Sunday, May 03, 2015

Marketing a Fashion Show In South Africa

South African fashion industry is fastly growing in all its facets. It might not be similar to that of Paris or Milan, but the truth is that it is growing. David Tlale showed us last year that SA is not just a hotspot for movies, but it can hold its own in fashion on an international stage. Besides that, there are fashion designers in SA refusing to give up or settle for mediocrity. They are producing amazing garments that are stylish and practical.

Before we only knew of one or two fashion shows. At that time, it was just a matter of creating a platform for South African fashion designers to sell their “oh-my-god” garments. Things have changed since then with more and more fashion weeks introduced yearly in different towns and platforms. Creativity is in full supply especially from designers. Even brands are seeking major partnerships with many of the shows we see today and designers.

If you manage to score an invite as a fashionista you start worrying about what to wear as early as five weeks before the shows. Who wouldn’t? Often fashion weeks are a dream come true as they allow one to network with the right people in fashion and also the designers who are not always accessible to an ordinary fashionista. For those who put a fashion week together, preparations before the shows meant each every detail has to be attended to and finalised as early as possible with deadlines guiding the process.

As with any event in South Africa, marketing is hardly given a field day. I don't understand why organisers underestimate this important aspect? I think most make the mistake of only appointing PR specialists whom often focuses only on publicity and even that, there is still a long way to go. It is often not structured thus making tracking results difficult. Someone once told me that, budgets are not readily available to make sure the fashion shows are as widely marketed and marketing activities measured as effective as possible. To that, I responded and said that it is not about the budget but creativity. People are in good positions to influence decisions but because there are often so swamped with many other activities fail to think creatively as far as budgets are concerned.

Gone are the days of just hiring a PR and Marketing agency without defined briefs. How do you expect them to provide a magnificent service for you while you yourself do not even understand what you would like to achieve and how you envision their roles especially in your quest to achieving excellence?

A certain fashion show in South African last year failed on social media marketing. It was as if they did not know what they were doing. For me, I do not see why you should use the same content for all social media platforms without actually tweaking here and there so it suits the audience of that platform. Twitter, Facebook and others are not the same, therefore, they must not be approached the same way irrespective of whether it's a live event or not. Pay attention, it is not that difficult. This is not the only thing I have noticed but there were millions of them.

If you would like to learn more on how best to market a fashion show, please email
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