I have learnt a lot from this module, which has helped me to see how strategy is used in practice. I am finally going to discuss a topic discussed in a lecture with Abdullah that I have seen in my workplace.
We were learning about Ultra High Net Worth earners, inconspicuous consumption and the effect on the luxury industry.
I work at a small, luxury jewellery shop called Clogau. Each item of jewellery contains rare Welsh rose gold from the Snowdonia goldmine in Wales. The price point is quite high compared to competitors, and the same gold has been used in the royal family’s wedding bands for over 100 years.
A customer came in and said how she didn’t want to shop in Tiffany’s & Co. anymore as the customer didn’t want to be viewed as the same. The customer wanted a unique item, that no one would recognise.
This really helped me to understand inconspicuous consumption and it’s effect on brands.
Going to see Dolce & Gabbana was such an amazing experience.
I don’t ever go to Harrods, so I strangely hadn’t heard about the display until the week of the visit.
The turn-out of students was actually quite shocking, but for those of us who did attend, it meant that we had a more intimate tour of two groups instead of four. We had so many members of staff from Harrods take the time to show us around, and we also had two ladies from the D&G team fly over from Italy. It made us all feel so privileged to receive such a detailed tour.
For our group, we had two members of the Harrods team from advertising and management, as well as one member of the Dolce and Gabbana merchandising team showing our group around.
We learnt so much about the history of the Sicilian Christmas traditions, and their meaning, as well as the strategy behind Harrods Christmas display, to break the mould of being a traditional, quintessentially English brand, which a suitablymatching Christmas display. This was to be a new experience and strategy from both members of the team, Harrods and Dolce & Gabbana. They were both doing something new and exciting in order to create a buzz with consumers, and it is working!
There is a little D&G all over the store, whether it was the lights, or the advertising. There was such a fun element behind it all, and learning about it from the tour made it even more special.
The best strategy that I was able to see in practice was the D&G market upstairs. It was all set up like a Sicilian market, with fruit and vegetables (fake of course!) and a carousel, little black boards and chalk prices.
They even had D&G spaghetti for £5! If this isn’t a conversation starter for in-store experience then I don’t know what else would be! They had tote bags with hashtag motifs. It really was remarkable.
This opportunity really was such a learning experience of how well strategy works in practice, and I learnt more about the brand than I ever had before. The puppets of Domenico and Stefano brought such a fun element to the display, which is a great way to create a brand identity and culture that can be perceived by the consumer.
This is my second blog post discussing Strategic Fashion Management.
This is to reflect on our trips out of university to the V&A to see the Balenciaga exhibition.
The Thursday following my group presentations on Shang Xia, we went on a trip to the V&A. We were presented to by one of the curators, who went into much detail about the exhibition, and the history behind each garment.
It was interesting to learn about the Haute-Couture and the celebrities who had worn some of these pieces, as now, Pret-a-Porter is very much the ruler of business in the fashion industry, and where the main profit lies for so many luxury brands.
If we put this into practice, I learnt how some of my large fashion houses around the world, have created a market positioning that will not shift, due to their history and reputation built on the foundations of Haute-Couture. This strategy is what has made so many brands so recognisable. The clothes were very beautiful, and were original designs of the time, and it was a great experience.
This is my first blog post out of four that will discuss my term studying Strategic Fashion Management.
In our first week, we had an introduction into the year and then the term itself. There was to be a new method of group assessment by which we would receive a case study one week before assessment. This was bootcamp style presentations.
My group were included in the first set to present, which was daunting at first, but actually I felt that the task went well and it was a relief to get it out of the way.
The case study that we received was about Shang Xia (meaning ‘up down’), a Chinese luxury brand not long founded by Jiang Qiong’er and Patrick Thomas from Hermès. It is regarded as the ‘Chinese Hèrmes’ but respectfully they have kept their distance and they are totally separate brands as opposed to a sub-brand.
The principles of Shang Xia were to bring back traditional Chinese elements to the modern era, with it’s focus on artisanal craftsmanship. The Asian consumer are the largest spenders on luxury in the world, from many western brands, that there was a gap in the market, with the opportunity to bring the essence of China to the present time.
As a whole, the presentation went well, and we discussed relevant theories and suitable strategy recommendations for the future.
Our team worked well together, but the concept of a bootcamp style presentation was difficult to prepare for as matching one another’s schedules after university hours tended to be quite troublesome, and this was definitely feedback received from other members of the year.
Reflecting back, this was a great experience and a new style of assessment that went quite well for me, but I was very fortunate to work with great girls who put effort in as well.
I learnt about a new brand and a new market, and this is always useful when learning about fashion globally, as sometimes topics studied can be vague as there is so much to cover. I enjoy case studies like this.