Weekly Musings: 04.02.24

Bibiana Obahor
February 4, 2024
Hey, Bibiana here! Founder of Desiree Design Studio and Brand Insider. I share my "informal" insights on a very "informal" substack called 'behind brands'. Here's a sneak peek of my weekly musings:
  • Gen-Z and Gen Alpha’s Beauty Behaviours Are Not Trends: As a Gen-Z myself, it’s always interesting to read articles on why we behave the way we do, or at least why millennials and Gen-Xers think we do. There's an interesting comparison between beauty shopping experiences across generations. Rachel Strugatz suggests that the desire of teenagers to engage in beauty and skin care, to experiment with products, and to feel grown-up is a universal and timeless phenomenon, not specific to any one generation. And for the most part, I agree.
  • Can Amazon Be the Amazon of Luxury? Richard Baker, the chairman of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) is reportedly trying to persuade Amazon to partner with him as their gateway into luxury retail. Baker previously attempted a similar strategy by integrating Lord & Taylor (a luxury department store) into Walmart’s website, which didn't work out as planned. Amazon has been trying to make a mark in the luxury fashion industry. Despite their efforts, including sponsoring high-profile fashion events, they haven’t been successful in attracting luxury brands to their platform. Could they acquire Net-a-Porter, given its access to luxury goods and Amazon's ability to fix its operational flaws?
  • The Age of Impressionism: The "2024 Voices of Fashion" report by Launchmetrics explains how fashion brands succeed not just by being big or flashy but by understanding their audience. Brands can't be everything to everyone, as it mentions how brands like Alaïa and Mugler are doing well even without huge budgets. Celebrities are impacting brands (Beyoncé's fashion, boosted by stylist Shiona Turini, created a lot of media buzz and value for brands like Balmain), influencers and their weddings are impacting brands and (Chanel and Sofia Richie, Dolce & Gabbana and Kourtney Kardashian, Barbara Palvinand Vivienne Westwood), creative directors are impacting brands (Pharrell Williams' appointment at Louis Vuitton generated $616,000 worth of MIV on their own accounts alone) and unexpected collaborations are impacting brands (Prada with NASA or Dolce & Gabbana with Smeg.)
  • Inside the Glam Vs. Clean Girl Beauty Trend Battle: The beauty world is divided between minimalist and maximalist makeup trends, with influencers and brands trying to keep up with or lead the way in these trends. It's a battle between minimal makeup (the "clean girl" look) and heavy, glamorous makeup (like the "mob wife" look). Brands are trying to cater to both trends. Some, like Rare Beauty, are succeeding by appealing to fans of both the clean girl and the glam look. Others, stuck in one style, like Morphe, are struggling.
  • Kylie Schools Stormi In How To Be A Front Row Star: I read this article early on in the week, and it piqued an interesting thought about celebrity branding and how early this really starts for the kids of said celebrities. Stormi is only five, but it seems Kylie is starting to build her daughter's public image pretty early. It's a smart move in personal branding, blending her private life with her public image. But it also has me questioning the ethics of involving young children in the complex world of fame. Essentially, it's about how celebrities use their influence, not just for themselves but for the next generation too. Good or bad?
  • Maison Margiela Frees the... Vulva at Couture Week: Maison Margiela's Artisanal Collection 2024, showcased at Paris Couture Week, was a bold and evocative display. The collection was notable for its sultry silhouettes, emphasised by corsets, and a deliberate nod to body empowerment, particularly highlighting body hair, which is often stigmatised. This haute couture presentation, Galliano's first since 2020, was a daring exploration of self-expression and body positivity, marking a significant moment in fashion.
  • Saie brings community and free makeup to new IRL masterclasses: Saie hosted 180 people for makeup masterclasses. The attendees were a mix of their loyal customers, including top spenders and fans, as well as influencers and press members. The event is part of a series that will also happen in New York, London, and Toronto this year. The event reflects the brand's approach to making makeup accessible and simple for everyday people. Brands can learn from Saie's strategy about the importance of engaging customers through experiential and educational events, fostering a sense of community and belonging, and building brand loyalty and trust.

I'm sharing my favourite brands with whoever cares (I own a brand design agency so my opinions probably mean something) Read here.


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