10 Fashion Communication Lessons from Dior

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This summer I had a pleasure to attend a Fashion Communication workshop held by Mr. Olivier Bialobos, Senior VP Global Communications of Christian Dior Couture @ Polimoda Fashion School during the Pitti Immagine week in Firenze. The famous saying „learn from the best“ materialized in full for me, as not only was Olivier a truly inspirational and charming speaker, but also the presentation itself contained many aspects of value, not only for a communication professional like me, but also for those who simply love the Dior brand or fashion in general.

Some highlights of his presentation to taste:

Luxury brands can only be significant when they are rooted in authentic traditions.

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Keeping a consistent brand image in all its aspects becomes a paramount when one has a legacy to carry: since the year 2000 Dior has regained a full control over its production & distribution facilities.

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State of the art boutique design across the globe that bears a distinctive handwriting of one man, the New York City architect Peter Marino. He designs all Dior boutiques worldwide.

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Legacy of the founder. Today the brand’s mission is to keep alive the dream of beauty of Christian Dior, uniting the historical savoir faire, innovation, trend forecasting and adapting to them, creativity, passion for elegance and dedication. One has to belive in what he does and know how to do it.

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Diverse team brings the best results. Dior has a mixed team of different backgrounds, ages and nationalites. The communication team of the brand alone consists of 135 people in the Paris HQ and of another 100 people in 20 offices worldwide.

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Quality is important in communication, not quantity – unique content creation adapted to different channels.

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Success in social and digital media is dependent on high quality visuals, creative content and catchy ambassadors. Check out the Dior videos with Rihanna or Marion Cotillard, for example. Digital & social platforms from DiorTV to webmagazine to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook are crucial for a fashion brand.

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Choose your ambassadors well. Go for less, but they need to be fitted for the brand, share the same values, reflect the same image. Developing close relationships with your brand ambassadors is something not to be neglected.

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Allow creativity with the brand, be collaborative, do things first. Dior has worked with artists worldwide, given them the freedom to interpret the iconic Lady Dior bag. Keep the legacy, but innovate and anticpate the trends. Dior was the first to do a separate show for their atelier employees and invited the fashion students. Dior has been the first in many things. „The New Look“, over and over again.

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Your direct communication with your clients and the lovers of your brand is important, from your own magazine for important clients to brand and its heritage related books, documentaries and exhibitions to visual merchandising of boutiques. Try yourself to find one million exactly the same looking Christmas balls for your shop windows, all at the same time and of course, within a considerable time pressure. Guess what, they did it!

And still, after all that, let me leave you with those final words:
„Even if there are no more secrets, fashion remains a mystery.“ Christian Dior

Image credits: Magazine Novita’ 1950s, Library of the Accademia di Costume e di Moda, Roma.

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