Monday, January 24, 2011

Symbols That Inspire Fashion Designers

The clothes we wear convey style, taste and state of mind. In portrayal of this end and maximising expenditure we tread wisely, avoiding the expensive dips and dives of high fashion. In a designer led society more emphasis is placed on style longevity and less on periodic fashion we identify through the symbols embodied in the branding.

Symbolizing is commonly used in fashion to create an anchor or unique identity for brands; depicts history and progress and characterizes their motives to differentiate from competitors. Some notable innovators include Malcolm Mcclarens use of computer game symbols in a range of childrens clothing.

This is cementing an epilogue in style that is influenced by technology, history in the making.

To keep pace with this convoluted industry there is the net to surf, high street stores for window shopping and business fashion weeklys to subscribe to. And a myriad of blog sites and social network channels to navigate and gather useful knowledge and information.

Gervaise an adroit caricature and great ambassador for the well loved Simon Carter brand. He can make paper planes, type, ride a scooter and direct, you immediately associate it with the brand as believable and trustworthy and faithful as a hound.

The iconic orb for Vivienne Westwood and her low tech simplistic approach to creating pattern using a potato stamp. It appears on every product produced, woven into silk ties, stamped into the stems of cufflinks, jewellery and clothing collections.

We are also bombarded with symbols every time we buy a fashion garment, the bar code. And the adoption of a symbol that is thousands of years old, the hour glass, which now appears on every computer screen attached to the cursor arrow.

Names have also been created to anchor brands and give a strong personal trustworthy appeal; Ted Baker: When Raymond S. Kelvin opened a men's shirt shop called Ted Baker in Glasgow in 1988, he had big ambitions but not a lot of money. So rather than advertise, he relied on word of mouth and the creation of a personality to anchor the brand.

Enter Ted Baker, or Ted, as this mythical man is often called. He is a bit quirky and the embodiment of cool. Ted's an English lad who likes fishing, travelling, dogs, and partying. He's also the type that always knows what to wear and what to say. The Web site and some of the stores are set up so you feel you are in Ted's house, complete with a dog (a statue, really). Even Kelvin's mother, who helps out in the London stores, does her part to perpetuate the myth, wearing a name tag that reads: "Ted's Mum."

Ted has helped the company do big things. Kelvin, the company's chief executive and, as he calls himself, "the closest man to Ted," eschews traditional advertising. Instead, his business model relies on "quality products delivered with a strong brand image and personality," he says.

Thomas pink: Pink was set up in 1984 by three Irish brothers James, Peter and John Mullen. Their idea was to reinvent the traditional Jermyn Street shirt, taking it to a wider, aspiration audience. The brand name Thomas Pink came from an 18th century London tailor known for making sought-after red hunting jackets. If you were lucky enough to own one, you were said to be in the pink.

Their first store opened in Chelsea, London, offering classic-cut shirts in stylish, bold weaves and colours. Further stores soon followed in the West End and City of London, their distinctive interiors, pink-and-black packaging, and much-admired shirts quickly attracting a loyal clientele.

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