Paris Menswear Fall 2010: Social Networking and Men’s Fashion

tour_eiffel_smParis Menswear Week Fall 2010
Dates: Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 – Sunday, Jan 24, 2010

DALLAS, Dec 10, 2009 / FW/ — When the leading edge Internet Generation came of age, we thought we have the digerati figured out; but oh-la-la, we were so way off the mark!

First we had to learn texting and what the heck BFF meant; then we have the blogs that brought teen-age bloggers to the front row! And, coming from left field were social networking site Facebook and micro-blogging site Twitter.

Between these entire novel medium of communication, plus men’s penchant for technology in general, there is a new dynamics in the marketplace that was not even there five years ago.

That means that Hedi Slimane, Helmut Lang and Tom Ford, the leading edge menswear designers during the turn of the century can find this new climate daunting if they throw their hats in the game again. That’s how much things have changed!

Just take Facebook for instance, the social networking site with over 350 million members and currently knocking at Google’s door as the biggest site on the web. At Facebook, “trends from friends” is common, i.e. word of mouth and curated information is a highly valued currency among friends.

For that reason alone, fashion houses should take Facebook seriously and many had done that. Well-known brands had built their Facebook pages and had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers.

Though there is no Facebook data on how much “trends from friends” are affecting purchases, the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association reported that word of mouth remains the biggest influence in people’s electronics (43.7%) and apparel (33.6%) purchases.

The survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch for RAMA, also noted that when it comes to apparel purchases, shoppers say in-store promotions (31.8%) are nearly as important as word of mouth.

“Hearing what other people have to say about a product gives shoppers the satisfaction of knowing what they purchased is peer-reviewed and worth their money,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director, RAMA.

“Whether it is based on a conversation with a friend or a customer review on a website, people put a lot of weight in other shoppers’ opinions.”

[MARI DAVIS]

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