Lorre White is Taking Action – 'I want it this red hot minute."

“I want it this red hot minute.”


Comprehensive surveys of high income Americans 35 and under (Generation Y or Millennials) are revolutionizing the media world. Dieing quickly are the TV, radio and magazine habits of their parents. A study by The Wealth Report shows that 75% own smart phones (40% iPhone – 24% Blackberry), 23% have iPads, the younger generation spends 246 minutes a week on emails,137 on the phone. They use texting and phoning almost equally to communicate, 88% and 91% respectively. It used to be that the latest designs of a major luxury brands would be ”unveiled” in the print magazines such as Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. Today they readily available minutes after the actual fashion shows and presentation, through the internet. Critics reviews are available on the web the same day as the fashion show.

When a thought must be conveyed in 140 characters or less, is it any wonder that drastic change is occurring in the luxury fashion world. The rub is, does speed take the “luxury” out of the elite brands. When customers realize that it actually takes a much shorter time to manufacture, is it a negative perception? Affluent shoppers use country of origin as a proxy to measure quality, says a recent study by Unity Marketing. Will the need for speed conflict with the desirability of where a product is made? The lower level fashion that takes their lead directly from the designers shows, so called “fast fashion” are able to implement the latest trends in their collections, which make it to their stores in days from actual show. Asia’s. fast, cheep and huge production capacity has played a crucial role for such brands in expediting producing and delivery. Countries with more elite luxury perceptions, such as Made In the US, or Made In Italy, cannot compete with the manufacturing speed of China for the same price point. Speed has traditionally only been considered an asset when selling an exotic sports car, but the higher craftsmanship takes time to produce. Limited availably and increased time required to produce such craftsmanship aids in maintaining a higher luxury price point. When the fashion knock offs are available before the designers pieces that they are coping, is the market satiated prior to their arrival to market each season?
TOD’S is among the growing number of luxury brands which are acting on the need for speed; taking items straight from the catwalk to the luxury consumer through media. Tod’s signature line of shoes and bags will be available in its boutiques worldwide just days after the Milan Fashion show. BURBERRY catwalk shows can be viewed by customers directly in its stores; the time between the presentation and availability in stores cut in half. Neiman Marcus allows customers to order right off the run way. Most of the luxury shops have iPods in the dressing rooms allowing customers to buy a wider range of luxury goods before they even have it in the stores. Burberry is one of the forerunner luxury brands to actively incorporate social media like FaceBook. HUGO BOSS’ revival has been credited to the drastically reduced time between its collections launch and actual availability in its stores, with sales growing double digit in a season. The time between creation and in store delivery has been reduced from 50 to 38 weeks. Barneys NY will ship internationally from its website barneys.com to 90 countries including China. International tourists represent one-third of Barneys’ customers. Previously the company only ships to U.S. customers, but with the launch of international shipping, customers around the world can shop the same way its domestic customers do right from the web.
Luxury was very reluctant and slow to come to the web for fear of not being able to control the shopping experience, and an association with lower level brands which had already built a strong web based platform, which could tarnish their brands image. The wealthy are more educated and have more electronics. This means that their need for change is always at the cutting edge. By definition, a true luxury brands need to meet the needs of their consumers more fully. Luxury fashion is reliant on aspirational consumers for 80% of their revenue. That means that most of the revenue earned by luxury brands also competes with mass brands that are able to deliver the newest trends in fashion, faster. The designer fashion industry has no choice but to adapt to the continually morphing demands of the new immediate gratification “Gen Yers”.
Lorre White
“The Luxury Guru”
CEO White Light Consulting www.WhiteLightConsulting.net
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Twitter: “Lorre” for Luxury
If you know of Martha (Stewart) you are probably part of the 98%….if you know of Lorre (White), you are most likely part of the top 2% financially.

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