Importance of Blogging

Within the last decade, fashion has become more of a global industry catering to complex customers of diverse lifestyles which makes the recognition and identification with particular customers more complex. Simultaneously the drastic change in communication allows users to participate, follow and discuss any trends and fashion news easily for any collection and purchase them online.

Blogging in general is considered as a new form of online journalism, enjoying great attention of users, based on a personal and interactive approach, versus the standardized treatment through mainstream media.

However, fashion bloggers are looked upon skeptically by the fashion industry as they may not have the proper expertise guaranteeing quality and credible reporting. This is not to say that fashion bloggers are not influential; in fact, these amateur-experts have proven an impressive capacity to build up a wide audience following, and have even influenced mainstream media and the fashion industry

It’s all about building relationships and starting conversations. Branding is important for every business, but none more so than those in the fashion industry It’s central to the way the public perceives and emotionally responds to a label, and brands that create a strong identity are the most likely to endure.Your branding should be reflected in all public facing activity, including the name, product, quality, packaging, labelling, marketing, advertising and PR. This is achieved by consistency through all communication channels. Your collection may change from season to season but your branding should remain constant.

Blogs in particular can help build brand identity, providing context for collections and encouraging engagement, as well as benefitting search engine optimisation by drawing traffic to a site.
The majority of high-street fashion retailers now have some form of blog, employing varying degrees of imagination, engagement and originality

My three recommendation for blogging:

1. Know Your Audience

Your blog’s design and content should reflect the expectations of your audience. For example, if your intended audience is teenagers, the design and content would be quite different than a blog targeted to corporate professionals. Your audience will have inherent expectations for your blog. Don’t confuse them but rather meet and exceed those expectations to gain reader loyalty.

2. Be Consistent

Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.

Your blog’s design and content should consistently communicate your blog’s overall brand image and message. Being consistent allows you to meet your audience’s expectations and create a secure place for them to visit again and again. That consistency will be rewarded with reader loyalty.

3. Get Ideas From Your Audience

Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.

This can be a great way to gather ideas of what topics people would most like to read about, which will help your blog grow. One of the best ways I’ve seen this in action is through blog comments, Facebook posts or Tweets

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Tracking Tools – Aritzia

I used the company Aritzia because it is well known. I used Social Mention and used the top three conversations about the brand. This tool allows you to easily track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, a new product, or any topic across the web’s social media landscape in real-time.

  • http://ny.racked.com/tags/aritzia: This discussion talks about how Aritzia will open the doors to its largest store yet: a massive flagship on Fifth Avenue. 29 people tweeted about this and 47 shared the article.

This tracking tool does a good job of providing an overall summary of the brand in a simple layout. It shows that on average every 46 minutes Aritzia is being mentioned across some type of social media platform, with the primary platform being twitter followed by Photo bucket and YouTube. However, this tracking tool didn’t seem very helpful for this company. Perhaps it was because Aritzia just had their warehouse sale, to which the majority of topics were related to.

It also outlines how the company has a 10:1 sentiment, meaning that the ratio of mentions is generally positive compared to those that are negative. With this breakdown, you can further filter out results to show only positive or only negative mentions.  This and a host of other refinements including: a breakdown of users, keywords, and stats. For example it shows that Aritzia also have a 52% reach to their audience and 23% passion, meaning that individuals are likely talking about the brand repeatedly.

There wasn’t really much conversation surrounding Aritzia on the posts and results through this website. The majority of findings were instead related to teens and young adults tweeting and facebooking about how they wish they could afford the latest styles to hit stores, that every girl who shops there looks the same and finally there was many forums and threads that provided private links to the stores pre-owned items for sale through private sellers.

Social Media Release – Compassionate Beauty

Below is an example of a Social Media Release from a press release from Compassionate Beauty; a unique centre designed for women undergoing cancer treatment.

Contact Information:

Saundra Shapiro, President, Compassionate Beauty Ltd.
Business phone: 403-686-6936
Email: Saundra@compassionatebeauty.com
Website: http://www.compassionatebeauty.com

SPECIALIZED CENTRE COMING TO VANCOUVER TO HELP WOMEN FIND ‘NEW NORMAL’ IN THE FACE OF CANCER

Core News Facts:

  • Vancouverites can soon expect to have more resources to help them get through the devastating side-effects of their cancer treatment. The company is now getting ready to open two new centers in Vancouver and Surrey, starting in the summer of 2013.
  • In the face of their cancer, women will find the tools they need to find their new normal and confidence again .Compassionate Beauty has been providing women with products and services during their cancer journey and beyond since 2005
  • Compassionate Beauty offers women battling cancer and undergoing debilitating chemotherapy treatments three things ordinary salon/spas don’t: a services menu tailored to their specific needs (head-shavings, mastectomy fittings); regular spa services (pedicures, manicures) customized to cancer-related sensitivities and administered using gentler products; and especially, a nurturing, safe environment where being bald is no big deal.

saundra bubbystore1

        Photo: Saundra   Shapiro and her mother, client (left ) and he welcome/reception area at Compassionate Beauty (right)

Pre-Approved Quotes:

  • “What would I have done without all of you? Where would I have found the products I needed? How would I have known what was required? I can’t thank you enough.”

– Client Testimonial

  • “To-date, Compassionate Beauty has walked with over seven thousand women through their cancer journey. Our company has also grown every year since we opened. These are difficult facts for me, but I know that someone needs to be there for these women–to help send mothers home to their kids looking like “mom”, and wives home to their husbands feeling self-assured and confident.” 
  • “Every day we are both humbled and inspired by these incredible women who walk through our doors determined to maintain their dignity, self-confidence and sense of normalcy through the rollercoaster of treatment.”

– Saundra Shapiro

*Additional quotes available upon request

Links to relevant coverage can be found through Compassionate Beauty’s website under “News”

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Youtube Video for Vancouver Fashion

A “study” released has a few fashionable Vancouverites’ quite upset. On a list of “top-10 worst-dressed cities in the world”, Vancouver placed third. The culprit? Yoga pants.

http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/09/18/does-vancouver-deserve-worst-dressed-title-you-bet/

Vancouver may not be New York or Paris, but do we still deserve the distinction of ranking among the world’s worst dressed? Is Vancouver really defined just by lululemon?

I’d like to hear from you.  Do you think Vancouver is the third-worst-dressed city in the world?  Or are we we more than designer yoga pants?


Top Ten Most Bizarre Fashion and Beauty Trends

While I usually like to look up fashion and beauty advice, my second favourite thing to do is look up the most bizarre beauty and fashion trends. This year was no stranger to oddness, creepiness and unusual things.  I have researched all types of trends from the past year and present to you now, my ten weirdest fashion and beauty trends of the year.

10. Animal Hair Hats: These bizarre looking hair set is the creation of Japanese weird art director Nagi Noda. Her website calls theses ‘hair hats’ which are styled into the form of various kind of animals such as a lion, rabbit, elephant, rhino and many others using hand crafted hair weaves that are made using a mold or mesh of wire.

9. Meggings: The question of whether the popular female leggings can successfully be worn in lieu of pants is still a hot button issue among many women but I believe we may have finally found and answer to that in the form of meggings – the male equivalent of leggings.

8. Mexican Pointy Boots: Pointy, long and kind of silly-looking. Those are just some of the words used to describethe details of the new shoe craze sweeping Mexico. For unknown reasons, cowboy boots with elongated tips (sometimes fashioned from old garden hoses) have become the go-to fashion statement for young people south of the border.

7. Scary Shoes: We’ve seen many ugly shoes in our day, but a new pair dubbed “Scary Beautiful” is definitely the most treacherous footwear we’ve ever seen. The massive heels appear backwards on the foot, so the wearer’s feet point straight down the back, as if in ballet shoes, with their shin leaning against the front “heel” end of the design to balance. The shoes are collaboration between artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg, and serve as a commentary on today’s impossible standards of beauty.

6. Eye Tattoos: People go for eye tattooing for enhancing their aesthetic appearance and the improvement of vision. In this the white part that is cornea of the eye is tattooed. It is medically prescribed method for the persons with scratch marked eye tissues. There are various methods of tattooing of eye, also various options for the success and medical safety of the procedure exists. Tattooing of eye is practice from approximately thousands of years and is now again in trend in Canada.

5. Eye jewelry: An extraocular implant (also known as eyeball jewelry) is a cosmetic implant involving a tiny piece of decorative jewelry which is implanted within the superficial, interpalpebral conjunctiva of the human eye Eyeball jewelry was developed first in the Netherlands as a radical new form of body modification in 2002. It was first designed at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery and is marketed there under the name JewelEye. The procedure is completely legal in the Netherlands as long as it is performed by a licensed ophthalmologist under sterile condition.

4. Facekini: Sometimes new trends in the Fashion world arise due to the needs of the people, an example for this is the introduction of “Facekini”. The locals wear face-kinis which are colourful protective masks that cover all but the nose, mouth and eyes. The reason? They’re trying to maintain their fair complexions. A simple way to keep away from the harmful rays of Sun is to avoid going out, or to put on a good quality sunscreen. But the residents of China found a new way to protect themselves by wearing face-kini, according to name it is a shielding head mask wore by the beach-goers.

3. Yaeba Teeth: Apparently the idea of perfectly straight white teeth just isn’t as desirable in this culture at least that seems to be the message behind the trend of Yaeba, which means “double tooth” in Japanese. Many women are choosing dental crowns that elongate their canine teeth and give the effect of dental overcrowding (not to mention a vaguely vampire-ish vibe). Why? Because in Japanese culture, young women with these kind of crooked teeth are considered cute and innocent.

2. Ear Pointing: We are all thinking the same thing; Mr. Spook right? In what sounds like an extremely painful procedure, the top of the ear’s cartilage is sliced open, then sewn back together in a point. Arizona–based body modification artist Steve Haworth, who started performing the procedures about ten years

1. Bagel Heads: Finally we have our number one most bizarre trend. Getting injected a saline into the forehead to get a bagel/doughnut type shape on forehead is not an easy task. Being such a painful job to get such shapes, people of Japan promoted the trend called as “Bagel head”. It is a kind of Body modification technique initiated in Canada and highly encouraged by the Japan’s Fashion World. The process is basically a swelling distortion caused by the saline drip.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Re-branded in Skid Row

I found an article on Digg which is about how LA-BASED writer Greg Karber has launched a new campaign to urge the public to donate any unwanted Abercrombie & Fitch clothes to the homeless, after one of the brand’s district managers said that its collections weren’t intended for “poor people”. The company reportedly burns faulty clothing, rather than giving it to charity.

The articles, http://adland.tv/adnews/abercrombie-fitch-rebranded-skid-row-fitchthehomeless states how Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t want to create the image that just anybody, poor people, can wear their clothing,” the brand manager is quoted as saying. “Only people of a certain stature are able to purchase and wear the company name.

Abercrombie and Fitch want “the attractive all-American kid” wearing their brand and told Salon in an interview that “a lot of people don’t belong in our clothes. Candidly,  we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.

I picked this article because I have noticed over the years how the company continues to earn quite a bit of negative attention after numerous negative comments made by CEO Mike Jeffries. In a world where teens are constantly under pressure to fit the societal norms of beauty, we should be building them up and helping them love themselves and he seems to be doing the exact opposite.

Especially with much focus on body image in today’s youth culture, many clothing companies have branched out in their sizing options to ensure that all their customers are happy and tailored to. However, Jeffries has said in the past that he doesn’t want to go the way his competitors have.

Although the first controversal comments were made about seven years ago, Jeffries doesn’t appear to have changed his mind. The company has been in hot water before over his decisions to use young, sexed-up models and his hiring practices inside the stores, but the company hasn’t changed much. The difference between now and then, however, is that many more young people are taking a stand against exclusionary practices. The public is fighting back against the company and its image. Angry customers made sure their voices were heard though the use of social media as negative comments began to spread like wildfire. It just goes to show that on the Internet, words never die.

Transparency within the Industry

Social media has given us the possibility to reach a much higher amount of people. But it’s become harder to achieve the real transparency and true loyalty from people, especially from fashion retailers – which are known as the superficial industry for many ways.

There is an increasing pressure from consumers, for brands to keep a level of transparency with them. Keeping them informed with the processes that happen behind the scenes of a brand of organization. In response, we are seeing different ways in which these brands are utilizing different social media platforms in a bid to appear transparent, and allow dialogue to happen between the consumer and the brand.

Most players within the fashion industry utilize multiple different social media platforms; brands are live-streaming fashion parades, Victoria Secret has over 22 million likes on Facebook, most labels or online shopping stores have personal blogs. 
This allows for brands to inform while engaging with their consumers and target audiences, and to keep the appearance of remaining transparent. Most welcome feedback and invite customers to engage with suggestions, complaints or praise.

The people who actually make our clothes and the methods used in production have long been a bone of contention for ethical campaigners. But as fashion’s environmental and humanitarian impact comes under increased scrutiny – both in the press and within the trade itself – some labels are adopting a refreshingly open approach to transparency. 

The idea of business transparency is not a new one but social media dynamics may be forcing organizations to take. Being more “human” is to show many sides of yourself. One way fashion brands have done this, is to show behind the scenes videos. Not only can we see the perfect runways – we can also see how it was all put together. This is one step of building trust and interest. Transparency is very much about being real and honest. And you can’t sneak away with or hide the tricks and retouch-work. For example, Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” shows proof of that. 

This further explains the ideas expressed in fashion industry expert, Hitha Prabhakar’s,  blog http://mashable.com/2010/02/13/fashion-industry-social-media/ that “Brands are learning how to humanize without killing their mystique…you are able to see how these brands are able to connect with their customers and monetize on it through awareness, loyalty and engagement.”

As Hitha states in her blog; at the end of the day people just want to feel connected. She explains how by letting the public behind the fashion influencer curtain, stalwarts and luminaries have created and connected to an entirely new audience, and capitalized on the 400 million Facebook users and more than 22 million twitter users. Social media, it seems, has become the hottest trend since skinny jeans and stiletto heels.

Basically, for those companies that choose to ignore the simple concept of “transparency” can find that their company or brand will indeed go viral but not with the message they were intending. Social media is an opportunity for companies to represent themselves as real people and build real relationships others.

Given that transparency is key to social media success I also believe that there are appropriate limits as well. Transparency is about being open and honest about running your business. What you do and what you post will directly reflect on your business. However, in my opinion being transparent doesn’t necessarily mean sharing every detail of your business with your audience, instead I believe it includes the following:

  • Owning up to your mistakes: We all make mistakes. When mistakes happen online, they’re there for all to see. Hiding the issue or side-stepping around it is not a great example of being transparent. The benefit of acknowledging your mistakes online is that it them becomes a great opportunity to be clear about what you’re going to do to fix them.
  • Responding publicly to customer complaints, concerns and questions: Social media allows you to have a closer, more intimate relationship with your audience. It allows you to address any questions and concerns about your business, both good and bad. Responding to all the comments helps to create a level of trust between you and your customers.
  • Be honest about who you are: Being honest about your organizations social media identity will also help build a level of trust between you and your clients that will help to solidify relationships. 

Nicoles Blog!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to my blog here you will find posts on fashion style and beauty!

I live in Vancouver British Columbia while currently studying business administration.

I’ve always had a passion for fashion and beauty and I hope to one day make it part of my career!