14 Dec MARKETING DIRECTOR JOHANNA WEIERMANN RETURNS TO GCU LONDON TO DELIVER POWERFUL LECTURE ON ETHICAL CONSUMPTION
On Friday December 7th 2018, the students from the British School of Fashion were able to attend a presentation by former GCU student and marketing expert Johanna Weiermann.
Having graduated with distinction from the MSc International Fashion Marketing programme at the British School of Fashion in 2016, Johanna went on building her career in Marketing and is now Global Marketing Director at 180 Degrees Consulting in Austria.
During her presentation, she focused on a topic she holds dear since the days of her final dissertation: ethical consumption in fashion and lifestyle.
On a Design point of view, she talked about copyright, inclusion and animal-based products: extremely delicate issues that need to be taken into consideration when developing a marketing plan and placing a new campaign in today’s hypersensitive society.
Worth mentioning are the recent mistakes made in terms of cultural appropriation and racism embodied by the latest Dolce and Gabbana campaign, which caused viral international backlash and climaxed in the withdrawal of the brand’s products from many Chinese retailers and Victoria’s Secret misuse and glamorization of traditional cultural costumes on the catwalk over the years.
Johanna also brought up interesting examples in terms of Sizism and Genderism, tracking down the history of pockets in female trousers (no, they should not be taken for granted!) and shining a light on the fact that female clothes have often a premium price just for being pink if compared to their counterpart version targeted to men.
On the Marketing front, Johanna talked about the changes that are having the strongest impact on the fashion industry, pointing out solutions for the raising overconsumption issue. The fact that trends in their ephemeral essence are considered to be out-dated might lead people to opt for “evergreens” that last through seasons as opposite to fast-fashion and this, combined with circular economy and the zero waste initiatives proposed by trailblazer brands like Patagonia, might help bring awareness and defeat hyper-consumerism.
Johanna then went on talking about marketing examplesof advertisements targeting sensitive people or excluding certain clusters of consumers: too often vulnerable audiences can be deceived by misleading slogans and too often the lack of a mirrored reference in society can lead to the normalization of certain taboos and end up in social ostracism.
Despite these issues being still too contemporary, things have been shaken up a little in the past couple of years: more and more brands are promoting inclusive ideals while also embracing a full-disclosure and total transparency approach and, although some people may consider activist slogans on t-shirts and boycott campaigns as a smart marketing move rather than real concern, they certainly start a conversation and perfectly encapsulate the trending call to action that has been echoing all over the world.
With her presentation, Johanna has given the students some food for thought and has raised ethical questions that resonate widely in today’s society.
By sharing her personal experience and path, she also gave career inputs that were most definitely needed and appreciated by all.