29.09.2015 Géraldine Florin, a senior buyer and trade marketer at Galeries Lafayette

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Geraldine florin acheteuse senior et trade marketeur aux galeries lafayette

Géraldine Florin, a senior buyer and trade marketer at Galeries Lafayette for seven years, is a strong supporter of young designers. For TRAFFIC, she shares her views on fashion and its evolution.

What are your observations on the evolution of fashion?

The sector has become a lot more complicated. Globalisation, digital technology, and different types of manufacturing (especially fast fashion) have shaken up the fashion world. We now have access to all kinds of fashion all the time; and that has changed consumer behaviour. Consumers are better informed than before and also more demanding. On the other hand, and this is a positive point, there has never been so much desire for fashion, for fashion associated with freedom, fulfilment, and self-expression. And with so many waves and trends, everyone can find their own identity.

What are the biggest challenges for brands today?

The biggest challenge today is finding their place among such a vast product offer, and this is especially true for young designers and houses. The most important thing is to stand out, and to do that they have to have a recognizable style and remember that product quality is still key. And they can't ignore communication; this is a problem for young designers who have trouble getting noticed with all the big groups everywhere in the media and wide ranging social network coverage. There's also the problem of ultra-active fast fashion, which in six weeks presents what independent designers take six months to create. The solution to all of this is to educate consumers, who are well informed but not always educated; and to create a tie or emotional connection with them. Consumers know about products, but not necessarily the manufacturing, story, or heritage behind them. And yet they are increasingly eager for this information.

What should brands do?

The pertinence of the product makes the first difference. Brands should develop their style and bring it to life, independently of the season or trends. To do that, they need to develop a cut, colour, or print, while still respecting their own DNA. And then, they need to produce top-level communication built on meaning, excellence, and authenticity. Today, for example, local, sustainable commerce is very popular. If consumers give up fast fashion they need to find value added in a different kind of fashion with ideals, respect for human rights, and ethical manufacturing methods.

How do you see the future of fashion?

I think there will be a return to quality materials and products. Clients want a local connection and transparency with the product and the people who made it. They also want personalisation and originality, such as their initials on a garment or bag, limited editions, or unexpected collaborations between designers. And they want to experience a personal connection, one they can talk about . . . and share.

The Galeries Lafayette are TRAFFIC partners.

The Galeries Lafayette are part of the trade show conference program:

'How to affirm your brand territory' on Thursday 5 November at 11:30 in the Conference area.


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