http://time.com/5275528/sam-nzima-south-african-photographer-dies/ (JOHANNESBURG) — Tributes are being paid following the death
How to Spot A Fashion Brand
The funny thing about Fashion Brands is that they are many things to many people. A Fashion Brand, of course, is created through the culmination of a Dream, Grit, A Little Magic, And a long-running marketing campaign. Brands also are established once people quickly identify a distinct set of values with a particular logo or some sort of graphic manifestation or name. That’s how brands are formed.
However, you shouldn’t stop there. Just because people have told you that a particular fashion brand is awesome you shouldn’t allow your mind to shut down then and there. You shouldn’t put yourself in a situation that once you hear that a store stocks a particular brand that you whip out your wallet, take out your credit card and make a purchase. Be more proactive than that.
You have to understand that Fashion brands, ultimately, are formulated and established to maintain business interests. In other words, it has a vested interested in staying alive. It is, after all, a business. There’s no shame in that game, but the problem is, you might be at the losing end of that reality if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing.
You have to remember that there are tons of people out there wearing all sorts of clothing that gives free advertising to all sorts of global brands. Now for some people, this is perfectly fine, but ultimately, who wants to look generic? Who wants to look like another face in the crowd? Who wants to fall through the cracks? I’m sure you don’t.
The whole point of fashion is to graphically or visually express your personality through your fashion choices. And unfortunately, a lot of people deal with or think about top brands in such a way that prevents this from happening. Instead, they look like another face in the crowd. They look like just another dot on the horizon filled with so many dots that it looks like a swarm of brands.
Price is Not Value
The first thing that you need to do is to understand that just because a Fashion Brand is known as a luxury brand that this fact alone does not make it automatically valuable. Price is not necessarily value. There are many valuable things that are free. There are many valuable things that don’t cost that much money. At the other end of the equation, there are many expensive things that really are worthless and temporary. Know the difference.
A Solid Fashion Brand is More Than Just a Great Reputation
Just because everybody talks about a Fashion brand doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a great brand. That’s the bottom line. Sure, the people behind the brand did a bang up job promoting and getting the word out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get solid value just by buying that brand.
Think to take things a step further. You need to take the initiative. You can’t just be lazy and assume that “oh everybody’s talking about this Fashion brand, everybody’s wearing it, so I’m going to buy it and it’s going to make me look good.” No, it doesn’t work that way. Just because it has a great reputation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes sense for you.
Fits Your Personal Style
So what makes sense for you? Well, it all boils down to your personal style. Believe it or not, everybody has a style.
Now, one of the greatest ironies of fashion marketing and branding, in general, is the idea that you get your style from the materials you buy. In other words, you buy your style. This is absolutely wrong.
Everybody has their own natural style. Even if you don’t have a penny to your name, you still have your style. You look at the world a certain way, you tend to connect the dots a certain way. That’s your style.
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The role of fashion is to give that a graphic manifestation. In other words, it gives it a specific look and feel, but ultimately, it comes from you. You just use fashion brands as tools to communicate this distinctly personal style.
Don’t mix it up. Don’t get it confused. A lot of people think that they don’t have style unless they buy a certain brand. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
Fashion Brand that Grows With You
A really great Fashion Brand grows with you. It doesn’t remain stuck in the distant past. If you need an example of this, look at Lacoste shirts. You’ve seen those polo shirts featuring that alligator logo.
If you go to the United States or certain parts of Europe wearing a Lacoste shirt, you better be on a golf course. However, if you’re moving out and about, people are going to scratch their head and wonder how you got a hold of a time machine that transported you back to the 1980s. Lacoste, when worn in a non-golf setting is a throwback to the 1980s.
I bring this up because you need to pick brands that grow with you. In other words, they remain relevant regardless of the decade. You don’t want to wear a member’s only jacket and expect to fit in. It doesn’t work. Unless, of course, it’s the early 1980s and Miami Vice was still showing on TV.
Highlights Your Personality
You would not want to buy a brand that is known to be worn by people with a particular range of personalities. Unless, of course, you’re trying to signal to the world at large that you have that unknown side to you. At the very least, you want your personality to be highlighted by brands that are known to fall within that range of personalities and personal sensibilities.
Part of a Community, But Not Exclusive
Another great hallmark of a solid brand is that its part of a community. People associate it with other brands and this forms some sort of brand community. However, it’s really important to make sure that your brand doesn’t stereotype or typecast you.
Going back to the Lacoste example, if you keep wearing Lacoste or Topsider shoes, then people would think that you’re a preppy. At the very least, that you’re some sort of golfer. That’s a serious issue because that almost exclusive bond to that community suppresses the range of social circles available to you. Do you see how this works?
Easy to Accessorize
Another great hallmark of solid top brands is that they’re easy to accessorize. You can easily add to them, you can supplement them, and it doesn’t really take much thinking. Also, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the accessories. You don’t have to go out of your way to try to bring out the best of the brands that you bought. They’re easy to work with.
Affordable in Context
Now when people hear the word “affordable,” they just jump to conclusions. They think that it’s all about paying the least amount of money possible. No. That doesn’t work. That’s the definition of “cheap.” We’re talking about affordability in context.
What this means is that you’re buying a brand persona that fits your personality. And that has a cost. You have to pay for the privilege of enjoying that. You have to be ready to pay for it. Now the question is whether you’re going to be overpaying or paying just enough.
Affordability in context really boils down to maximizing the value you get from the brand while at the same time paying enough to ensure that the brand doesn’t become cheap or generic. It is quite a balancing trick, but solid brands are able to do this time and time again. That’s how solid personal brands are established. That’s how they are spread, and that’s how they are maintained.
Ultimately, of course, all of this discussion must rest solidly on the firm bedrock of solid quality. If you buy a brand that has products that fall apart quickly, that brand is not going to stay relevant for long. You’re wasting your time with that brand. Insist on solid quality and you build your personal brand relationships on the solid ground.
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