“So in the absence of significant consumer demand, what is behind the rampant proliferation of fashion titles? Why do many of the largest book stores in the world stock more fashion titles than product design, architecture and interior design books combined?”
Fashion brands, of course, have significant retail presence of their own. But by agreeing to share distribution with publishers, they are able to not only utilise a publisher’s knowledge of book markets around the world; they can also place a powerful representations of their brands, in the form of these books, in important international markets, at comparatively low cost.”
Indeed, fashion books play an important role in helping brands to educate consumers in fast-emerging global markets like China, said Miers: “The books bring a certain sense of history and the brands are very conscious of the importance of educating the customer about their histories.”
“The fashion houses see the book as a way to communicate with their ‘Audience’ with a capital ‘A,’ so that is people who are avid followers of the brand, read the magazines, appreciate what the designer is doing and might not be able to afford the clothing,” said Pierson. “This is why two things are of the utmost importance to the fashion industry: number one, making something that is really consistent, representative and celebratory of their brand and, number two, wanting it to be fairly ‘accessible’ to a broader audience, from students to professionals — so wanting to make [the books] available to people who are not necessarily spending thousands of dollars on clothing each year, but who appreciate fashion.”
“The [high fashion] consumer, of course, also [reacts] to well published, well curated fashion books with a strong point of view and made in collaboration with the creative directors of fashion houses, in the same way that they might respond to couture or ready-to-wear from those same houses…” .
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