Fashion’s dynamic is more than just making fancy clothes. Fashion is a cultural expression of the current era that exposes the values a society encourages, and at the same time, ennobles what is ephemerally appreciated.
Culture, on the other hand, is meant to last. The customary beliefs, arts, and social forms of a particular group define its identity and what intends to transcend as a collective force.
Some of the most notable fashion brands worldwide use culture (including art, architecture, or music) to create an extended universe that does not end within the product.
Culture is one of the most effective tools for transmitting meaning and building a community’s identity. Under this perspective, brands are nourished by culture, building symbolic systems of representation and identity, defining their codes, and drawing their boundaries of belonging but also differentiation.
The culture inside a company is built based on norms, values, precepts, and common objectives. The storytelling of a brand also uses cultural references, historical myths, legends, and narratives (true or false) to transcend the ephemeral nature of fashion.
“Fashion dies young. That is what makes its lightness so serious”, said Jean Cocteau; regardless, all the cultural aspects attributed to fashion give it a perennial pass to divest itself of its immediacy. Thus, it acquires its place in the Olympus of conservation and the exhibition as a revered object of cultural interest.
This association between brand and culture is an optimal positioning core to communicate ideas and concepts that transcend the logic of fashion. This bond creates an authentic, more stable brand culture -without the ups and downs of trends-, and which serves as a cohesive element between commerce, artistic discourses, design, and society.
Today, a variety of museums collect dress and textiles, from anthropological and ethnological museums, history museums, art museums, design museums, and specialized fashion and textile museums.
The creation of museums dedicated to fashion is, in part, what has helped people to understand fashion at large and understand the act of dressing up from a different perspective.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty was the first blockbuster exposition that broke all conceived rules about curating fashion. It was not the first of its kind (remember what editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland did on New York’s MET in the 1970s) but, it was indeed the first one that sparked a fascination about fashion among the general public.
The established museums, and private fashion collections, have also served as a prestigious claim for international fashion capitals. In Manhattan, The Museum at FIT, the only one in the city that specialized in fashion; or in Paris, the Galliera Museum, also known as the Musee de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, and The Louvre Mode.
Fashion brands promote artistic exchanges with art and culture to strengthen their imagery, reaffirm their position in the leadership of luxury and, through cultural activities, be participants in the global conversation.
The brand-related fashion museum is the ultimate expression from the above, as many luxury brands have created singular spaces to show their cultural relevance and product heritage; a mix of commerce, mediatic exposure, philanthropy, and brand awareness (in-and-out digital platforms).
The Fondation Pierre Bergé- Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and Marrakech; Gucci Garden in Florence; the Fendi HQ- Museo della Civiltà Romana in Rome; The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris; The Fondazione Prada and Armani Silos in Milan, or Fundación Loewe in Madrid, they are an example of how patronage of a brand functions as a corporate communication tool.
In this way it contributes to shielding the brand’s reputation, associating it to a combination of cultural themes, from architecture to contemporary art, encouraging independent cinema, literature, plastic arts, video art, and a whole new range of musical expressions.
Fashion companies have taken a more extensive role around the worldwide business. It is the time to give back to society somehow. This should not just be a strategy, as it is a social duty to contribute to the global development of culture, to protect, promote and respect it for future generations.
Originally published at: ELLE Education Business > https://elle.education/en/business/fashion-museums-how-culture-works-as-a-brand-positioning-strategy/