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03-08-2012
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saann's Avatar
 
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Retro Branding
With all the controversy regarding Hedi Slimane's decision to do a Retro Branding by taking YSL back to its roots and dropping the Yves from its title, I was thinking it would be interesting to see tFSers thoughts on this kind of branding.

Retro Branding means making the old new again. Moving forward by taking a step back. It could be a relaunched historical brand (like the Halston relaunch), or it could be, as in the case of YSL, actually taking an actual step back in time. It could also be just relaunching a certain classic product.

I think it's interesting. The Slimane decision has certainly grown on me. Some might think it shows a lack of imagination but I think it can strengthen the brand as its history becomes more prevalent.

PS. Please don't turn it into a Slimane/YSL discussion solely. We already have a thread for that.

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03-08-2012
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By the way, Saann, great idea for a thread .

This interested me not long ago when I was watching Paris When It Sizzles with Audrey Hepburn and in a scene within the movie Marlene Dietrich is seen walking into the Dior Boutique on Avenue Montaigne and the store was branded 'Christian Dior Boutique'... it's insignificant but it interested me mildly how it's simply scaled back to Dior now.

Here is the branding of Balenciaga from 1939, it hasn't at all modified over the years, IMHO.


*Balenciaga.com

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03-08-2012
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^Thank you!

Funny that you mentioned Audrey Hepburn. Because one way of doing retro branding is actually manipulating the past. Like General Electric did by digitally placing a vintage looking General Electric store on the streets in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's". It's apparently featured in the newer releases of the film (haven't seen it myself though, only read about it).

It's amazing how old a brand like Balenciaga is.. Because it doesn't really play much on its heritage when advertising like other old brands do from time to time (Dior, YSL, Chanel)..


Last edited by saann; 03-08-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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03-08-2012
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Great idea for a thread, it's always interesting to have topics that highlight the history of fashion.
I'll have to think some more about this but the one example that immediately comes to mind is 'Worth', the relaunched version of 'House of Worth' by Charles Frederick Worth, the father of Haute Couture. I found that such a pointless relaunch since it seems like they are now veering away from Haute Couture and are using the brand name for more wearable pieces which are rather tacky and very loosely based on the original vision an aesthetic of Worth:

1887, 1892

metmusem.org


vs. this (F/W 12.13)

nowfashion.com via MagFan


Not sure how I feel about retro branding in general. I need to see some examples of cases where that actually worked.

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03-08-2012
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I agree, great thread!

I'am actually a bit puzzled that this hasn't been brought up before seeing as retro branding is a big part of this trend that is that we are moving away from this consumption mentality/"toss away culture", and instead are focusing more on sustainability and quality products. I know of a few lifestile experts who have been talking about this tendency since 2008. Consumers want more grounded and simple products with a rich history and "no fuss" instead of the mass produced cheap stuff that we have been accostumed to.
It's been visible in the design as well as attitude toward fashion for quite some time, with the large amount of focus on minimalism, "french wardrobe shopping" etc. So I guess it was only a time before it would manifest itself in how fashion is branded.

In short I'm a fan of this way of branding in general, though I'm excited to see how it´s gonna turn out for fashion related brands/products as apposed to low-involvement products such as food, seeing as this isn't just about functional qualities but also emotive and self-expressive values.

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05-08-2012
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antiquedress (via DosViolines), barneys
Here's the Lanvin logo in the 20s and now ...
Attached Images
File Type: png Barneys Lanvin logo coin.png (172.7 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg lanvinspecialdresstag.jpg (8.8 KB, 192 views)

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06-08-2012
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Sometimes you don't even want the original branding to go away. Case in point Gap. I also really like and get excited when I see old Banana Republic tags in thrift shops. I instantly want to buy the item even if the design does not thrill me.

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08-08-2012
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^I agree, I guess it has to do with nostalgia.

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17-08-2012
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^It definitely does. There is a sense of timelessness with items like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinetush View Post
I'am actually a bit puzzled that this hasn't been brought up before seeing as retro branding is a big part of this trend that is that we are moving away from this consumption mentality/"toss away culture", and instead are focusing more on sustainability and quality products. I know of a few lifestile experts who have been talking about this tendency since 2008. Consumers want more grounded and simple products with a rich history and "no fuss" instead of the mass produced cheap stuff that we have been accostumed to.
Oh yeah, it's definitely tied to consumer attitude changes in the past few years. What's funny though, is that there is no real reason what so ever to believe that these kind of brands or items are more sustainable than anything being made by a new brand. And it makes it somewhat impossible for new, modern brands to attain these qualities unless they pass a certain amount of time. You would never buy an Alexander Wang coat and say that it's classic. But you would buy a Burberry coat made the exact same year and feel that it's timeless. Both coats are just as old but only one has history.

I think that's why Halston was revived. They could easily create a collection and name it what ever they want. But creating it under Halston, you're kind of getting all those hard to get qualities for free. It's the same with the Worth collection that Psylocke posted. There is no connection between the 1887 dresses and the modern version besides the name.

In all, this is almost a counter reaction to the very (and I hate to quote Project Runway) 'One day you're in, next day you're out' mentality that has clouded fashion before.


Last edited by saann; 17-08-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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17-08-2012
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Remembered a couple other tidbits re the Lanvin logo ... I remember reading that the forget-me-not blue reversed out of black that is used for the logo on certain items (hang tags, storage bags, etc.) is new but old. Alber chose it, but it was a favorite color of Jeanne's that she found in a painting.

When I look at original Lanvin dresses, I definitely see a connection with the Lanvin of today. I am more familiar with the new than the old, so I was surprised to see how strong the connection is. I think it's very appropriate to have some continuity ... I appreciate the heritage things that Balenciaga has done.

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18-08-2012
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I don't think retro branding has that much to do with nostalgia, simply because a lot of us weren't around in the 60s and 70s (or for some of you 80s and 90s), so how can we be nostalgic about it? I've always liked things before 1980-1985 more than new things (in general) - music, movies, fashion, models....everything. And it can't be related to nostalgia. I rather think it's related to quality, beauty and art - things that have given way to money, sex and some sort of weird take on science.

The whole world has become increasingly sociopathic since the 80s, despite that little grunge hiatus and various fake-holiness in the form of political correctness and environmentalism (anything that does not involve having the be a good person to people in your near vicinity), and we haven't seen the end of it yet. As this mindset "evolves" taste, class and workmanship go right out the window.


Last edited by iluvjeisa; 28-08-2012 at 05:21 AM. Reason: Grammar
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18-08-2012
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Well, when I mean nostalgia I don't mean it in the sense that it's my own direct memories. I mean it more in the sense that it's a romanticizing of the past, filtered through a lens that Retro Branding uses. The past isn't necessarily pretty and harmonic, but all bad aspects are cut off to present us with the nice parts. This is what Retro Branding taps into.

I guess a better word would be escapism?

Because some images effect me the same way nostalgia does, even if I have no experience of them. It's what I know from TV, film, photographs, books etc.

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18-08-2012
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Nice intellectual thread .

Certainly, personal definition of the terms affects what Retro Branding can mean to someone. I like to term such branding as "tradition".

Which encompasses many of the points brought up already here. History, quality (of the things within that history), solidity, steadiness, even sustainability (in an environmental sense).

Being fashion, of course, there is continual change. But change of high quality attached to a house and/or name with tradition can certainly up the value of what is produced. How much "tradition" can in fact affect that value, though, is another debate. Low quality (as exampled by Psylocke above) can have little or real negative effect on a house's tradition, however.

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