Fashion Communication: Types, Trends, Strategies and Importance
Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
1. What is Fashion Communication?
Fashion Communication is defined as delivering the message of fashion, different culture and lifestyle by managing various media. It basically involves using the communication design strategy to fashion & various lifestyle products. Due to the development in fashion industry, it has become necessary for many brands to develop a distinctive identity for maximum impact and visibility. Major areas in fashion communication include graphic design, fashion events & display design, fashion advertising & public relations, fashion journalism, styling, fashion photography, broadcasting, social media and fashion films. Fashion communication is the center of fashion business and is the link between consumers and fashion manufacturers. Fashion Communication forms collaboration between communication, awareness, and many historical studies.
2. Basic Processes and Framework of Fashion Communication:
As it is found that there are various areas under which specialized communication operates and the skills required to run it. The below section also highlights the relation between these areas and their relation with reporting on fashion, culture and lifestyle using different media.
2.1 Fashion Journalism:
Generally, fashion journalism includes presenting on fashion, culture and lifestyle within published fashion media, and entail fashion writers, fashion critics, and fashion reporters. The brief can featured in magazines, tabloid, journals, newspapers, television and online fashion magazines, websites, and blogs. It simply includes searching on various articles, identifying various trends & style, interviewing designers & celebrities, photographers and working with public relations personnel. To be a great fashion journalist, knowledge of fashion history, up-to-date knowledge about practices of fashion industry and a keen eye for details in clothing and accessories are required.
2.2 Fashion Styling:
Good selection of clothes and accessories for published editorial features, print or television advertising campaigns, music albums, concert performances, and any public appearances made by celebrities, models or other public figures are required for fashion styling. A fashion stylist is generally a part of the creative team where fashion designer, fashion photographer, hair & makeup artist also put together a thematic visual project. It involves finalizing appropriate clothing & accessories for a model which appears in a fashion magazine or select clothing for famous personalities and celebrities. For a great fashion stylist, it requires up-to-date knowledge of fashion trends, fashion history, celebrities and a proper eye to create the desired looks and effect. As a essential, fashion stylists should have a strong knowledge of style, color, texture, and creativity.
2.3 Fashion Photography:
Fashion photography is a sub category of photography. It is focused on showing fashion related items like clothes & accessories that particularly involves fashion trends. The main intention of fashion photography is to limelight the apparel or accessories when photographing a model or a mannequin. As the time passes, fashion photography has made its own unique identity as a specialized form of photography with its own language, grammar and aesthetics. Fashion photographer works in collaboration with fashion stylists, hair & makeup artist and fashion designer. A fashion photographer’s must possess job a proper understanding of light & color, inter-personal skills to communicate ideas with the team as well as the model and knowledge of visual communication.
2.4 Fashion Event Design:
Managing an event and including activities like to create space design and visual appeal of a venue based on a theme is called as event designing. For creating a space design for a fashion related event requires deep understanding of fashion collections, trends, aesthetics and the motive of the event. Some of the examples of fashion design includes, fashion shows, retail store opening of a fashion brand. When the fashion or trade show event is concerned, it showcases the upcoming collection of fashion products. A fashion show could be stand-alone, but is often part of a fashion week, where work of many designers is showcased to a select audience. Fashion week invites the audience like fashion editors, critics, photographers, buyers, bloggers, fashion writers and other opinion makers to view their design and collection.
3. Trends in Fashion Communication:
3.1 Fashion marketing is the thing where fashion and business combine to create awareness of brands’ core philosophy and products, connect with the target audience, drive sales and increase the revenue.
3.2 Unlike other sectors, fashion communication drive should be able to accomplish their goals and objectives within a short time span after their launch. Thus, the short cycle is the characteristic of fashion marketing campaigns.
3.3 The advancement in digital transformation has redefined the fashion communication landscape. Now-a-days, marketers are increasingly exploring digital tools such as search advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing, etc., to build brand awareness among the public. It is found that mobile-friendly websites, advertisements and landing pages are always on the top trends for the fashion industry because of increasing traffic from mobile devices over any other channels.
3.4 COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digitization, paving attention towards the fashion shows to go digital. Designers are merged with tech companies to harness computer-aided models to showcase their new collections. A salient feature of these events is the exploiting of innovative technologies such as Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, etc., to offer curated experiences.
3.5 Technology has also evolved as a remedy to enhance efficiency, look for cost-effectiveness and maximize ROI on fashion communication campaigns. Different technologies such as Artificial Intelligence help marketers update insight into behavioral and purchase patterns of their target audience, segment them and customize their strategy accordingly.
4. Fashion Communication Strategy:
The first thing need to be aware of for developing a good communication strategy is to set the objectives to achieve and plan the following steps before any strategic action.
4.1 Calibrate Communication Goals:
For any brand communication strategy the main goal is to stimulate demand and desirability for the brand and then work accordingly.
4.2 Find the Communication Target:
As per the fashion industry is concerned, the client is not the only target subject to communication efforts. Also look for different targets such as the distribution channels, the fashion media and press, opinion leaders, internal departments, etc all are important.
4.3 Style the Message to Convey:
A victorious message must surprise and excite the target. Also, try to make the desire and interest in the brand to the point of adapting the consumer share our messages. A good message must balance rational and emotional attributes, offering facts and also the advantages our product has over competitors.
4.4 Select the Communication Channels:
According to goals develop the most suitable communication plan to reach out the message. There are many well-established fashion tools such as advertising, graphic design, runway and fairs, a sales promotion, or public relations events, etc which can be used.
4.5 Develop a Budget:
Look for prices and segregate your communication activities from most to least important for the communication campaign season. This perspective will help for budget investments.
4.6 Use an Integral Communication Method:
In today’s world, the customer has 24/7 access to the brand. Everything from the retail windows to a brand identity; a paid media advertising in a fashion magazine; an Instagram campaign; a customized message and promotion sent to the customer’s home; editing a company magazine; and many more are available to customers. So accordingly understand your customer’s requirements and act upon that, this methodology is preferably suitable.
4.7 Measure the Communication Strategy Results:
Summarize all related information about the communication impact of your strategy. Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor the progress toward achieving the strategic goals.
5. Importance of Fashion Communication:
Nowadays, fashion communication has become extremely important because fashion brands need to reach out to customers. So, the communication strategies are required for it. This is the point where someone with fashion communication skills is needed. For good and clear communication, a professional will design portfolios, develop communication strategies, perform graphic designing and exhibit designing.
It also covers other aspects such as event design, typography, fashion illustration and many more. Recently, retail space designing, which is creating a comfortable, creative and appealing space for customers to try out clothes, is becoming a crucial part of fashion communication.
A good knowledge of fashion communication will definitely help to follow a human-centered approach to solve industry problems. There are plenty of career opportunities available such as –
- Fashion designer
- Fashion journalist
- Art director
- Design assistant
- Fashion photographer
- Fashion stylist
- Retail space designer
- Event manager
- Fashion Marketing Manager
- Fashion Advertiser
- Fashion blogger
Currently, number of pretty and grand luxury brands is stepping in the retail market globally. The goodwill of a brand is measured particularly by its unique identity. So, it has raised a great demand for fashion communication experts to develop a peculiar and distinctive brand identity for creating maximum impact towards the audience. So here fashion communication comes in picture and is a specialized design domain of fashion studies that enable person in acquiring communication skills relevant to the fashion and lifestyle industry. Owing to the craze of public towards the fashion and lifestyle, there will be a great scope of fashion communication in future.
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- How to Develop a Fashion Communication Strategy for Products or Services, Fernando Aguileta De La Garza (Elle Education Business), 26 May 2022
- Fashion Communication: Beyond the Stereotypes, https://manavrachna.edu.in/blog/fashion-communication/
- Top technology and communications trends in fashion industry, https://www.rmit.edu.vn/news/all-news/2022/feb/top-technology-and-communications-trends-in-the-fashion-industry-expected-in-2022
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.