Category Archives: FASHION

Advertisers Need to Go Back to School

It’s that time once again.  Time for students to go back to school.  Time for parents to spend money on supplies, fees and yes, clothes for their children.  Time for companies to vie for both the parents’ and kids’ attention. Every Fall, the back to school rush its television, radio and all possible media streams.

This year I cannot think of one advertisement that stood out besides one grocery store’s BOGO deal on school supplies.  I received an e-mail last week from a retailer that instead of highlighting their children’s line, offered 20% on adult styles.  Hmmm…

When it comes time for me to think of school shopping, one advertisement comes to mind every year…The JCPenney commercial from 2004 with Alyson Stoner.  The ad features a stylish bobble head and several adolescents doing an array of hip hop dance moves.  The tune is catchy and the children are showing off their clothes with style in the classroom and lunchroom.  While the children are various ethnicities, the style of their dance moves transcends into what’s in and essentially…cool.

While particular clothing brands may not have stood out, it appeared that JCPenney was the place to shop for cool kids.  Fast forward nine years.  There are more ways than ever to reach the target audience, including social media.  With so many retailers to choose from, how are companies standing out (if they even are)?

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The Gap Introduces New Logo; Blogosphere Is NOT Pleased

Gap's iconic old logo vs. the new Gap logo. What do you think?

Crossposted from Ad Age.com: It appears Gap is rolling out a new logo and critics aren’t being too kind about the shift.

The new logo has replaced the retailer’s iconic blue box, which had “Gap” emblazoned across it in capital letters, on the brand’s home page. Now, a gradiated blue box is perched at the top right side of the “p” in Gap. The original logo can still be found on the retailer’s Facebook and Twitter page, however. [NOTE: The logo was recently changed on the website, but the Facebook page has the old logo. Continuity much?]

The logo is pervasive in American culture, appearing on some 1,200 stores in North America. Gap also operates nearly 300 stores in Europe and Asia. Gap is the 84th most-valuable brand in the world, according to Interbrand’s 2010 study. The group values the brand at nearly $4 billion.

What’s your take on the new logo? Weigh in on our poll here:

Read more and Gap’s official statement here.

The Rainbow Connections: Favorite Sites of African American Consumers

Depending on your personal cultural references, the “Rainbow Connection” reference might conjure up the dulcet tones of Kermit the Frog’s homage to “the lovers and dreamers” of the 70s, or perhaps the newest LGBT-focused magazine. Well, in this case, we’ve taken some liberties in redefining the “Rainbow Connection” by creating a new series of lists showcasing the best places to connect online with the colorful rainbow that is the multicultural consumer! See what we did there? RainbowConnection? Clever, we know.

Whether your industry is fashion, travel, tech, packaged goods or entertainment, your target consumer has a favorite site or blog where he or she can be reached. It’s up to YOU to find them, so let us guide you to a few of our favorites. First in this series, the African American consumer.

Read full list here.

Jazz Icon Lena Horne Passes at 92

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne: June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010

Born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 1917, Horne began her career as part of the chorus line at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem and later went on to Hollywood where she received fame as a singer and actress, and starred as Selina Rogers in “Stormy Weather,” singing her most famous tune, “Stormy Weather.” During Hollywood’s Red Scare from 1947 to 1957, Horne found herself blacklisted for her association with Paul Robeson and other alleged “communists,” and was unable to get work in Hollywood.

Horne will be remembered for her beautiful smile, her mellifluous voice and her contributions to the civil rights movement. May she rest in peace. See Horne perform “Stormy Weather” here.

Could You Go One Day Without Shoes?

Take a moment and imagine your childhood without any shoes. We’ve blogged about TOMS Shoes marketing, message and movement, and tomorrow some IMAGES staffers are supporting TOMS One Day Without Shoes (ODWS), by going shoeless.

TOMS Shoes’ ODWS message is simple:

Through everyday encounters with domestic poverty, we are reminded to appreciate having food and shelter, but most of us all but forget about our feet. Food, shelter, AND shoes facilitate life’s fundamentals. Imagine a life without shoes; constantly aware of the ground in front of you, suffering regular cuts and scrapes, tending to infection after each walk, and enduring not only terrain, but heat and cold.

The problem is large, but the solution is simple. Wearing shoes and practicing basic hygiene can prevent both infection and disease due to unsafe roads and contaminated soil. By imagining a life barefoot, we can all contribute to the awareness of these conditions. On April 8th, communities, campuses, organizations, and individuals are banding together to walk barefoot for One Day Without Shoes. Take a walk with TOMS on April 8th, 2010.

Join IMAGES and folks around the world in supporting ODWS here. By participating, you’re raising awareness about the debilitating yet completely preventable foot diseases afflicting thousands of children around the world and what TOMS is doing to help. For One Day Without Shoes events near you, click here. Be sure to share your One Day Without Shoes story with us!

VOGUE Italia Launches VOGUE Black + VOGUE Curvy

VOGUE Italia recently launched two new sections to their website – VOGUE Black and VOGUE Curvy. Based on the overwhelming success of VOGUE Italia‘s Black Issue, VOGUE Italia has branched out to create these websites as offshoots of their homepage.

Is this a move in the right direction toward inclusion or is it enabling the notoriously narrow-minded fashion industry? Who is responsible for the lack of representation by curvy and Black women in mainstream magazines, anyway? Look beyond the editors, designer and stylists, and the people at the root of many editorial decisions are those focused MOST on the bottom-line: the advertisers. You can see their power by flipping through VOGUE Italia‘s “all Black issue” – NOT ONE of the ads in the magazine featured models of color. This glaring lack of black models in the ads clearly shows the reality of the opportunities for these women in the industry and illustrates the story better than anything else could. Read more.

For Urban Outfitters, Silence Wasn’t Golden

Editor’s Note: Thank you Shongretta Williams IMAGES Media Coordinator, for today’s commentary on Urban Outfitters “Obama/Black” controversy.

Global retailer Urban Outfitters got a little creative with the description of a signature item on their website. Recently, a shopper noticed that the very popular Henley t-shirt was available in a new color; “Obama/Black”. The color option was removed from the website almost immediately, but of course bloggers got wind of the insensitive faux-pas and a screen shot was captured.

President Obama has been subject to praise and ridicule just as every other leader of the free world. But the one discerning difference is that President Obama’s race seems to be the subject of fodder on a daily basis. If it does not come from global retailers, it comes from national media. If not from media, it stems from juvenile water cooler humor. But in all situations, his race is mocked. Read more.