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  • DAS ENDE
    Junior Member
    • Mar 2013
    • 1

    Dark fashion communication

    I will be writing my thesis about dark fashion brands that communicate by non-branding ideology. With this I mean closed, invisible, incognito communication towards their community. Also defined as the opposite of the so-called traditional marketing

    I will be introducing this way of communication in the Dutch fashion market because it is not known in Amsterdam.

    I noticed that dark fashion brands don’t use the traditional way of marketing like advertisement etc. Which is very fascinating because how do they get such almost obsessive, strong loyalty, community around this dark world.

    It would be very helpful to get your opinion on how dark fashion brands communicate to you? What is the impact of this way of communication in this community? How would you describe dark fashion, what does it mean to you?

    It would be great if anyone would have the time to answer an interview with only a few questions.
    So I can have some profiles of this community (tribe).


    I am looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Kind Regards,
    Last edited by DAS ENDE; 04-12-2013, 09:32 AM.
  • michael_kard
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2010
    • 2152

    #2
    Just cos they don't have a huge logo across the chest, it doesn't mean they are not branded (in the sense of being recognisable due to distinctive visual elements).
    ENDYMA / Archival fashion & Consignment
    Helmut Lang 1986-2005 | Ann Demeulemeester | Raf Simons | Burberry Prorsum | and more...

    Comment

    • lowrey
      ventiundici
      • Dec 2006
      • 8383

      #3
      I would consider using some other term than "dark fashion".. While many brands discussed here share a darker style, it sounds gimmicky and quite superficial, as there is obviously more to it than some of the clothes being black.
      "AVANT GUARDE HIGHEST FASHION. NOW NOW this is it people, these are the brands no one fucking knows and people are like WTF. they do everything by hand in their freaking secret basement and shit."

      STYLEZEITGEIST MAGAZINE | BLOG

      Comment

      • eleven crows
        Senior Member
        • Mar 2011
        • 546

        #4
        Originally posted by michael_kard View Post
        Just cos they don't have a huge logo across the chest, it doesn't mean they are not branded (in the sense of being recognisable due to distinctive visual elements).
        This is said often when lack of branding is brought up. Do you truly believe a hole on the back of a LUC sweater of a or folded silver cruciform on a m.a+ bag is true branding? Surely these marks are identifiable, but then if you go to a pair of LUC trousers you won't find that same hole anywhere.

        Or were you referring to the style of design being distinct enough that you can easily identify the maker just by seeing a garment?

        Comment

        • michael_kard
          Senior Member
          • Oct 2010
          • 2152

          #5
          The LUC hole is a bit ambiguous, but the silver cross is definitely a coherent form of branding as it not only appears in all M.A+ products (to my knowledge) but also signifies nothing other than the brand itself. The ideas it represents are different from the modernist associated with the logos of Tesco or whatever, but it's still the sign of identification of an institution.

          And of course a certain cut or design can be a form of branding. Examples of that include the work of Christian Dior, Armani, Hedi etc, where classic forms were reworked to produce a distinctive brand image without any conspicuous logos.

          Also, the investigations' premise is quite flawed imo, assuming that non-conspicuous branding is rare and somehow inspiring. I think that branding is still not a mainstream element in most clothing out there, except for niche markets such as luxury and sportswear.
          ENDYMA / Archival fashion & Consignment
          Helmut Lang 1986-2005 | Ann Demeulemeester | Raf Simons | Burberry Prorsum | and more...

          Comment

          • Faust
            kitsch killer
            • Sep 2006
            • 37852

            #6
            I would argue that in the case of m.a.+ the logo does not fulfill a marketing role. A logo is surely a signifier (a symbol) but any signifier must have two things - the signified (the "values" it tries to communicate, whether it's "quality," "cool" or whatnot) and the audience it's speaking to. In this case, what is the signified and more importantly, who is the audience? The audience by and large are people who already know m.a.+, have done their research, etc., so is it really marketing (meaning a) bringing a new client by communicating values b) retaining an existing client via branding)? I would say it's not.
            Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

            StyleZeitgeist Magazine

            Comment

            • Pumpfish
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2010
              • 513

              #7
              The intent of the maker is important too. Is he signing the work for himself, his customer, or for his customer's audience?
              spinning glue back into horses. . .

              Comment

              • eleven crows
                Senior Member
                • Mar 2011
                • 546

                #8
                I'm going to backpedal on that old m.a+. That cross is on everything.

                I'd disagree that branding isn't prevalent. I mean you're not going to see a tesco or walmart logo splayed across anyone's chest. You will see the lacoste alligator, ralph polo player, lv monogram, levis red tab, etc.

                These symbols are worn with pride. On the flipside, is the lack of branding championed by us here? Yeah. And can anyone truly deny that they enjoy the exclusivity of these brands? All this mystery entices.

                Considernig the power of the internet for word of digital mouth, I'd doubt most of the 'dark designers' would even benefit from advertising. Probably the opposite.

                Comment

                • SHYE_POSER
                  Senior Member
                  • Mar 2009
                  • 1143

                  #9
                  I agree with Kards point about M.A+. The + is used as branding in the same way a logo is. Margielas four stitches, BBS strings with embossed leather logo, damir and his silver tipped tape/strings( pre aw11) even Ricks rectangular tags to a certain degree.
                  It's not the same as a giant gold medusa head, or a logo emblazoned tee, but it's still branding.
                  merz: your look has all the grace of george michael at the tail end of a coke binge.

                  Comment

                  • NicolasA
                    Junior Member
                    • Aug 2012
                    • 7

                    #10
                    In current days there's a spectrum of consuming habits.

                    Generation of desire comes from the suggested for a part of that spectrum. And this appears to be the case in dark fashion. Desire comes from the code that is silently stablished from this kind of clothing.

                    Very intersting topic.

                    Maybe to link this with Amsterdam you should take a look at Brueghel and the Dutch School of painters, which is an accepted code in the country. Though dark.

                    Just a thought

                    Comment

                    • Faust
                      kitsch killer
                      • Sep 2006
                      • 37852

                      #11
                      I think people often confuse their own familiarity with a certain brand's cut, seamwork, details, etc. with branding. I mean, honestly, how many people know m.a.+? The tiny silver cross becomes irrelevant when you are familiar with the garments themselves and would recognize them, cross or not.
                      Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

                      StyleZeitgeist Magazine

                      Comment

                      • FOREVER
                        Member
                        • Sep 2011
                        • 60

                        #12
                        I will be introducing this way of communication in the Dutch fashion market because it is not known in Amsterdam.
                        Dude are you for real? What is your role in the dutch fashion bussines even? This statement seems very ignorant. Exceptionally even because: ALEXANDER FIELDEN IS BASED IN HOLLAND

                        Comment

                        • Dreavan
                          Senior Member
                          • Mar 2012
                          • 121

                          #13
                          Interesting subject here.

                          This is gonna be hard to find concrete element to build your thesis because most of the brands don't release these informations.

                          But it's kinda the best way to ask on SZ because I'm sure a lot of people know about it. Well, I'm a newbie here so I'm going to give you a light vision of what I'm thinking about it. Maybe this will bring something XD

                          To me, the brands you are talking about are targeting a niche of customers. We are very far away from the mass production industry or even the luxury industry.
                          Pricing are based on materials and exclusivity. If such a brand drops its price, it will go bankrupcy.

                          They are building their identities within a specific desire to promote high end quality garments, artisanal work (hand made, raw cuts, experimental treatments ...) and of course a new silhouette for both men and women. Customers are very sensitive to these technical abilities.
                          It means these brands don't need to focus on the branding because they are most known because of their design, ways to build a look or even specialities within specific fabrics, cuts ...

                          It exists a strong visual difference between brands like RO, DD or Julius even if they use similar blends of materials and so on. The customers will direct their attention towards a concept, a typical silhouette, a know-how instead of a mega logo that you find in all magazines.
                          Brands also reach their targets by settling "it garments" since RO sneakers, M.A+ accordeon bag or even CCP tornado boots are famous without needing a logo on it.

                          I agree with Faust regarding the logos or details used by avantgardist brands like the silver cross from Maurizio Amadei. People affording these items are more interested by the product itself + most of us don't wear these brands to show everybody we are "fashion" because nobody really know about our favorite designers.

                          Comment

                          • galia
                            Senior Member
                            • Jun 2009
                            • 1719

                            #14
                            I disagree, I think we do. I think there is a satisfaction in being recognised by your niche peers (who will say they recognise something from it's style and features, but I suspect they check the logo without seeming to in many cases) while the plebs have no idea what's going on and go wtf.

                            Stranger's reaction to your clothes makes that very clear

                            Comment

                            • Dreavan
                              Senior Member
                              • Mar 2012
                              • 121

                              #15
                              Well it depends then on why you keep wearing those brands. Do you simply like them or do you want to feel you belong to a community? Maybe both?

                              The intentions in fashion are very subjective. I understand what you mean but it depends on how people appreciate this side of the fashion industry.

                              And to link it with the Stranger's reaction to your clothes, what are you going to talk about with them .. the logo or the technical abilities that made you buy your stuff? To me it's more about the concept that you buy and the designer and his skills are part of that but I think the logo is not a main issue.

                              Comment

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