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Gender-fluid fashion is not a trend, it’s a reality

Gender-fluid fashion is not a trend, it’s a reality

Gender-fluid fashion is not a trend, it’s a reality

As attitudes towards gender continue to evolve, so is the fashion industry’s approach to gender-fluid fashion, creating a more inclusive and diverse fashion landscape. In the coming years, we can expect to see more and more of this. Gender-fluid fashion is gaining greater traction amid consumers’ changing understanding of gender identity and expression. For many brands and retailers, the blurring of the lines between menswear and womenswear will require rethinking their product design, marketing, and in-store and digital shopping experiences. This article will provide you with an understanding of why gender-fluid fashion is no longer just a trend, but a reality. 

VOCAST has spoken to an expert within the field: Thorn de Vries, who shares their view on gender-fluid fashion, and sheds light on strategies brands can implement. So, if you’re looking to dive into this important matter, this article is for you.

Meet Thorn de Vries

Thorn de Vries is a Dutch actor, drag king, and activist. Thorn, who is non-binary, played the first non-binary character in a Dutch TV series and, together with partner Mandy Woelkens (Editor-in- Chief of Linda Meiden), wrote the book “FAQ Gender“. As a queer couple, they are asked a lot of questions about gender. With this book, they hope to answer the gender FAQ once and for all and to clear the gender-grey clouds. In addition, they have a podcast together called “Couplegoals” where they talk about a broad range of topics along with other couples.

Photo credit: Roeltje van de Sande Bakhuyzen

The shift toward gender-fluid fashion

The last decade has seen a shift in the fashion industry towards gender-fluid fashion. This shift is (partly) driven by evolving cultural and social attitudes toward gender. In recent years, many people have developed their understanding of gender identities, viewing gender as a spectrum, rather than a binary. Additionally, the growth of the Internet and social media platforms have allowed gender- nonconforming individuals to create communities and share their styles, which has further increased the visibility and normalization of gender-fluid fashion.

As Thorn tells us, “more and more people are realizing 1. there is more between man and woman, and 2. the oppression that comes with gender roles is something very relevant to everyone. For years, we’ve listened to the voices in our heads and those in society, telling us ‘what a man should wear’, or ‘how a woman should look’. The normative image created by the gender binary can feel very limited if you want to experiment outside these gender ‘boxes’.”

“A more open vision of fashion helped people think outside the box they thought they needed to fit in. Fashion is supposed to be fun. So more and more people are allowing themselves to have fun with fashion, and to not be restricted by gender norms.”

The importance of including gender-fluid fashion into brands’ collections

The shift that is happening is clearly not only visible on high-fashion runways, but also in everyday shopping, with online searches for “genderless” and “gender-neutral” fashion increasing year-on- year. The result is a growing demand for fluid clothing, from high-end couture to everyday basics and streetwear. According to research conducted by fintech company Klarna, around 50% of Gen-Z globally have purchased fashion outside their gender identity, and around 70% of consumers say they are interested in buying gender-fluid fashion in the future, with younger generations leading the way. Consumers in North America, Europe, Japan, and South Korea, among other locations, are expected to be the most receptive to gender-fluid strategies from fashion brands.

Moreover, it’s important for brands to be inclusive, and as Thorn says, being inclusive to all genders contributes to that. Thorn explains it in the following way: “Thinking about ‘who can wear it’, ‘who can afford it’, ‘who has access to it’, ‘who fits it’, ‘who do we visually represent in our messaging’, etc. are all important questions that I think every company should ask themselves.” 

“The fashion industry has the power to break down barriers, and create a new, more inclusive normal. So lead by example”.

Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe and founder of label JW Anderson notably stated: “Gender-neutral is not a trend, it’s a reality. My whole philosophy is that you cannot tell people what to wear. You’re not allowed to say: I want this to be bought by a woman or by a man.” Thorn completely agrees with this: “My identity is not a trend. For centuries, in multiple cultures across the globe, there have been people that have had gender identities that are not exclusively man or woman. This is not a new thing. We’ve been around for a long time. But for some reason, we only seem to be talking about it right now”.

How to implement gender-fluid fashion into your brand-strategy

An easy first step would be to make your shopping experience, both physical and online, more inclusive. Having a well-designed floor layout will allow customers to gain a new perspective of “personal style.” A gender-fluid layout will present multiple options to the customer without labeling it as menswear or womenswear. Thorn tells us how they feel ‘betrayed’ if they want to order an item from a fluid collection from a certain brand, and at the checkout, have to check a box whether they’re a man or woman. They elaborate by explaining: “Brands could ask themselves: How do we address the subscribers of our newsletter? Is it necessary to have separate fitting rooms? Is there a gender-neutral toilet? Keep asking questions”.

On the design side, clothing brands could offer more gender-neutral items and lines. This means that men, women, and non-binary people can wear the same items without feeling restricted by gender norms. This can include things like oversized jackets, baggy trousers, and unisex t-shirts.

Additionally, fashion brands are likely to introduce more gender-fluid sizing systems, allowing for a wider range of clothing sizes and styles to fit a variety of body types. In terms of style, brands could lean more towards experimental looks – playing not only with the fits and tailoring of skirts, dresses, suits, and basics but also with textiles and embellishments of pieces.

Marketing-wise, brands should feature gender-fluid models and influencers in their campaigns, and work with editors and stylists who themselves are gender-non-conforming. Brands can benefit from using VOCAST’s curated list: “Androgynous Style”. This list contains male, female, non-binary & gender-fluid influencers, stylists, editors & publications who wear, style, and work with both women’s & men’s wear fluidly. With their large reach, these individuals can help brands reach a wider audience and create a more inclusive shopping experience.

Androgynous contacts across markets

Take a look at some of the top Androgynous contacts across markets, that can be found in VOCAST’s curated lists:

Sweden

Richard is a talented fashion profile from Sweden. He works, amongst other things, as a stylist and has been named one of Sweden’s best dressed by the magazine Café.

Finland

Simon Nygard is a Finnish model and fashion influencer currently living in Paris, France.

He has an eclectic and edgy style, with a true love for all things fashon.

France

Lenny is a fashion influencer and model, based in Paris. Especially Known on TikTok, Lenny’s style can be described as a mix of women’s and men’s fashion – such as pearl necklaces, pink handbags styled with baggy trousers.

Italy

Nick is a Creative Director and Fashion Stylist. He is the co-Founder of SUGARKANE STUDIO. Along with Albi Scotti, he is the host of “Cabina Armadio”, an italian fashion podcast. 
He is the fashion stylist of all the rockstar in the Italian scene, between them Maneskin, Achille Lauro, Tananai and many others.

Germany

He is an influencer and stylist who worked for ELLE Serbia, ELLE Indonesia and has a partnership with Zalando. He is represented by the Visionary Services agency. His style is an androgynous street style. 

The Netherlands

Thorn Roos de Vries is a Dutch actor, dragking and activist. Thorn Roos De Vries, who is non-binary, played the first non-binary character in a Dutch series. Moreover, together with spouse Mandy Woelkens (Editor-in-Chief of Linda Meiden), they wrote the book “FAQ Gender”. 

Belgium

Jake Marcelo is a Belgian streetstyle fashion influencer, living in NYC and London. Also, he has his own fashion brand called “System Malfunction”. The brand has an Androgynous style. He is represented by The Pause Agency.

The UK

Emma D’Arcy is an English actor. They are known for their roles in the BBC drama Wanderlust (2018) and HBO fantasy series House of the Dragon (2022). Their style has been known to subvert notions of glamour and GQ has penned them ‘ruler of the red carpet” in 2022. VOGUE has also commented on their‘razor-sharp’ eye for style.

The US

Parker Kit Hill is a social media star turned model, actor and fashion insider. Having walked for names like Calvin Klein and Valentino, he continues to dominate on TikTok and Instagram.  

Sweden

Plaza Magazine is a magazine about fashion, design, and interiors for both men and women. Plaza Magazine covers underground phenomena and trends, approaching every subject with the same curiosity, along with interesting Swedish and international photographers, writers, and stylists. Plaza is known for their fantastic fashion reports, often with a male and female model and perspective. 

Finland

SSAW is a Helsinki-based bi-annual publication, that focuses on fashion and culture.
The magazine includes contributions from leading photographers around the world.

France

CRASH Magazine is a French high-end fashion magazine, with a focus on art in Fashion. The magazine also puts emphasis on “genderfluid” fashion, and regularly works with androgynous fashion models.

Italy

Outpump is the story of the link between lifestyle and pop culture since 2016, a home for news, stories and curiosities related to the world of trainers, fashion, music and sport, topics for which it has become a reference point in Italy. Outpump’s point of view is unique: the importance of the news and the curiosity of the story are always combined with the aesthetic power of the content and accompanying visual material.

Germany

KALTBLUT Magazine stands for a limitless symbiosis between art, photography, fashion, music and media. The theme of every issue works as a platform for artists to showcase their personal interpretation and point of view.

The Netherlands

Since september 2019 there is an extra fashion magazine in The Netherlands: the orignial French distributed Numeró. NUMÉRO NETHERLANDS is a growing progressive movement and publishes a unique biannual publication that brings the fashion world, art and design together in collaboration with leading international photographers, top models and the best-known stylists and young talent. 

Belgium

ELLE Belgium and ELLE België are each a unique blend of Belgian and international news, fashion and people news, beauty and lifestyle: all in two versions, French and Dutch.

The UK

Another magazine is a blend of high fashion and world-class photography with features on the arts, politics and literature and continues to make each beautifully crafted edition a collector’s item. The magazine celebrates gender-fluidity and counter-culture throughout each publication. Published twice a year, AnOther Magazine quickly established a reputation for highly original content brought together in its pages by an emerging set of photographers, stylists and writers bound by a search for creativity and authenticity. Counting Rihanna, Solange Knowles and Tilda Swinton amongst its impressive run of cover stars, it is now the most recognised biannual fashion magazine in the world.

The US

Office magazine is a self proclaimed unorthodox approach to fashion and culture at large. The magazine celebrates art and fashion as a whole, highlighting first movers and trends overall. 

Michelle Achten is the Dutch Market Coordinator at VOCAST, responsible for the Dutch and Belgian Fashion and Lifestyle research. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Business and master’s degree in Innovation.

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Gender-fluid fashion is not a trend, it’s a reality

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Få succes med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

Få succes med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

Influencer marketing er en branche i vækst, og mange virksomheder bruger det i kommercielle sammenhænge til at kommunikere ud til en specifik målgruppe med et bestemt budskab. Men vidste du, at offentlige instanser også kan have gavn af det f.eks. i form af en...

Få succes med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

Få succes med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

Få succes med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

Influencer marketing er en branche i vækst, og mange virksomheder bruger det i kommercielle sammenhænge til at kommunikere ud til en specifik målgruppe med et bestemt budskab. Men vidste du, at offentlige instanser også kan have gavn af det f.eks. i form af en oplysningskampagne? 

Influencer marketing handler ikke bare om at skabe eller øge salg,  men det kan også bruges af offentlige instanser, som gerne vil formidle alvorlige budskaber til deres målgruppe. Vi har derfor talt med Team Lead – Influencer Marketing, Louise Levi Verge, fra Represented by Bloggers Delight. Hun har givet os indsigt i, hvordan du kan gribe influencer marketing an som offentlig instans.

Louise Levi Verge har en kandidat i medievidenskab og blev færdiguddannet i 2017. Hun har arbejdet hos Represented by Bloggers Delight de sidste fem år som Senior Influencer Marketing Advisor og sidder i dag som Team Lead – Influencer Marketing. Her specialiserer hun sig i at rådgive forskellige brands og virksomheder i influencer marketing.

Derudover arbejder hun også med kampagner inden for det offentlige i samarbejde med eksempelvis kommuner.

 

Hvorfor bruge influencer marketing?

Influenter er gode til at skabe opmærksomhed hos deres målgruppe. Det skyldes, at følgerne har meget stor tillid til det, influenterne siger, og opfatter dem som troværdige og til at stole på. Derfor kan influencer marketing være et godt værktøj at bruge til at nå ud til din målgruppe – også når du sidder som en offentlig instans og skal formidle et budskab.

For mange unge kan influenterne betragtes som et slags nyhedsmedie. Det er nemlig herigennem, de får viden om verden på, fortæller Louise Levi Verge. Influencer marketing kan derfor være relevant at tænke ind, hvis du står i en situation som offentlig instans, hvor du gerne vil kommunikere et budskab i øjenhøjde med modtageren, eller hvis du bare gerne vil målrette dit budskab til et yngre segment.

Oplysningskampagner med influenter

Influencer marketing kan bruges til mange forskellige typer af kampagner. For eksempel kan du bruge det, hvis du vil skabe brand awareness eller øge salg, men det kan også være et værdifuldt værktøj, hvis du vil formidle et vigtigt budskab og skabe troværdighed. 

Hos Represented har de arbejdet med flere forskellige oplysningskampagner. Eksempelvis har de lavet en kampagne for Sundhedsstyrelsen, som skulle opfordre en yngre målgruppe til at kvitte cigaretterne. Louise fortæller i den forbindelse, hvorfor influencer marketing er et effektivt redskab at bruge i en oplysningskampagne. 

– Det er en rigtig god vej til at oplyse forskellige forbrugere omkring emner på en personlig måde, hvor man oftest oplever, at de lidt mere traditionelle medier vil have et budskab med en løftet pegefinger, uddyber Louise Levi Verge. 

Influencer marketing er et godt sted at starte, hvis du gerne vil formidle et vigtigt budskab gennem en personlig historie, siger Louise Levi Verge. Når du bruger influenter til at formidle et budskab, kan influenternes opbyggede relation til deres følgere hjælpe dig med at skabe opmærksomhed om et emne på en autentisk og mere jordnær måde.

Valg af influent

Men hvad skal du være særligt opmærksom på, når du laver en oplysningskampagne i samarbejde med en influent? Her fremhæver Louise vigtigheden i at finde det rigtige match mellem virksomhed og influent. 

– Når du som offentlig instans skal kommunikere et budskab ud gennem en influent, så er det vigtigt at udvælge en influent som rammer den målgruppe, du gerne vil ramme. Det kan derfor være relevant at indtænke, om influenten har et eller andet på hjertet, som relaterer sig til det budskab, der skal kommunikeres, fortæller Louise Levi Verge.

Noget af det vigtigste, du skal være opmærksom på, er altså at finde den rigtige influent, som passer til lige netop dit budskab. Hvis influenten har en særlig relation til det emne, der skal kommunikeres, vil det også hjælpe dig med at skabe troværdighed samt appellere til din målgruppe. 

Vidste du, at vi har mange forskellige influenter i VOCAST?

Du kan finde influenter på vores kuraterede lister, hvor vi samler en række forskellige pressekontakter inden for forskellige stofområder – og så kan du også selv søge dem frem i kontaktdatabasen.

Giv plads til kreativitet

Influenter skaber troværdighed gennem deres autenticitet på de sociale medier. Når du som offentlig instans indgår et samarbejde med en influent, er det vigtigt, at du også er bevidst om, at det er selve influenten, der bør italesætte dit budskab med sine egne ord, og altså ikke dig som offentlig instans. 

– Man skal turde at slippe tøjlerne lidt og give den tøjle videre til influenterne. I sidste ende er det influentens egne ord, som skal ud at leve, siger Louise Levi Verge. 

Når influenten italesætter budskabet med sine egne ord, bliver det mere personligt og lettere for følgerne at relatere til, end hvis det kommer direkte fra en offentlig instans. Budskabet skinner derfor mere klart igennem for følgerne. Derfor skal du være indstillet på at give influenten noget ansvar og lade dem være selvstændige – selvom det kan være udfordrende eller endda grænseoverskridende, når du gerne vil sikre dig, at alle oplysninger bliver formidlet korrekt.

Louise pointerer dog, at selvom det er influenten, der er talerør, kan du stadig gøre det klart over for dem, hvad det er for en retning, du gerne vil have på samarbejdet, og hvad dit kernebudskab er. Du har derfor stadig indflydelse på kommunikationsindsatsen. Ifølge Louise kan du nemlig altid modtage indholdet før udgivelse, så du kan være sikker på, at influenten ikke kommer til at sige noget, der er faktuelt forkert.

Du kan derfor med fordel bruge influencer marketing, hvis du som offentlig instans gerne vil formidle et alvorligt budskab i en oplysningskampagne. Det kan både være en nemmere og mere effektiv måde at kommunikere ud til bestemte målgrupper. Influenterne kan nemlig hjælpe dig med at skabe troværdighed, og deres autenticitet kan gøre, at du kan kommunikere på en helt ny måde.

Tre pointer, du skal have i tankerne, inden du går i gang med influencer marketing som offentlig instans

1) Begynd først med at overveje, om du skal bruge influencer marketing til dit budskab.

Det kan hjælpe dig til at formidle budskaber gennem en personlig historie, som gør dit budskab mere autentisk.

2) Undersøg om der er det rette match mellem dig og influenten.

Det kan for eksempel være en fordel, hvis influenten har et eller andet på hjertet, som relaterer sig til det budskab, der skal kommunikeres.

3) Vær opmærksom på at give influenten frihed til at rammesætte budskabet.

På den måde bliver budskabet mere personligt og lettere for følgerne at relatere til. Men husk at du stadig kan få tilsendt indholdet, før det bliver udgivet, så du sikrer dig, at det bliver kommunikeret korrekt.

Mie Yuze Nordbæk Rasmussen har arbejdet som News Media Researcher hos VOCAST siden marts 2022. Hun læser en kandidat i kommunikation på Aalborg Universitet i København, og har en har en bachelor i psykologi og kommunikation fra Roskilde Universitet. Hendes primære interesseområde er strategisk kommunikation, influencer marketing og det udviklende medielandskab.

 

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Outdoors Influencers: how should brands work with this niche branch of content creators?

Outdoors Influencers: how should brands work with this niche branch of content creators?

Outdoors Influencers: how should brands work with this niche branch of content creators?

In recent years, the increased focus on health and wellness has paved the way for new creators to inspire their audience to lead an active lifestyle. Among these are outdoors influencers, that seek to motivate and inspire their followers to go outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. These influencers specifically create content revolving around outdoor destinations, gear, sports, and causes. With this comprehensive approach to content and inspiration, often presented in a visually appealing form, these creators represent excellent sources with which you can grow your brand. Learn how your brand can benefit from working with these high-engagement profiles.

How can outdoor influencers benefit your brand?

Outdoor influencers present a unique combination of qualities that stand out in the media landscape through the unique and varied qualities they offer. These creators use their platform to inspire and motivate their followers to lead an active and healthy lifestyle in multiple ways, whether it be camping, hiking, or skiing. However, the core message lies in inspiring to go outside – D2 Magazine, therefore, coined outdoors influencers as “outfluencers”. Hence, outdoor influencers arguably have an encouraging approach to their content: through sharing their knowledge and experiences, these influencers can make the outdoors more accessible for their followers, inspiring and motivating them to seize the outdoors to a larger extent.

Meet outdoors influencers Stine & Jarlen

VOCAST has spoken to influencers Stine & Jarlen about the stance of wildlife and outdoors creators. The couple inspires their followers through photography and tips for journeys that they undertake along with their 1-year-old son and three dogs. Read the couple’s insights into the creation and collaboration in our featured interview. 

Branding through outdoor influencers

Depending on the specific focus of the influencer, one can find numerous areas and setting in which their gear and products can be portrayed. Today, outdoor influencers can inspire their audience to seize nature in numerous ways, whether that be leisurely activities like hiking, skiing, or camping, or extreme sports like mountain biking, climbing, or rafting. There is virtually a community within every area of interest, in which the influencer share inspiration and tips. Through this, the outdoors influencers can create solid communities within their area of interest and expertise, making them trusted sources of knowledge, ultimately translating to high engagement levels. Essentially, these profiles do, through consistent and thorough content manifest as solid sources of knowledge and thereby dependable advocates.

What makes outdoor influencers unique?

Stine & Jarlen tell us that the goal for many hiking and outdoors influencers is to use as “little as possible”, and to use what they have for a long time.

“We enjoy working with brands to find the very best products for different situations so that we can promote and recommend sustainable and well-thought-out products for our followers.”

They continue to tell us that the trust between them and their followers is very strong due to the fact that the products they use and promote are tested in often extreme situations. They need to be able to trust their great, clothes, products, etc. If they can show a setting, scenario, or activity that their followers know they have experience in, and show products that help in the given setting, it is always a success: “a combination of building credibility through stories and showcasing a product in a post is also a good way of showcasing the products” they explain.

The importance of destination

The location and environment of activity play an important part in the content for outdoors influencers. More so, the profiles share specific tips for nature destinations and specific journeys, like skiing treks and hikes to undertake. Thus, the elements of travel and destinations remain a central part of their appeal. Here, you can find outdoors influencers conveying specific journeys for hiking and exploration both in your central area or a destination you desire to visit. By this, the “backdrop” of the outdoors influencers’ content becomes one of its key components. This is emphasized in their content; instead of the specific activity conducted being the main point of focus, for example, a hike in the mountains, the beautiful environment, and the scenery the hike might just be what motivates the audience to go outside and do the same. In that way, outdoors influencers are also comparable to travel influencers, as showing landscape and environment becomes a central part of their content.

Exceptional production quality

Further, outdoors and wildlife influencers stand out in their approach to visual presentation. Many of these creators are professional photographers and video creators, collaborating with camera brands like GoPro. Thus, the emphasis on photography is very strong – the level of visual quality is on a professional level. This is a favorable quality for brand collaborations, as these influencers create a visually outstanding environment for product promotion. Not only can collaborating with wildlife influencers portray the product in use in its intended state, whether that be at a campsite or on a summit but it can also be conveyed in a professional aesthetic.

How should brands partner with outdoor influencers?

Long-term partnerships are a good way to work and are often essential to building trust, according to Stine & Jarlen. A long-term partnership also allows for a larger line of products to be tested, as the value for many of their followers is their ability to recommend something related to their specific situation. They advise brands who partner with outdoors influencers that the creators be given time to actually test the products.

“We value being able to give feedback to the client on their product as well as the brand using our content to use in their own socials, as we also build our own brand further on our partners’ good name and reputation.”

Stine & Jarlen tell us that their followers respond to a combination of posts promoting products, but also showing how to service and repair your gear is a good way of building trust and long-term positive brand awareness in our audience.

Market Landscapes

VOCAST has created curated press lists of prominent outdoors influencers in the following markets: 

Norway 🇳🇴

In Norway, sharing content revolving around the outdoors, like hiking and skiing, remains among the most popular types of content on social media; showcasing outdoor adventures and journeys within the country has become an inevitable trend. Furthermore, the media coverage led to an increased demand for outdoor equipment like hammocks, sleeping bags, and randonné skis. With the natural establishment and interest in everything outdoors in Norway, the target market for outdoor products spans wide. Hence, the media value of the outdoor lifestyle is becoming increasingly recognized, and the influencers’ arena is prominent and ever-growing. In the fall of 2021, Vixen Influencer Awards created wildlife and travel as an award, solidifying the establishment of these influencers in the media landscape.

Sweden 🇸🇪

There is no doubt that Sweden is a country with impressive nature and beautiful landscapes, which makes it an excellent hiking destination. Due to the diverse nature with high mountains, captivating forests, lakes, and long coastlines, as well as shifting seasons and large public access to the wilderness (Allemansrätten), hiking activities hold a high position among Swedes. Furthermore, outdoor clothing brands such as Fjällräven and Patagonia have become a trend not only for the outdoors but also for Swedes living an urban lifestyle in the cities. Hence, hiking is today not only reserved for a niche outdoor community but presents a part of Swedish culture.

France 🇫🇷

France is home to some of the most popular skiing and hiking routes in Europe, such as the mountain regions of the Alps and the Pyrenees. Thereby, hiking and skiing are deep-rooted in the French active lifestyle. It is very common for families to spend their holidays up in the mountains. Additionally, the range of French media that portray outdoor activities spans wide. Today, one can find athletes, photographers, influencers, and magazines that dedicate their content to the French outdoors lifestyle, and by that also promote tourism in the region.

The U.S. 🇺🇸

In the US, the endless opportunities for wildlife and adventure are reflected in the influencer market. Here, one can find various profiles showcasing nature activities, mainly falling within two categories: outdoor photographers with a large emphasis on landscape photography and camera gear, collaborating with brands such as Canon, and instructional adventurers, advising their audiences on journeys and how to conduct them, as well as gear recommended for use.

Outdoors influencers

VOCAST has gathered the most prominent outdoors lifestyle influencers from select markets. Meet some of them here:

🇳🇴 Helene Myhre

Helene Myhre is an outdoors, travel, and photography enthusiast. She shares content revolving around travelling, outdoors lifestyle, and photo tips with her followers. She has a large online following, and has also written a book about journeys and destinations to visit in Norwegian nature.

Followers: 210k

🇸🇪 Hildur Karlsson

Hildur Karlsson is a Swedish influencer passionate about hiking, adventure, skiing, photography & the outdoors. She lives the city life in Stockholm in between her outdoor travels.

Followers: 195k

🇫🇷 Anne Dubndidu

As a sports and outdoor enthusiast, Anne dedicated her blog and social media to her passion – where she shares her favorite hiking routes across France as well as outdoor clothing and equipment.

Followers: 122k

🇺🇸 Morgan Philips

Morgan Phillips is a Seattle-based adventure and lifestyle photographer. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama he started adventuring at nineteen. Morgan combines his passion for adventure with his passion for photography, blended in order to document and share the beauty of his unique way of life.

Followers: 385k

Sara is the Norwegian Market Coordinator at VOCAST, responsible for Norwegian fashion and lifestyle research. When not at VOCAST, she studies Brand and Communications at Copenhagen Business School. Besides work and studies, she is a travel, music, and movie enthusiast.

 

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RELATED POSTS

Gender-fluid fashion is not a trend, it’s a reality

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Become an Architects’ go-to brand: how to target your brand content toward Architects & Interior Designers

Become an Architects’ go-to brand: how to target your brand content toward Architects & Interior Designers

Become an Architects’ go-to brand: how to target your brand content toward Architects & Interior Designers

Content is essential in the workflow of architects, and to be the one brand that stands out of the crowd when architects are researching, you need to get your content out there. Architects are busy, so presenting your content in a beautiful digital showroom or through an inspiring send-out is key to reaching them. We sat down with Birgit Tarp, Interior Designer and owner of Design Circus, and Marianne Færch, Architect & Senior Project Manager at Signal, to give insider input on how to promote your brand and become the first choice of architects. 

Meet Birgit & Marianne

Birgit Tarp, Interior Designer

Design Circus is a Danish interior design studio established in 2004 by Birgit Tarp, who is a wide-ranging textile and interior designer, freelance writer, and expert at the Danish magazine Bo Bedre, concept developer, and inspirational lecturer. At her studio, interior design projects are presented for both businesses and private projects. The eternal goal is to match both people and architecture in a modern and unique way. Read more here.

 

Marianne Færch, Architect

Marianne is a Senior Project Manager and Architect at Signal and has 10+ years of workplace design experience. Marianne has led various Danish and international headquarter projects in the process from strategy to design implementation. Interdisciplinary collaboration gives the best project output and customer satisfaction. Input from suppliers and available content brings great value to our work and can support our dialogue with customers along the design process until a possible furniture order. Read more here.

 

How image banks and digital showrooms play a crucial part in the workflow of architects and interior designers

Good content is key. And what better place to find good and accessible content than in digital showrooms? The workflow of interior designers and architects is busy, and any time they can save, they will. If your brand content is too complicated to find, or not specific enough, the architects simply won’t use it. Architects are spending a lot of their time researching content and products already, so if you want to be a considered brand, do your preparations and make the content search as easy as possible for the architects.

“We use image banks and digital showrooms from interior design suppliers to a particularly high degree. Every season we download all relevant documents, such as catalogs and price lists” – Birgit Tarp.

The workflow of an architectural project, and where you need to be present as a brand

To give you a better understanding of the actual workflow on an architectural project, we have outlined it for you in three simple steps;

Step 1: Presentation

The architects prepare their first presentation for the client, they are creating mood boards and are visualizing the concept that they are envisioning for the project.

This is the phase where the architects seek inspiration and the time to make your brand stand out amongst all the others. Lifestyle imagery is key, to showcase the client the furniture, lamps, etc. in the right aesthetic. Alongside this, product specification and configuration are important, making it possible for the architects to find imagery on your products in all colors, textiles, etc.

Step 2: Technical Drawings

Now it is time for the architects to create the technical drawings. Here it is important for them to have access to all products in drawing, making the process of integrating the product into the technical drawing as quickly as possible.

Depending on what type of technical drawing the architect is to make, 3D files are also essential to make these drawings come true. Supplying the architects with 3D imagery of your products, allows them to create the floor plans and technical drawings in 3D format.

Step 3: Furniture Selection

The final step – and usually also the busiest one! – it is now time to test the furniture and make the final decisions on fabrics, furnishings, etc. The typical scenario would be that the supplier is bringing sample furniture to the architects, or that the architects are visiting a physical showroom.

This is also the step where the furniture lists have to be conducted, including description and specifications. To help out the architects, it would come in handy for them to have a “good to know” paper on all of the products, stating all from the base, surface, options of customization, colors, etc.

This is the step where the architect makes the final decisions on all elements of the project, so make sure to be available here.

As Marianne tells us, architects work with content from suppliers throughout all phases from concept to implementation. Visual imagery, drawings, collages, and reference pictures help us set the tone and easily engage with the clients to ensure that we are true to their brand and aspirations. Easy access and configurable content saves time and supports their work in giving clients the best understanding of our design.

“We use both lifestyle images for the look and feel mood boards – and individual specific furniture pieces for presentations.” – Marianne Færch

She explains how cut out packshots allows her to show pieces in different design contents in quick design sprints with the client. During the detailed design phase, architects need access to 2D + 3D files to implement in their drawings.

Digital showrooms can ease the workflow of architects: What content do architects want? And where do they find it?

The architects want the facts, and they preferably want all of them at the same time. To architects, imagery specifications are their way of segmenting if a product is within the budget, lives up to the requested features and at the same time follows the aesthetic of the project. In this way, content is a very practical and necessary tool for architects and a key element of their work process. At the same time content is also an inspiration to the architects. When asked where they go to find content besides image banks and digital showrooms, Pinterest is the number one answer, followed by magazines, Instagram, and fairs.

“I like user-friendly content that gives me a quick overview of color scheme, measurements, prices, and product availability” – Birgit Tarp

Pinterest is an important platform to make sure your content is available on as well. This is a way for your brand to be found by architects that maybe aren’t already familiar with your brand, in a setting where you are showcased in the exact aesthetic they are researching at that point. You can read more about Pinterest, and the importance of pinfluencers right here.

“Furniture producers that have configurators that allow us to change colors and show the furniture without backgrounds are very useful and make it easier for us to show exactly how a specific piece of furniture will look” – Marianne Færch

What makes a brand stand out of the crowd?

Of course, all architects have different parameters on which they evaluate what makes a brand stand out from the crowd. Birgit and Marianne have given us their first-hand thoughts on what makes a brand stand out;

Birgit tells us the brands with an interesting product line or collection that differs from other brands, a strong visual DNA, sustainable production, and aesthetically beautiful products with attractive function or comfort. Marianne says that she seeks inspiration from brands showing an understanding of global work trends, like hybrid working, and collaboration. It can be solutions for the home office or a new type of product for the digital office. In addition, she explains that she always looks for brands with products that stand out which enables her to make solutions that leave an impression. Sustainability is also a key consideration for us when choosing furniture. 

Why it is important to make your brand visible among architects?

Architects have a huge industrial impact, being the ones picking and choosing what brands are showcased where and in what setting. They are determining what aesthetic your brand is being contextualized with, having a great impact on how people are pursuing your brand.

A great architectural project is resulting in a beautiful setting, full of beautiful furniture and accessories. And in these times, we know that a good setting and aesthetic surroundings calls for an Instagram post. Providing good content can in that way result in gaining new content back.

“Architects and Designers are visual people that use images as their primary form of inspiration & communication, and it is therefore crucial for manufactures to provide inspiring and emotive imagery that can help us bring our clients along on the journey.” – Marianne Færch

The architects are able to, directly and indirectly, impact your brand, and if an architect loves your content, loves your level of providing detail, and can find exactly what content they are looking for – they are probably gonna use you again on their next project.

Top tips on what content to include in your image bank

Birgit tells us that, to her, it is crucial that newsletters and press images are highly inspiring in all dimensions – unique products, color specifications, recycle-friendly, etc. Images are the most appetizing way of looking and feeling. She says messages should be idea-enriching and at the same time forward all the necessary and essential details on the products. The process handling is short between interior design development and the final decision on products, so the process gets easier with a unique product level.

Packshots

Include packshots, both with and without a background.

2D and 3D imagery

These can be used for rendering, and should also be in files both with and without a background.

Case content

Include case content to showcase how architects and interior designers have been using your products in previous projects.

Fabric tiles

Fabric tiles are useful to showcase all types of fabric types, textures, and colors
.

Lifestyle images

Lifestyle images can be used by architects and interior designers for mood boards and client presentations.

References: image: Design Cirus.

Sarah is the Customer Communication Coordinator at VOCAST. She is very passionate about fashion and design and along with her work at VOCAST she studies Communication at Copenhagen Business School.

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How GUBI is successfully sharing B2B content with over 2000 partners

How GUBI is successfully sharing B2B content with over 2000 partners

How GUBI is successfully sharing B2B content with over 2000 partners

For GUBI, a simple Digital Asset Management system with blue folders to store their carefully crafted HQ files, campaign images, pack-shots, videos, etc…was not going to work. They needed a beautiful and efficient way to showcase their extensive furniture portfolio and drive the distribution of their high-quality B2B content to the press and over 2000 partners. 

VOCAST delivered the answer to their concern with a tailor-made digital showroom. We sat down with Jesper Klæbel, ex-Head of Marketing, IT & Business Development at GUBI, responsible for implementing digital tools and optimizing IT strategy, to tell us more about what drove GUBI to integrate the brand sharing platform into their IT arsenal and successfully implement it.

Blue folders don’t align with brand aesthetics

GUBI, like many lifestyle brands, used to have a simple DAM system (Digital Asset Management System) to cater to their B2B content needs, but ease-of-use and aesthetics were missing. Plain and poorly organized folders don’t usually translate well when you are a brand with a plethora of visual content and assets. According to Jesper, 80 to 90% of brand appearance is for the end consumer, so how do you extend that experience equally to B2B partners? And what about the press, retailers, the contract market, interior designers, and architects? Creating content is one thing, but distributing is even more important.

« Rather than having to push content all the time, we wanted the content to be pulled out automatically by our partners. We ultimately decided to go for VOCAST as it was the easiest and smartest solution to distribute content while maintaining our brand aesthetics. »

Jesper Klæbel, ex-Head of Marketing, IT & Business Development at GUBI

 

How our solution worked for GUBI

Brand Alignment across all channels 

VOCAST offered a content management system that was aligned with the brand’s universe:

“What VOCAST has that a normal DAM system hasn’t is this combination of unique features. It makes perfect sense to have your B2B content, press releases, contacts, and data integrated all together. For what VOCAST delivers, it delivers it excellently.”

Better control

Having control of who sees what, and who has access to certain parts of the digital showroom was also a vital part of GUBI. For internal launchings, areas needed to be restricted while other parts needed to be open with content readily available. Jesper explains:

 

“VOCAST is able to include login-protected areas for extra control over our valued assets, which was crucial for us.”

How GUBI implemented the platform

Take ownership

Before getting to the point of final implementation and usage it was crucial to initiate a big push when launching the image bank:

“VOCAST is an easy tool, but you have to take ownership if you want it to be good for the customers. It’s more intricate than a DAM system, here you have to think about design, a tagging structure, how to organize your image bank, how to make sure your partners and the press will use it, etc…”

Digital Product Launches  

Speaking of brilliant, Jesper has found an efficient way to communicate on their new digital showroom and push usage during their product launches:

 

“Beforehand, we would introduce new products during the fairs, people would come, see and feel new furniture. Normally we would never introduce tools during product launches, but it did matter and make sense this time – we had the audience and we decided to take advantage of that. After introducing all these wonderful products we thought our partners would probably ask themselves: hey, where can I get all this information?”

 

Digital product launches have become more common because of the pandemic. For GUBI, these new virtual product launches sometimes gathered over 1,100 viewers worldwide at the same time:

“With virtual launches, you need to make sure they have all the information they need, you need to be very focused on your communication and your B2B content needs to be excellent.”

Pointing them to a platform such as VOCAST allows GUBI to maintain control over their brand awareness towards their stakeholders. 

The do’s of implementing a digital showroom:

Take ownership, take the initiative to educate your team and your sales representatives on how to use VOCAST and implement the solution.

Send a newsletter every second week with product information and a story to keep the ball rolling.

Implement a how-to-use section on the platform to help your partners and press.

Pass on the knowledge within your team regarding the platform's most used features and which are most critical tasks.

Go simple with the structure and what you want to achieve at first.

GUBI is a renowned Danish design house notable for designing elegant collections of furniture and interior objects that resonate across the world. Based in Copenhagen’s docklands, GUBI’s showroom and HQ span 2000 square-meter space, while their 400-square-meter flagship store is located in the heart of Copenhagen’s shopping district. These two locations are the principal visual representation of the brand which sells products in over 180 stores across the world in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Let’s get digital

Get a feel of what other marketing teams can’t live without. When you sign up for a demo, one of our consultants will be in touch to show you the power of the Brand Sharing Platform and share industry insights from some of the most successful brands in the industry. Get a demo now. 

 

Ines is the Research and Marketing Manager at VOCAST.  She previously worked in the beauty industry and is now an expert in social media and digital marketing. Every day she helps design-driven brands navigate digital trends and carry out their marketing and brand strategies effortlessly.

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Fashion experts’ top 3 pieces of advice on how to make your brand grow

Fashion experts’ top 3 pieces of advice on how to make your brand grow

Fashion experts’ top 3 pieces of advice on how to make your brand grow

Digitalization is at the forefront of the conversation about what is changing in the fashion industry. The need for brands to have an online presence and operate business digitally has been continuously rising, especially over the past few seasons. 

We have summed up our findings from our talks with 6 fashion industry experts working in different essential fields that can make or break your brand: buyers, trade shows, and PR. Read their 3 important pieces of advice for brands’ growth.

1. The internet has more control over your brand’s success:

The internet has fragmented the media landscape, creating thousands of new niche channels to reach your markets. Where brands used to rely on only a few influential editors, they now have a global community of stylists, influencers as well as retailers that all have substantial reach in their SoMe, newsletters, websites, and other digital platforms.

It also induced a shift in the role of the consumer. People are no longer simply buying fashion items, clothing, and accessories since the use of social media and the internet has empowered them. Consumers want to be part of a community, interact with brands, and influence what they buy. They are in charge, more informed, and selective and care about how they are perceived on social media, putting importance on the perception of the goods they buy and own. Most consumers also use several digital channels before, during, and/or after making their purchases. Buyers echo this, their brand discovery is mainly happening online:

 

“My brand discovery is a cross combination of Instagram and media coverage online. It’s intuitive and organic. Every morning I refresh online media such as Hypebeast, Complex, and High Snobiety, figure out brands from their Instagram, and search for information about the fabrics and their production.”

 
– Kevin Kafesu – Head of Buying at Norse Projects

 

Fashion is the number one e-commerce section in the world, in 2021 the global market value was at $759.5 billion. This number is predicted to grow in the next five years as online fashion’s annual growth rate will put the industry at +$1.0 trillion (source).

As brands are using the internet and social media to inspire and get their message across, it also has created difficulties because of the tough competition and a saturated market. This was emphasized during our talk with the Danish strategic and creative agency, Mørch & Rohde:

“Today it’s more democratic, there’s a large crowd that can actually make a brand successful. It’s somehow good for the industry but also difficult for a brand because there are many touch points and people have to be convinced about a brand’s uniqueness.”

 
– Lotte Mørch Monchamp – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mørch & Rohde

 

This means that becoming a digitally-savvy brand can no longer just be an option. Instead, it becomes a fundamental pillar to not only satisfy consumers but also partners alike.

2. Your digital game needs to match your brand’s standards 

This fragmented media landscape makes it a very delicate path to navigate. The brands’ heritage, identity, and story are at stake. Any digital manifestation of the brand, from social media platforms to third-party distributors, must go hand in hand with the refined brand values and must be tailored to the consumer’s needs. Misaligned digital services may actually pose a threat to the brand’s reputation and growth:

 

“In our screening process, before we accept any brands into our shows, we’re looking at their lookbooks, their line sheets, we’re looking at their Instagram…We have a team that’s looking at multiple digital ways for brands to tell their stories.

Sometimes if brands aren’t able to do it in an efficient way or if it’s not cohesive, we may miss the mark on a great brand. We are digitally accepting brands into our shows and that becomes an important part of the process.”

 
– Edwina Kulego – Vice President of International and Business Development at Informa Markets

3. Keep control over your brand’s messaging by sharing quality content

With all this competition, buyers need to calculate their return on investment, tradeshows have started to filter between brands to offer a great selection each season, and consumers need to be fed with purposeful stories about your brand to advocate for you and have the brand on top of mind. 

All this leads to one thing, content. But not just any content, content with a purpose. Content for buyers to push certain key styles, and collections and feed their e-commerce, content for a tradeshow to complement the physical showings of the brand, and content for the consumer to keep getting enticed and know that the brand still has that cool factor or sustainable approach.

“Instagram, YouTube, web-shop, retailers, wholesalers, print/online magazines, and content creators all need a brief which translates in different ways. A tendency we see a lot is to also prioritize the budget to different channels and a lot of brands are spending or allocating more budget to content shoots.”

 

– Lotte Mørch Monchamp – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Mørch & Rohde
 

 

“We have a small team, on a lot of the products that have a lot of turnover for instance: limited edition sneakers, we use the content directly from the supplier because the turnout is so fast (…)

We rely on assets provided by the brands directly: pack-shots, product descriptions, etc…Which we then obviously amend to our tone of voice, but all that stuff is important. When you are working six months ahead, we want these assets already so when the product arrives it’s just plug-in and play.”

 
– Kevin Kafesu – Head of Buying at Norse Projects

What you need to remember

Review our fashion webinars

 

Ines is the Research and Marketing Manager at VOCAST.  She previously worked in the beauty industry and is now an expert in social media and digital marketing. Every day she helps design-driven brands navigate digital trends and carry out their marketing and brand strategies effortlessly.

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