Lukewarm But That is Enough

Tom Ford Sunglasses Summer Collection 2013 Promotional Image
Tom Ford Sunglasses Summer Collection 2013 Promotional Image
Tom Ford Sunglasses Summer Collection 2013 Promotional Image

How fashion designers are using pop stars to sing praises to their names to warm up to the public.

It has become more incestuous. Designers and pop stars are colliding together at an intimate rate. Tom Ford must have had a field day. Jay Z released a song titled, “Tom Ford” and Ford’s public profile rose tremendously.

The focus on Ford was high in March 2013 when Justin Timberlake debuted “The 20/20 Experience.” Timberlake has been quite vocal about Tom Ford throughout his promotion on his first single, “Suit and Tie”, and in the accompanying video (for which Ford provided made-to-measure suits, shirts, ties, shoes and accessories). There is even a hint of the label on the back of a necktie.

magna carta holy grail

It got sharper when Jay Z’s song titled, “Tom Ford” off the “Magna Carta Holy Grail” was leaked, Tom Ford’s search in Yahoo surged 155% for a number of days.

The relationship between pop stars and fashion designers has transcended beyond just promotional red carpets or occasional front-seat arrangements, it has become quite an adoration. Perhaps, to begin with it was rather innocent, a form of homage.

However, soon, this will become a commercialised arena – a new channel of cross-promotion.

Fashion houses will pay a handsome amount of money to put their designer names, not in lyric, but in the title, sung by world-wide well-known pop stars whose adoring fans will chant the designer names in unison like a mantra.

The fans, after all, might be an untapped market for luxury. Pop star stans are rabid fans, dying to emulate the epitome of coolness of what their idols are wearing or doing. At whatever the cost it might be – A fanaticism bordering on idol worshipping that could possibly translate to sales.

The key is “could”, however. The question lies in whether that jump in such publicity would actually translate to sales.

Fashion designer’s fame has become an equivalent to their brands. John Galliano paid that price. The rise of digital media has been fuelling this at such a rapid pace. It stripped the veneer of the brands propelling the person within forward. Everyone wants to know the designers personally beyond the labels– the individual, the thought process, and the routine.

Fashion used to be elusive. Now it is pervasive.

Stefano Gabbana of Dolce and Gabbana, has gathered quite a following on Twitter and Instagram.  Karl Lagerfeld, from Chanel, is warming to the public through tweets from his fluffy white kitten, Choupette.

Mr. Ford has always voiced out his disagreement towards the lack of exclusivity in today’s fashion. Maybe, the song by Jay Z let him warm up to the public without being too open. It makes Mr. Ford seem approachable.

lady-gaga-toplessMaybe, that is the reason for Lady Gaga’s “Donatella”.

Speaking to Vogue UK, Lady Gaga explained that although similar in subject to Jay Z’s song Tom Ford, her ode to Donatella is more personal, “It’s not so much about Donatella as a brand as it is Donatella the person; about me as a person; that idea of what the public wants from you, “ She explained, “It’s about being a fearless female and not caring what people say about you – being proud of who you are and walking the walk no matter what.”

Perhaps, soon, like Tom Ford, Versace will be too.

by Stefanus Wong