Trends often dictate what fashion brands would sell to consumers, but there are times that these brands go overboard. That could mean disaster to some companies. Established fashion designer, Carolina Herrera, knows perfectly well that following trends does not automatically equate to business success. When asked by Ireland website’s, The Independent, regarding her fail-safe tips to be fashionable and fabulous, she said that “it takes a lot of effort to be effortless (as) Style shouldn’t be complicated. A simple dress is much more difficult to wear than one with ruffles and flowers and big sleeves.” Recently, one popular UK retail company has put in all of its resources to rejuvenate their less than stellar performance in the women’s fashion industry. Did they just follow a trend, or are they establishing a new style that people will love?
It had been constant news since the beginning of summer, and by August, Marie Claire Magazine has been one of the first to comment on the new fashion line of Marks and Spencer. “The Marks & Spencer autumn/winter 2013 collection is the end product of six months of intensive customer research and the many sleepless nights of Marks & Spencer’s new style director, Belinda Earl. M&S has had a stylish makeover and we are loving it,” Marie Claire’s Suzannah Ramsdale wrote.
Now that we’re in the middle of the autumn season, Marks and Spencer has been very aggressive in its marketing. During London Fashion Weekend last September, “Sashaying down the white catwalk, models were dressed in an array of gorgeous belted day dresses, cosy knits, biker jackets, lashings of lace and leather, animal print, graphic lines, Chanel-esque tweeds, tartans and 1940s skirt suits,” Amie Mulderrig of Guardians-Series.co.uk reported after attending the aforementioned fashion show. The recently released autumn apparel and the upcoming winter collection are aimed to reinvigorate the womenswear division of the UK retail giant.
In the past years, M&S has been swallowed up by too many trends. “M&S is a national institution, a brand men and women alike have, for years, held close to their heart,” Mulderrig pointed out. But the loyalty had been tainted by the retail chain’s seemingly “desperate bid to appear hip and cool” in past years, as Mulderrig puts it. This where new style director Earl comes in. Earl was entrusted to redirect the ‘national institution’ away from its chosen lacklustre path.
There has been critical acclaim to the fashion line shown by Marks and Spencer in catalogues, runways, and TV ads. Their real performance, however, is to be measured by the consumers. And that is where the challenge truly begins, as the public has become even more fickle and wary when it comes to fashion.