Just as you think the fashion industry is adapting to technology, something happens that leaves you scratching you head, thinking “HUH?”Last May, Anna Wintour promised that Vogue Magazine, would “own the online space more in the next year.” Apparently, this is what she meant:Vogue confirms that Blue State Digital, the progressive online consultancy firm that famously created my.barackobama.com, has been hired to work on Vogue.com on both the editorial and business sides. They’re focusing on outreach to readers and subscribers, says the spokesman. – JezebelYes, Anna Wintour announced that Vogue has hired President Obama’s web strategists to develop social marketing strategies for the iconic fashion magazine.Anna Wintour’s Political LiaisonsDuring the CFDA Town Hall last July, Wintour suggested that the board regulate retailers’ sales activities. CFDA president Diane Von Ferstenberg pointed out the measure would violate anti-trust laws, Wintour responded, “Don’t we have friends in the White House?”Since then, having become enamored with Michelle Obama, Wintour has become a presidential appointee and even taken a spot on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. It seems that after these appointments, Wintour sincerely believes that the answers, and cure, to what ails the fashion industry lies with her contacts in The White House.


Who’s Blue Slate Digital And How Did They Come To Be A Part Of This?Blue Slate Digital is an interactive agency based in New York City that rose to fame when it partnered with Randi Zuckerberg (Marketing Director of Facebook) to organize Obama’s digital campaign. Up until its success, the firm’s client list was comprised of political organizations, organized labor unions and non-profit groups. Now Business Insider reports that Blue Slate’s revenues are up 40 percent, mostly from non-political clients who want to figure out how to create online communities. New clients include Hearst Publishing and Focus Features.Does Blue Slate Have An Experienced Fashion or Lifestyle Strategist On Staff?With the exception of one former Vanity Fair editor, it doesn’t appear that they do. So here are a few questions:1. How many of your new clients are fashion, beauty or lifestyle-related?2. Who’s the lead strategist and what’s his or her fashion background?3. Furthermore, how has that individual combined his or her knowledge of apparel and accessories with the understanding of digital space and social technologies?How Did This Happen?I can only assume that it was Wintour’s ongoing political activities, coupled with informal introductions, that started this client-agency relationship. Wintour figures since Blue Digital did such an amazing job with Obama, that they can do the same thing for Vogue in hopes of making the magazine the industry leader it once was.As fashion brands, designers and retailers have started to experiment and harness the social space, they’re starting to see limited results and sometimes complete failures by the agencies implementing social media campaigns.Why? Because the agencies don’t understand the fashion industry’s need for customized balance between traditional and online marketing.While I am happy that this firm has had success and definitely deserve major kudos for what they’ve done in non-profit and government organizations, I don’t believe they belong in fashion. Just because a firm can successfully implement campaigns in one sector, doesn’t mean they can implement them in another. There are least five other firms in New York who are better suited to handle an account of this size.Vogue needs to hire the creative geniuses within their respective industries that look at fashion as an ART, much as the magazine treats fashion as an art.Those creative geniuses understand the balance of the industry and further understand how to leverage the right technologies and social platforms to make their marketing initiatives successful on a brand by brand basis.Fashion is very fickle; as a marketer, if you don’t understand how in-store merchandising, events, promotions, buyer forecasts, seasons and trends work into the sales cycle that fuels consumer purchases and then understand how that translates online, you won’t be and can’t be successful.We are in fashion – success equals MONEY; not engagement, not sentiment and impressions. Those are only factors that contribute to the bottom line.Added Note From Comments: For Vogue, the revenue lies in being able to capture audiences and retain them. They’ll need strong communities. Why? Because strong communities equate to ad revenue, online and offline.To discover more Fashion Marketing articles, visit FashionablyMarketing.Me.

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