Who knows more about branding than fashionistas around the world? The packaged goods industry comes in a close second followed by various forms of entertainment and then transportation. However, the fashion industry is the best model for making a brand both relevant and engaging.

Fashion is not just the wearing of a particular garment—fashion is lifestyle defined.

Lifestyle branding has become the popular way to develop a brand. Sean John, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Jay Z and, more recently, Andre 3000 have all used the fashion platform to extend their individual brands beyond music to restaurants/clubs, fragrances, vehicles, and even favorite drinks. Basketball great, Michael Jordan’s Nike brand, which began as an 80’s shoe fad is now an international apparel line that caters to trendy sports lifestyles.

Since fashion is personal, it makes sense for brands to collaborate with consumers to “[break] the spell of aspiration” as luxury designer Gucci recently opted to do and Yves Saint Laurent is famous for doing.

Known primarily for eccentric runway introductions, the fashion industry is the launching pad for all things seen and heard. From Paris and Milan to New York and London, fashion weeks brand high couture as much as they brand music, photographers, styles, concepts, food, drinks, and even color schemes.

A brand unafraid to be edgy, daring, and still maintain a level of awe and sophistication like their fashion counterparts will move beyond keeping pace to setting the pace. Brand managers take note or in this case, picture that!

References:
Top 10 Most Interesting Trends from New York Spring 2008 Fashion Week
Swoosh! Inside Nike
Couture Hits the Streets

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