The Fashionista is in – Fashion marketing

Send me your shopping habits and I’ll analyze the data.

PHOTO COURTESY OHNOTHEYDIDN'T

PHOTO COURTESY OHNOTHEYDIDN’T

Kara Nesvig

Before I dive into this edition of Fashionista, I have to mention that I completely neglected to mention one of my favorite models, the gorgeous Crystal Renn, in last weekâÄôs âÄúModels 101.âÄù Ms. Renn, along with several other plus-size models, features prominently in the latest edition of V magazine. I think itâÄôs brilliant and advise you to check out a copy, but I think I bought the last one at Coffman Union. Speaking of Coffman, I have just returned from a browsing of our handy-dandy campus bookstoreâÄôs fashion section, however scant it is. Unfortunately, I forgot that Kelly CutroneâÄôs new book, âÄúIf You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You,âÄù which IâÄôm dying to get my hands on, comes out today. Expect a brief review of it later. Kelly woes aside, I did notice that there are like three books about Michelle ObamaâÄôs style, which struck me as rather odd. OK, I get it, Michelle looks great 89 percent of the time, but IâÄôm not sure sheâÄôs fabulous enough to warrant a small collection of books devoted to the fact that she wore Jason Wu to the Inaugural Ball. Fashion people love churning out books. It seems that for every definitive volume, like The SartorialistâÄôs photo book that IâÄôm still paging through, thereâÄôs another inspirational, aspirational guide to personal style. Isaac Mizrahi, IâÄôm looking at you. Stick to being a TV personality. ItâÄôs much the same with magazines, a topic IâÄôm passionate about. For every vapid and blasé issue of American Elle or Vogue, thereâÄôs something amazing, like my favorite, Love, which is run by British stylist extraordinaire Katie Grand. (The last Vogue, with Rachel McAdams on the cover talking about how normal she is because she gets up at 5 A.M. to do yoga, made me anti-Vogue again. Way to go, guys, I was totally on your side for a while there.) Luckily Coffman has a bunch of these beauties, and they donâÄôt ignore the dudes either. A certain BFF of mine stalks the shelves until they get in imports like Man About Town and AnOther Man, both of which I enjoy as an alternative to the relatively bland American menâÄôs fashion and lifestyle magazines. While I was in New York, I picked up my friend LindsayâÄôs copy of âÄúGen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing RetailâÄù and was absolutely fascinated by its content. I mean, I know that those of us born between 1978 and 2000 like to shop, know how to work the system and depend on technology to communicate about purchases. I definitely take pictures of myself in prospective purchases in the dressing room and picture message them to trusted friends. However, the authors of this book, a reporter and a consumer psychologist, have gone about their fairly standard research and made it fun and compelling at the same time. Because weâÄôre such a tech-based generation, of course retailers are making iPhone apps alerting us to sales at our favorite stores and re-tweeting all of our product mentions and endorsements. âÄúGen BuYâÄù also talks about âÄúmarketing to Millennials,âÄù which is the lame-ass nickname weâÄôve been pegged with. While IâÄôm shopping, which is quite often, I forget that IâÄôm constantly being marketed to. âÄúGen BuYâÄù reminded me that the business of shopping is actually a business for more people than IâÄôd thought. And so IâÄôm posing this question/challenge hybrid to all of you. I know people read Fashionista because I get letters to the editor about it, so help me out. I want to know the shopping habits of the University of Minnesota population. IâÄôm fascinated by this. I want you darling readers to answer a few questions for me. Think of yourself as cute little guinea pigs that wonâÄôt wind up as an entrée at Chino Latino. E-mail me your answers to [email protected] PLEASE. The Fashionista Shopping Habits Questionnaire 1. Who are you? Age/year in school/major/gender. 2. How often do you shop? 3. What do you shop for? 4. How much do you think you spend per month on âÄúunnecessaryâÄù things? (Think pleasure items like clothes, makeup, electronics, books that arenâÄôt schoolbooks, etc.) 5. Are you influenced by technology-based marketing like Twitter promotions? 6. Do you read consumer-based blogs, be they fashion blogs, product review blogs, etc.? This is something IâÄôm really interested in learning about, so please, take five minutes off from your daily Facebooking and help out your friendly fashion columnist.