to Work’ was largely successful for Levi’s due to its meticulously consistent message across all platforms. As Bob Hurling mentioned regarding the grounds for successfully communicating Philanthropy: ‘ As long as the brand truly believes in the cause they are associating themselves with. If they’re not fully into it, it’s just obvious as it’s so easy to trace nowadays’ (Hurling, B., 2013). Furthermore, Philanthropy in branding can only be authentic and genuine if there is real feeling behind the glossy advertising message. Cohesion across a campaign is imperative for a brand to have any chance of prospering within this field.
To many, the industry of Fashion advertising is known to be one fuelled by idealistic images. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in scepticism surrounding its truthfulness. If authenticity equates to being honest and sincere, then the often misleading nature of fashion advertising establishes the industry far from this.With the digital surge of recent years, however, the deceptive face of advertising is finally being altered. This is predominantly due to the rise in brands being seen as ‘experiences’, of which the online sphere has played an immense role. Experiential brands with a conscience are more likely to be trusted than those deliberately avoiding online forms of communication; this is simply because being online amounts to being more traceable. This leads to the question originally proposed in this investigation, asking whether fashion brands and advertisements can be truly authentic in the modern day. Research affirms that the answer is yes, so long as the identity of the brand in question is rooted in sincerity. As we have seen, it is extremely easy for a brand to promote themselves as ‘authentic’. However, through gaining a deeper understanding of the term, it is clear that true authenticity is particularly hard for a brand or advertisement to fully attain. Brands displaying ethical consciousness and notions of Philanthropy are indeed successful if genuine; however without a visionary, original approach, a company cannot justly be considered ‘authentic’ in every sense of the word. It can be concluded that only when a brand display transparency, creativity and originality through every aspect of themselves, can they truly be regarded as authentic. As Vikram Kansara pertinently wrote surrounding the subject of branding authenticity, ‘you have to be authentic in every wayin sales, design, production and even in marketing. Otherwise your credibility is blown. Honestly’ (Kansara, V.A., 2010). Digitalisation has in some ways made this harder for brands to achieve. However, its vast complexities have also allowed for abounding innovations to occur. This proves that thoroughly authentic branding and advertising is certainly possible, with the embracement of digital being an infallible method of accomplishment.
In light of the research carried out within this investigation, it is undeniable that the concept of authenticity is indeed an ambiguous one. Having explored various interpretations of the word, as well as their relationships to advertising and branding, it is clear that certain ideas have more profundity than others regarding the subject. The notion of ethical transparency, with particular relation to provenance and production knowledge, is a notable aspect of authenticity within fashion. After consideration, this area of authenticity has been chosen as a focal aspect in implementing former research. In consequence of the investigations carried out, it is clear that the rise of digital communications has had, and will continue to have, a great influence on advertising. Subsequently, the integration of digital elements will be a predominant feature within the strategic outcome of this project. The main objective of the informed strategy will be to augment a fashion brand’s authenticity through their advertisements, whilst updating their material through use of digital methods. In considering a brand in which to implement this strategy onto, the British designer Margaret Howell proved a fitting choice. As noted previously, the brand’s ethos centres on an artisanal design approach, whilst Howell’s clothing conveys a sense of nonchalant cool in its unisex style. Quality production is of utmost importance to the brand, whilst its designs follow modernist principles in that they reflect a ‘form follows function’ mentality, whereby durability is key. Starting off as a brand based purely in Britain, Margaret Howell has now expanded globally.The brand stock in 80 worldwide retail locations, as well as standalone shops in both Paris, Tokyo and of course, London. Despite this, Margaret Howell has always remained true to its roots, with British heritage and tradition being a fundamental aspect of its design equation. Wherever possible, the company endeavour to source their fabric and make their clothing in Britain; as Howell herself explains, ‘ I like to work with manufacturers who understand and share this passion fire make and quality of fabric…the Scottish knitting factories that continue their heritage of producing the best cashmere in the world.’ (Howell, M.) The brand’s affiliation with craftsmanship and local sourcing enable them to be authentic to a certain degree; this makes them a suitable company for building upon though implementation. Margaret Howell’s charmingly nostalgic campaigns are no doubt sucessful already, however there is certainly scope for improvement in updating the brand.
Fig 12. Scott,V., 2010. Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2010 advertisement [digital image]
Fig 13. Lewis, R., 2013. Margaret Howell brand Image vs. Identity word diagram [infographic]. Own image.
In order to thoroughly understand the Margaret Howell brand, a study of its integral attributes was necessary. From this, an analysis of the brand’s supposed ‘identity’ was determined, which was then compared to its ‘image’- how consumers actually perceive the brand. Figure 13 illustrates these findings. On the companies website, Howell states that her clothing reflects a ‘thoughtful style’, with ‘British tradition’ being a key element of the brand. She also cites ‘authenticity’, ‘functionality’ and ‘quality’ as being integral to the Howell ethos. After conducting a short survey so as to assess consumer attitudes towards the brand, participants responded varyingly. Having been shown a picture (Figure 12) that epitomised the brand, responses such as ‘plain’, ‘drab’ and adversely, ‘nostalgic’ and ‘classic’ were expressed. This suggests that the brand can mean different things to people depending on their tastes. However, it could also indicate that Margaret Howell’s professed sense of ‘tradition’ could be vulnerable to being seen as outdated. Consequently, the brand needs a dose of modernity so as to remain up-to-date; in this day and age, innovation consistently amounts to the integration of digital.
In order to further evaluate any gaps in the Margaret Howell brand, as well as to gain a deeper understanding of the company, the creation of a ‘SWOT’ model was vital. Here an analysis of the brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats was completed, with particular regards to their communication strategies.
The above assessment highlights Margaret Howell’s British heritage and provenance appeal as core assets of the brand. However, due to the company’s global expansion, its sense of heritage and guarantee of local production where possible is in danger of becoming unconvincing. This welcomes a gap for incorporating a digital strategy into the company’s framework. As highlighted through research, the experiential advantage of online provides great support mechanisms for brands. To cite The Business of Fashion’s Vikram Kansara, ‘[digital] also presents a powerful opportunity for brands who are able to authentically differentiate themselves on materials and manufacturing standards’ (Kansara,V.A., 2010).
Fig 14. Lewis, R., 2013. Margaret Howell perceptual map [diagram]. Own image
Opposite is a perceptual map of Margaret Howellâ€™s competitor brands, formed so as to determine where the brand sits in relation to these. The X-axis measures the strength of the brandâ€™s online presence, whilst the Y-axis charts whether the brand sits within a luxury price- point or a more affordable one. From this, we can see that the majority of Howellâ€™s more affordable competitors have a fairly strong online presence; this is perhaps because most of their customers would happily shop online, and would possibly be younger in age. It is clear to see that Margaret Howell sits separately from many of its competitors, due to having a considerably weak online presence. In conclusion, this highlights the need for the brand to expand digitally in order to preserve, or surpass, its place in the fashion landscape.
ONLINE OFFLINE CONVERGENCE
In our progressively digital world, the communicational method of print advertising forms conflicting viewpoints. On one hand, fashion advertisements can be visual treasures, there for one to cut out and keep as inspiring forms of art. On the other hand, a print advertisement’s static state can be detrimental in being seen as disengaging, as well as simply a tool for commerce. The so - called ‘death of print’ in light of the Internet could also be especially damaging to fashion advertisements featured in magazines. Forming the stimulus for the strategic outcome of this investigation, the debate between print and online is a rousing one. Richard Danks, head of Strategy at the Portas Agency, discussed the topic during the Trend Boutique’s conference. Danks asked resolutely, ‘Is online vs. offline bullshit? It’s not about adversaries. I think that they play a symbiotic role.’ (Danks, R., 2013) The harmonious convergence of online and offline forms of advertising is an inspiring idea. This introduces the implementation concept of this project, devised for Margaret Howell; using smart – phone scanning technology to trace a product’s journey, from the print advertisement it is featured in, to its original creation.
The technology would work via image recognition scanning, whereby consumers would capture an image of a particular product of interest in an advertisement. This would then lead them to an app designed especially to trace the production journey of the garment in question through visually engaging means. Image recognition technology is, in brief, an advancement of QR (Quick Response) codes. Enabling fast access to web URLs through devices such as smart– phones, QR codes are useful yet conspicuous. As an extension of this experiential form of retail in fashion, image recognition allows software such as apps to determine products based on their properties. According to The Guardian, ‘the technology drives a more personal experience, enabling software and systems to react to an individual.’ (Ropars, O.) The adoption of this emerging technology in creating the proposed concept is timely; the idea is already filtering into high– street shopping, whilst user– driven content is at an all- time high. Forecasting agency The Trend Boutique recently outlined that a substantial 84% of smart– phone users now use phones in-store to buy products. Whilst the outlined proposal for Margaret Howell would conclude with a buying option, its main objective would be to demonstrate transparency in tracing a product’s supply chain. Not only would this augment the brand’s sense of provenance and authenticity, but it would also prove them to be digitally adept. As a recent Mintel E-Commerce study affirmed, ‘Retailers will need to develop an online proposition that is mobile- centered’ (Mintel, 2013).
IS ONLINE VS. OFFLINE BULLSHIT? IT’S NOT ABOUT ADVERSARIES. I THINK THAT THEY PLAY A SYMBIOTIC ROLE. (DANKS, R., 2013)
Fig 15. UNKNOWN., 2013. Burberry Kisses app visualisation [digital image]
Fig 16. UNKNOWN., 2013. Burberry Smart Personlisation app [digital image]
Burberry are a brand who continue to innovate through their use of technology, whilst still managing to remain true to their roots of British heritage. The brand’s partnership with Google, ‘Burberry Kisses’, was a skilled manifestation of this. Most effective when accessed via touchscreen, the concept centred on the romantic vision of sending an electronic message to a loved one sealed with your ‘real’ kiss. Through use of emerging web technologies and facial recognition, a user’s lips were traced through the webcam of their device and imprinted onto their message. Location data was then utilized in enabling users to track the destination of their messages via an immersive 3D scene, shown in Figure 15. The ‘Kisses’ app aimed to encapsulate the romanticism of Burberry, whilst creating a personal and emotional experience for Burberry consumers. Greg Stogdon, Senior Vice President of Creative Media at Burberry, discussed the brand’s use of digital during a talk at Nottingham Trent University, UK. Stogdon explained, ‘we create our digital content in a similar way to how our physical products are made; we ensure the same level of craftsmanship with regards to our technological practices too’ (Stogdon, G., 2013). This sense of craftsmanship was further executed through the brand’s ‘Smart Personalisation’ service. Every piece of Burberry Prorsum’s Autumn/Winter 2013 Made to Order collection offered personalised inscriptions for buyers. In coming into contact with a touchscreen device such as an IPhone, the inscriptions would unlock engaging footage, outlining the garment’s complete production process (Figure 16). Both Burberry’s ‘Kisses’ and ‘Smart Personalisation’ concepts were influencers in the chosen proposition for Margaret Howell. The experiential elements of both services are inspiring in that they manage to communicate the traditional elements of the brand, whilst combining modern technologies for an enticing effect.
Fig 17. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell advertisements [photographs]. Own image
Figure 17 illustrates a hypothetical collection of advertisements for Margaret Howell. A similarly nostalgic effect to Howellâ€™s existing advertisements was intended. This was accomplished through use of a 35mm film camera, which created a grainy, evocative impression. The images were then edited in Postproduction via Photoshop, whereby the application of sepia tones further mimicked the retro look of a classic Margaret Howell advertisement. The models presented in the advertisements were used on account of their natural looks, which reflected the brandâ€™s familiar choice of unpolished models in their campaigns. A similar static effect to the brandâ€™s imagery was created in photographing the models face- on, whilst the use of slightly decrepit backdrops added to the honesty and simplicity that resonates through the brand.
Fig 18. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell Journeys app visualisation [illustrations/photographs]. Own image
After a consumer captures a product featured in the advertisements through their smartphone, such as the boy’s boots, they would then be lead to a Margaret Howell app that would track the production journey of the garment. This has been envisaged opposite (Figure 18). Entitled ‘Margaret Howell Journeys’, the app would aim to engage consumers through visually breaking down the entire supply chain of the product, from its conception to its point of sale. Captured on 35mm film, the imagery included in the proposed app intends to reflect the nostalgia of Margaret Howell’s campaigns. The app’s clean graphics are designed to make its material easy to digest, whilst also emulating the brand’s modesty. Whilst navigating through the app, consumers would have the option of finding more information out about certain processes.This would be accessible via touchscreen selection, whereby information on everything from the journey’s estimated carbon footprint to the person that sewed your garment could ultimately be accessed. This extensive background knowledge would truly push the boundaries in terms of transparency for the brand. A ‘Journeys’ website would also be accessible through subtle QR codes on the brand’s print advertisements. The site would be a further embodiment of the Margaret Howell app, visualised in Figure 19. Offering a similar breakdown of the featured garments’ production, it would also present immersive video footage so as to encourage experiential content. An abundance of information could again be accessed, including details such as an insight into the models featured in the campaigns; this would personalise the advertisements, in turn enhancing their authenticity. The inclusion of social media ‘sharing’ options would also be used in order to demonstrate a 360- degree marketing strategy, as well as an option to buy.
Fig 19. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell Journeys website visualisation [illustrations/photographs]. Own image
In terms of an envisaged target consumer for the Journeys app, in a practical sense the user would come from a fairly niche group.Figure 20 and 21 illustrate imagined users of the app. The first profile underlines a technologically absorbed consumer, amongst other characteristics; the second highlights a more fashion- focused consumer.The Margaret Howell Journeys concept would undoubtedly appeal to both these character types. This is due to the innovational technology of the app, which would appeal to a digitally savvy consumer, as well its clear clothing focus, engaging a fashion devotee.Additionally, the target consumer would naturally be ethically orientated, with a strong interest in provenance. Followers of Margaret Howell would also assumedly be drawn to Journeys, due to their precedent attraction to the brand. Concerning the way in which the app’s intended users would react to innovations, it is likely that its target market would be Early Adopters and interpreters of trends. This would demonstrate their informed nature, alluding to their segmentation within the Generation Y cohort. Generally falling between the age group of 18 to 36, Generation Y or the ‘New Millennials’ in turn signify the target age group for Journeys. The desire for experiential forms of product amongst this cohort identifies with the features of the proposed app. The Millennials’ strive for authenticity and assumed disloyalty towards products would also relate to the engaging, honest nature of the Journeys concept.
Fig 20. Lewis, R., 2013. Journeys consumer portrait #1 [Photographs]. Own image
NAME: Judy Lewis-Jones AGE: 23 OCCUPATION: Photography student and freelance photographer INTERESTS: Photography, music and vinyl collecting, fashion and making clothing, cooking and speaking Spanish IN YOUR BAG: Ipad and Iphone, film camera, Aesop/ Neal’s Yard skin products, Laura Mercier make-up, APC wallet and a scarf from a trip to Morocco. TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE: I’d get up early to do yoga, do some work at home on my laptop or at uni, then go out to get lunch. I’d ideally get some fresh food at the local farmer’s market and cook something at home. Whilst in town I’d probably take some pictures on my old Olympus, meet friends for a drink or go shopping. Then I’d have some dinner back at home, and go to the cinema or for drinks with friends. THOUGHTS ON MARGARET HOWELL? Very easy to wear; I love the brand’s unisex aesthetic as it really works with my style. Their non-fussy approach gives their designs a great quality feel. FAVOURITE CLOTHING BRANDS: APC, Margaret Howell, Albam Clothing, French Connection, Weekday and H&M occassionally. WOULD THE MARGARET HOWELL ‘JOURNEYS’ APP APPEAL TO YOU, AND WHY? Yeah it really would; I’m a technology fanatic, so anything innovative in that sense gets my vote! I’m already a fan of the brand so it would interest me anyway, but knowing about the source of my clothing is important to me also. I always try to buy from ethical retailers where possible.
Fig 21. Lewis, R., 2013. Journeys consumer portrait #2 [Photographs]. Own image
NAME: Maya Kennedy-Trepat AGE: 21 OCCUPATION: History student at Goldsmith’s University. INTERESTS: Fashion, reading, visiting galleries and exhibitions, travelling and festivals. IN YOUR BAG: Iphone, my knitting, a book, a magazine (probably Address magazine or Oh Comely), perfume (either Chloe by Chloe or Diptyque Jasmine) and a notebook. TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE: I’d ultimately have a lie-in, and then cook a healthy breakfast for myself. Then I’d go to a lecture at uni or do some work in the library. Later I might get the tube into central London and go to an exhibition. Then it’d probably be dinner with a friend, do some internet shopping (oops!), and some live music for the evening. THOUGHTS ON MARGARET HOWELL? Timeless and quintessentially British. Great for Basics; their clothes are very durable. FAVOURITE BRANDS: Gap for basics, vintage for one-off party pieces, Toast, Margaret Howell, Anthropologie and & Other Stories. WOULD THE MARGARET HOWELL ‘JOURNEYS’ APP APPEAL TO YOU, AND WHY? It would definitely appeal to me. I love the idea of being able to trace exactly where your product comes from; I like to be knowledgable about the things I buy and the choices I make. Its interaction with magazine advertisements also interests me, as I’m an avid magazine reader!
THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING ..
The recommendations surrounding the Margaret Howell Journeys concept could be applied successfully to the company for a number of reasons. Firstly, the brand are already exerting their powerful sense of British heritage and provenance, yet are in danger of being seen as outdated.The app’s contemporary offering would undoubtedly strengthen the brand’s trailing place in the digital fashion landscape, whilst also demonstrating their ethical stance.The rapid, accessible technology of the app such as its image- recognition aspect outlines its consumer friendly stance. Demand for user-driven content is increasing within consumers; with this in mind, the app would cater appropriately for their needs. Having asked 30 survey participants whether the idea of using smartphone technology to reveal a product’s journey would appeal to them, 60% of participants said yes (Lewis, R., 2013). This conveys the successful prospects of the concept, which would grow due to the loyalty of existent Margaret Howell customers. In offering an engaging extension of an advertisement, the Journeys strategy focuses on augmenting authenticity in the form of transparency in ethical practice. It is also authentic in terms of originality. Although the idea of product journey tracking has indeed been implemented in point of sale by the likes of Burberry, it is yet to be executed through advertising specifically; this presents a distinct gap in the market for the concept. The Journeys strategy does not claim to be a comprehensive model of authenticity; rather, it offers a starting point for brands desiring to be truly ‘authentic’. The strategy’s notion of merging traditional offline forms of advertising with online methods could also be an effective way of preserving authenticity within advertising. In engaging with online forms of communication, fashion advertising would continue to innovate, whilst retaining its significance offline. Whilst the outlined strategy was devised for Margaret Howell in particular, it could be implemented by a number of brands; namely those who are already exhibiting ethical consciousness within their communications. If a brand attempts to outline its integrity when it is in fact thoroughly profit driven, entirely negative publicity will transpire. Overall, the provided recommendations aim to encourage true authenticity within fashion communication, whilst combining digital to ensure these methods remain current. Ultimately, if advertisers closed the gap between image and reality, both authenticity and fashion would be able to coexist in unity.
#1: QUESTIONNAIRE QUESTIONNAIRE RESULTS 1. What does the idea of ‘authenticity’ mean to you? 1. REAL. Having a connection to something, rather than it being purely superficial 2. Real. Not fake. 3. Genuine, real, truth 4. Original, something that has not changed a lot and remains reliable to what it promotes 5. A products presentation and marketing being true to its origin and manufacture, e.g. not selling a watch made by a toddler in Indonesia as a luxury item. 6. Something that is not fake, its original. 7. Original, real and credible 8. That something is real 9. Something genuine, that isn’t trying to be something it isn’t and is completely honest. 10. That something has been backed up by another “respectable” source. 11. Original, real. Of a certain standard you come to expect from certain brands 12. True to the way something should be 13. A lot 14. Something that is real. An honest representation. 15. Something genuinely created by the person or brand it is claimed to be created by. 16. Real, original, backed by history in some circumstances 17. Being original and true/real 18. Not a nasty money motive behind actions 19. Something that has a traceable place of origin, so if there is a claim that something is ‘authentic’ it can be proven. 20. Original, the first piece, not reproduced 21. Well made garments/accessories which are authentic, as in what they are supposed to be 22. Something real. Not necessarily tangible, but the word, to me references how ‘real’ and genuine something is. So not a copy or fake. 23. Not copied, real, original 24. That a thing is ‘real’ and is what it says it is or does what it claims to be able to. 25. True to its word 26. Genuine, honest 27. Something original, real, of meaning 28. Real, not ‘wannabe’ 29. Genuine Ideas/original thought/What you see is what you get. 30. Real, not a copy of anything 31. Something that isn’t a fake/cheaper copy 32. The genuine thing 33. Being real and credited 34. Originality 35. For something to have heritage and tradition 36. Something that is completely honest 37. Morally right/ ethically justifiable 38. To not have been copied, and always remain original 39. Truth and sincerity 40. Usually linked with tradition, e.g. a brand who has longstanding heritage such as Chanel 2. Fashion advertisements often appear very product driven; which aspects would make you deem a fashion advertisement as authentic? 1. If the ad featured ‘real’ people rather than models- 64. 71% 2. If the ad was truly creative and original- 58.82% 3. If the products in the ad were ethically sourced- 29.41% 4. If there was a lack of product shown in the ad- 8.82%
3. From the images above, which advertisement are you drawn to more, and why? 1. 1 because its more interesting 2. The second, because it’s what you aspire to be. Looks better. 3. More drawn to image 1. Image two is boring, seen it all before. 4. Top image (Comme des Garcons) as its more engaging; enables more than one sense e.g. makes you want to touch it…also never seen one like this before. Its more shocking therefore more attention drawn. Makes you think the brand is ‘cool’ and ‘edgy’ which a lot of young people see as a good thing. 5. The first is a clever response to the idea of buying into a brand, and makes the viewer who prefers it feel clever. I quite like this.. 6. Image 1, it makes me look at it, its not just a pretty girl with pretty things, you question what image 1 is trying to say and make you think 7. Image 2- bold colour, the allure of beauty. 8. Image 1, as it is abstract and different. 9. 1. It’s different, makes you think. I’d just gloss over image 2, they’re all the same. 10. Image 1. The image seems more unusual hence eye-catching that was expected from a fashion advert. 11. Image two, very attractive, rich colours and the bag is very prominent 12. 1, a lot more creative and intriguing 13. 1- more intriguing and artistic. 14. Image 1, because it is unusual. 15. Image 1. Image 2 is dull and unoriginal. Image 1 is curious. 16. Definitely image one, it’s so much more eye catching, unique, different and also ever so slightly shocking (to see a distorted face for a fashion/beauty is something rarely seen). It’s also a lot more engaging as it has texture - so more than one sense is used to ‘view’ the advert e.g. touch and sight...? 17. Image one, as it is more unusual. The second image is similar to many other adverts you see so they all blend into on. The first one’s more likely to make you remember the advert and brand 18. 1 because it unusual-seen image 2 many time before just with a different model in a different dress 19. The second because the first one scared me a little! Much simpler image, which the eye is drawn to. 20. The first, because it is different and slightly disturbing so it is more memorable. You can see there has been thought put into why the designer decided to distort the face and from that more ideas about the designs themselves are revealed. Whereas the 2nd is quite a generic image using rich colours and the model to create a seductive image which although is alluring is not thought -provoking. 21. Image 1, its more unusual and engaging, whereas image 2 is just typical, boring fashion advertisement 22. Image 1 because I don’t understand it. Image 2 makes me feel like I’m being sold something so I ignore it. 23. Image 1, it is different, less expected and more creative 24. 1- its more interesting to look at Louis Vuitton’s spreads are never very innovative or creative. 25. Image. 1 because it is different to a standard ad, drawing you in visually. 26. 1- because it is different. 27. Image 1, it is more unusual and the distortion in the image in interesting whereas image 2 is a fairly generic fashion advertisement. 28. Image 1 because its really shocking compared to the usual fashion advertisements 29. 1 - its thought provoking, comical, and different 30. Image 1 more shocking as you can’t see the face 31. Image 1, because it is different and clever r.e ‘shirt’ 32. Image 1. It is eye catching and I want to know what it is about. 33. 1, its very different 34. Image 1-the second image look unobtainable and something I’ve seen a million times 35. Image 1, as it is a lot more engaging 36. Image 2- I love the model, so naturally was drawn to it! 37. Image 1, because it is unexpected and witty, very subversive. 38. Image 1- it catches your attention 39. Image 1 40. Image 1, as it is cleverly ironic. 4. Do you think digitalisation has affected the perceived authenticity of fashion brands for better or for worse? 1. For better- 35.39% 2. For worse- 58.82% 3. I think its had no effect- 5.88%
5. Do you think the rise in fashion brands supporting local initiatives/charities is a positive or negative concept, and why? 1.Very positive! People are going to buy the clothes if they like them anyway, so it’s good some of the money is going to a cause. Especially when there is a lot of exploitation in the fashion industry 2. No opinion 3. Positive, I can’t really see any negative effects. Especially if it makes the general public more aware of the initiatives/charities. 4. Giving to charity always a positive no matter what the outcome 5. Positive, now sustainability is a part of cultural capital, brands are forced to invest and be more transparent to preserve their income 6. I think a lot of them are just doing it to “tick a box”, but if it’s helping i guess it’s a positive 7. Positive - puts the money to better use and makes the buyer feel better. 8. Positive as they are raising awareness 9. Positive obviously! Why would support of charities ever be a bad thing? 10. Positive. In my opinion any charitable contribution can be seen as a positive, as it’s better than the local charities/ initiatives not getting any support. 11. Positive, although they do it for financial gains it is good to support worthy causes 12. Positive 13. Positive - raises profiles 14. Positive, support for charity is always good. 15. Positive mainly, yet negative because I think a lot of charities seem to make a lot of money for the owners of the charity and do little to change things in contrast. 16. Positive - giving to charity at the end of the day is always a positive act, however it is definitely used to promote brand more “look how kind and ethical we are” 17. Positive. It’s never a bad thing to give to charity. 18. Positive but only if it’s genuine-even when some brands do that i do question the motive and am cynical sometimes 19. Positive because it makes them more transparent, with their ideas and outcomes being traceable at a simple level. 20. Positive, as long as the fashion brands have a good ethos and are genuinely trying to help not better their name. 21. Positive, helps out the community instead of brands just profiting enormously all the time 22. Positive because it helps grassroots organisations. Negative because it seems like they only do it to make profit and it’s hard to tell the extent to which they actually help. 23. Positive, as it shows they care about the world that we live in 24. Positive as it shows the brands as human beings. 25. I think it is always going to be a positive if an industry can help out with fundraising etc. why would it be seen as bad, as long as it’s done tastefully Positive - any support is good support 27. Positive, fashion shouldn’t be exclusive 28. I think it could be positive but i don’t think its done for the right reasons. It just seems like there doing it so people think they are doing good 29. No, it is evidently a marketing ploy, particularly if they have had a questionable past with regards to ethics. It is different if their original aim was to be authentic/ethical...e.g. The Body Shop at least started well! 30. Positive as it shows that they care about real causes making them more appealing to the consumer 31. More of a negative concept- I think it raises suspicion and seems quite an obvious game- a lot of brands are trying to show their green credentials, and it seems like another box to be ticked. 32. Positive. The fashion industry has a lot of power and money, it should be used appropriately. 33. Positive, they are using our funds to help people and not just profit for themselves 34. Positive-allows you to buy with a conscience 35. Positive 36. Positive, as long as the brand is genuine and it is clear to see 37. Positive- giving to charity is always good at the end of the day. 39. Negative and positive- sometimes its clearly a ploy, which is awful! 40. Positive, without a doubt. 6. Would the idea of smart-phone scanning the products featured in print advertisements so as to reveal their production journey appeal to you? 1.Yes – 64.71% 2. No- 35.29%
7. Which brands do you believe to be communicating a sense of authenticity effectively? 1. Practical and durable brands like Dr.Martens and north face. Brands that have a strong ethos like Mimm clothing. Hadeel, a shop in Edinburgh that sells handmade Palestinian goods. 2. - H&M - new look –L’Oreal. All feel more ‘real’ and easier to identify with. 3. Levi’s ... Dr.Martens 4. Levis, Diesel, Chanel (brands that have kept their style not changed much and are ‘reliable’) 5. The north face, Patagonia. 6. Céline 7. Herman Miller, John Lewis & Chanel. 8. River island and H&M maybe 9. Toms, may28th. Not many :/ 10. Adidas 11. Belstaff, Fred Perry, new balance 12. Topshop... 13. I’m not sure; I don’t tend to take much notice of brands 14. Dove 15. As in original? ... None. By being a mass produced product the product becomes unoriginal. For people to buy and wear things I thing they have to be similar to styles in existence. I can’t think of any original brands. ... Doc Martens? Because no one can copy them! All the attempts are pretty awful. 16. First thing that comes to mind is levis...not sure why, i think they are the denim of all denim maybe and don’t constantly change their identity 17. Chanel, Alexander McQueen 18. Don’t actually know! 19. Scarily the ones that are good at marketing, such as McDonalds. They’re good at making their food look local, ‘British’, and ‘wholesome’.This isn’t true though so it makes you wonder who is genuinely authentic, even if they are ‘effective’ at representing authenticity. This would lead me to say none, apart from the ones which are ethically driven from the start, such as People Trees use of organic cotton. 20. Comme des Garcons, Mikaye,Yamamoto, Marimekko, Toast, Hussein Chalayan. 21. Dr.Martens 22. None, the idea of a brand to me instantly screams fake. 23. Lazy oaf, 24. Levi’s 25. Dove 26. Anthropologie, people tree 27. Don’t know. 28. ‘Shite shirts’? 29. Margaret Howell- what you see is what you get Tucker is great - LOOK IT UP! They create several simple styles in several different prints Anthopologie is a favourite - its not perfect, but they give off a hand crafted feel TOAST is from Wales, and it uses a lot of natural materials etc. And it doesn’t follow the trends too much 30. Not really sure as everyone has got some sort of authenticity 31. The Body Shop in the 90s, Lush, Apple and Levi’s. 32. Dr. Martens. 33. I’m not sure 34. ? 35. Ethical brands like People Tree, Edun and Tom’s 36. Brands with a longstanding heritage, e.g. Chanel, Burberry etc. 37. Levi’s 38. Can’t think! 39. Simple brands like Margaret Howell, Joseph, Paul Smith 40. Comme des Garcons- innovative
#2: BOB HURLING Interview: Bob Hurling. Behaviour psychologist for Unilever branding. - You’ve got some questions; I’ll do my best to see if I can answer some. - Yeah ok, that’d be great, there’s just a few really, but I remember you coming into my uni last year to give us a talk on self-esteem… Right, yeah - So you’re a behavior psychologist for Unilever, is that right? That’s right, yeah - Yeah ok, I thought that had a lot of relevance to my project; so I’m basically exploring how fashion advertising can communicate authenticity and honesty in the face of the digital age, so I’m looking at how digitalization has effected brands being seen as authentic, that kind of thing. So I mainly wanted to ask a few questions relating to the notion of self-esteem within branding, if that’s all right? Yeah go ahead, I can’t remember the questions so you’ll have to try and refresh my memory - No that’s fine; I’ve got a few here, is it all right if I just fire away with it? Yeah go ahead - Ok so one of my questions is- advertising and branding are often deemed ‘inauthentic’ due to their commercial motives, so do you think authenticity and honesty are aspects that brands should still take note of, and why is that? Oh, I guess it depends on the brand position. Some brands position themselves as fully authentic, some like the ice-cream brand ‘Ben and Jerry’s’, which has a very authentic position- they talk about caring for the cows and the fields, etc., and usually digital in some instances help in seeing the full chain of production, so with them you can see where your ice-cream came from. So I think digital could definitely play along there in giving you a sense of security in the supply chain; so fashion, it could be that when you look in a dress or shirt in a shop, you can use your smart phone, scan the barcode, and actually see where it was made, the tradition, the factory that those people are working in, and track it across the world to see how far its contributing to ‘green miles’ etc.- digital can definitely paly a role there. I think the issue is whether its central to the brand position; so if that brand positions all about being cheap and cheerful, then they wouldn’t have much of a role to play. - Yeah, I think you’re right, its all about the type of brand isn’t it really, whether they want to be seen as ethical or not Yes- its certainly what digital allows, is the same sort of experience people used to get when they went into real shops, you know, you used to be able to talk to somebody behind the desk, say an old-style butchers shop, or even a fabric shop, where you’d talk to somebody who personally knew about the material and could measure you up, and then make something personalized for you. You’d have that sense of an interaction, a dialogue, which would enhance our sense of trust and authenticity because you trusted that person. Now I think that cant happen so much in todays world as its not cost effective, but digital can allow you to have that similar dialogue with the business about that thing that you’re going to buy- digital could help in that way too, where you could try and create some sort of avatar, kind of like the personal service that people used to get - Yes that’s true actually. So do you think social media has effected brand authenticity for the better, or do you think its had a negative effect in the fact that people can talk about brands negatively in a community? I mean personally I’m a believer in openness, so I think social media’s really helped open things up, so its very hard for brands to hide things- I think the downside to social media is that, like a lot of gossip, things can get wavered from the truth. So you’ll get brands that will be accused of something they maybe haven’t done, where no-one knows the exact facts- that will get lost in social media as people are often just interested in talking negatively, as gossip tends to be more negative that positive- you don’t usually get someone gossiping about how ‘wonderful’ a brand is - Yeah that’s true. Its good in one aspect that it does open things up, and so it makes brands more accountable, but I think the downside is the discussion and the gossip as its not always based on facts and truth
- Yeah it gets blurred doesn’t it. Ok thank you. Also something that stuck with me through your talk to us last year was when you said that self-acceptance is sometimes a concept that’s hard to make money out of- so would you say that this was because branding and advertising relies of peoples want for self-esteem and status? Yeah, I think its changing, as yes in the past branding has been very much focused on self-esteem- its fantastic to hear that you heard the message, it makes giving those talks all the worthwhile- you’ve got to keep grasp of that. - Yeah it really resonated with me Yeah – I think that is changing though, people are having more of a sense that anybody can do anything, shows like X-Factor have shown that - Yeah exactly I think that’s a real dependence on self-esteem through hierarchical forces. I still don’t think people are really helped in just accepting themselves for who they are, there’s still a big drive to fit in. I think your question about whether there’s a commercial opportunity within self-acceptance, I think yes there is. Dove are a great example of a brand who’ve done this successfully- I don’t know if you’ve seen there recent ‘sketches’ advert, I think it won quite a few awards - Yeah I have, its really touching Brands that are focusing more on what they stand for, rather than the product itself are I think the ones who have been able to portray concept like ‘self-acceptance’ successfully, as you can tell they truly believe in what they’re communicating. - Definitely. So do you think brands such as Dove including ‘real people’ in their advertisements does realistically sell products nowadays? I know Google have also done this in their ads recently. Oh yes. A lot of Christmas adverts are doing that this year too, I’ve noticed. Have you seen the Sainsbury’s one? - I’m not sure… They’ve basically just got what I assume to be average, everyday families and included them in the adverts. - That sounds interesting- I guess it works as it gives people something to relate to rather than an aspirational figure that’s unachievable Well yes, and I guess it does really just enhance their sense of authenticity as a brand. - Yeah. So I think you’ve already touched on this really, but I’ll ask this anyway- do you believe the notion of brands providing ‘services’ and ‘experiences’ rather than solely their products is generally more sustainable with regards to consumption? Oh definitely, I think nowadays a brand just can’t compete unless it has a bit more to it than just selling products. I think digital has helped a lot in exaggerating brand ‘experiences’ and I guess in turn this helps customer loyalty. People are generally a lot more savvy now in terms of their knowledge of brands, as information on certain brands is readily available to them online if they need it, so brands becoming involved with charities are also make or break opportunities really. - Yeah I was going to ask you about that- so philanthropic marketing and becoming involved with charities and local initiatives as you say, do you think this does add sincerity to a brand? I think it can, but as long as the brand truly believes in the cause they are associating themselves with. - Yeah of course. If they’re not fully into it, it’s just obvious as it’s so easy to trace nowadays. So it’s worked with Dove as its clear that they are passionate about what they’re promoting. I think Coke is also doing something at the moment that goes against the norm aren’t they? - Oh yeah, they’re stopping advertising aren’t they? Yeah I think so, and giving the money that they would’ve spent to relief for the Philippines disaster. So although they’ll more than likely actually loose out on money through that, in the long run their sense of authenticity will be heightened, so it’s a win-win situation for them - Yeah definitely, cos they haven’t always been the most ethical brand either have they. No. - Ok, well I think you’ve answered everything I wanted to ask, so I think that’s all then. Thanks so much for your time; it’ll really help my project! That’s ok, glad to help out. Good luck with the rest of it!
#3: EXPOSURE Interview- Exposure creative agency. Board director Heather Ogie. 1. Authenticity is widely recognized as the concept of conforming to original principles, traditions, function, and nature.The commerciality of advertising and branding often render the industry as ‘inauthentic’; despite this, does Exposure strive to present notions of authenticity and honesty in its campaigns, and if so, why? Yes. The authenticity of a brand is crucial to preserve throughout the marketing of that brand to the consumer. This can be either explicit or implicit – depending on the appropriateness of the individual campaign. If a brand is authentic, it inherently has credibility, authority and stature, three attributes on which a campaign can be successfully built 2. The rise in digital forms of advertising and marketing has certainly increased the speed of communication for brands to consumers. How do you feel this has affected ‘authenticity’ within branding? (i.e. is it less/more personal?) This depends entirely on the individual campaign. Some brands do this really well and successfully preserve and maintain all the brand’s attributes, tonality and image in the Digital space. But others do not. The fact that the Digital channel has quickened the speed and route to market should not damage brands in any way, if it is done correctly 3. With specific regards to fashion, you have worked with a number of companies whom many would deem as authentic, whether it is through their ethics or in their sense of craftsmanship (e.g. Levi’s, Dr.Martens, Edun). What has drawn you to working with these companies? We enjoy the challenge of investigating a brand’s heritage and history and using this to inform its future. We have also delivered some very successful campaigns for these types of brands, which can attract other brands with similar challenges to us 4. What are your initial starting points in creating a concept/strategy for a particular brand? Do insights into the consumer take up a large part of your research, and if so, how do you go about understanding them? We do use consumer insights when we begin to create campaigns for our brands. We also research competitive brands, the market and other factors (ie the media perspective). This gives us some context within which we can better understand the brand’s challenges 5. A lot of brands are using philanthropic methods of marketing to engage consumers (e.g. becoming involved with local community projects). Do you think this adds sincerity to a brand, and if so, why? Again, this depends entirely on the brand and how it is done. If the CSR programme is genuine and rooted in a brand truth, then it can work very well. But if it feels like a badging exercise, consumers are savvy enough to see that it is just another marketing exercise Thank you for your time!
#4: WILLIAM LANA Interview- William Lana. Founder of Greenfibres ethical clothing and home-ware retailer, Devon. - Ok, so I’ve told you a bit about my project already haven’t I - Yes - So its to do with authenticity and provenance in fashion, and I’m exploring what makes a brand authentic, which is sometimes quite contradictory in fashion, because a lot of fashion can be seen as a bit frivolous - Certainly fast fashion, and that seems to be within the last 8-10 years - Exactly yeah, especially with the rise in globalization, that kind of thing. So what I’ve found so far is that ethical fashion is the most truly honest form of fashion and the most authentic, but I want to explore that a bit more. So would you firstly be able to explain a bit about Greenfibres and the ethos of your company? - Sure ok. Well in a nutshell, we started about 15 years ago after we looked at the overall market for products in the UK. So I was living in Brussels, I was working for the EU for 5 years, I wanted to move back to England (although I don’t sound English I am English!), so we wanted to find a way of earning our livelihood that was in parallel to our principles, and at that time (it was the early 90s) there was very little around. Organic farming had started, so we looked at food and drink and the possibility of doing something with that; im also interested in green building projects, but actually when we came across textiles, nobody was doing anything, and it just felt like, on the continent, there was little around. So H&M did a small range of organic baby clothes in 1993, but there was nothing fair trade certified; we just felt like textiles was an area where there were a lot of damaging and toxic inputs, and not a whole lot of alternatives for consumers who think, well, how can I make a difference in the way I spend my money, and they could make a difference in the textile industry. There were no options really, I mean Katherine Hammnet had done 1 or 2 public campaigns about raising awareness over aids, so there was that vain of using textiles to promote a message, and a healthy message, but not really ethical or primarily aimed at opening up the textile industry. So it was deciding that textiles was an area that a small individual could start a business that could make a difference, and so the first few years were very much… I didn’t have a fashion background, I didn’t go to an art collage; I had a business background- I had previously helped set up companies in the form of the soviet union, I’d worked at investment banks, so my experience wasn’t from a fashion angle. Looking at the fashion side of things, our very first catalogue looked very consumer unfriendly I think is the best way to put it- but our first catalogue had no people in them. I took the clothes, on a mannequin, to Greenwich park at 6am- I didn’t want any people in them as I didn’t want to support a beauty image. But we didn’t sell very many clothes - Mm its hard isn’t it - So there was that realization of, well what does the green market want, as we wanted to sell into those people who were aware, and who were thinking about the impact of their purchases. So there was a beginning of a dialogue really with our growing customer base as to what they’d like. - Ok. So from that, who would you say your target customer base is, what are their needs? - We did a couple of surveys to find our target market and to find out who we’re selling to- we have a database now of over 55,000 customers, and its unfortunately (for marketing purposes) very broad. - Ok. - So essentially, we’ve done these surveys, and it has shown that 40% of our market falls into women aged 30-65. They usually have an above average education, but that doesn’t necessarily mean university degrees, their just sort of active in their self- learning. They’re also active in their civic duties, so they’re usually members of 1 or 2 local groups; there’s an engagement element there. They may or may not have kids; that doesn’t seem to make a huge difference, and they usually (again this was over 40%) have an income of over 40,000 a year. But that’s only 40% of our market- we found the other half of our market was very disparate, you know, people on very low salaries, people on very high salaries. We have all kinds of different home settings, so families with more than 2 parents… it was just all over the shop. Also age wise, people in their 20s were buying things from us- so I don’t have a simple answer for you, except that it’s a very broad market! - Ok, so I’ve been asking people my age at uni if they’d shop ethically, and some of the drawbacks for them is that its obviously slightly more expensive to afford eco-fabrics and that kind of thing. So would you say that that could be one of the drawbacks for ethical clothing? I guess it depends how passionate people are about it - Partially, but it also depends a little bit on how governments or societies perceive these items, so although at the moment it looks like ethical and organic textiles are more expensive, I would say that’s because the full cost of the cheaper textiles isn’t being included in the product. So it may look like you can buy a £3 T-shirt, but really you cant, its just that some of those costs associated with a £3 T-shirt aren’t being borne by the consumer. So for example, £40,000,000 to clean up southwest water from pesticide use is payed by water rate users in this area. That’s money which conventional agriculture famers have put into the system, but you don’t pay that when you buy a conventional potato. Likewise, a lot of the pollution and toxic costs of poor dyes or poor manufacturing processes are carried by the communities where these activities happen. So I think actually organic and ethical textiles are honestly priced, and what we need to is to say A were not paying people properly for that £3 T-shirt so that’s a huge moral injustice, you know, we started to deal with slavery 200 years ago in this country, but there are still lingering huge issues about social welfare conditions, so really that T-shirt shouldn’t be £3. There’s also, where does the cotton seed come from, its probably genetically modified, how has it been harvested, grown, how has it been spun into yarns, how have these yarns been woven into fabric, how has it been dyed; there’s no way you can do all that for £3 accurately. Basically I think one area of difficulty is perception as to how much textiles are worth. 100 years ago, you bought a coat that lasted you 20,30 or 40 years, you didn’t buy a coat for a season; so we need to go back to quality garments, and we need to feel ok about mending them- I think the economics are a little but out of sync. That’s what globalization has done to the buying price; it’s made them inaccurate. So yes I think cost is an issue, I’m very respectful of that.
- Ok, so you were talking about globalization, and I think the rise of digital forms of communication, so social media has had an impact; I’m wondering whether its impacted in negative or positive ways, so what do you think about that, because obviously its made it harder for brands to get away with things. - I think it’s a bit of both; I think it’s a tool, just like I’d say money is a tool- you know, money isn’t inherently good or inherently bad, its what you do with money that’s the issue. So social media and the whole revolution in communications over the last 10 years; it has been occasionally used for good, say something like the situations that have been happening recently in North Africa, in which people have been able to communicate very quickly about certain issues, that’s a force for a positive change. Then it can also be used negatively, and I think we always have to be weary of where the information comes from, who gains from that, who’s making money. It also shouldn’t make us feel that, now we have social media, if there’s something going wrong in a factory in Bangladesh that we’ll hear about that. I think what happened in the Rhana factory about a year ago where there were still multi-layered poor working practices happening in a building that hadn’t passed appropriate building regulations, those things still exist; just because we have social media it doesn’t mean that information gets out accurately in timely. What I’d love to see is the full history of a garment on its barcode; so you go with your IPhone and you scan a QR code or something, and all of a sudden you see the history of where that fabrics come from, who’s made it, where have they made it. There was a survey done on a Lee Cooper pair of jeans, and it took 40,000 km to get from field to sales shop, you know because textiles moves around, and not everything is done in the same place.These things are sent great distances before the end up on our shelf; if we could QR code that, I think it would open peoples eyes. So social media, maybe on balance I’d say its 60% positive. - Yeah, I mean I’ve looked at a brand called ‘Honest By’, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them - No - They’re quite interesting actually because they’re purely online, and all their products feature their whole history - Wow that’s very exciting - I know - Because you mentioned Honest By, if you also look up something called ‘Made By’, they’re an interesting Dutch organization - Great. There’s also another website called ‘Sourcemap’, which is an online platform for supply chains which is quite interesting- so it tracks thousands of product journeys. - Mm, yeah. - So why do you think customers are wanting to know more about the production journeys of their clothing in the modern day, and why would you say this concept is so important in fashion? - Two different questions. I think the first is wider, more open; why does anyone want to know anything about their lives. I think it makes life more worth living. If you’re exploring what the food is that your putting into your body, the skincare that your putting onto your skin, you’re really exploring your life, and why you made those choices, what you want to support in your life. So most people who go into the high-street shops and buy high-street textiles, I don’t think they want to do something negative, they’re not intentionally keeping the working conditions of whatever they’re buying very poor. So why I think people are interested in thoughtfully made products is because they want to feel like they’re having a positive influence on the world; inherently, I think we’re trying to make things better, and one small aspect of that is fashion. And the second part of your question? - So why do you think the concept of provenance, so shopping locally etc., is so important in fashion? I guess its related - It is related, but fashion is specifically problematic. You can drive out of London in 10 minutes and see food being grown; its not always possible to do, but you can have an immediate connection. Fashion has been sort of ripped out of our society in the last 100 years, in a way that it happens somewhere else. You used to be able to know where your woolen coat came from; because of this element of identity that comes with fashion now, it almost allows people to get away with not caring about the provenance. So I think once you start asking yourself about where stuff comes from, all of a sudden, provenance becomes very important.We can’t grow cotton in this country, so where can we? For Greenfibres, we ask ourselves, where’s the closest we can go to get the cotton that we want to get; Turkey, Egypt, parts of central Asia… all of this is certified organic cotton found as close as we can. I think that issue of looking at your food, your shelter and now increasingly your clothes, is seeping into society. Partially through television, but it hasn’t fully been grasped yet. - Ok thank you. I’ve touched on this already, but why would you say the idea of having an ethical conscience is so important now? Would you say it’s because of globalization? - I’d say its important to have a conscience because the future of humanity depends on it. So I think id we continue to make shortterm decisions, then we will continue to destroy our forests, we’ll continue to pump Co2 into the air, and we’ll continue to slaughter species. So I think there is a realization that our impact on this planet is having a real detrimental effect, and a desire to try to mitigate and balance that negative effect.You’ve chosen a tough topic, because the fashion industry is even more engaged with speed, colours, change and identity than other industries are- so the fashion industry is at quite a far end of what could be considered wrong in the way in which we lead our lives. Now you can do ethical fashion well; I think companies like People Tree are a perfect example of that.You see companies trying to push ahead with fashion and ethical, and that is tough. - Yeah I think its hard for brands like H&M who haven’t always been ethically minded; you either have to do it and go the whole way or not do it at all. - Yes, I think the important thing is to support those who are trying to go the whole way. We spend 800,000,000 a year on all kinds of products; if a small fraction of that would come to ethical textiles, we could bring down a lot of changes. - So ultimately, would you describe Greenfibres as ‘authentic’? My whole project centers around that, but there are a lot of different interpretations of the word. - Again, you’ve chosen a word that doesn’t have a clear definition. Yes I would say that were authentic, but I think were authentic because our customers have told us that. That kind of word is a bit like ‘beautiful’. I think some of our things are quite beautiful, but I have to base my opinion on what we’ve been told. I think it’s the combination of willingness, of being open to having conversations that are honest and true; that’s what makes people feel we’re authentic. I don’t think authentic means you can’t do better- you haven’t reached nirvana yet, but authentic means we’re happy to share what we’ve done and why we do it, and hopefully help others to do so. - So the idea of honesty, that’s one of the crucial aspects of authenticity - Yeah. And open communication- its not like people want realms and realms of information, but its there if they need it.
#5: ATTEMPTED INTERVEWS
#6: FOCUS GROUP FOCUS GROUP- conducted with Alana Deighan & Lucynda Jackson. With Judy Lewis Jones, Jacob Lyons, Molly Randall, Kerri McCartney, Rachel George & Anna O’Driscoll. - Do you feel more of an attachment to a product that has been designed for you, or personalized? - (Judy) What do you mean? - (Lucynda) It could be anything, say like a magazine, or your style- So if you were shopping online and they were like, suggesting a specific item of clothing or style, would you feel like ‘Oh, that’s actually quite nice, I haven’t come across this before’ - (Rose) Or just like a general service that would appeal specifically to your needs - Umm, probably not no. - It doesn’t have to be just ‘style’ - Sorry I’m so confused as to what the question is - (Alana) So like you could pick exactly what you wanted in a magazine, or in an item of clothing, or would you rather just pick something you liked online? - (Lucynda) Or like Nike shoes, you can have personalized shoes completely. - Oh, the Nike thing, ok I’d say that does appeal to me, but I wouldn’t do it. I think it’s a good idea, but I wouldn’t do it, no. - (Jake) Yeah I’d say, yeah. Like if you got your name on like an Arsenal shirt, yeah that would appeal. - (Kerri) Yeah I think it’s a really good idea, like having stuff that pops up on the website, yeah. - (Molly) Yeah, I just would never do it. - Just cos its too much effort? What if an online service like specifically sent you personalized items and things like that- would you be more interested in that if it wasn’t going out of your way to do it? - Yeah probably. - (Rachel) I think not for clothing, cos id personalize it for myself if I wanted to, and it’d be a bit weird if a website was like putting my name on things and stuff, but if it kind of knew some things you regularly look at or something to see what kind of taste you had… - (Judy) Yeah it does that with loads of things, it like suggests from what you’ve previously bought - (Alana) Like the new Google thing where they can tell everything you’ve been looking at - (Rose) Yeah like ‘Big Data’ - (Rachel) Yeah, and magazines, that’d be cool, like easier to kind of collate and find out everything that you want to know about. -(Anna) Um, yeah I’m the same, like if they sent it to me that’d be cool, but I’m not going to go out of my way to do it. - (Lucy) Is user driven content something that interests you? Where you have control of the technology; like smart-phone scanning, that kind of thing. - (Judy) Um, no that doesn’t appeal to me. So is an example like those adverts with that funny black and white thing, and it takes you to a product? - Yeah, and like on websites, when you can enter your own login? - Yeah, I mean what I like when I’m using things online is I like to have my own space to um, login to and see what I’ve previously been looking at, what clothes I might’ve been looking at or something. So I guess yeah that would, but the scanning thing I don’t understand so… - Yeah you wouldn’t look at it… - Probably not, no. - (Jacob)- Umm, I think no. - (Kerri) Umm, for certain things, but in general no. - (Molly) Yeah there’s probably no reason I’d want to complicate things by using it - (Rachel) Umm, whenever I use them they’re just a shortcut to a website, so I could probably Google it quicker than I could scan it - (Anna) Yeah I don’t really think about it either to be honest, I’m not interested - Fair enough - (Rose) Would you be more likely to engage with advertisements online or offline? So would you be more likely to get excited about an advertisement in a magazine then say one online which is more interactive? - (Judy) Umm, something that it simple and that I can just look at and get instantly what it is- so paper, in a magazine. - (Jake) Yeah id say the same, I don’t like any adverts online. - (Lucy) Especially like, not pop up ones? - Yeah even ones just on the side and stuff - (Kerri) I most like adverts that grab your attention, so like celebrity endorsements and things like that, so it’s usually in magazines - (Molly) I’d probably say online, so if its gonna take you to the website, like what its advertising. If I’ve got it on paper than id never look at it again.
- (Rachel) I think in a magazine, cos you have to physically flip past it if you don’t want to see it anymore- online you just press ‘X’ without even taking in what it is - (Anna) Yeah I just ignore everything online including adverts - (Judy) Its like you’re so used to doing it, there’s just a column online with adverts always there (Molly) when adverts are down the side, like pop up, I don’t click on them. -(Alana) yeah I always think they’re going to be viruses. -(Kerri) I’ve noticed even ASOS, they have started to pop up on the side when I’m browsing, to make you keep it in mind. -(Rose) So adverts which have like you know, engage with social media and have complex stories behind them, do you find them all just a bit too complex? -(Everyone) general murmur of yeah! -(Alana) Do you guys own an ipad or tablets, anything like that? -(Everyone) no -(Rose) This is a bit unrelated sorry, but what would it take for an advertisement to engage you, whether it is featuring real women or celebrities? -(Judy) If it something completely different and I’ve never seen it, like on your survey I did, I think it’s something that’s almost a bit shocking and something that’s a bit different, going against the norm, whether that’s using a different type of model or text or something. -(Jake) Well I’d say like, if something’s stands out, it’s probably celebrities I’m most interested in. -(Kerri) yeah I would agree as well and when they have celebrities, it makes it aspirational and you like notice it more -(Molly) Um I’d say probably using real models that aren’t like six foot tall -(Rachel) I think something different, I’m not really interested in celebrities and stuff, I think that would put me off more -(Anna) oh yeah same -(Alana) I’ve got a random question, what is creativity to you? What do you feel creativity is? -(Judy) I think it’s something that is new, something fresh, something natural, umm is very interesting um visually and engaging -(Jake) yeah that’s the perfect answer I think -(Kerri) I think creativity can be lots of different things, I think you can be creative with the same you dress and you know it’s something that’s unique to you -(Molly) I just imagine art, I wouldn’t think an outfit’s creative, I always think of a painting -(Rose) So I have these two adverts and I want you to just like have a think about the words that come to mind when you see them and if we go round and you’d be able to write it on the whiteboard, interactive. -(Judy) I think it’s different, shall I write it…I think it’s different because the model is distorted, in fashion you expect everything to be pristine and you don’t usually see someone like scrunched up and that’s why I like it because it different -(Jake) shocking, because it’s different from normal -(Molly) Ugly -(Rose) why do you find it ugly. -(Molly) because it’s not very pleasing on the eye, it’s not a very nice picture Irrelevant -(Rachel) creative, and random (Rose)-So compared to this more product based glamorous advert which one appeals to you more? -(Judy) The Comme De Garcon one, because it’s completely different and it’s not something you usually see in advertisements like a women laying on a bed all glamorous, and it looks like you can touch it and it has texture and depth, I like it a lot Does anyone prefer the Louis Vuitton? -(Molly) I do, it’s more visually pleasing and it’s actually advertising something as the other one is really unclear and you can see the clothes in the picture -(Rachel) I agree -(Rose) I’m now going to show you a quick video, that I’d like the hear you feedback on, It’s the new Levis advert (shows video) -(Rose) So what did you guys think about that advert, did it engage you or not? -(Judy) I thought it was very nicely shot, just looking at it for what it is, not an advertisement. It’s really nice, I couldn’t quite see how it was related to denim or jeans, um it was basically, for me it was nice it was just people wearing denim in nice places, I suppose it is that whole authenticity thing, everything was quite aged and old and authentic -(Rose) Basically the brand were r- building a town and putting money in to build in but in turn advertising their own brand. -(Jacob) So they were using Levi as working people? -(Rose) yeah -(Judy) Oh so Levi as a brand they were rebuilding their whole town but in turn advertising their brand and products? -(Rose) Yeah, do you agree with that? -(Judy) Yeah, I think always helping charity is a positive thing -(Jacob) Yeah I thought it was a good advert, the music added expense, but I thought there would be a big ended but their wasn’t, but I did like it, even though we didn’t really see the jeans
-(Rose) Do you agree with brands using and working charity? -(Rachel) yeah -(Molly) I reckon it is just to promote their selves though -(Jacob) But as long as the community gets help then everyone a winner -(Molly) but have you ever seen proof of community’s being a winner, have you seen pictures and videos? (Laughs) -(Jacob) I suppose not -(Jacob) As long as theirs money going to them people who need it, I think its good -(Rose) Do you care about where your clothes have been made and would you be interesting in learning about their production journey? -(Judy) Yes I care about where my clothes I been mad -(Rose) do you buy your clothes at ethical places? - (Judy) I try but, but the ethically made clothes are most expensive a lot , so that’s always an issue, but yeah I do try to -(Jacob) Um I don’t care -(Rose) You don’t care at all? -(Jacob) Yeah I don’t think I’d want to know where they came from either -(Kerri) Yeah I do care but I wouldn’t necessarily need to know in order to buy it, I just buy it -(Molly) Yeah I’m not bothered in the slightest, they’re going to be on the rails anyway and someone’s going to buy it so why shouldn’t I buy it -(Rachel) It’s not something I think about when I shop, but if I would told it would encourage me or put me off -(Alana) Yeah I understand that -(Anna) Yeah I care, I haven’t brought a pair of Nikes since reading how bad they are, Nike have a terrible back story to them, their product have already been really expensive -(Rose) Yeah they do (Rose, Alana and Lucinda) Okay thank you everyone that was great!
#7: BLOG & PINTEREST I created a blog to help me in my research; newrealismandauthenticity.tumblr.com
#8: UNUSED AD MOCK-UPS
School of Art & Design
2013/14 Module: Negotiated Project Stage 1 Module Leader: Tim Rundle Ref. no: FASH30001
Individual Research Project idea (Stage 1): Title:
The Search for Authenticity Details:
My research project idea circles around the exploration of the fashion industry’s constant strive for ‘authenticity’ in the face of the digital age, despite the paradoxically consumerist nature of fashion. I intend to investigate the ways in which both brands and publications have portrayed a sense of realism in their promotional material and editorials; through this, my report will aim to uncover what makes a successful depiction of authenticity within fashion. I will be focusing especially on the sense of realism that emerged in the 1990s through magazines such as The Face and brands including Comme Des Garcons and Helmut Lang, comparing this to the modern day whilst exploring the notion of ‘antifashion’. This will result in a number of advertising strategy recommendations for brands, whereby the inclusion of philanthropic techniques will be considered in effectively communicating authenticity.
School of Art & Design
Module: Negotiated Project Stage 1 Module Leader: Tim Rundle Ref. no: FASH30001
Revised Self-Devised Research Project Brief Please consider the impact of the presentation feedback, workshops and tutorials you have had so far and revisit your thinking on the following; Rewritten Project Title:
New Realism and the Search for Authenticity
Fashion’s battle between consumerism and authenticity is constant; how can fashion advertisements communicate honesty in the face of the digital age?
Altered Aims & Objectives: I will be investigating the different ways in which brands have communicated ‘authenticity’, exploring the effect digitalisation has had on this notion through looking at past advertisements (with particular emphasis on the many innovative campaigns that emerged in the 90s) compared to those in the present. This will then inform my recommendation strategy, in which I will outline the ways in which a brand can be seen as authentic in the modern day, combining both print & digital aspects.
New Approaches & Methodologies:
I will be utilizing innovative forms of primary research such as focus groups, ethnographic studies, consumer profiles, interviews and street surveys; secondary research will take the form of books/articles/journals as well as a number of talks I will hopefully be attending.
Revisited Brief: Through investigating fashion’s strive for authenticity, I will first be exploring the different meanings of ‘authentic’. This will outline the various stages of my project; Firstly, I will look at authenticity interpreted in a creative, innovative sense, researching original advertisements from brands such as Comme des Garcons. Secondly, I could explore authenticity in the form of ethical transparency, looking at brands such as Honest By. Lastly, I would like to research brands that are being seen as ‘authentic’ in a philanthropic sense, through their involvements with local initiatives- for example Levi’s’ ‘Go to Work’ campaign. These investigations will be related back to the consumer, looking at Generation Y and the emergence of the ‘New Realists’, and how brands need to be constantly innovative in order to regain their brand loyalty.
Strategic Outcomes: Here I will be outlining the ways in which a brand can be seen as authentic in the modern day, combining both print & digital aspects to effectively increase consumers’ trust in the brand. The idea of user-driven content especially appeals to me in creating an engaging advertisement strategy.
I included this ethics statement within every interview I conducted, making sure my participants were fully aware of how their information would be used. Your Questions Answered: I am a third year Fashion Communication and Promotion student and Nottingham Trent University. For my dissertation I am researching ‘Fashion Advertising and the Strive for Authenticity’, and am interested in your views regarding this subject as part of my project. The information you provide will be collated with other forms of research under the supervision of my individual tutor, so as to gain a realistic and reliable insight into the subject. Your participation is entirely voluntary; no one else will be informed of your participation or non-participation. At any subsequent point, you can withdraw from the project, and withdraw any information you have provided so far. Any pictures taken throughout the interview process will be used solely within my research report, having gained your approval for this. In order to keep a record of the interviews, I would like to tape the discussion and subsequently transcribe this into text. Having analysed your information, I will then feed certain elements into my report. At the end of the study all tapes, transcripts and other records will be destroyed; in the meantime, the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The main cost to you will be the time you have given up to be interviewed. I hope that you find our discussion interesting, however; after completing the project I will return to you with my findings if you wish for me to do so. These results will be used as part of university assessed work; a research report entitled ‘New Realism & the Strive for Authenticity’. It will be read by my tutors, and may be available to the external examiner, an academic from another university. If you would like me to provide further information surrounding my project, do not hesitate to contact me at: Rosemarthalewis@gmail.com Thank you for your participation.
A shortened version was used in my questionnaire, in order to brief survey participants on what to expect in the survey.
I am a third year Fashion Communication and Promotion student and Nottingham Trent University. For my dissertation I am researching ‘Fashion Advertising and the Strive for Authenticity’, and am interested in your views regarding this subject as part of my project. Your participation is entirely voluntary; the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence and kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Thank you for your participation.
REFERENCES Barthes, R., 2006. The Language of Fashion. English Edition. Oxford, UK: Berg Beverland, M.B., 2009. Building Brand Authenticity: 7 Habits of Iconic Brands. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Boyle, D., 2004. Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life. New York: Harper Perennial Danks, R., 2013. The Portas Agency. Presentation given at the “Online vs. Offline” conference hosted by The Trend Boutique on 27 November 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] Datamonitor, 2009. Authenticity & Provenance Trends: Consumer Insights and Marketing Opportunities [online]. Available via: Datamonitor [Accessed 23rd November 2013]. Gibson, O., 2005. Shopper’s eye view of ads that pass us by. The Guardian [online]. 19 November. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/nov/19/advertising.marketingandpr [Accessed 15th December 2013]. Grand, F., 1998. Comme Des Garçons (Fashion Memoir). London, UK: Thames & Hudson Howell, M. Margaret Howell- Story [online] London: Margaret Howell. Available at: http://www.margarethowell.co.uk/story [Accessed 20th December 2013] Hurling, B., 2013. Unilever Behaviour Psychologist: Interview with Rose Lewis, Devon UK, 20 December. Joseph Pine: What Consumers Want, 2004. [Ted] Ted, February 2004. Available at: http://www.ted.com/ talks/joseph_pine_on_what_consumers_want.html Kansara,V.A., 2010. Provenance? There’s an App for That. The Business of Fashion [online]. 27 September. Available at: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2010/09/fashion-2-0-provenance-theres-an-app-for-that. html [Accessed 10th December 2013].
Klein, N., 2010. No Logo. 10TH Anniversary Edition. London, UK: Fourth Estate Lana, W., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Greenfibres shop, Devon, 22 December. Lewis, R., 2013. New Realism & the Search for Authenticity survey. Surveymonkey [survey]. 20th October. Available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DKMNRLF [Accessed 30th October 2013] Lynch, A and Strauss, M., 2007. Changing Fashion: A Critical Introduction to Trend Analysis and Cultural Meaning. Oxford, UK: Berg Lyons, J., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Boots Library, Nottingham Trent University, 19th November. Mintel, 2013. E-Commerce- UK July 2013 [online]. Available via: Mintel [Accessed 20th November 2013]. Ogie, H. (email@example.com), 2013. New Realism and the Search for Authenticity. 22 December. Email to: Rose Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) Olfers, S.V and Gaensheimer, S., 2010. Not in Fashion: Photography and Fashion in the 90s. Germany: Kerber Verlag Randall, M., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Boots Library, Nottingham Trent University, 19th November. Ropars, O. Image recognition technology: the world as a shop window. The Guardian [online]. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network-partner-zone-ebay/image-recognition-technology-retailsales Sassatelli, R., 2007. Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics. London, UK: SAGE Publications Sheehy, P., 2013. Folk Digital. Presentation given at the â€œOnline vs. Offlineâ€? conference hosted by The Trend Boutique on 27 November 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] Smith, K., 2013. Where did it come from? Fashion & Provenance [online] London: EDITD. Available at: http://editd.com/blog/2013/01/fashion-provenance/ [Accessed 25th November 2013] Stogdon, G., 2013. Burberry. [Lecture to Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University]. 6th December.
ILLUSTRATIONS Fig 1. Lewis, R., 2013. Word diagram presenting survey participants’ views on authenticity [infographic]. Own image. Fig 2. Britt, J., and Tsuguya, I., 1989. Comme des Garcons Autumn/Winter advertisement [digital image] Très Bien visuals. Available at: http://visuals.tres-bien.com/image/17319307881 Fig 3. Shanabrook, S.J., 2010. Comme des Garcons Spring/Summer advertisement [digital image] The Band From. Available at: http://www.thebandfrom.com/stephen-j-shanabrook-x-comme-des-garconsshirt/2010/02/ Fig 4. Alas, M., and Piggott, M., 2008. Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer advertisement [digital image] China Daily. Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/lifestyle/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20071220/001372 9c050d08d408e62f.jpg Fig 5. Lewis, R., 2014. Word diagram presenting survey participants’ views on Fig 3 [infographic]. Own image. Fig 6. Lewis, R., 2013. Screenshots of Honest By product detailing [digital image/screenshot]. Own image Fig 7. Salinas, A., n.d. Honest By Campaign imagery [digital image] Honest By. Available at: http://www. honestby.com/en/page/85/campaign-i.html Fig 8. Bolofo, K., 2012. Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2012 campaign [digital image] Models.com. Available at: http://models.com/work/margaret-howell-margaret-howellss-12/85786 Fig 9. UNKNOWN., 2012. Sourcemap [digital image] Ritholtz. Available at: http://www.ritholtz.com/ blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/gu.png Fig 10. Hillcoat, J., 2012. Levi’s ‘Go Forth to Work 2012 TV campaign still [digital image] Vimeo. Available at: http://b.vimeocdn.com/ts/268/623/268623574_640.jpg Fig. 11. McDaniel, M., 2012. Levi’s ‘Go Forth to Work’ 2012 campaign [digital image] Scary Ideas. Available at: http://scaryideas.com/i/18668.jpg
Fig 12. Scott,V., 2010. Margaret Howell Spring/Summer 2010 advertisement [digital image] Models.com. Available at: http://i.models.com/i/db/2010/4/21094/21094-800w.jpg Fig 13. Lewis, R., 2013. Margaret Howell brand Image vs. Identity word diagram [infographic]. Own image. Fig 14. Lewis, R., 2013. Margaret Howell perceptual map [diagram]. Own image Fig 15. UNKNOWN., 2013. Burberry Kisses app visualisation [digital image] Reallyree. Available at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4XHRgMeEZcM/UbhFAXPHksI/AAAAAAAAVcA/NCx2qYI9afk/s1600/Burberry-Kisses.jpg Fig 16. UNKNOWN., 2013. Burberry Smart Personlisation app [digital image] Fastcompany. Available at: http://f.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/1280/poster/2013/02/3005994-posterscreen-shot-2013-02-18-101750.png Fig 17. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell advertisements [photographs]. Own image Fig 18. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell Journeys app visualisation [illustrations/photographs]. Own image Fig 19. Lewis, R., 2013. Hypothetical Margaret Howell Journeys website visualisation [illustrations/photographs]. Own image Fig 20. Lewis, R., 2013. Journeys consumer portrait #1 [Photographs]. Own image Fig 21. Lewis, R., 2013. Journeys consumer portrait #2 [Photographs]. Own image
BOOKS Barthes, R., 2006. The Language of Fashion. English Edition. Oxford, UK: Berg
Beverland, M.B., 2009. Building Brand Authenticity: 7 Habits of Iconic Brands. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Boyle, D., 2004. Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life. New York: Harper Perennial Blanchard, T., 2004. Fashion and Graphics. London, UK: Laurence King Publishing Grand, F., 1998. Comme Des Garçons (Fashion Memoir). London, UK: Thames & Hudson Klein, N., 2010. No Logo. 10TH Anniversary Edition. London, UK: Fourth Estate Lynch, A and Strauss, M., 2007. Changing Fashion: A Critical Introduction to Trend Analysis and Cultural Meaning. Oxford, UK: Berg Olfers, S.V and Gaensheimer, S., 2010. Not in Fashion: Photography and Fashion in the 90s. Germany: Kerber Verlag Michael Bracewell (The Nineties. When Surface was Depth, London 2002). Sassatelli, R., 2007. Consumer Culture: History, Theory and Politics. London, UK: SAGE Publications DISSERTATIONS Marwick, A.E., 2013. Conceptions of Authenticity in Fashion Blogging. B.A. thesis, Fordham University. ARTICLES Fitzpatrick, M., 2010. Image recognition aims to add to Japanese ads. BBC [online]. Available at: http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11982707 Gibson, O., 2005. Shopper’s eye view of ads that pass us by. The Guardian [online]. 19 November. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/nov/19/advertising.marketingandpr [Accessed 15th December 2013]. Kansara,V.A., 2010. Provenance? There’s an App for That. The Business of Fashion [online]. 27 September. Available at: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2010/09/fashion-2-0-provenance-theres-an-appfor-that.html [Accessed 10th December 2013]. Ropars, O. Image recognition technology: the world as a shop window. The Guardian [online]. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media-network-partner-zone-ebay/image-recognition-technologyretail-sales Menkes, S., 2012. Philanthropy in Fashion. The New York Times [online]. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/fashion/16iht-fbono16.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Sowray, B., 2013. Sealed with a kiss: Burberryâ€™s latest innovation. The Telegraph [online]. Available at: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG10113717/Sealed-with-a-kiss-Burberrys-latest-innovation.html ONLINE SOURCES WEBSITES: Advertising Age., 2003. History: 1950s [online] Advertising Age. Available at: http://adage.com/article/ adage-encyclopedia/history-1950s/98701/ [Accessed 12 December 2013] Camilo, B., 2013. Authenticity & the Art of Online Brand Building [online] New York, U.S: Advertising Week Social Club. Available at: http://www.theawsc.com/2013/10/10/authenticity-the-art-of-onlinebrand-building/ [Accessed 20 November 2013] Design Other 90 Network. About Design with the Other 90%: Cities [online] New York, U.S: Smithsonian. Available at: http://www.designother90.org/about/ [Accessed 15 November 2013] Edun. About [online] Edun. Available at: http://edun.com/about/ [Accessed 17 November 2013] Ethical Fashion Forum. What is Ethical Fashion? [Online] London: Ethical Fashion Forum. Available at: http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/ethical-fashion [Accessed 10 December 2013] Exposure Europe., 2013. Work [online] Exposure. Available at: http://europe.exposure.net/homepage/ work/ [Accessed 20 November 2013] Folk. About Folk [online] London, U.K: Folk Clothing. Available at: http://www.folkclothing.com/about [Accessed 1 December 2013] Folk Digital. Our Story [online] Bournemouth, U.K: Folk. Available at: http://www.wearefolk.com/read/ our-story [Accessed 28 November 2013] Folklore. Our Story [online] London, U.K: Folklore. Available at: http://www.shopfolklore.com/our-story [Accessed 1 December 2013] Google Think Insights., 2013. Luxury Marketing Reinvented with Burberry Kisses [online] Google. Available at: http://www.google.co.uk/think/campaigns/burberry-kisses.html [Accessed 20 December 2013] Howell, M. Margaret Howell- Story [online] London: Margaret Howell. Available at: http://www.margarethowell.co.uk/story [Accessed 20th December 2013] i-D. Think Aloud: Future Fashion [online] London, U.K: i-D Magazine. Available at: http://i-d.vice.com/ en_gb/watch/episode/548/think-aloud-future-fashion [Accessed 26 December] Kunde, A., 2013., & Other Stories re-writes H&Mâ€™s approach to selling fashion [online] U.K: FashionUnited. Available at: http://www.fashionunited.co.uk/fashion-news/fashion/other-stories-re-writes-hmsapproach-to-selling-fashion-2013031917198 [Accessed 12 November 2013] Labour and Wait. About Us [online] London, U.K: Labour and Wait. Available at: http://www.labourandwait.co.uk/pages/about-us [Accessed 23 November 2013]
Macleod, D., 2011. Leviâ€™s Ready to Work [online] U.S.A: The Inspiration Room. Available at: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2011/levis-ready-to-work/ [Accessed 17 December 2013] Melissos, J., 2013. Heritage and Innovation in Luxury Branding [online] London, U.K: Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. Available at: http://mainnovationmanagement.co.uk/2013/06/11/heritageand-innovation-in-luxury-fashion-branding/ [Accessed 23 November 2013] Miller, M.J., 2011. Leviâ€™s Takes Go Forth Campaign Global [online] Brand Channel. Available at: http:// www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2011/08/09/Levis-Go-Forth-Global-Campaign.aspx [Accessed 15 December 2013] Mother. News [online] London, U.K: Mother London. Available at: http://www.motherlondon.com/ [Accessed 23 November 2013] Pieters, B. Transparency and Authenticity for Brand Success in the Next Economy [online] Sustainable Brands. Available at: http://www.sustainablelifemedia.com/digital_learning/supply_chain/transparencyauthenticity-brand-success-ther-next-economy [Accessed 22 December] Schroer, W.J. Generations X,Y, Z and the Others [online] Social Marketing. Available at: http://www.socialmarketing.org/newsletter/features/generation3.htm [Accessed 15 November 2013] Smith, K., 2013. Where did it come from? Fashion & Provenance [online] London: EDITD. Available at: http://editd.com/blog/2013/01/fashion-provenance/ [Accessed 25th November 2013] Sourcemap., 2013. What we Offer [online] Sourcemap. Available at: http://sourcemap.com/ [Accessed 21 December 2013] Sterling, B., Spime Watch- Burberry Smart Personalization [online] Wired. California, U.S: Wired. Available at http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2013/02/spime-watch-burberry-smart-personalization/ [Accessed 20 December 2013] Toast. Home [online] U.K: Toast. Available at: https://www.toast.co.uk/ [Accessed 17 November 2013] Trendwatching., 2009. Consumers are discovering the delights of authentic fare [online] London, U.K: Trendwatching. Available at: http://www.trendwatching.com/about/inmedia/articles/2009_consumers_ are_discovering_the.html [Accessed 15 December 2013] BLOGS: Lau, S., 2013. & Other View. Style Bubble [online blog]. 19 March. Available at: http://www.stylebubble. co.uk/style_bubble/2013/03/-other-view.html [Accessed 25 October 2013] White, J., 2013. Food for thought #1- staying on trend with digital marketing. When Blue Dogs Smile [online blog]. 26 June. Available at: http://www.whenbluedogssmile.com/staying-on-trend-with-digitalmarketing/ [Accessed 18 October 2013]. Tedstaff [pseud.], 2012. Ronda Carnegie Talks Ads Worth Spreading, and why advertising is far from dead [online blog]. 7 December. Available at: http://blog.ted.com/2012/12/07/ronda-carnegie-talks-ads-worthspreading-and-why-advertising-is-far-from-dead/ [Accessed 15 November 2013]
VIDEOS: Adbha Dawesar: Life in the “Digital Now”, 2013. [Ted] Ted, June 2013. Available at: http://www.ted.com/ talks/abha_dawesar_life_in_the_digital_now.html Author Martin Lindstrom on Brand Sense, 2010. [Youtube] Simon & Schuster Books. 10 February 2010. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbCMt8Qe2yo [Accessed 16 October 2013]. Burberry Introduces Smart Personalisation- The Burberry Prorsum Womenswear A/W13 Collection, 2013. [Youtube] Burberry. 17 February 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUD_ZPwiAvk [Accessed 3 January 2014] Introducing Burberry Kisses, 2013. [Youtube] Burberry. 12 June 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=LRiZMVEIhas [Accessed 3 January 2014] Joseph Pine: What Consumers Want, 2004. [Ted] Ted, February 2004. Available at: http://www.ted.com/ talks/joseph_pine_on_what_consumers_want.html Levi’s Go Forth to Work- Braddock, PA, 2010. [Youtube] Freshnessmag. 6 July 2010. Available at: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YyvOGKu6ds [Accessed 22 December 2013] Mulberry Vienna- The Making of a Music Box, 2013. [Youtube] Mulberry. 12 June 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a77PzsI5_Vk [Accessed 5 December 2013] Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man, 2009. [Ted] Ted, July 2009. Available at: http://www.ted. com/talks/rory_sutherland_life_lessons_from_an_ad_man.html Steve Howard: Let’s go all in on selling sustainability, 2013. [Ted] Ted, June 2013. Available at: http://www. ted.com/talks/steve_howard_let_s_go_all_in_on_selling_sustainability.html REPORTS: Mintel, 2013. E-Commerce- UK July 2013 [online]. Available via: Mintel [Accessed 20th November 2013]. Datamonitor, 2009. Authenticity & Provenance Trends: Consumer Insights and Marketing Opportunities [online]. Available via: Datamonitor [Accessed 23rd November 2013]. Mintel, 2013. Clothing Retailing- UK October 2013 [online]. Available via: Mintel [Accessed 20th November 2013] Mintel, 2013. Fashion Online- UK October 2013 [online]. Available via: Mintel [Accessed 20th November 2013] Stylus, 2012. Positive Provenance [online]. Available via: Stylus [Accessed 26th November 2013]
ADDITIONAL SOURCES CONFERENCES: Danks, R., 2013. The Portas Agency. Presentation given at the “Online vs. Offline” conference hosted by The Trend Boutique on 27 November 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] Sheehy, P., 2013. Folk Digital. Presentation given at the “Online vs. Offline” conference hosted by The Trend Boutique on 27 November 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] Stogdon, G., 2013. Burberry. [Lecture to Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University]. 6th December. The Future Laboratory, 2013. XX vs. XY. Presentation given at the “LS:N Global Trend Briefing AW2013” conference hosted by The Future Laboratory on 23 October 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] Waller, A., 2013. Ant Waller PR. Presentation given at the “Online vs. Offline” conference hosted by The Trend Boutique on 27 November 2013 at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham [unpublished] PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS: Hurling, B., 2013. Unilever Behaviour Psychologist: Interview with Rose Lewis, Devon UK, 20 December. Lana, W., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Greenfibres shop, Devon, 22 December. Lewis, R., 2013. New Realism & the Search for Authenticity survey. Surveymonkey [survey]. 20th October. Available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DKMNRLF [Accessed 30th October 2013] Lewis, R., 2013. Conversation with Jacob Lyons, Molly Randal, Anna O’Driscoll, Judy Lewis Jones, Rachel George and Kerri McCartney, Boots Library, Nottingham Trent University, 19th November. Lyons, J., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Boots Library, Nottingham Trent University, 19th November. Ogie, H. (email@example.com), 2013. New Realism and the Search for Authenticity. 22 December. Email to: Rose Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org) Randall, M., 2013. Conversation with Rose Lewis, Boots Library, Nottingham Trent University, 19th November.