Lucrative Luxury via Fashion Film


Robb Young | September 17, 2010

Diane Pernet, pioneer of the 'fashion film', says there's money for luxury brands to make from the new genre. LS got the exclusive scoop

Diane Pernet, pioneer of the ‘fashion film’, says there’s money for luxury brands to make from the new genre. LS got the exclusive scoop

Famed fashion critic Diane Pernet has released a film trailer which serves as a teaser for her forthcoming festival. A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF) kicks off next weekend at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Find out more about what to expect from a piece published in this week’s New York Times.

While not all the designer clothes documented will be luxury brands, there are certainly more than a few. And like in the previous two editions of the festival, several of the films have actually been submitted by luxury brands themselves (Pernet remains coy about which ones prior to the screening).

One of our Three Digital Mavericks, Pernet was featured last month in LS for the genre she has helped propel into the limelight. Read more about the genre’s journey in: Marketing the Fashion Film Fantasy, from LS earlier in the year.

This May, the genre really hit the headlines when the industry’s ultimate arbiter, Suzy Menkes wrote that, for many luxury brands, “fashion films have become the hottest new accessory.” Naturally, Pernet says she agrees but she also has something important to add.

“Although most of the brands we’ve featured at the festival are genuinely in tune with the long-term potential of the medium, I have the impression that some other luxury brands are just jumping on the fashion film bandwagon. Some of them think it’s the latest ‘must-do’ trend which will soon climax and then pass. Or they think it’s best used for the novelty factor or for art cred,” she says.

“They are so wrong. Fashion film is not just some artistic endeavour on the fringes of the industry. Granted, what we’re seeing now is often a purist point of view but it’s fast evolving into a commercial art as well. Approached the right way, fashion film will make luxury brands money.”

So how would she sum up the business opportunities luxury brands might be missing if they have a blinkered approach to this nascent medium?

“I would start by reminding them of this… Your consumers understand very well that fashion goes much deeper than clothes or a photograph. That’s why the top tier of the industry spends a fortune on advertising, marketing and branding."

“But luxury consumers are realizing much faster than most brands that the fashion film is one of the best ways we have in 2010 to capture and distribute the elusive power of fashion. And as most good CEOs know, seduce the customer and you’re half of the way to selling your product.”