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23-09-2010
  46
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Ayisha1978's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
From forums like this one...to facebook pages, websites, blogs, ecommerce, twitter, etc...

the internet is the NEW FRONTIER...
and although the fashion industry came a little late to the party-
basically fighting it every step of the way...
even they can no longer sit back and ignore the power of the internet...

advertisers are pulling out of magazines...and placing ads online...
magazines are going out of business...
websites are being created every five minutes...
blogs are being created about every 5 seconds...

so what is the future?
will all magazines go away?
will they convert to online only...
will there continue to be both?...

and how will sites make money other than by selling ads?
promotions, partnerships,...?

thoughts?...ideas?...
where is this all going...?

and with shows being online so quickly...
will this finally change the show schedule that has seemed so outdated for SO long???...

what do YOU think about how the internet is affecting the big picture and the bottom line?...

I think the fashion industry is perfect online, deep down inside I think that what a lot of people are afraid of is that it will increase competition because you've got instant access to everything right. Maybe to gain more revenue Magazines that go online can have a "new designers" section where they pick out and showcase talented new (unheard of before) designers so the variety can be even more expanded. A fee can be charged for this kind of promotion and have submission requirements like minimum number of pieces, photography / illustration quality and so on.

Sure I'll admit that it's a little sad to face the possibility of seeing the end of the print magazine, but our planet shouldn't have to pay the price for our whims. Besides, online has much greater potential than magazines ever did, unless they come out with a 'video in the magazine' feature with clickable archives. That's not to practical though price wise.

I think another problem here is really transition, people are buying less magazines because they can go online, well if the magazines would cut print on go totally online people would be forced to pay a fee, this could potentially bring in more money though as if the subscription price dropped even more people would get their magazine needs met online, looking through their Vogue tab while waiting for their email to load and checking what's happening on twitter right? Fear not, go forward

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23-09-2010
  47
don't look down
 
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Ah, but 'newer' doesn't necessarily mean 'better'. It can be a ruinous illusion to rely on innovation as somehow always delivering improvement. In areas of business where people don't know what they're doing or where they're going, everyone starts hyping the potential, and relying on flashy, superficial developments to convince everyone that they have a grasp on the future - to distract from the difficulty of creating a proper business model that benefits both consumer and producer.

I see a lot of things that people get excited about, but I'm only interested in the boring old bottom line.

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26-09-2010
  48
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey View Post
does the younger generation still have that feeling though...?
do they care about the hard copy of a magazine>?
or are they so used to a digital world that they prefer it?
people of all generations appreciate the REAL thing. i believe, like many others, that magazines will continue to become more of a niche enterprise like that of hardback books and others, but it won't go away. people still buy vinyl. people still watch film on reels. people go to the theatre. people go to concerts. it's because they appreciate the real experience. one must balance this idea against the growth of the population and the globalization of the world. while more people will move away from magazines, even more people in different markets and different demographics will continue to buy magazines.

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26-09-2010
  49
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^I don't know, I see 99% of editorials and nearly all articles on my computer rather than in print, and I've never thought once a photo would look better printed in a glossy magazine. I just don't see what paper really adds to the finished product.

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27-09-2010
  50
clever ain't wise
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilaughead View Post
^I don't know, I see 99% of editorials and nearly all articles on my computer rather than in print, and I've never thought once a photo would look better printed in a glossy magazine. I just don't see what paper really adds to the finished product.
The pictures may not look better in a magazine, but a magazine is a collection of images - and that unit is hard to represent on the computer. I think. I don't think the ipad is there yet, anyhow.

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27-09-2010
  51
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilaughead View Post
^I don't know, I see 99% of editorials and nearly all articles on my computer rather than in print, and I've never thought once a photo would look better printed in a glossy magazine. I just don't see what paper really adds to the finished product.
it boils down to whether the representation of a thing is better than the actual thing. do you think the photo shots of the runway look better than the video of the collection? do you think the video of a runway presentation shows the product better than actually going to the runway show? do clothes look better hanging on a rack or actually being worn in the real world?

obviously, i consume a lot of fashion online, but it's just not the same as the real thing. i don't care how much i buy from ysl.com. it's not the same as trying on shoes in the chicago boutique (may it forever rest in peace). as lovely as the prada shirts look hanging on the mannequin through the open store front of prada rodeo drive, it looks that much better on a real man in a nightclub. no number of street shots of women wearing balmain jackets on jakandjil.com will ever compare to the feeling of actually seeing it in the flesh and the attitude that comes with that. love it or hate it.

that's one of the growing pains of the internet experience as our world starts to migrate more and more online is that there exist entire generations who have begun to forget the power of the REAL thing. as time moves forward, i'm confident the tide will turn because it always has. people had this argument when the bound novel came about. yet, we still have live performance. we still value poetry. this debate always comes about with new technology -- no matter what form it takes.

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27-09-2010
  52
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^I don't think I understand... a printed photo is no more real than the same image on a monitor.

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27-09-2010
  53
no tom ford, no thanks.
 
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^on that point, we'll have to agree to disagree. one experiences the two differently. it's like saying typing on a laptop is the same as writing with a pencil. it's not the same. we can argue about whether the new generations value one over the other which remains an ongoing debate. but to argue they're the same overlooks something critical. i don't have an ipad sitting on my coffee table logged onto vogue.com. i don't have a library full of computer servers in my country house. may we one day? possibly. but it's not the same thing. not at all.

the experience of flipping through a well-edited and definitive magazine is not the same as clicking through images on line. now, do you value one over the other? that's the metaphysical question we're tackling with this entire conversation. shuffling through my favorite songs on my ipod is not the same as a listening to a musician's LP start to finish.

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28-09-2010
  54
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If we view a magazine as a glorified advertising catalogue, then moving to the internet facilitates that side of things - it makes it easier to get immersed in the commercial environment, and to purchase the items we're led to want.

But there are aspects of the print format that are harder to define... people who love print have a relationship with 'the magazine' that goes deeper than being delighted with the cleverness by which we can now compile our shopping lists.

For me, it's more of a personal, private investment in your own imaginative universe, where the printed page is the starting point for something that I don't want to share with the rest of the world. The content of a magazine is a spur for deeper thoughts, a process which is not aided by watching flashy moments of multimedia nothingness - that's the opposite to what I desire.

In terms of online how-we-made-it content - if I were younger, I would probably adore being able to see much more of what happens behind-the-scenes on cover shoots and catwalk shows, because I would have all the time in the world to absorb every detail of it, but even then, I suspect that I would soon come to see it as repetitive and stuck on a certain level of superficiality that was adding nothing to my need to really understand things.

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28-09-2010
  55
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imho books will stay (well edited & organized context in combination with the bookshelf experience).
Print mags and newspapers will sooner or later die. They miss a proper search function and are a waste of natural resources (ads ), when rollable displays are ready and ads/photoshoots shift into 3D the time of extinction is near.

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28-09-2010
  56
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Strangely enough, contents/index + page number + fingers has always worked fine for me - likewise, that other search function of 'reading the articles' and 'remembering what was in them'.

I'm not looking forward to a future where I rot in an armchair because it's not 'modern' to manually or mentally exert myself in any way outside of tapping on a screen, and then being impressed by some squint-inducing recreation of the three dimensions I'm already living in... I'd rather like technology to provide me with something different to that.

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03-10-2010
  57
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It's sure affecting the fashion industry but I think it is in a more positive way. It's speed up fashion down here in Australia. What I mean by that is, because of heavier access to the latest seasonal trends online (street style blogs especially), manufacturers have pushed out these trends around 6 months quicker than what they would have.

I don't know how accurate that is but it's what I've noticed in the past year.

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08-10-2010
  58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg2109 View Post
It's sure affecting the fashion industry but I think it is in a more positive way. It's speed up fashion down here in Australia. What I mean by that is, because of heavier access to the latest seasonal trends online (street style blogs especially), manufacturers have pushed out these trends around 6 months quicker than what they would have.

I don't know how accurate that is but it's what I've noticed in the past year.
I think you've made a really good point about how the internet is speeding everything up...
by the time the magazines come out with their september issues etc we've already seen pictures of all the runway shows and upcoming trends in hair and makeup have been discussed...

certain hairstyles from the runway will be copied right away by the masses (i'm thinking of the popularity of the side braid at alexander wang for instance)...
that look became popular long before the images appeared in traditional magazines...

and it almost feels like certain trends start to feel old by the time they hit the stores...
i think everyone ends up being more and more diligent about being on the cutting edge, which is why those big fast-fashion chain stores like zara, h&m etc are sort of beating designers to the punch and getting copies of their designs (or at least versions inspired by their designs) out to the masses before these smaller companies can get things into production..

it's interesting to see and think about how things have changed...

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29-10-2010
  59
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Great information has been posted in this thread. Thanks everyone! I am an Internet marketing student and hope to use my skills in the fashion industry upon graduation so this is all very relevant.

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23-05-2013
  60
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Op-Ed | Why Are We Ruining Our Best Young Fashion Companies?

BY LAWRENCE LENIHAN THURSDAY, 23 MAY, 2013


Source: Shutterstock
NEW YORK, United States —
We are ruining potentially wonderful companies out of sheer ignorance of the fashion industry and a lack of understanding of how technology will impact it. We are overcapitalising companies and forcing unnatural, unsupported expansion — and by we, I mean investors and the entrepreneurs who take too much of our money. We are not purposely killing these companies, of course. It’s just that we are not experienced enough with the subtleties of the fashion industry to understand how a relationship with a customer is earned and have misapplied lessons learned in building companies like Amazon and Google.

As investors, we are very skilled at taking the early trajectory of a company’s growth and extrapolating a presumed future revenue path. We look at Google and Facebook and Twitter and we see that early rapid growth portends future rapid growth. But, we fail to understand that these companies are not technology companies. What if, after a period of rapid growth, a brand or retail concept approaches saturation of its market and growth slows to single digits each year? What if the actual market sizes for these companies are less than we thought?

Technology has changed everything. What started with silly online fashion concepts like Boo.com gave rise to the incredible Net-a-Porter, which, in turn, has paved the path for a succession of high profile companies that address various facets and aspects of the fashion and retail industry. The beauty of such companies as Modcloth, Warby Parker, Nasty Gal, Fab and others is that they have embraced the Internet as a platform for an intimate and passionate relationships with their customers by connecting with them around their interests, what they value and whom they aspire to be. The more targeted the focus of these companies, the more meaningful the relationship that they have with their customers.
This is not a new concept: specialty stores and stores owned by brands have built empires on it. But our ability to access and target very specific groups of customers on the Internet amplifies it’s impact far beyond what any designer or merchant ever imagined: market segments defined by relationships with customers that are so much more meaningful because they are so much more intimate. Want to look like you are a cast member of Girls and live in Brooklyn? Check out Modcloth. LA starlet? Nasty Gal. Cool, Internet-savvy hipster? I have a nice pair of Warbies for you. These are not flippant comments by someone who wished that they invested in each of these (I do wish it!); it’s a slightly tongue-in-cheek, but accurate observation on the essence of the true brilliance of the intimate connection these companies have with their customers.

These companies are just the first wave: get ready for many more that are similarly laser-focused. They will disrupt and transform the entire industry by re-segmenting and sub-segmenting and micro-sub-segmenting the fashion industry to connect to customers who are craving for true connection and, in a way, to manifest their own identity in the form of a brand they love.

Before the Internet, a brand had two ways to access a customer: open a store or find a retailer to carry its product. Opening a store to access customers costs an enormous amount of money, especially in valuable locations where the density of potential customers is high. On the positive side, the capital required provided companies who could access these resources with enormous barriers to entry to protect against new entrants. Alternatively, retailers have functioned as gatekeepers for brands who could not afford their own stores or needed the credibility of a trusted arbiter of taste to represent the brand. The retailer controls the customer and, thus, the relationship.
The Internet completely changes the model of building a fashion company by enabling the creator of the brand to find customers first rather than finding a gatekeeper who controls the access to customers first. It removes the huge capital barriers to entry of building a physical store and the previous constraints around accessing a geographically diverse set of customers. It also provides a platform for community that enables a brand’s customers to participate in the building of the brand.

But, to stand out above the noise created by massive corporate brands, a new fashion brand needs to mean something more than the incumbents for a customer to switch. How can Nasty Gal succeed against H&M or Zara or Forever 21? By having a point of view! The brilliance of these new companies is that they recognised that people were craving for a point of view, something special and different and they gave it to them in a new form and in a way in which their customers participate almost as intimate friends rather than mere consumers. Fashion mirrors life: we are always searching for where we belong. On the Internet, you can search all over the world anywhere, anytime, in seconds. These companies connected with their customers (really, their people) who then told the world about the fact that they finally found their home. They are good marketers who did a great job telling their story and they have grown more rapidly than any traditional retailer or brand has ever done before.

This sounds great except for one thing: by meaning something so much more to a given customer, they mean so much more to a far fewer number of customers (and might even alienate others who don’t share similar values, interests and aspirations).
It has to be so: you mean more because you mean something more specific, something more special, something more intimate. Because they are so specific, by definition, the maximum market size for these companies must be smaller than the market sizes for traditional store-based concepts that must target more generally to survive.

There are a finite number of people on this planet. And therefore there is a finite number of people in a segment, sub-segment or micro-subsegment. The Internet connects us to each one, potentially, so if a company is accomplished at customer acquisition it will grow rapidly, unconstrained by store build-outs or other capital-intensive barriers. It will use all means at its disposal and it will be able to scale at an unprecedented rate. But at one point, the company will hit a saturation point where growth begins to slow and no matter how much it spends on marketing or customer acquisition, the incremental cost of each new customer gets to be very high because there are far fewer new potential customers left with whom its message resonates. To attract new customers, the brand expands into adjacent segments, and so it now means less to each of its very loyal customers as it tries to mean something to new customers that were not attracted to its original promise. New entrants seize on this vulnerability and capture customers who feel abandoned by the brand they loved.

There is a maximum market size for every company. These markets might be $5 billion or $50 million in size, but there is a ceiling beyond which a brand cannot grow before it collapses. This maximum market size differs for each company based on the market it addresses and the specific nature of the brand’s message.

But so what?

What if the largest possible market size for a company is $250 million, at which point it is only growing 5 to 10 percent each year. Is that a bad business? Well it depends. It could be a great business if it has been financed at the right valuation, with the right amount of money at each stage, raising more money as the business model and the market size become clear, but only enough to create a profitable, healthy business. A $250 million, profitable company could be a home run for everyone involved. Or it could be a disaster.

Rather than understanding that the revenue curve begins to flatten as it approaches its maximum market size, we assume it can scale forever.
We build an expense structure to support this theoretically multi-billion dollar business and we raise a ton of money to fund it. But no matter how much money we spend, sales will not grow enough to support this more ‘modest’ sized (at least relative to our wide-eyed expectations) business. It will collapse, founders will leave or be fired, there will be an employee exodus and investors will lose a lot of money. Same company, two different outcomes because we only recognised the opportunity presented by the Internet, not the constraints.

We live in a world where we are never satisfied unless we become the next Google. Why can’t we be satisfied with creating something incredibly beautiful that connects with its customers in a way that enriches their lives and generates a great return for everyone involved?
That’s probably a question better saved for a long discussion after a couple of cocktails, but it strikes at how potentially great companies are being ruined by not understanding their market, ignoring the revenue curve that is inherent to the market they have chosen and creating an unsustainable operating cost structure that results in disaster for everyone rather than the certain victory it would have been otherwise.

It’s time to face facts: the next generation of fashion companies will be smaller. But there will be many of them and they will change the face of this incredible industry if we can only get out of our own way and let them.



bof.com

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Last edited by softgrey; 23-05-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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