The Controversy of Being On Top

In a new blog post on the CommsWomen platform, Sasha Hull, a student at the University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences, analyses an article on fashion brand campaigns by Alexandra Cruchinho,  Rodrigo Peixoto, José Carlos Neves,  Ana Sofia Marcelo, Selma Pereira, and Carlos Gil published in Clothing Cultures journal by Intellect.

In a case study titled ‘Fashion brand campaigns: Carlos Gil SS21 case study,’ by Alexandra Cruchinho, Rodrigo Peixoto, José Carlos Neves,  Ana Sofia Marcelo, Selma Pereira, and Carlos Gil, the authors discuss how to use digital media in a step by step strategy to create brand awareness for new customers as well as brand visibility to communicate with current clients. Brand visibility can be measured using several sources such as search engines and social media platforms. During the pandemic, while resources were limited, brands such as Carlos Gil had to find a way to remain relevant while being sensitive to the state of the world. According to this case study, digital media became the “primary means for brands to reach consumers.” It is important to note that the consumer experience does not end with the purchase, but instead, that is only the beginning of the brand/consumer relationship. 

Part of being relevant in all things is making sure that the brand’s marketing and PR strategies are just as strong as the goods they produce. Without an extraordinary PR and marketing strategy, the brand could end before it even has a chance to take off. An example of this could be the Balenciaga Summer/Spring collection 2023. The brand was put on blast for sexualizing six young children who appeared in an ad campaign holding stuffed animal teddy bears “wearing BDSM-esque bondage gear, featuring fishnet tights, leather harnesses, and chains.” A crucial element in a brand’s marketing strategy should be the use of sample groups to obtain an honest image of the brand through the eyes of various ages, economic strata, and ethnicities. What Balenciaga should have done is show multiple groups of individuals the ad campaign with the brand name blocked out at the beginning and then again with the brand name visible. Are consumers reacting to the brand or are consumers reacting to the ad campaign?

Carlos Gil’s collection was successful in part because the entire team, from designer to stylist to marketing team to photographer, was all on the same page, wanting to create a cohesive and noteworthy brand. Gil’s collection proved that the brand can be unique in its approach while still hitting the marks in social acceptance, sustainability, and reputation. Gil compliments his team and acknowledges that the effort of the group is what constantly moves the brand forward. Gil shares, “Everyone’s contribution always results in a successful work that is well received by the collection’s target audience.”

While being relevant is important to growing the brand, staying true to what is right and honest is much more important in the long run. Staying focused on being authentic to the brand, as has historically been shown by designers such as Chanel and YSL, ensures that the brand will remain classic, innovative and creative for years to come. The fashion brands that will stand the test of time are the brands that interweave fashion, marketing, and digital consumer engagement.

A full article can be read using this link.


Cruchinho, A., Peixoto, R., Neves, J.C., Marcelo, A.S., Pereira, S., & Gil, C. (2021). Fashion brand campaigns: Carlos Gil SS21 case study. Clothing Cultures, 8(2), 113-134. 

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