Generic Branding.

22 Feb

Its 1:30a.m. Central time and I’m pumped off the two low carb Monster energy drinks I downed right before my two and a half hour return to the gym. Needing to burn this extra energy I decided to call one of my fashion savvy friends who like me never sleeps, to have one of our many late night style ramble sessions. I instantly regretted it.

Now I don’t claim to be the most stylish or end all be all fashion commentator but I know my stuff as well I’m partial to all different style aesthetics. On the other hand my buddy is an outright fashion snob.

Lets name him Julian Kaye (yes Richard Gere’s character in American Gigolo for obvious reasons.) The topic of diffusion line came up. “Today this size 10 chick came to work bragging about her new Jason Wu dress and it was Jason Wu for Target how tragic” said, Julian.

We have two different opinions about diffusion lines. Julian thinks they cheapen a brand and is a desperate attempt for a designer to keep their fashion line relevant. I on the other hand think these lines do three things:
1. The positive features of the diffusion line extends to a broader brand.
2. Build revenue.
3. Open the brand to a wider audience.

For example, Marni & Missoni I know people who never knew these brands existed. Before Jason Wu for Target people only knew him as the guy who designed Michelle Obama’s inaugural ball dress not knowing he had a whole fashion line before then. Diffusion line also, give new life to an old brand like Versace. There is a new generation of young fashion connoisseurs that are out on eBay, vintage shops and saving up all their extra money to buy out the Versace boutique after the H&M collaboration.

I think heavy fashion enthusiast see diffusion lines as making a brand basic and too accessible but first one must know that there are two different type of diffusion. One is an Exclusive Diffusion Line that are generally only available at signature line establishments i.e. Marc by Marc Jacobs and D&G by Dolce & Gabbana. The other is Designer Diffusion Line that are retailed at high-street fashion chains i.e. Simply Vera by Vera Wang at Kohl’s and Jimmy Choo by Jimmy Choo for H&M.

These line help keep a fashion line in the black during these tight financial times and give the designer a chance to step out of their typical design aesthetic. I personally don’t see problem with it. I mean with any business the object is to sell! Same can be said for pop culture, people voice their disdain via internet when rappers or pop singers mentions a brand in their song and the item gain mass appeal. However, I can’t get too upset because majority of people who think something is too “basic” either can’t fit it or can’t afford it.

What are your opinions on diffusion lines? My problem is that these lines overlook men.


One Response to “Generic Branding.”

  1. kristina February 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    yes, they do need to start including men! and i believe that it’s smart for designers to go outside of their regular audience. martha has been doing it for years w. k-mart. i believe that everyone should get the chance to wear nice brands and labels. great post!! and btw – yes, they were my photos, thanks for your compliments!!

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