Welcome to the business of fashion.
Breaking news (not so breaking anymore, but as many have been seen sporting this look during PFW, and especially during 3rd March Dior show and particularly the pre-party, this remains relevant):
Dior is encouraging feminism by selling an overpriced piece of cotton.
Dior debuted a spring/summer collection in late September 2016 Paris Fashion Week which incorporated a, what has become, the most desired T-shirt of the season (Congrats, Dior. You’ve beat Gucci. Copying their gift-to-blogger strategy has served you well.) While the message they are sending is a powerful one, and the one I agree with profoundly, I have trouble coming to terms with the means used.
How did it come to this? How did Dior start sending out political messages?
It began when Maria Grazia Chiuri took over, making her the first ever female artistic director of Dior. And in the efforts to make her debut strong in a divided world due to political events of the last year (i.e. the Donald Trump presidency- which I now vow never to talk about on my blog), she presented a collection that sent out a powerful message. As mentioned previously, I admire the efforts to do so and could not agree with the message more. The crucial area of disagreement between me and Chiuri is the way she chose to do this.
The famous, or in my view- infamous, T-shirt strutted down the runway paired with the heavily embellished midnight blue tulle skirt and sneakers. This was to become the most Instagrammed moment of the entire show, and possibly the whole of PFW SS17. So what went wrong? In my view, the two key factors: the price-point and the lack of acknowledgment of the person who wrote the book that holds the same title.
This piece of cotton comes at a staggering price of 710$ and is only to be in stores in May 2017. While the proceeds of the shirt are rumored to be going to a charity, the message this T-shirt is supposed to make should not cost. And it should especially not come at that cost. This way, Chiuri proved a misconception about feminism belonging to white upper-class privileged women. I only wish this was taken into account when deciding on the cost of this powerful item that has divided the fashion industry by storm.
The second area of disagreement Chiuri and I have is the lack of spotlight on the woman who wrote a book-length essay titled
We Should All Be Feminists.
This Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie also gave a fantastic Ted talk on the subject and I highly recommend you watch it .(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc)
While she was seen sitting in the crowds at the Dior show that took place 3 days ago, the majority pursuing this ‘trend’ do not know of her existence. That to me is telling of Dior’s marketing strategies and while there was no breach in terms of Intellectual Property, specifically copyright, there is a moral breach in pursuing such a strategy.
Dior is now making millions just with its new campaign Dio(R)evolution that started out with this T-shirt. Even though the proceeds of the actual shirt are not going to Dior, Dior has used this as a business opportunity to rebrand and generate millions from sales of the collection the T-shirt comes from, rather than send an actual message.
That, my dears, is the reality of the business of fashion.
What’s to happen next? Oh yes, we just wait for Zara to copy. Damn, Zara, your IP legal team must have their hands full…
Until next time!
Stay stylish and ambitious,
All opinions are my own.
This Blogpost does in no way aim to harm the brands mentioned. It is merely expressing views on an emerging trend.