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Diesel, Nonnycore, and the Strategy of Taste
FSW considers the question of shock value as part of fashion brand and content strategy and its pros and cons.
Influencers are an extension of your brand marketing strategy and should be considered as part of your content strategy. If neither is in line with your brand vision, then reconsider their value and utility.
Tommy Cash’s cosplay as a homeless grandma at yesterday’s Diesel SS2024 show was at best a questionable publicity stunt. Not only did he push around a shopping cart full of random junk, but he also walked around the show with a bucket and mop. On Tikok, SSense called his style #nonnycore. Reflecting on the show as a whole, Vogue’s Luke Leitch called the Diesel collection “a brave show that paid off handsomely.” But, other parts of social media takes have not been so forgiving. On X, many commentators found it “whack” and “offensive.”
What was Diesel up to at yesterday’s Milan Fashion Week show? Opinions of Glenn Martens’s shredded take on contemporary streetwear aside, the brand definitely took a bold approach to its show, which was effectively a 7,000-person rave in the middle of a rainstorm. We all know that Martens loves a party and to make a statement, like sending out Durex condoms as an invite. But, is there a limit to what counts as merely “causing a stir” vs being offensive, such as Mowalola Ogunlesi’s use of the Saudi Flag in her recent London Fashion Week collection?
Like all the furor over Balenciaga last year, those of us who work in fashion seem to move on quickly from these episodes. Too quickly.
Look, fashion brands need to have an authentic point of view. Yet brands need to consciously weigh the benefits of shock value and instant approval of everything designers and influencers do with the downside effects of brand dilution over time. Obviously, brands want to stand out.
But, if your brand doesn’t take a vision-centered approach that adds value and invokes positive dialogue, then it’s just an ineffective strategy.
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