September 12, 2006
Branding: It's Wahl-Marte to You
Wal-Mart is a brand name that is more associated with blue jeans than Gucci. However, fashion is facing “democratization,” according to the New York Times. Brand names like H&M, Zara and Topshop are bringing high fashion to the masses through a savvy combination of off shoring production and beating the couture houses like Gucci and Burberry off the runaway and into the stores.
Rock stars and TV stars are now frequenting low-end retailers looking for brand name apparel that in the past was hardly synonymous with glamour, but now has just as much street cred as Dolce & Gabbana.
Wal-Mart is basically emulating Spain’s Zara brand in flaunting really cheap clothes that make you look like a movie star. Democratic brand names like Miss Sixty, Energie, Killah and RefrigiWear are making millions of dollars dressing the person on the street like a model. How did they do it? Places like Wal-Mart have more reach than the smaller houses and often bring out the new fashions - cuts, colors and styles - months faster than the more expensive houses.
So, welcome to high fashion, Wal-Mart, and let’s see how you strut your stuff.
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