24 7 / 2012
What did we learn on Monday, our second week?
- With looking at the Rodin and Retail inspiration boards, it was amazing to see how although we all visited the same place (Rodin Gardens), we all found different inspirations. It was great to see how these inspirations directly related to a wide variety of retail stores, and designers too.
- We learned about Product - and some things a customer might value. Includes the difference between Features and benefits.
- Some of us explored the Paris environment, to find out more about our target customers.
23 7 / 2012
What did we learn on Friday….when we hosted international Fashion Street Style blogger, Mister Newton, speak to the class:
- We learned about putting together trend boards, and how one observation can turn into a full concept or theme.
- Mr. Newton was so inspiring! He explained how his photos should make everyone jealous they were not there, a heightened reality of what is going on the streets.
- He offered great life advice, such as not jumping at your first offer, but take the time to reflect and negotiate.
- He also pushed us to not stay in our comfort zones, but to challenge ourselves. And…build longevity in our work. Plan for the future.
22 7 / 2012
What did we learn on Thursday?
- The meaning of the term expat.
- To us, fashion in France appears to be more art than commerce.
- Viewing vintage Balenciaga, we were so surprised to see modern style and looks. We could easily see how fashion repeats itself, and is reinvented in modern ways.
- We loved the textile details of Comme des Garcons…and the fun exhibition style of clear bubbles!
22 7 / 2012
On Wednesday, July 18, our field trip to Lesage was parallel to none. This once in a lifetime visit left many of us speechless, and enlightened to understand the quality of craftsmanship and skill in the Parisian fashion houses.
- Couture brands are true to their target market, or customer. We seemed to lump “couture” as one class and are happy to learn about the differences in class and in the ateliers.
- The impact which the economies over the years, especially wars, even the Gulf War, had on the fashion industry.
- We gained a much, much greater understanding and appreciation of the work which goes into making gowns. The focused nature of the ateliers, some who work only the embroidery, where others are only flowers, really impressed this to us.
- The two methods of embroidery, it is so interesting to learn the difference.
19 7 / 2012
What did we learn on Day 2?
- Brand Identity is how a brand wishes to communicate to their audience. Brand Image is what the audience knows about the brand. Sometimes these do NOT match, and that’s where a brand consultant comes in to help.
- Oftentimes, different markets communicate their identity differently. i.e. Asia versus Europe for some brands offer different messaging and it’s perfectly acceptable to do this!
- Reviewing the French fashion magazines, we observed there are way less ads. Even in GQ France versus GQ USA, there are less ads and more features. Plus the photo editorials are more natural, giving an old fashioned appearance versus our photoshop-to-death approach in N. America.
17 7 / 2012
Day One and What Did We Learn?
- With the lovely Marjorie Fortin, our French language teacher, we learned specific textile vocabulary. We learned fashion industry and marketing terms and ways to engage with shop owners.
- We learned how to tell someone we liked their style, and to ask if we could take their photo (in French!).
- We learned a lot about each other. That although we have very different and amazing backgrounds, all roads for us lead to fashion.
15 7 / 2012
Students reviewing 12 emerging Paris based designers and retailers. This not only included visits to the store, but their communications with customers, via websites, and social media outlets.
What Did We Learn?
- We learned what not to do. (woops)
- We learned that it’s important to choose the best tools for your business.
- We learned to concentrate your efforts, and focus on doing 1 or 2 things well. Because if you have a Twitter account and don’t tweet for 6 months, just shut it down!
- We learned that you have to be accessible, and communicate. It’s a two way street.
11 7 / 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
- That customers make emotional and rational purchasing decisions. Although we are quite certain, most of the purchases made in Paris are emotional.
- We created a journal entry to ourselves. Writing about our explorations, internally, what we have learned, grown with, encountered, struggled with, and enjoyed. Mostly, this entry is for ourselves, not our parents, friends, or lovers because this is a trip we made by ourselves, for ourselves.
- In learning about Creative Direction, we saw that there are many different ways of representing a product in a magazine ad.
- Black and White ads have a surprising impact and in many instances, allow the product to shine against an otherwise opulent background. We had an assumption only color ads worked to this effect.
- We learned that the age of the model in a shoot, speaks or does not speak to a customer.
09 7 / 2012
What did we learn on Day 5, Friday, July 5 in Paris?
- That the sculpture Rodin, had an extremely prolific career. Students loved seeing the contrast of materials and style of his sculpture, from smooth sensual marble to hard sleek bronze.
- We enjoyed learning about Raf Simons, the new head designer for Dior. We feel there is a return to the couture houses and heritage rather than the past decade, year of the celebrity designer who may not follow trends of the house. Versace also represented in their collection this season, a return to the house.
- We learned about the March St. Pierre area, to source fabrics, textiles, trims and even the camilia fabric flowers.
05 7 / 2012
While our friends in the USA were cooking hotdogs and watching fireworks, in Paris we were studying Fashion branding.
Here’s what we learned on Day 3:
- Branding is an intense process. Guest speaker, and Parsons Marketing Professor Jeanine Polizzi, shared the strategy and tactics behind developing a brand, and we recognized that sometimes brand image and brand identity are not the same.
- A brand has a bank account, what you put into this account builds the brand.
- We worked on breaking down who the various luxury brand customers are, working in our groups, and were surprised to identify that between Dior, Chanel, JP Gaultier and Versace, the customers are each very different.
- We also brainstormed for each other, on the various fashion categories. It was great to learn from each other, new brands and new insights on our topics such as scarves, hats and streetwear.