Fashion Wakes Up

I have been a magazine junky for decades. Vogue, Elle, New Yorker, New York Magazine, Elle Decor, Vanity Fair, Monocle, and others. I have watched them all evolve over the years with new editors, new lay-outs, new writers and new ideas. The ads can be as interesting as the content.

This past month, in Vogue magazine, Dolce and Gabbana, took a 12-page spread in the front of the magazine. The tag line was not only Dolce and Gabbana, but clearly almost as large as the brand name, is shop at Dolce and

I have followed the new brands that have been built over the last decade from Warby Parker, Parachute, Casper, Glossier and others. All those founders understand the opportunity to build a new brand that resonate with a next generation of consumers. They all got direct to consumer and built their models on that premise.

It has taken some time for household fashion brands to make that shift. We have seen the massive shift in commerce as department stores have struggled. Brands have built stand-alone stores but how many are actually profitable is questionable or perhaps they are merely making marketing plays. They have all relied heavily on department stores over the years but that has waned.

Fashion is a global business. Seeing those 12 pages obviously promoting their online store in a gorgeous spread of models and clothing that are on brand made me think that the fashion houses are beginning to really wake up.

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    I love Monocle btw, from their 1st issue. A truly global magazine.

    1. Gotham Gal

      A little overwhelming in regards to the content but it is so unique!

      1. William Mougayar

        agreed on that. the magazine has become a brick. was founded by a Canadian in 2007. I remember when i picked up the first copy- i went wow.

        1. Gotham Gal


  2. awaldstein

    I am less optimistic that the big brands are waking up then I am at the energy and efficiency that some of the new ones have.I have friends who are obsessed with brands like Carbon38 or TheRealReal. So smart, efficient, innovative. Carbon38 especially as they have become a distribution channel for a whole slew of new designers.

    1. Gotham Gal

      two winners for sure.

  3. LE

    This past month, in Vogue magazine, Dolce and Gabbana, took a 12-page spread in the front of the magazine.Business wise I wonder how many ad buys like that are made as a result of personal connections ‘3 martini lunch’ in the media market in NYC. I wonder the same thing about lots of media buys. Rather than results and actual performance (hard to measure with that type of advertising for sure) how much companies spend as a result of who they associate with personally, how they are entertained and also what has (importantly) been done in the past. No new and young employee of a large advertiser will probably be the one to question a legacy ad spend.My ex wife ran and operated a small coupon advertising book handed out to students on college campuses. She made maybe $40k per year (in early 90’s dollars) doing that part time while raising our kids. The thing I immediately realized was that it was sink or swim by the amount of coupons redeemed. If college kids didn’t use the coupons customers wouldn’t renew. This was different from many other types of advertising where you don’t really know if it’s working (the proverbial John Wanamaker ‘I know 50% of my ads don’t work I just don’t know which 50%’). This was back before pay for clicks and results that is standard somewhat today. Most advertising could not easily be measured.I was thinking about this the other day while watching Sara Bareilles perform with Andrew Lloyd Webber at some event being hosted Universal Television. It’s very clear that the star power of both is being used to entice and entertain advertisers or media buyers. Nothing wrong with that. But you have to wonder how arms length the actual value paid for the NBC ads (for live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar) are impacted by events like that. Hard to believe that in some way it’s not equivalent to the salesman wooing someone with a golf game or sports event tickets. Legacy media kind of survived on lack of ability to clearly see results other than in a gross way. That said I am a big believer that advertising does work I am not questioning that or assuming D&G is paying anything like rack rates for those 12 pages.