Fashion Photo shoot to establish fashion brand personality - woman in full moon night in street in Venice, California

Creating a Captivating Personality for a Fashion Brand

Personality is what every creator of a fashion brand wants for his or her creation. So the fashion line is instantly recognized and associated with good emotions. Just one look at a piece of clothing, a fleeting appearance of the logo, a photo of one of the designs… and it is recognized like a well-known melody or the face of a friend.

Is this at all possible? When we recognize a friend at the blink of an eye or a melody after only a few seconds – isn’t this something very different from a fashion brand? Isn’t a brand much more abstract than the face of a friend or a piece of music? Yes, at the beginning every fashion brand is abstract and devoid of emotions like a stranger in the subway. But once you get to know that stranger he can turn into a friend. Our task here is clear: to turn a fashion brand into a friend.

Experience instead of Branding – Personality

A brand is not a person – how can it have a personality? It can’t have a personality itself, but can be represented by people and their personality is what connects to audiences.

Human history is full of examples like that. We often see things as people. This is called anthropomorphization. Humans have pictured natural forces like the sun, the wind or the ocean as people – anthropomorphizing them as gods. In countless animated movies robots, toasters, cars, toys, animals are acting as if they were people.

The same can be done with a fashion brand. A fashion brand can appear to have a personality. Oh, branding, you might say. No, this is not branding. Branding is what a company says about itself. And, honestly, who listens to anyone talking about himself? Personality and character is what others say about you. This difference is crucial.

Shaping the Personality

We can create a Personality for the fashion label the same way as we can, for example, create a character in a novel or in a movie. We show him in stories. A story is an event where a character comes to a fork in the road, each option leading into another direction. The direction he takes gives us an idea who his is, what his personality is made of.

Building Personality 

Imagine a raging river. A little boy plays on the slope to the river. Suddenly he slips and slides down the slope towards the terrible water. A man comes by and sees the boy desperately trying to hold on to grass and small plants but his hands slip off and the kids falls into a white foaming wave and disappears under water.

The man climbs down the slope. The river is powerful and dangerous, thrashing against sharp rocks. The boy is nowhere to be seen. The man strips off his clothes and, without hesitating  jumps into the furious waves and disappears just like the boy did. We look but he doesn’t come back. Are they both lost now? But there, suddenly his head shows again. He is holding something in his arms. They boy. He has saved the kid.

When we see the man jump into the terrifying waters we know he’s one of the best. Others may have just called the police. All the police could have done is to search for the body. Others again would have even silently slipped away. But this one man risked his own life. We know: he is courageous and has high ethical standards, so high that he values them higher than his own life. He is the best of all possible people. We know who he is now. The same task awaits us for your fashion brand: who is your fashion brand?

Making a Fashion Company feel like a Human Friend

A fashion brand is just like the man we just showed a fictional character. Why fictional? Your fashion brand is real, it has real offices and production and real products worn by real people. That’s true. But personality is not a visible or sensually perceivable trait – which is why the same person can be seen differently by different people. Personality is a piece of fiction that rules reality. And we can create this fiction, this personality for a fashion brand by applying the rules of fiction.

Show, Don’t Tell

Remember, I didn’t show the man talking about his saving a boy. I showed him saving the boy. I showed the action to you by giving details. Show, don’t tell is the maxim of creating character, may it be for a movie character, a novel character, a real person whom we see acting – or a fashion brand. Stories show the character of the protagonist.

Once we have this personality in our mind we will always and quickly feel the signature melody and feeling that is connected to this personality. This is when you create a personality for your fashion brand – and it can also be done for your fashion brand. And it can win true friends like every great personality has: thousands, maybe even millions.

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If you are curious: see a few still images from Female Fashion Stories and Male Fashion Stories.

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