After correcting product issues and doubling its sales since 2003, August Silk is ready to promote its product again with its first ad campaign in almost five years.
The better knit resource, which industry sources estimate to bring in more than $70 million in wholesale volume, is spending 3 percent of its sales on a marketing campaign that swaps traditional print ads for mall kiosks, cooperative advertising with retailers and a new Web site.
"It's not going to be how many pages we are going to take in Vogue," said Don Horning, president and chief executive officer of August Silk. "For our product and our ultimate customer, we are looking for innovative ways to use our limited marketing dollars to strengthen and build the momentum we have."
Designed by Pulse Creative LLC, the "as" campaign, which features fall and holiday tops, will run from September through December on kiosks at about 25 select malls nationwideThe ads feature a woman wearing an August Silk top, often set against fantasy-like, elegant backgrounds.
Ads will also be featured in limited print, like Playbill magazine, which "lays around the ultimate user's home a lot longer than the typical monthly magazine," according to Horning. In-store appearances and other cooperative advertising will make up a chunk of the spending.
The firm just launched augustsilk.com, which does not offer e-commerce, but informs consumers about product offerings and retail partners. "Customers have less time and want more information," said Horning. "The thing most frustrating is to go to the store and not find it, so we try to make the shopping experience easier for the ultimate consumer, by showing them our products and connecting them to retailers who carry the product."
Horning said the campaign is a crowning effort to turning around the brand, which had "a difficult period" in 2003 and 2004. "Everybody got too focused on price and cheapened the quality of the yarns — had we stayed on that road we would be out of business," Horning said. "We earned this the old-fashioned way by hard work, focusing first on the product, because there's nothing more important than quality product. Our prices haven't really changed, but we put a lot more quality and perceived value — we figured out on the back side how to get it done."As the company has doubled its sales from that period, improved sell-through performance in its more than 1,000 department store doors and added sportswear to the lineup, August Silk finally is ready to promote itself again this fall.
"Because our product is finally right, we want to reposition ourselves with the ultimate consumer and validate our strength," Horning said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast