By Glenn S. Demby, Esq.
Respondents to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey have waxed poetic about the need for personal connection between brand and customer for years. But while the objective remains the same, the tactics are changing. Forging personal connections now requires engagement at the community level. “Today’s consumer judges brands not just by quality but the social values they represent,” according to one Survey respondent.
Fur Free Fashion
Fashion licensors have been among the most scrupulous in aligning their brands with the right causes (or at least making sure their brand isn’t associated with the wrong ones). Environmental and animal protection causes are particularly big in the fashion space. On Tuesday, The Armani Group made an agreement with The Humane Society and Fur Free Alliance to stop using fur in all of its products starting with its fall 2016 collections. In a public statement, Giorgio Armani said the move reflects the company’s “attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals.”
Armani is hardly alone. Other high profile fashion designers and brands that have recently adopted fur free policies include Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney and Ralph Lauren.
Whether you laud it as a moral stand or condemn it as “politically correct” pandering to environmental and animal rights groups, fur free fashion is gaining strength and may be a harbinger of how social causes will shape brands in the years ahead—in not only fashion but all licensing sectors.