Final Graduate Project: Halston Rejuvenation Plan

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This was my final project for MA Luxury and Fashion Management degree at Savannah College of Art and Design. In this project I used all the skills I learned during my education and combined them into one final project.

About a year ago I became increasingly interested in the Halston company, and thought it tragic that is was failing when it had such a strong history. I decided that for my final project I would look into formulating a plan that called for the Rejuvenation of the failing company. I used market research, analysis, creative skills, and business plan creation skills during the completion of this project.

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Final Graduate Project: Halston Rejuvenation Plan

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. Halston Rejuventation Plan Ariail Siggins Luxury & Fashion Management Final MA Project Fall 2013 2
  3. 3. Table of Contents Executive Summary...............................................................................4 Timeline...................................................................................................5 History......................................................................................................6 Company Information Current..................................................................................................20 Marketing Mix (Four P’s).....................................................................21 Customer..............................................................................................22 Challenges............................................................................................24 Competitors.........................................................................................26 SWOT....................................................................................................32 Company Summary.............................................................................33 Case Studies.........................................................................................34 Situation Summary...............................................................................38 Rejuvination Plan Overview...............................................................................................40 Objectives & Methods........................................................................41 Concept................................................................................................42 Target Market.......................................................................................43 Consumer.............................................................................................45 Competitors.........................................................................................47 SWOT....................................................................................................51 Marketing Strategy..............................................................................52 People........................................................................................52 Product......................................................................................55 Price...........................................................................................59 Place..........................................................................................60 Promotion..................................................................................61 Launch Strategy...................................................................................68 Measurement & Evaluation................................................................70 Conclusion............................................................................................71 Citations................................................................................................72 3
  4. 4. Executive Summary Halston is a historic designer who started his own brand during the glamorous days of the 1960’s. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s the brand saw increased success, but through a series of failed business ventures and a corporate buyout during the 1980’s has largely fallen into obscurity. With a failing diffusion line all that stands left of this iconic American brand, now is the time to bring back the historic brand before it become completely irrelevant. This rejuvenation plan looks at current and historic research to asses the challenges the brand is currently facing, in order to position it correctly going forward. Through consumer surveys and case studies of similar brands, a rejuvenation plan was developed that includes new consumers, competitors, as well as a marketing mix and launch plan. This marketing mix focuses on blending the ideology of the original Halston into the newly relaunched designer collection in a way that allows it stay current and relevant. In order to accomplish this, a new Creative Director, as well as other strong leaders need to be put in place. Image 1 4
  5. 5. Timeline 1974: Halston participates in the Versailles fashion show in Paris 1932: Roy Halston Fenwick is born 1976: Brand begins designing uniforms for commerical industries (Avis, Braniff Airlines, Olympic Team, Girl Scouts) 1959: Halston accepts role as Cheif Milliner at Bergdorf Goodman 1968: Halston leaves BG and opens up his own boutique 1957: Halston moves to NYC to work for milliner Lily Dache 1983: Parent company Norton Simon is sold. Difussion line is launched at JC Penny (fails) 2011: Ben Malka from BCBG is named Chairman and CEO 1984: Halston is fired from company 1986: Revlon purchases company 2007: Rachel Zoe comes on board to resurect brand (leave ‘08). Company bought by Harvey Weinstein and Hilco Consumer Capital 1991: Sold 1980: Designs first sportwear line 1998: Sold 1978: Moves to iconic Olympic Tower location 1975: Halston perfume in Elsa Peretti designed bottle wins “Fragrance of the Year” 1999: Sold 1996: Sold 2010: Sara Jessica Parker comes on as Heritage creative officer 1990: Roy Halston Fenwick dies of AIDS 5 1. Halston.com 2. Voguepedia, Halston
  6. 6. History - Early Years (30’s - 50’s) Image 2 Roy Halston Frowick was worn in Des Moines, Iowa on April 23, 1932 to a lower middle class family. One of four siblings, it did not take Halston (who took the nickname early on to keep from being confused with his Uncle Roy whom his namesake belongs) long to recruit his sister as his first model at the age of only 6. From this point on his love for the fashion industry only grew and with hard work and a little luck he became one of the most sought after designers of the 1970’s and 80’s. As a young child Halston often watched his mother crochet and knit and soon decided that he had the knack to design as well. His first project was to decorate hats with feathers and buttons then have his sister model them around the house. He was a destined milliner from the start, even if those around him had yet to accept this fact. “It’s very strange, but very true” Halston says, “I always wanted to be in the fashion business, from the time I was about four or five years old. I was always fascinated with it, and always wanted to make things, and actually did make things when I was really young. And it was very difficult for me as a young man because I wasn’t much encouraged in that world of fashion. Everybody discouraged you right down the pike, and you were not supposed to do what I was doing, which was making hats. I guess you had to be smaller and a little bit more fey”. Throughout his youth he continued to style friends and family, loving the reactions he got from the makeovers. After giving college a shot for one semester at Indiana University, he left, ready to take on his dream of working in the fashion industry. With a little luck, and a great friend and lover 25 years his senior named Andre Basil, Halston moved to Chicago in 1952 and found himself in a swanky apartment surrounded by the upper class women who would make his milliner dreams come true. Soon Halston’s career began to take off and with continued work he was given his first press coverage by Peg Zwecker, a columnist for the Chicago Daily News who would later prove to be a great ally by introducing him to Charles James, a native designer, and Lilly Dache. In 1957 Halston’s career hit another success when Lilly Dache, a famed New York milliner, offered him a job in her New York City show room. Halston made the move, and he and his career never looked back. After two years with Dache, Halston made the final move, to Bergdorf Goodman, that set him up to open his own brand. Halston spent 9 long years at Bergdorf Goodman learning everything he could about the women he would one day dress; he learned how to carry on with women of royalty to women of Hollywood, and any upper-class woman in-between. This is where Halston learned that the tides were turning and American fashion would be accepted across the world and society. Women were ready for a change, and Halston was prepared to step in and give it to them. 6 1.”An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  7. 7. History - The Beginning (50’s - 60’s) Image 3 To try out his hand at designing clothing Halston convinced Andrew Goodman, Bergdorf’s chief executive, to give him a salon in the department store to sell his womenswear line. After one year Halston knew he could make it on his own and began building Halston, Ltd. While Halston may have been a private man, he was also a social butterfly, so when it came time to decide who he was going to surround himself with in his new company he quickly looked to his friends; Halston even hired some of his first assistants, including Bill Dugan, at dinner parties during casual conversations. With a new company formed all Halston needed was a place to work out of. He began his search near Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue near an art gallery and fashion area. When a lease deal fell thru at the last minute he was left scrambling and settled for a third floor workspace in a six story town home at East Sixty-eighth and Madison Avenue. Madison Ave was yet to be the fashion hub it’s known as today, but the designer quickly found himself sitting nearly in the backyards of wealthy women and potential clients dying to get their hands on his clothes. During a time when many designers were going for austere white and gray walls with chrome accents in their showrooms, Halston took another direction completely and decorated his studio in rich colors and thick brocade fabrics that changed in each direction the eye looked. Rather than a cold studio, the area was inviting and felt more like a luscious living room that one wanted to spend time in. His budget for the make over may not have been huge, but Halston’s vast network of friends with talents of their own allowed him to create a one-of-a-kind space. Once he had a place to work, the women started coming. Halston’s first two clients in his new space were Mrs. William Paley and Mrs. Jane Engelhard, both wealthy women who wanted custom made-to-order clothing. “I made every mistake known” Halston said, “but I did the dream of every American designer, which is to remove yourself from the marketplace, and have a made-to-order business, have your own building, have the fame, fortune, and notoriety, a good clientele and so forth”. He was a self made man who had finally reached his goal. Many called it “luck” and noted that Halston seemed to have “made it over night”. But they were wrong, Halston had been working and fighting for this dream since he was six years old, people just didn’t know it. After those first two clients walked through the door, business took off and before they knew it Halston, Ltd. had taken over the entire building. As business grew Halston, not known yet for his business prowess, began putting his clothes into department stores. The difference was that Halston required a Halston tag to be on the clothes rather than a department store tag. During the 1960’s this was still unheard of, designers were suppose to be in the background and unknown. This is when Halston started the trend of the celebrity designer; he was just as important as the clothes. 7 1.”An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  8. 8. History - The Partnership (70’s) In 1972 Halston officially became a retailer, also new at the time and done only by Valentino and Yves St. Laurent, by opening a ground floor store in the same building as his showroom. Rather than advertise the opening, Halston filled the windows with mannequins modeled after Amanda Burden, one of his most faithful customers. In no time Halston could not even keep the store stocked. Over the next years additional stores were added in Chicago (1976) and Orange County (1978). Halston was one of the first retailers to make statements with his window displays. Far before it was the “cool” thing to do, Victor Hugo, Halston’s artistic lover, was making statements about everything from politics to people with the help of Perucho Valls, one of Halston’s well known go-to assistants. Not all the windows were well received; many complaints were heard about the sometimes disturbing nature of the windows. Many, however, loved them because they took a stand and were more interesting than all the other windows with cookie cutter mannequins doing cookie cutter things. As Halston’s popularity continued to grow he soon ran into the problem of not being able to fill orders, there was simply too much demand for him to handle. A three way partnership between Halston and two business men, Ben Shaw and Guido De Natale, was developed to solve this problem and make Halston, Ltd a very profitable brand. The partnership started with each investor investing $150,000 to start a ready-to-wear line that was based off of Halston’s made-to-order designs, it was called Halston Originals. Operated separately from Halston, Ltd. this new company made exact copies of the made-to-order designs and produced them for only two stores per major city in order to maintain exclusivity. In less than a year the new company booked over $4 Million. Halston Originals continued to take off, allowing the partners to take new licensing risks that were uncommon at the time. Soon Halston was licensed for furs, sweaters, outerwear, and more before seeing the opportunity that awaited in perfume. 8 Image 4 1.”An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  9. 9. History - The First Sale Negotiations for a perfume licensing deal started with both Revlon and Max Factor. As negotiations heated up with Max Factor their stipulations became too much and Halston and his partners walked away from the table. Realizing what walked out the door, Max Factor came back two days later with an offer to buy both of the Halston companies so that they would have complete control. The three partners agreed and Halston, Ltd. and Halston Originals were sold for an estimated $7 Million in stock and combined to form Halston Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the conglomerate. At the time, Halston’s shares topped nearly $4 Million, $1 of which he turned around and gave back to his initial investor Mrs. Warlinton. The three partners split the remaining $3 Million, making a sizable return on their investments in a short period of time. At the time of the sale Halston Ltd and Halston Originals were barely breaking even, but the conglomerate bought it for it’s perceived future value. Halston was not forgotten in the sale; he received a salary plus bonuses and had a clause in the sale that allowed for him to be taken care of financially in the event of another sale. The problem however, was that Halston ended up selling his name in a clause that stipulated that if he ever was not employed by the company he could not use his namesake or likeness to operate any business that could be “confusingly similar”. This would be an area of contingency with Halston’s lawyers down the line as he assumed the sale allowed for dual ownership and two accepted users. At the time, Halston saw the sale as a reprieve of his business duties, giving him more time to focus on what he did best, designing. Image 5 9 1.”An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  10. 10. History - 101 East 63rd With proceeds from the sale Halston finally decided to buy his own place in the city. With a little prodding from a friend, Halston bought the only town home built in Manhattan since World War II, located at 101 East Sixty-third street. The building and integrated furniture had originally been designed for someone else, but the clean lines designed by Paul Rudolph suited Halston perfectly, and was said to have even inspired some of his future collections. The house was one-of-a-kind with a gray, black, and white color scheme, skylight ceiling, large square upholstered chairs, and a 27 foot glass walled, mirror backed greenhouse that was landscaped by Robert Lester. “It’s here that I’ve discovered that modern is the only way to live” Halston says, “I like the simplification of living with only a few things”. The key feature of the main room was the staircase along the sidewall that featured no handrails, just suspended steps; a frightful experience for party-goers that found themselves staggering up those steps at all hours of the night. The home became well known for having some of the best work and non-work related parties in the city, it was not uncommon to find some of the biggest names of the time hanging out there. Image 6a Image 6 10 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  11. 11. History - Battle of Versailles After the successful sale, Halston’s new empire was chosen to participate in what later became known as the “Battle of Versailles”. Five American designers were chosen to fly to Paris and show their collections for the very first time alongside the famous Parisian designers, including Yves St Laurent, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro. Initially, Halston turned down the invitation, stating that it was just too busy of a time for him to go. Later he changed his mind because the show was becoming such a big deal and he was afraid to miss out. When the Americans arrived in Paris their welcome was less than warm by the Parisian designers. Their practice times were dismal, their budget was next to nothing, and they were rarely even provided with necessities. When the night of the show arrived people expected little from the Americans, but after the Parisian designers finished their long, drawn out, old fashion shows, the Americans took the stage by storm. Thanks to Halston, and his larger than life budget, the American’s show was choreographed and produced by Kay Thompson; when they took the stage the audience was amazed by their energy and sexiness. That night five American designers are said to have pulled off the greatest American win since the French and Indian War. It was a success to say the least, and despite all of the set backs, American designers were able to make a name for themselves on a global scale, with Halston leading the way. An unidentified Parisian socialite was quoted saying to Newsweek magazine that the American designers were “like someone who gets invited into your home for dinner and then runs off with your wife and the silverware, as well”. The Americans took it as their greatest compliment. Image 7 11 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  12. 12. History - Licensing Image 8 After the successful run at Versailles, Halston’s licensing agreements continued to grow and by 1976 were bringing in over $75 Million in retail sales annually. Anything you wanted by Halston, you could get. A couple of things he adamantly turned down were designer jeans, childrenswear, and cars. Halston’s point was that unless he could change, or design something new about the product, he didn’t want anything to do with it. Personal endorsements that involved just putting his name on something were ventures for old age he said. One licensing item that Halston could do well was perfume. Putting his foot down about everything from the bottle, to the fragrance, to the launch party, Halston developed a fragrance and plan that launched one of the most successful perfumes in history. At the height of Halston’s fragrance it was bringing in more than $100 Million a year. It seems that his ideas, balked at by others within the company, were entirely correct. The bottle today is still one of the most recognizable perfume bottles out there, exactly what he was going for when he created a design that had few labels so that it could be considered a collectors item. On the heels of these successful licensing deals, Halston was asked to create uniforms for the summer 1976 Pan American Games, summer 1976 Olympic Games, and winter 1976 Olympics. The garments were produced by Montgomery Ward and sold to the masses after being distributed for free from Ward to the athletes. Following this success Halston was also chosen to produce new flight attendant uniforms for Braniff Airlines in 1976, changing from their Pucci designed uniforms from the previous 10 years. Later requests came from everyone from the Girl Scouts, to Avis, to the NYPD for new uniform designs. Some ideas were successful, some were not. 12 Image 8a 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  13. 13. History - Era of the Halstonettes With all of this new success, Halston needed more room than his place on Sixty-eighth could offer. After scouring the city they found a suitable spot in the Olympic tower building at fifty-first street off of fifth avenue. The place was $12 a sq/ft and on the 21st floor, Halston immediately fell in love. From then on the Olympic tower offices became the iconic backdrop to many photos and videos of Halston at work. The space was designed to be flexible enough to serve as a workroom, or showroom. With the large open space it soon became known for hosting fashion shows that were the hottest ticket in town, frequented by the most impressive celebrities, models, and royalty. These shows were where the super model era was born. Halston constantly surrounded himself with beautiful models, the Halstonettes they would become known as. These beautiful women were handpicked, and being a “chosen one” had it’s perks. The Halstonettes would travel around the world with Halston putting on fashion shows while capturing hearts and wallets everywhere. No trip was too far with Norton Simon’s funding and Halston’s celebrity status; Paris, Japan, China, they hit them all. 13 Image 9 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  14. 14. History - The Last Supper Image 10 Coming into the 1980’s Norton Simon decided that the Halston clothing line needed to start making more money instead of floating by on perfume sales; Halston Sportswear was launched. Diffusion lines were not a common concept at the time, although Halston had been attempting to incorporate them from the beginning, and although sportswear was far outside Halston’s wheelhouse he refused to give up creative control. Blame could be placed on multiple shoulders, but the bottom line was that the line just could not make it; after two seasons it was done. Halston had always had the need to control anything with his name on it, and this turned out to be his greatest asset and also his greatest fault. There was just no way for the designer and his escalating self-destructive lifestyle to pull off that much work pressure. The meeting that marked the beginning of the end happened in 1982 when NSI holdings convinced Halston that he was merely nothing to their conglomerate and convinced him to strike a licensing deal with JC Penny for a 6 year, multimillion dollar contract. It is deemed “the most significant design-licensing agreement in the history of the fashion industry”. Halston had no idea at the time how bad things would get. Fall of 1983 JC Penny launched the Halston III label, a womenswear line exceeding the upper end of JC Penny’s price range. The line was launched in their catalog along with 550 selected stores around the country. How America would accept a different version from his made-to-order was questioned, yet at the time Halston was thrilled to “dress America”. At the time he said “I didn’t sell myself out like some of the others did. As long as you keep your style and your standards, it can only enhance your name by reaching a broader audience” and “You know me, I’m as American as apple pie. I’m the original Mr. Sweater Set. I like casual clothes and have never been able to make them…remember, I come from Des Moines, Iowa.” Little did Halston realize how far he had come from who he was back then. There was no going back 14 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  15. 15. History - Beginning of the End Behind a $10 Million marketing campaign, Halston III had sold through 33% of it’s stock in just the first month, but it was obvious to those in the fashion industry that this was not what Halston designed well and many designs fell short of expectation. “When I first heard about the JC Penny clothes, I though, gee, how great that in this economy, with a small amount of money, women could have Halston designs. But when I saw the clothes, it was clear they didn’t know how to make them”, said Polly Mellen, creative director of Vogue magazine at the time. Along with these poor designs, came heavy backlash from his prestigious retailers, and quickly they began to jump ship. Bergdorf Goodman was the first, discontinuing his ready-to-wear and cosmetics line. Ira Neimark, President and CEO at the time said in WWD, “We decided that designers as well as retailers must decide who their customers are. They made their decision and we made ours.” Bergdorf Goodman was quickly followed by Ben Kahn Furs who also dropped Halston, they admitted years later that they backed out due to the JC Penny deal, not because of a company policy change that they claimed at the time. While many retailers held out, enough dropped the brand that Halston’s reputation was already faltering. This, along with his notorious lifestyle, started the ball rolling towards his end. Today people understand the concept of diffusion lines and it is seen and accepted around the world, but at the time it was something brand new. While it was leading the way in terms of business, the fashion community just was not able to accept it yet. Image 11 15 Image 11a 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  16. 16. History - Let the Sales Begin Around the same time in 1983 NSI staged a buy out from Esmark, Inc for $925 Million. As soon as that contract was finished with NSI, Esmark, Inc was bought out by Beatrice Foods for $2.8 Billion. In less than one year Halston Enterprises was run by three separate companies and now found itself as a division of International Platex, Inc. Losing NSI, Halston lost his protection and control that came with the friends and colleagues he had made there. The new atmosphere he found himself in was not suitable for a designer like himself to function. The new culture cared only about numbers, not the fashion world that Halston lived and worked in. In August of 1984 the constant struggle between corporation and designer became too much, and Halston was removed as designer; from then on would be associated with Halston Enterprises in name only. Halston still continued to draw his $1 Million annual salary that was in his contract, not set to expire until June 1988. Spring 1984 was the last collection Halston would ever design for the company he worked so hard to build. There were many negotiations in the following months for JC Penny to buy Halston from Platex and return him to his former post, but nothing ever came of it because of Platex’s firm hold. In 1986 Revlon Group Inc purchased Halston Enterprises, Halston fragrance and cosmetics, Max Factor, and Almay for an estimated $345 Million cash. Four companies, four CEO’s, in four years. It was a clear sign of what was to come. Image 12 Image 12a 16 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  17. 17. History - The End of an Era Halston may not have had control of his company, but his love for designing never dwindled. He continued to design for Liza Minnelli, the Martha Graham Dance Company, and more; all while continuing to work with lawyers to regain his brand. In 1988 Halston’s dream was about to come true as Revlon drew up a contract to bring him back on board. In a terrible turn of fate, Halston was diagnosed with AIDS in November of that year and refused to enter into a contract he could not keep. After this discovery Halston, the private man that he was, all but dropped off the map. He sold his house, moved in with his sister, and lived the rest of his short days with her and family in Santa Rosa, California driving around in a Rolls-Royce. March 26, 1990 at the age of only 57 Halston passed in his sleep. Many friends had only been aware of his condition less than a year, and he maintained his privacy and class until the very end. Two months later Revlon announced they would be closing the Halston clothing line, the New York times reported “the Halston name is women’s apparel, once the most glamorous designer label in America, will soon disappear entirely from sales racks in this country”. Image 13 17 Image 13a 1. “An American Original” 2. Voguepedia 3. Halston.com
  18. 18. History - Life After Halston The man who spent his whole life building the Halston brand would leave behind nothing but a tarnished legacy. Between 1990 and 2008 the company has had more than 8 owners and 6 designers at the helm. In 2008 the brand was revived by Harvey Weinstein, Tamara Mellon, and stylist Rachel Zoe. Current owners brought on former Versace designer, Marco Zanini, as creative chief who presented a collection in February of 2008. Soon after he was let go surrounded by rumors of disagreements about the creative direction among the creative board. The following Spring 2009 collection was presented under an unnamed design team. In 2010 Marios Schwab took over as the designer, the same year Sarah Jessica Parker was appointed as President and Chief Creative Officer of Halston Heritage. During the same time investors Harvey Weinstein and Tamara Mellon announced they would be backing out of the label come July 2011, the two (Schwab and Parker) decided to leave as well. Since 2011 the label has not shown a designer level Halston collection, rumored to have been discontinued. They continue to focus on the Halston Heritage diffusion line that showcases archival Halston looks. Image 14 18 1. Voguepedia, Halston 2. Vogue - SJP Leaving
  19. 19. Company Information 19
  20. 20. Current Company Halston With the failed success of Halston’s designer line, the company made the decision to discontinue the classic designer label and proceed with the diffusion line, Halston Heritage. Halston Heritage is currently run by CEO and part owner, Ben Malka, who was formerly a part of the BCBG group. In 2011 when current designer Mario Schwab decided to leave, Malka brought on Marie Mazelis as Chief Creative Officer, Malke and Mazelis had worked together before at BCBG and Malka believed her to be a good fit for the direction of the company. Halston Heritage Halston Heritage is a lower priced version of Halston’s traditional pieces and are highly accessible due to their retail strategy. The label can be found across the globe at key retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Rustans as well as on-line at 6 different e-commerce sites. In addition, Halston Heritage has their flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City with plans to expand their retail locations in the near future. 20 1. Halston.com 2. LAtimes, Web
  21. 21. Current Company Overview Four P’s: Product/Price 1. Cocktail Dresses: $395 to $595 2. Eveningwear Dresses: $495 to $1,500 3. Tops: $95 to $325 4. Sweaters: $225 to $425 5. Pants: $295 to $375 6. Skirts: $225 to $425 7. Coats: $495 to $695 8. Handbags: $295 to $895 Place Currently Halston Heritage is sold globally in retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Rustans, Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols, and Net-A-Porter and in 7 Flagship stores. Promotion Halston Heritage uses social media (pinterest, facebook, instagram, and twitter), editorials, and runway shows as a means of promotion. They also participate on flash sites such as Rue Lala and Haute Look. 21 1. Halston.com
  22. 22. Current Company: Halston Heritage Customer Segmentation Demographics Halston Heritage consumers live across the globe in wealthy cities and towns. Because of Halston Heritage’s wide range of retail locations customers are not just limited to major cities, although that is the primary consumer. Many of these consumers live in Southern California and New York City or frequently travel to these locations for shopping trips. These consumers live active lifestyles in their communities and are regularly out on the town in their trendy wardrobes. Major cities will have access to a wider selection of Halston Heritage products because of the higher volume department stores. The average customer is considered between 25 and 40 because of two factors, the aesthetics and cost of the line. They are fitted and bold designs, but still with a classic feel that would suit the new workingwoman well. She may be making 6 figures, but can’t afford a wardrobe of full designer pieces yet. A woman older than 40 would want more mature and figure flattering pieces ,and a woman younger than 25 may have no need for these clothing pieces yet. Socio-Economic Halston Heritage consumers have income that allows them a luxury consumer lifestyle. They are educated, young professionals who enjoy looking their best both in and out of the office and appreciate quality products. While they prefer to spend their money on a few nice pieces rather than giving into fast fashion, they are not against purchasing Halston Heritage from online retailers such as Rue Lala that offers them a discount. Fashion Attitude The designs in recent Halston Heritage collections are becoming more fitted and less mass market oriented. These designs were obviously not created to make the average size 12 or 14 look good, they were designed for a 2 to 6. The most recent fall collection features nipped in waist lines, fitted pants, and geometric lines; none of which favor the average sized woman. It is obvious that a Halston Heritage customer would have to have a trim body to want to wear these clothes, which fits in line with both the younger age range, and higher income. The target consumer for Halston Heritage will also be a fashion forward individual who enjoys keeping up with current trends and styles. To gain access to these trends they follow blogs, fashion magazines, and celebrity styles to mirror their own wardrobe after. Halston Heritage consumers also have hobbies such as going out with friends that allows them multiple events during their week that requires dressing up in a trendy, stylish way. 22
  23. 23. Current Company: Halston Heritage Customer The current Halston Heritage customer is a woman, age 25 to 40, yearly household income of $85,000 and up, with a generally fit physique, living in the continental United States. This customer was assessed through the price point, cut, and design of the Halston Heritage product. Customer Profile Name: Misty Cummings Age: 24 Location: Los Angeles Occupation: Fashion Blogger Income: $60,000/yr (has family money with net-worth of $1,050,000 +) Hobbies/Characteristics: • Avid runner/hiker • Attends the local music scene with friends • Participates in charity functions with her family • Grew up in NYC but moved to LA to experience new things • Flies to NYC four times a year to visit her family • Interested in street fashion and photography Image 15 23
  24. 24. Current Company: Halston Heritage Challenges The current Halston Heritage label is floundering due to key issues: Leadership Designs Employees Disconnect from original brand These four issues alone would be enough to wound a company, combined they are running the company quickly into the ground; leaving the brand image that once was so iconic to parish. 1. Leadership: Since Halston was fired from the company in 1983 the brand has suffered numerous leadership turnovers that have led to substantially poor business and creative decisions. Designer labels are precious and precarious, they can not be treated like any corporate entity where all that matters is the bottom line. The CEOs of the conglomerates that have tossed the Halston label around have yet to realize this in the 30 odd years they have been battling to keep the Halston brand afloat and profitable. Aside from business leaders without Halston’s best interests in mind, the company also brought on creative directors and designers that were not a good fit for the brand. For example, Rachael Zoe may be a successful stylist and designer, but with her own successful label and personal style, it was only to be expected that she would not blend well in a Halston-esc environment. Sara Jessica Parker is another recent example of poor leadership. The brand was already struggling heavily before she was brought on as creative director and they still made the decision to bring on someone with no business background, and a limited design background. They would have been better off paying her to be a spokeswoman than to actually run the business, especially with her active acting career that also needed her constant attention. In a company with financial struggles as deep as Halston’s, the creative director can not be completely blind to the bottom line and how to maintain it. Stated earlier, designer labels are meant to make money, that’s true when the label is able to be self sustaining, in Halston’s case it was floundering and needed immediate financial results in order to keep the doors open. Halston Heritage has the ability to be the designer label’s bread and butter, but with poor leaders in place this will never be the case. 24 1. LA Times Article 2. Vogue - SJP Leaving
  25. 25. Current Company: Halston Heritage Challenges 2. Designs: As the label continues to change hands, it is hard to keep a cohesive design idea from the past to the present. Halston Heritage is beginning to go in a direction that many critics are laughing at, saying that the designs belong at prom, not on Madison Avenue. Not willing to give up the Ultra Suede fabric and draping silhouettes, creative director Marie Mazelis (with only two years at the company under her belt) must be careful she continues to embody the essence of Halston without incorporating exact components that cause the line to look dated and cheap. The blatant copying of old characteristics is causing Mazelis to look bland and lazy, rather than combining her own design aesthetic with the classic Halston feel to help bring Halston, and Halston Heritage, into the 21st Century. Other designers such as Hedi Slimane are showing that it can be done, if Mazelis continues down this path there may be another quick exit around the corner. 3. Employees When it comes to luxury brands, even diffusion lines, customer service is one area that can not let a customer down. Just as important as the construction and design, the front line sale attendees have to give customers exactly what they are looking for, or those customers will not be returning. From both internal and external sources, it is said that the current Halston employees are uneducated about both the products and history of the brand, unprofessional in demeanor, poorly managed, and lazy. A company is nothing without it’s sales, and sales only come from one place, happy, cared for customers. 4. Disconnect from original brand Today’s Halston Heritage label does nothing to support the original Halston designer label that was so iconic and successful in the past. The original Halston that everyone knew and loved is quickly fading away due to the above mentioned issues as well as the fact the company is owned by investors that care more about the bottom line than the brand image. This disconnect will only hurt the company going forward because there is no way to gain customers without brand loyalty, a key to luxury businesses. 25 1. NY Times Article 2. Gllassdoor.com
  26. 26. Current Company: Competitor Overview Halston Heritage’s direct competitors were determined based on three key attributes: aesthetics, price, and retail locations. These three attributes contribute to each competitor’s target market which is the ultimate deciding factor on who Halston Heritage is competing against for consumers. Companies that matched all three criteria are categorized as direct competitors, and those who match on one or two criteria are categorized as In-Direct competitors. The direct competitors mainly consist of diffusion lines that are based on a successful designer line, but offered at a lower price point and to a younger audience. This is the same structure as Halston Heritage, and thus they are competing for the same pool of young, trendy affluents. The in-direct competitors consist of young up and coming designers who have the same aesthetic and price range as Halston. Many consumers may not be aware of Halston’s discontinued designer line, which would put Halston Heritage up against other luxury priced, young adult brands. Direct Competitors Victoria by Victoria Beckham Alice by Temperley Notte by Marchesa RED Valentino Michael, Michale Kors In-Direct Competitors By Malene Birger Tibi Issa Alice & Olivia 26
  27. 27. Current Company: Halston Heritage Direct Competitors Victoria by Victoria Beckham Victoria by Victoria Beckham was launched in 2011 as a more “wearable” variation of her usually skin-tight silhouettes. Most would consider these new collections a diffusion line, Beckham says “It’s not a second line, or a diffusion line – it’s another line, another side to my wardrobe. This is a way to give my customers what they want.” The new line was prompted after Beckham’s third pregnancy when she decided she needed to offer something with a looser fit that encompasses more prints. This line competes directly with the Halston Heritage brand because of it’s price point, tie to a well known couture line, retail outlets, and wearability; both lines are meant to be worn by, and fit, everyone. Image 16 Alice by Temperley Alice by Temperley is another diffusion line that competes directly with Halston Heritage. This line is meant to me a contemporary, everyday line to complement the existing Temperley London Collection (a British luxury lifestyle brand); worn frequently by Duchess of Cambridge, Florence Welsh, Beyoncé, and more. Alice is sold alongside Halston Heritage on-line and in stores including Net-A-Porter, Neiman Marcus, and Revolve Clothing. In addition, the brand is sold in stockists across 35 countries and in 6 stand alone stores. The silhouettes, colors, and “every woman” cool vibe causes this line to constantly compete against Halston Heritage. Image 16a 27 1. Vogue - Victoria Beckham 2. Temperleylondon.com
  28. 28. Current Company: Halston Heritage Direct Competitors Notte by Marchesa Notte by Marchesa was established as a diffusion line, allowing customers at lower price points to enjoy the craftsmanship and appeal of a Marchesa gown. These gowns are still mostly formal wear, but compete at a price point alongside Halston Heritage. While most of Halston Heritage is more day wear, there is still a selection of eveningwear that closely resembles the effect Notte is going for. They are sold alongside each other in both brick and mortar and e-commerce locations such as Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Net-A-Porter. Marchesa may not have the history that the Halston brand does, but their celebrity power and red carpet debuts make their designs a hit across society. With this new price point, they are reaching an even further customer that before hand was out of reach. RED Valentino In 2003 Valentino launched RED Valentino, the name sake coming from the acronym Romantic, Eccentric, Dress but also from the fact that many associate the color red with the designer. “Valentino Red” reaches back as far as Valentino’s first runway show when he featured a dress the color of poppies, the idea of “Valentino Red” quickly caught on and stays the same still today. RED Valentino offers products at a much reduced price point from there usual couture line, and targets them more to an everyday crowd, much like the other diffusion lines. Customers at these lower price points have no need for an evening gown, but a great cocktail dress or day dress, yes. RED Valentino is sold alongside Halston Heritage on Net-A-Porter and in-stores and on-line at Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Nordstrom. 28 Image 17 Image 17a 1. Voguepedia, Marchesa 2. Voguepedia, Valentino
  29. 29. Current Company: Halston Heritage Direct Competitors Michael, Michael Kors Michael Kors is a successful womenswear designer with the designer/celebrity “it” factor. He has grown his company through numerous licensing deals and TV shows that have strengthen and broadened his brand image. The Michael by Michael Kors line is the brand’s sportswear line that features clothing, accessories, and shoes. This diffusion line is highly accessible and sold in numerous e-commerce and brick and mortar stores across the globe. Image 18 29 1. The Cut - MK
  30. 30. Current Company: Halston Heritage In-Direct Competitors By Malene Birger Malene Birger was founded in 1997 as an international designer brand bringing an artistic angle to contemporary classics with the use of strong graphics, contrasts, and interesting silhouettes. The collection’s price point range from $100 to $1000 and are inspired by men’s tailoring, interior décor, art, culture, travel, and attention to detail. The company’s vision is to “Be seen as a design driven, upscale, inspiring, well respected, and well established brand on the international fashion scene. A brand people feel proud to wear – and work for. With a deep belief in designing products which create a personal, emotion attachment for loyal customers around the world”. Today the company is headquartered outside of Copenhagen with boutiques in London, Sweden, and Dubai. While the line is not featured in brick and mortar stores with Halston Heritage, it is sold alongside the brand on Net-A-Porter.com and has similar aesthetic and price point apImage 19 peal. Tibi Tibi started in 1997 as a small collection of contemporary dresses designed by partners Amy Smilovic and Octavia Hyland. Today the brand produces 11 womenswear collections annually along with a full line of women’s shoes. With a similar price point and aesthetic to Halston Heritage, the brand is sold in some of the same retail locations such as Neiman Marcus, Saks, Nordstrom, and Net-A-Porter. Image 19a 30 1. bymalenebirger.com 2. Tibi.com
  31. 31. Current Company: Halston Heritage In-Direct Competitors Issa Founded in 2005 by Danielle Helayel, Issa is known for versatile collections that complement a range of timeless pieces appropriate for any occasion and body shape. The collections are comprised of day, work, occasion, and weekend wear. Design inhouse at their London studio by creative director, Blue Farrier, the line features prices points from $300 go $4000. While the price point may be slightly higher than most of what Halston Heritage offers, the aesthetic and lower price point directly compete on Net-A-Porter with Halston Heritage. Image 20 Alice + Olivia Classmates Stacey Bendet and Rebecca Matchett founded Alice + Olivia in 2002. The label now encompasses RTW, childrenswear, footwear, as well as their well known womenswear line. The label can be found in Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Net-A-Porter along with Halston Heritage and features a similar price point of $250 to $2000. Sold in more that 800 stores worldwide this brand competes with the more youthful side of Halston Heritage. Image 20a 31 1. issalondon.com 2. aliceandolivia.com
  32. 32. Current Company: Halston Heritage SWOT Analysis Strengths 1. Respected brand 2. Strong history 3. Financial backing from part owners, Hilco Consumer Capital and Genuity Capital. 4. Current Chief Executive Ben Malka is determined to keep the essence of what made Halston successful, even down to the details (CEO has stake in company). Weaknesses 1. Have not had strong leadership in the past 30 years, causing the brand to be diluted and financial struggles 2. Creative direction is changing every 3 to 4 years due to designer changes 3. Original Halston line has not created a collection in 3 years, causing a disconnect between the original Halston brand and Halston Heritage 4. Being owned by investment groups who do not understand the fashion industry or historical Halston brand Opportunities 1. Luxury spending is on the rise 2. Luxury consumers are doing less bargain hunting and more purchasing 3. In the luxury apparel industry, designer diffusion lines are gaining popularity 4. Re-introduce the Original Halston collection 5. The more successful they can make the current diffusion line, the more capital they will have to put towards revamping the designer line Threats 1. Competing designer diffusion lines have more capital backing and visibility due to successful designer lines they are affiliated with 2. Severe competition from young emerging designers 3. Being owned by investment group who may sell for new investment 32
  33. 33. Current Company Summary Halston is a well respected brand with a history spanning nearly 40 years. In the past two decades, the company has faced continuous challenges, that eventually led to the historic designer label being discontinued. Today, Halston Heritage, a lower priced contemporary line, is all that remains of the iconic and glamorous brand. The fashion industry is constantly changing and the brand still has the ability to reinvent itself and reclaim its former glory. Over the years, many iconic luxury fashion brands have had the similar difficulty of how to move forward after the death of its infamous designer and while facing brand image struggles. Three successful brands who have gone thru this phase, and come out better companies for it are Burberry, Yves St Laurent, and Balenciaga. The following section looks at case studies on these three companies and how their transformations were received. Image 21 33
  34. 34. Burberry Case Study Image 22 Burberry was founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, a former draper’s assistant who was then only 21 years old. Over the next decades the brand grew quickly, becoming poular with military officers during WWI and WWII due to the creation of their iconic gaberdine fabric. By 1980 two thirds of the company’s sales were in exports. The company began to worry that the brand was becoming dated and in the 1990’s went through a “revamp” phase led by new CEO Rose Bravo. Bravo’s idea was to place the product in only luxury retail stores so that it appealed to a more lucrative market. The new strategy paid off and in 2000 financials showed that the company was turning around, largely due to removing the too heavily used check pattern from large use. The company scaled back it’s use of the check and added a new Couture line, Burberry Prorsum, which has become widely successful. The current designer for Burberry is Christopher Bailey, who says that over the 10 years leading up to 2011, Burberry saw a 11% rise in profits. Today Burberry is lauded as a historical brand that has managed to stay relevant without losing it’s sense of self and history. While Burberry was not faced with the same kind of turn around Halston is, it still had a rough road to climb and came out the other side a more successful and versatile company. Burberry was still standing during their rebranding effort, but the success of their new venture could have gone either way. This company shows how powerful strategic marketing can be and that no company is too far gone. In some sense, Halston may have a slightly easier time than Burberry did because of their hiatus from the market; many consumers have a clean Halston brand image in their mind allowing the marketing team to more easily shape their perceptions. They are not fighting against a negative perception, they are fighting against no perception. Successful Factors: • Drew attention away from the overused pattern • Carefully placed product to increase luxury appeal • Created a more luxurious line that focused on British tailoring without the check pattern Image 22a 34
  35. 35. YSL Case Study Image 23 The fashion house of Yves St Laurent was founded in 1962 by the paradoxical designer, Yves St Laurent and his loyal companion Pierre Berge. The designer had seen prior success at the House of Dior and many critics anxiously awaited the opening of his own house. Like Halston, St Laurent built a fashion house that embodied him, the designer, and over the 40 years that spanned his career he would prove this time and time again. Rather than catering to the posh Parision couture society that many were expecting, and doing the same thing that had been done for centuries, Yves St Laurent took risks; and in return liberated the fashion world . In 1966 YSL was sensing the tide turning in the fashion world, and was one of the first houses to embrace the idea of ready to wear collections. These new collections, in addition to the couture collections, led to a grueling year where four runway shows and collections were required rather than the usual two. The stress took its toll and since the brand and designer were so closely tied to each other, it was a public spectacle when he turned to drugs and alcohol; eventually suffering multiple nervous breaks downs as well. Through it all, no one ever doubted the brand or his creative geneous; they simply accepted him for what he was. Success under the creative direction of St Laurent himself was wildly successful, and many feared the worst when it was announced that Hedi Slimane would take over as creative directior at Yves St Laurent in 2012, with the notion of re-branding the iconic house. Slimane is known for his skinny suits and grunge/punk asethetics and his first few moves when taking the role at YSL turned more than a few heads: first he rebranded the company Yves St Laurent Paris, then he moved the company to be headquarter in Los Angeles. The fashion world waited expectantly for his first couple of collections, and mixed reactions were heard across the globe after his 2013 collections were unveiled on the runway; rather than the sleek and sexy style people expected of YSL, the collections were rough around the edges, with a 60’s vibe, and strong “grunge” inspiration. Some dubbed it genious, while others viewed it as disrespectful to the historic brand. Four collections later, much of the fashion world is getting on board as it is becoming obvious what Slimane has done. Just as St Laurent himself liberated the fashion world in the 60’s, Slimane has done that for the 2000’s, and reimagined the Yves St Laurent woman yet again. Successful Factors: • New designer commanded the house and the collections • Slimane embodies the essence of St Laurent’s ideology rather than his design aesthetic 35 1. Voguepedia - YSL 2. Voguepedia - Hedi Slimane 3. Vogue Hedi Article
  36. 36. Balenciaga/Alexander Wang Case Study Alexander Wang was named the new creative director for Balenciaga shortly after Ghesquiere (former Balenciaga creative head) announced he would be leaving in November, 2012. Many saw Ghesquiere as a geneous, and loved the direction he had taken Balenciaga in over the years. Surprised by his abrupt departure, expectations for the young designer wonderboy, Wang, were mixed. For one, Wang was not Parisian, not did he speak any French, and many were worried how the house would accept him in. In turn, it became no problem at all as Wang confidently took over the helm and positioned the brand for success. In February 2013, Wang sent his first Balenciage collection down the runway; and critics were surprised by what they saw. Expecting a more street style aesthetic, they were instead taken back to the true essence of what Cristobal did for Balenciaga. The collection paid hommage to the historic house in three intimate shows, and it was apparent that the right choice had been made. Many wondered if Wang expressed enough of himself in the collection, but he assured the sceptics that this collection was only the beginning, and he was simply going backwards in order to move forward with the brand. Wang’s second collection, Spring/Summer 2014, showcased the designer’s true vision for the brand; encompassing classic Balenciaga lines with fresh Wang aesthetics. This new collection proved that Wang could mesh his sporty, street style with the classic Balenciaga aesthetic. The results have been well received and Wang aims to continually inject ease into the house. Only time will tell how Wang performs at the house, but for now it appears that the house has found a good fit in the young designer. Successful Factors: • Wang found a balance between respecting the brand’s history, and moving it forward with his own easy aesthetic • Wang took over with strong leadership and focus, never allowing employees the chance to doubt him • Collections are visually connected and reveal parts of a larger design image Image 24 36 1. Vogue - Wang Article 2. Style.com Balenciaga
  37. 37. Case Study Take Aways Looking at how other luxury fashion companies handle situations involving designer labels taking a new route, it is clear to see key points that allowed the companies success. These successful points are useful for Halston, because it allows for a stronger road map to success to be complete. Successful factors that Halston should take away from these case studies and use are: • Strong leadership is key • Do not repeat the iconic past, rather it should be incorporated either visually or Idealistically • Connect each collection both with the brand, new designer, and each other in order to keep a cohesiveness throughout the years • Make the brand relevant to current fashion industry • Updated image to be attractive to new consumers 37
  38. 38. Situation Summary: Rejuvenation Business Plan Based on the case studies and research it is evident that a plan needs to be activated that explores the opportunities of the Halston Brand, most specifically, re-introducing the classic Halston designer line in order to increase financial solvency for the overall company and revive the crumbling brand image. This business plan will look at ways to revive the designer Halston line through a new creative head, marketing, and licensing plan. The general plan is broken down into 5 main parts: people, product, place, price, and promotion. Halston Heritage Image 25 Classic Halston 38 Image 25a
  39. 39. Rejuvination Plan 39
  40. 40. Overview Halston has the opportunity to regain it’s foothold as one of the most glamorous fashion lines in the world, if appropriate steps are taken. Salvaging the sophisticated, historic brand will not be easy and many failed attempts have come before; with the right planning and leadership Halston can make a comeback that will exceed all expectations. Now is the time. With the Halston designer label being dormant for the past few years, if action is not taken soon the chances of reviving the line are slim because the brand will become irrelevant. Under new ownership and financial backing, the brand has one more chance to make it. This rejuvination plan will look at the best way to revive the dying brand by analyzing the current marketing and developing a promotional plan to launch the iconic Halston line. The end objectives are to develop a plan to revive the designer label and increase brand awareness. Image 26 40
  41. 41. Objectives & Methods Objectives: 1. Re-introduce iconic designer Halston label 2. Increase brand awareness Methods: 1. Creative direction 2. New product offering 3. Luxury pricing 4. Strategic retail locations 5. Promotional strategy Obstacles: 1. Low awareness of brand and designer Halston 2. High leadership turnover rate 3. Disconnect between financial backers and luxury fashion company 4. Connecting Halston Heritage with designer label 41
  42. 42. Concept Board Image 27 Image 27b Image 27a Image 27c 42 Image 27d
  43. 43. Target Market The Halston target customer is a very niche customer from a global consumer perspective. They are affluent women, age 35 to 55, who live in urban areas and have a lifestyle that gives them need for a luxury, designer wardrobe. In 2012 there was a 8% rise in Affluent spending showing that these members of society with increased disposable income are beginning to spend again. Also in 2012 those affluents, who make up 20% of the consumer population, did 40% of the overall fashion industry sales. In a recent survey of affluent shoppers with an average income of $264,300, researchers found that 25% were planning on spending more on apparel in the next 12 months than they did in the last 12 months. This is a good sign for Halston because it shows that the fashion industry has room to grow as consumers are spending more money (i.e. there is room for Halston to step back into the marketplace). The same study found that women over the age of 55 were just as likely to purchase luxury clothing pieces as women under the age of 35. This is important to note because that is a large group of consumers that can be missed if the clothing is not designed appropriately. While Halston may target a slightly younger consumer than 55, they need to be aware that in order to maximize their profits they must be aware of this older customer and not design purely for the 30 year olds. These older women have more money to spend, and in order to keep Halston’s doors open it is important that they bring in as much money as possible whether it is a 60 year old wearing their clothing or a 30 year old. In today’s society where many fashionable women are saying 50 is the new 30, it’s important to give them something to spend money on. 43 1. Luxurydaily 2. PRWeb
  44. 44. Target Consumer Survey Results Which of these are you familiar with? Halston Designer Label 23.1% None 36.5% Which words do you most associate with the brand Halston? Halston Perfume 36.5% Not familiar enough to answer Luxurious Halston Heritage 3.8% Extravagant Which of these would you be most interested in purchasing? Sophisticated Glamorous Classic Mature Which words do you most associate with Halston Heritage? Do you associate Halston more with Eveningwear or Daywear? Sophisticated Daywear Sporty Mature Not familiar enough to answer 44 Perfum e ag Handb Shoes wear Outer Daywe ar Eveningwear Evenin g wear Glamorous Classic Not familiar enough to answer
  45. 45. Consumer Segmentation Demographics Geographic When the Halston designer line is first launched it will only be available for retail in New York City at three locations. With this, the majority of consumers will presumably be from in and around the city because it is most accessible to them. Consumers in other cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and Miami may be interested in traveling in to purchase the clothing because they have easy means to flight travel, and are more likely to have events to attend that require this level of luxury attire. Age The Halston consumer can be segmented based on age for a few reasons. One reason is the design aesthetic, it will be more suitable for sophisticated women between the age of 35 and 55. Another reason to segment on age is the price point. This slightly older age group is more financially advanced with means to purchase these luxury products. Socio-Economic The Halston consumer will have a networth of $1,000,000 and up, with a successful career and graduate degree. They are primarily caucasion, with the second largest percent being of Asian decent. Much of what Halston does best is formal and eveningwear, and consumers will attend social functions regularly that require these pieces. The Halston consumer will also shop at retailers such as Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorf Goodman. Fashion Attitudes Halston consumers look for specific pieces that are timeless, but still offer a fashionable aesthetic. Halston creates these investment pieces that have the ability to remain relevant for decades to come. 45 1. Claritas
  46. 46. Target Consumer Persona Consumer Profiles Name: Bridgett Hastings Age: 38 Location: New York City Net worth: $2,000,000 Hobbies: • Chairing and attending fundraiser galas • Yoga • Nights out to nice dinners • Meets friends for lunch every Friday and goes shopping afterwards Characteristics: • No children • Husband has a high profile job that requires much of his time • Drives a Lexus • Owns vintage Halston pieces Image 29 Image 29a Name: Christina Sanderson Age: 45 Location: Los Angeles, CA Net Worth: $90,000,000 Occupation: COO of Facebook Hobbies: • Spending time with children • Mentoring • Supporting charitable causes Characteristics: • Has two children • Married, husband works from home and cares for children • Drives Mercedes SUV • Purchases investment pieces that are sophisticated, current, and appropriate 46
  47. 47. New Competitors When Halston re-establishes their designer label they will begin competing in a different market than their current Halston Heritage placement. This true luxury market will offer new competitors that are in-line with the designer label’s price point and aesthetic. While the list of luxury competitors is long, four top competitors are assessed as Halston’s direct competitors. These competitors were evaluated based on price point, retail placement, target consumer, and aesthetic. In addition, a target market survey was conducted where 52 members of the target market were asked which luxury brands they most associate with Halston; and their results were used to determine the top competitors as well. Competitors: Oscar de la Renta Burberry Prorsum Prada Valentino 47
  48. 48. New Competitors Oscar de la Renta Oscar de la Renta was founded in 1965 as a ready-to-wear label by Oscar himself. The designer had spent the last 10 plus years studying under visionary labels such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Elizabeth Arden. de la Renta became known for his modern, yet romantic style that women of means could not get enough of. In the 1990’s he redirected his style to create more feminine pieces and like Halston, became a go-to designer for the first ladies. In 2002 the company expanded to create furniture, and in 2004 expanded again and added a diffusion line, O Oscar. Classic Halston and de la Renta have been competing since the beginning and when the label is brought back the competition will start yet again. They serve many of the same women and events and have similar price points across the board. Image 30 Burberry Prorsum Burberry Prorsum was launched in 1998 as Burberry’s most high-end line. While the line still features pieces that can be worn as everyday wear, it also features unique eveningwear and work pieces that allow the label to compete with other top designers. While this line will not compete directly against Halston’s eveningwear, it will compete against some of his cocktail attire and daywear. The daywear pieces are similar in price point to Halston’s and are similar in purpose if the customer wants a slightly more tailored fit. Since the brand is grounded in British style, the Prorsum pieces will exude a more tailored and day to day aesthetic than Halston’s clothing, but as Prorsum continues to develop and widen their design ideas many aesthetics may begin to overlap. Burberry is also known for their accessories and may compete directly with Halston’s accessory line depending on the aesthetic it takes. Image 30a 48 1. Bio.com Oscar de la Renta 2. Voguepedia Burberry
  49. 49. New Competitors Prada Prada was founded in 1914 as a leather goods company, in 1983 with growing demand they expanded into offering footwear and ready-to-wear as well. The brand continued to grow, opening stores across the world. They held their first fashion show in 1988 and have been known as an iconic womenswear label ever since. In 1993 the company expanded their offerings to a diffusion line, Miu Miu that offered a more fashion forward collection at a slightly lower price point. Today Prada is one of the best known womenswear and accessories labels in the world. Prada’s womenswear is not expected to compete against Halston’s due to the design aesthetic but their accessories will. Prada has their iconic bags that have build brand loyalty with customers over the past 30 years. Halston will have to break into the accessories realm and compete to develop their own brand loyalty. Image 31 Valentino Valentino was founded in 1960 and has been known for it’s glamour and dressing beautiful women ever since. Like Halston, Valentino was one of the first celebrity fashion designers, but his house has remained successful even after his retirement. This label, in addition to others, proves that brands can continue to be successful without their original designer as long as they have the right creative heads in place. Today Valentino continues to be successful and is known for some of the most glamorous eveningwear gowns in the business. Halston will have to compete directly against Valentino because of their similar design aesthetics and general price point. Valentino may be slightly more expensive on some pieces but in this realm of luxury the slight price difference will not back the difference to a consumer. Image 31a 49 1. Pradagroup.com 2. Voguepedia Valentino
  50. 50. Perceptual Map (Based on consumer survey) Heritage Oriented Lower focus on eveingwear (Wider scope of merchandise) Higher focus on eveningwear (Narrow scope of merchandise) Fashion Forward 50
  51. 51. Current SWOT Analysis Strengths 1. Strong brand history 2. Design aesthetic that is classic and timeless 3. Wearable designs that are meant to flatter many body types 4. Have the option for larger sizes to fit any luxury consumers that may have the need Weaknesses 1. Many of their target consumers will not remember the successful Halston brand and brand loyalty will have to established 2. For those who do know about the company there is an overall negative brand image because of the high turnover rate of owners and creative directors 3. Halston Heritage Opportunities 1. Today’s luxury customers are becoming more concerned with the individual item of clothing and less concerned with brand loyalty. They are reaching out and experiencing different brands where in the past many consumers were unwilling to stray from “their” given brand. 2. The company has a new, passionate CEO who is determined to link the current brand to the historical Halston 3. Luxury spending is on the rise, meaning that there is more room for competitors in the market 4. Increased luxury consumer market size Threats 1. The competitors that Halston is up against are well established, successful brands that may be hard to pull customers away from due to pre-developed brand loyalty. 2. Number of competitors 3. Halston is known for a high rate of leadership turnover, this may be off putting for potential creative heads the company is recruiting and hurt their efforts 51 1. Luxurydaily 2. PRWeb
  52. 52. Marketing Strategy: People - Chief Creative Officer Halston has had an unbelievable turn over of designers and creative directors in the past 20 years, leaving the brand with poor quality products and a disconnect from collection to collection. In order to start the brand off with the best chance of success, a new designer/creative director needs to be appointed for the classic designer Halston brand, the brand currently not operating since 2009. Because of the iconic nature of Halston’s past designer, it is important not to bring someone on that will overpower the brand’s heritage with their own celebrity power. This has happened in the past with Rachael Zoe and Sarah Jessica Parker, they thought that these big names could carry the brand forward, but what happened instead was their own careers and egos got in the way so that they ultimately left the company in a worse case scenario than before they started. The creative head that needs to be brought on should be talented, but not famous, so that they do not overpower the brand history. Their design aesthetic should be in line with the Halston vibe of bold colors and easy to wear, sophisticated pieces, but in a contemporary 21st century way so that they can drag the aged brand into today’s fashion world while embodying the essence of the brand. With these two main things in mind, I propose two designers who are fit for the job; Juan Carlos Obando, and Jill Stuart. Image 32 52 Image 32a
  53. 53. Marketing Strategy: People - Juan Carlos Obando Image 33 Juan Carlos Obando is a Los Angeles based designer who is known for his bold use of color and “unassuming approach to eveningwear”. Obando says of himself “My work is primarily concerned with color and fluid structures. Although intentionally minimal, I always attempt to create other layers of complexity, embracing the challenge of creating essential or seemingly simple work that is expressive”. His design aesthetic and passion is right in line with what this company needs; sexy, sophisticated, easy, and expensive looking. Currently, Obando’s personal line is carried in stockists such as Barneys New York, and Swarovski, Anna Wintour, and M.A.C are key supporters of the brand. In addition, his role in reinvigorating the modern American concept of eveningwear has offered him a nomination for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund. Obando has only really been around for the last 5 years, but already has proven himself as a more than qualified designer. He has the ability to turn Halston into a successful, fashion oriented, successful brand in the current market. Just as Heidi Slimane is updating the classic YSL brand, the up and coming Obando could do the same for Halston, though he may have more of a struggle due to the current Halston environment. Image 33a 53 1. jcobando.com
  54. 54. Marketing Strategy: People - Jill Stuart Image 34 The second designer to consider is Jill Stuart, an American designer who grew up in the industry. In 1993 Stuart launched her line, which quickly took off due to success in the 1995 film, Clueless. Just as Halston, Stuart has attempted to stay one step ahead when it comes to business within the fashion world. For example, in 2007 rather than using a model for her ads, she was the first to embrace the idea of using a celebrity, and had Lindsey Lohan featured in her ads. Today The Jill Stuart Collection has over 100 free standing stores, and is located in stockists across the world. She is known for dressing fashionable women in “glamorous and feminine” outfits, including Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie. Her brand continues to be successful, especially in the Asian market, so much so that she created a diffusion line with lower priced options to be featured in department stores such as Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Stuart’s style is easy, flattering, bold, and luxurious; a perfect combination for Halston designer. The other good thing about Stuart is that she’s been in the industry for a long time, but still does not have the celebrity designer status that would over rule the brand. With the success of Halston hanging in the balance of the designer line, it may not be a bad thing to bring on a more experienced designer. Image 34a 54 1. jillstuart.com
  55. 55. Marketing Strategy: Product Currently the Halston company is only creating collections for the Halston Heritage diffusion line. In order to increase brand awareness Halston needs to relaunch it’s classic, high end designer line. If Halston continues down this road of only having the diffusion line, soon consumers will forget about the historical Halston all together. While some original consumers are still out there, this is the time to revive the struggling brand and bring back what made the company so successful years ago before it becomes forever irrelevant. Couture Eveningwear RTW Accessories Daywear Handbags Dresses Pants Totes Jumpsuits Blouses Satchel Skirts Men’s Clutch Sweaters Fragrance Crossbody Dresses Women’s Shoes Shorts Pumps Cocktail Formal Dresses Boots Pantsuits Flats Jumpsuits Sandals Eveningwear Dresses Jumpsuits 55 1. Cleveland.com
  56. 56. Marketing Strategy: Product Apparel The new designer collection will feature a wide range of products in a figure flattering, bold, and classy style that pays homage to the original designer while keeping it firmly planted in the 21st century. The designer label will feature four collections each year: S/S RTW, S/S Couture, F/W RTW, and F/W Couture. The couture collections will feature eveningwear specifically and be comprised of formal eveningwear dresses and jumpsuits. The RTW collections will show an array of pieces ranging from daywear to eveningwear. A survey conducted with target consumers revealed that they are more interested in purchasing daywear pieces than eveningwear, presumably because a wider range of the target consumer would get more wear from those investment pieces. Image 35 Image 35a 56 Image 35b
  57. 57. Marketing Strategy: Product Extended Sizing Unlike many designer labels, Halston will have designs that are suitable for plus size women. Halston may be a line know for glamour beautiful women, but it also has a brand essence that celebrates real women; today “real women” aren’t a size 4. The flowy silhouette that many historical Halston designs feature is suited to be flattering in a wide range of sizes. Breaking back into the design world after years of poor brand identity means that Halston may have to do things it didn’t in the past. Offering a wide range of sizes allows Halston to reach more customers and also, if done correctly, can help their brand image as an “every woman’s” luxury brand. Image 35c Image 35d Image 35e 57 Image 35f
  58. 58. Marketing Strategy: Product Accessories In order to sustain the extravagant clothing associated with a designer line, the brand will also need to launch a line of accessories that are priced at a more accessible range. These accessories will include footwear and handbags to be sold in the same locations as the clothing. The lower price point associated with these accessories will increase the demand and hopefully provide a cushion for the less demanded, higher priced clothing. These accessories allow consumers who may love the Halston brand, but can not afford a $8,000 dress, a way to connect with the brand and own a piece of it. These products will be more popular with aspirational consumers while the clothing will be more popular with the true luxury consumers. Perfume During Halston’s most popular era, the brand’s perfume was it’s largest money maker because it was accessible to the largest number of consumers. The company worked hard to set the perfume apart from others, and it became one of the most popular perfumes of all time. Launching alongside the designer clothing will be Halston’s perfume, in a similar bottle to the famous tear drop collector bottle. Like the accessories, these lower priced products that are directly tied to the designer label will allow the label to be self sustaining financially. Image 36 58 Image 36a
  59. 59. Marketing Strategy: Price Since Halston has not created a designer line in a few years, the price point will be decided based on competitor’s rather than assessing the past price points and adjusting for inflation. This new launch of Halston allows for a clean placement slate, giving us the option to put Halston in the market where the greatest chance of success is. Many of Halston’s competitors are the same they always have been; Prada, Chloe, Oscar de la Renta, Yves St Laurent, and more. The price point of these luxury brands varies widely based on the material, cut, and distribution of them. Generally, the price point for the Halston designer collection will be between $800 for blouses to $8,000 for evening gowns. The accessories, as with other luxury brands, will be placed at a more accessible price point in order to drive sales. These items allow aspirational customers a chance to own part of the brand, thus expanding brand awareness and perceptions. The accessories for the designer line will range in price from $700 for clutches to $3,000 for larger totes and more embellished handbags. The Halston fragrance will be even more accessible to consumers than the accessories. Sold alongside other luxury fragrances, Halston will be setting itself apart because of the bottle, but needs to stay competitive with it’s price point. The price point will start at $30 for a small sample bottle, and go up to $130 for the larger bottles and packages. Price • Apparel $800 to $8,000 • Accessories $700 to $3,000 • Fragrance $30 to $130 59
  60. 60. Marketing Strategy: Place The Halston designer label will be featured in a NYC flagship store, as well as Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman’s. The flagship store will be located on, or near, Madison Avenue to pay homage to where the brand originally began. With the current state of the designer label being poor as it is, the number of retail outlets needs to stay small to begin with so that the brand is not financially stretched too thin. In addition to keeping overhead down, selling product in only 3 locations will give the brand a more exclusive feel that it is currently lacking with the Halston Heritage line. Bergdorf Goodman’s was chosen as one of two wholesalers because of their history with the brand, location (NYC), and current labels. Bergdorf is where it all started, so it only makes sense that when the brand is ready to give it another big try, they would reach out to Bergdorf Goodman’s; both company’s have much to gain from the partnership. Barney’s was chosen as a retailer to target for wholesaling because of their prestige, location (NYC), and current labels. Halston needs to be sure that they place themselves in the market correctly from the very beginning and placing product in Barney’s will cut through any confusion about how this label relates to Halston Heritage. Image 37a Image 37 60 Image 37b
  61. 61. Marketing Strategy: Promotion The promotional strategy for Halston will follow mainly the tradition path of luxury goods, but with additional pieces that will help bring Halston back into the spotlight. Because of the absence of the designer line over the past years, the first couple of seasons will have to offer increased marketing to make up for the time away from consumers. Traditional marketing methods include magazine editorials, social media,and runway shows; the extra marketing methods Halston will need to use include additional launch parties, a Halston exhibition, increased customer service, statement window displays, and interactive runway shows. 61
  62. 62. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 1. Magazine Editorials During Halston’s heyday one of the things he was best know for was the marketing campaign that took place seasonally in his windows. Rather than cookie cutter mannequins the windows would depict current events and models in many sorts of situations. Halston was a classy brand and largely kept this “shock factor” to the windows. Rather than traditional editorial ads, the ads could use the same idea as the windows once did and use creative current issues and causes for the models to depict. Bringing in a slight “shock factor” that aims to inspire conversation rather than offend, will drive more of a buzz around the advertisements. These advertisements could be featured in Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harpers Bazaar. Image 38 62
  63. 63. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 2. Social Media Social Media is a fast and cost effective way to engage consumers. Halston needs to have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. It is important that the social media director not only post what the company is doing, but offer ways to interact with consumers as well through photo campaigns, runway live streaming, and more. Image 39 Image 39a 63
  64. 64. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 3. Runway Shows Runway shows are a great marketing outlet because they allow the creative director to make a statement about the brand on a large scale. These shows capture a wide audience thanks to today’s social media and internet where the shows are streamed and then replayed online at viewers convenience. It’s important that has Halston puts itself back out there that these shows stand out from the others; either through the set, location, collection, or creative direction. To make their shows stand out from the rest Halston could link their social media campaign to their runway show by live tweeting, having an App that interacts with the show, instagraming video clips backstage for an insiders perspective, and more. Image 40 64
  65. 65. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 4. Halston Exhibition - Remembering Versailles In order to engage consumers and re-introduce the Halston name, an exhibition honoring Halston’s part in the Versailles fashion show will be held in Paris starting 1 month prior to the 2015 Spring Ready to Wear, New York fashion show. This exhibition will feature some of Halston’s most iconic garments, as well as include video footage from the Versailles fashion show. This show in 1974, put Halston on the map as an accomplished designer that was appreciate not only in the United States, but on the global fashion stage as well. Image 41 65
  66. 66. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 5. Window Displays During the 1970’s and 80’s Halston used window display as a way to make statements about current events and social issues. These windows stood out because they allowed an otherwise sophisticated brand to make unexpected design and social statements. This idea could be revived as the Halston designer label opens up flagship stores, where instead of using expected window displays, they make a statement instead, that allows for “buzz” to be created surrounding the brand. These windows could combine both current Halston clothing, as well as historical pieces that were famous back during the successful eras of Halston. Image 42 Image 42a 66
  67. 67. Marketing Strategy: Promotion 6. Charity Auction Another way for the Halston name to get back out into the fashion industry is through an auction for CoachArt, a charity that Halston Heritage already supports. This event would be held in NYC and select Halston sketches, photographs, and garments would be auctioned off a cocktail party. This party could take place a month or two after the initial launch in order to remind people that the brand is serious about making a comeback. Image 43 Image 43a Image 43b Image 43C 67
  68. 68. Launch Strategy - Runway Show Date: September 4th, 2014 Location: Studio 54; 59 Chelsea Pier #2 Because Halston’s designer label has been dormant the past couple of years, it is important that the launch strategy draw a lot of attention and press in order to not be looked over. The fashion world needs to know that Halston is back, and better than ever. The first part of the launch plan will feature a runway show a few days prior to the Spring 2015 ready to wear show in NYC, Halston’s original birth place. The show itself will be be classically Halston, with beautiful models, amazing clothing, and glamour, carefully balancing on the line between too much and and just enough. The new line of Halston clothing should speak for itself, and the show does not need to drown that out. Attendance will be carefully picked and seated in order to achieve the appropriate message, that Halston is not joking around this time. While the show itself may be slightly more low key in order to show the clothing, the location will be nothing short of full blown Halston; and what says Halston better than Studio 54? The night club from the 70’s still running today, just not as the nightclub it was once known for. For one night guests will relive the glamour of the 70’s while celebrating the come back of the century. Spring/Summer 2015 Image 44 68 Lookbook
  69. 69. Launch Strategy - Runway After Party Halston was synonymous with glamour and parties, so what better way to kick off Halston than with these two ideas? While the runway show will stay subdued and focused on the clothes, the after party will focus on full blown, classic Halston, and all the things it was known for. In order to have the fashion industry, and consumers, grasp onto Halston again, we must remind them of what it once was; and what it can be again. Anybody who is anybody will be invited with hopes to make it a star studded event that marks Halston as accepted. Simply putting great clothes out there will not be enough, we have to sell the story and lifestyle behind the brand as well. Cheesy, and repetitive is not the goal though. Event planners, in conjunction with the new creative head, will work together to create an event that bridges the gap between what Halston was, and what it can be now. It is important to show people that the new Halston is not just repeating the classic Halston, that was known for being riddled with mistakes, but is going to grow from that point while keeping the key characteristics that made the brand great in mind. Image 45 Invite Image 45a 69
  70. 70. Measurement and Evaluation The success of this rejuvination plan will be measured in sales and customer perception. In meeting our goals, sales number will allow the Designer label to have broken even within the first two years after launch. This will be easy to evaluate based on financial tracking and assessment. Customer perception, along with brand visibility, is also an important outcome of this plan and will be evaluated through personal interviews and surveys. In meeting our goals, surveys will reveal a positive brand image and at least a 25% increase in brand visibility based on pre-plan surveys and surveys given at the two year mark. Image 46 70
  71. 71. Conclusion Halston is an important piece of American fashion history and deserves to be once again respected in the fashion industry realm. Since the famed designer left the label in the 80’s the brand has continued to fail. With the right steps taken by a strong leadership team, I believe that the fashion industry is ready to welcome Halston back in. Image 47 71
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