Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Marketing Lesson from the Runway of Toronto Fashion Week

Toronto Fashion Week has just wrapped up, and amidst the couture clothes and the outpouring of Canadian style is a pearl of a lesson for us marketing folk.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of Toronto Fashion Week. Once again, the bi-annual fashion festival pitched over 40,000 square feet of tents in Nathan Phillips Square to feature the Fall '09 collections of established and emerging Canadian designers.

According to some of my favourite fashion bloggers (Toronto Street Fashion, La Femme, A Wee Bit Skint) L'Oreal Fashion Week '09 was all about going back to basics. Many collections were more focused and streamlined than in past years, making simplicity the word on the runway.

Some of my favourite new Canadian designers like Lucien
Matis, Evan Biddell and Carlie Wong (all from Project Runway Canada fame) showed edited, pared-down collections that are infinitely wearable while still being tremendously chic. To reinforce the point, the key seems to be the simplicity of doing something you know how to do, and doing really really it well.

And therein lies the marketing lesson. There is no doubt that our industry is moving in new directions (think social network marketing, online video, viral marketing etc.), but I think there is still something to be said for keeping it simple, classic and focused.

In the world of fashion (or, at least, the world of Toronto Fashion Week) less is definitely more this season. Why not make it your marketing mantra, too?