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Diffusion To Collaboration- The Key To Stay Relevant In The Fashion Industry

From once a trendy marketing move to now becoming irrelevant, the diffusion lines are now on the verge of their last stage in the life cycle. Diffusion lines were at the top of the game in the 2000s, every designer, luxury brands had a secondary lower-priced line to expand their audience in order to generate more revenue. A sub-line basically a low-quality affordable line by designers in which merchandise are made cheaply to lower their cost to target non-luxury audience. Marc by Marc Jacobs, Raf by Raf Simons, RL by Ralph Lauren were some popular diffusion lines.

However, since the introduction of Zara or H&M (fast fashion) in the fashion scenario, the diffusion line started making no sense. Fast fashion became the answer to the latest trendy clothes in less money. Consumers could buy the latest designs at a quite affordable rate. The best thing about fast fashion is that they came up with new collections every month unlike designers or luxury brands. Due to which they topped the charts of popularity and affordability. Their revenues were much larger than any other brands. As fast fashion grows, the diffusion lines started becoming less visible, eventually leading to shutting down. Marc by Marc Jacobs and many such lines have called off their production. So, to sustain the business, designers have to come up with a new strategy that not only keeps their business flowing but also makes them a household name. This gave birth to Collaboration.

Collaboration means associating a high fashion brand with other brands (mainly retail) for a limited collection for a brief period of time. In the past there have been numerous instances like H&M collabs with Giambattista Valli, Balmain, Kenzo, etc has been proved to be an excellent marketing move. Balmain X H&M made so much hype in the market that leading to getting sold out within minutes when it was launched. Combining two brands together gives an opportunity to share ideas and getting recognition of their signature designer pieces. For example- a pink tulle dress from the Giambattista Valli X H&M collection was worn by Kendall Jenner at Cannes making headlines all over the news, creating a desired presence in the market. This short dress was edgy and chic that made quite an impact on the teenage audiences. Hence, the demand for the collection was over the roof.

Collabs are not just limited to high fashion and retail brands. Influencers are the next big thing to happen in the coming fashion scenario. Burberry joined hands with Brooklyn Beckham for the “This is Brit” ad fragrance; Kendall Jenner was the face of Calvin Klein’s social media campaign. This is because of their huge social media presence. A single post from their feed can reach over millions of people around the world. The make-up industry heavily relies on influencers to market their business. Morphe a makeup retail giant has been known to collab with top influencers like Jeffree Star, James Charles, and Jacklyn Hill for their new product launch. Beauty influencers are hugely popular in current digital platforms. They have the power to influence the masses thus generating more revenue and visibility. Marc Jacobs Beauty, Too Faced all have associated with famous beauty influencers in order to create more hype in the market and that has proven to be more fruitful than launching a single product with no association. Social media has been a very strong tool to sell beauty/skincare among the masses. Beauty influencers now are bigger than any Hollywood celebrity in the current scenario, due to which millennials are more interested in makeup now than before.

In terms of product, footwear and ready-to-wear mostly T-shirts are some options to break into a bigger audience. In 2019 when Stranger things were about premiere their season -3 they collaborated with H&M to pay homage to 1980’s persona with retro, 80’s nostalgia T-shirts, tank tops, swimwear, shorts. Instantly it was dominating the social media i.e. Instagram. Every stranger thing fan wanted to buy their merchandise. As you have noticed, it was a win-win for both parties. It only gave visibility but also quite profitable.

The most unexpected fashion collabs excite us the most. Cheetos X Forever21 become the hottest topic when it was announced in 2019. IKEA X Off-White was something no one even thought of. A high fashion brand collaborating with a furniture store to launch their collection called “MARKERAD”.

Collaboration allows the designer creativity to go beyond than just clothes. It also satisfies the consumer need for newness and fresh styles in the market. The particularly limited collection plays a vital role in creating demand among the public. It helps in boosting sales, demand, visibility, and social media engagement all at the same time. The concepts of collaborations are here to stay from Versace, Gucci to IKEA, and Cheetos everyone wants to adopt such a strategy. Till now it has proven to be more fruitful than any other concept let’s just hope it keeps on matches our expectations in the future also.

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