May 27, 2024

Redefining cool in fashion: Galeries Lafayette's take on circularity and creativity

Redefining cool in fashion: Galeries Lafayette's take on circularity and creativity

In 2020, I wrote a report called (Re)ACT: Creating value in a post hyper-consumption era. The objective was to explore new consumption models – buying better, buying less, buying differently – and investigate how emerging habits such as reusing, repairing or renting could be not just more eco-friendly but also positively impact the brand-customer relationship.
In other words, how reshaping consumption by enabling consumers to play a more active role and contribute to value creation could build more respectful models and more meaningful connections

Recently, Galeries Lafayette has launched "Le Nouveau Cool", an in-store event built around a series of talks and workshops, whose branding illustrates the change that has taken place over the last 4-5 years: 
1/ Circularity is no longer the preserve of niche brands or of companies defined primarily by their eco-consciousness

2/ The focus is shifting from product to action, with the emergence of a model in which "the new cool" is defined by customers' ability to be active and creative ("Renew, recycle, repair, resell" vs. just buying off-the-rack items) 

The visual chosen for the campaign sums up the whole philosophy: a DIY, couture-like dress made from a variety of fabrics, textures and colours combined with fresh, bold makeup and styling that conjures up a sense of premiumness and emphasizes the brand's ambition to usher in a new era of fashion. 

What I find most interesting is the campaign's celebration of creativity and uniqueness: an approach that goes way beyond circularity and embraces the idea of an emotional connection, i.e. the ability to develop a meaningful relationship with a one of a kind objects, each infused with a story. 

As fashion's overproduction problem is coming to the fore (see Vinted's recent campaign or the normalization of outfit repeating), encouraging more thoughtful consumption models and creating a space for more respectful and more desirable products may well be the beginning of a solution – "Buy less, choose well, make it last", as Vivienne Westwood famously put it.