By Paul Pannone
It’s being called the biggest boon to the men’s formal wear category since the 1980’s Dynasty Collection carried as much clout in marketing and styling. But since we’re bashing 30 year-old styles and the people who screw consumers renting them an ongoing eWedNewz story involving updated styles and marketing is having an impact to both consumers and a very old and tired tuxedo business.
The Situation is clear; holy roller heart rates have risen, competitors of FLOW that can’t compete are banging their heads against a wall, undecided stragglers are waiting… and waiting… and waiting. But smart tuxedo stores have placed orders and are building campaigns around the millions of eyes that will be looking for fresh, new formal wear products next season.
Heart rates and palpitations went skyrocketing over the summer when FLOW Formal and the Situation teamed up to reinvent how tuxedos look and how they’re presented to a new generation of users. So far, sales are led by a style called the Avalon, getting the majority of attention in the line.
The Situation, Mike Sorrentino, is seen wearing the coat on national television and public social events viewed by millions of consumers, creating awareness and demand that will hit in the spring when the need for formal wear traditionally rises and peaks in May.
Discussions with tuxedo experts cannot deny the positive publicity for tuxedos has been outstanding but some are not yet totally convinced it won’t be more than a fad. On the far reaches of sound business decisions, marketing and association with the Jersey Shore celebrity raised the blood pressure of some holy rollers in the business that are convinced the move is funded by Satan himself. Most fell silent when their websites still display outdated styles and merchandise from decades ago and would not discuss the deception and lack of value presented to their customers. Efforts to communicate with them are ongoing.
Apart from personal preference and religious beliefs, smarter tuxedo sources like Mike Pantano of Tuxedo Junction in New Jersey told eWedNewz he’s playing it safe by adding the Situation brand for next season. Pantano and others say they’re betting on the promotion and marketing that’s relentlessly beating the tar out of the rest of the tuxedo manufacturers that still rely on “B” rated, fictitious brands and traditional advertising.
Ed Honeycutt of Mr. Tuxedo in Oregon said the marketing and awareness is unprecedented in the tuxedo business but took a wait and see approach for 2012, feeling the Avalon is not a wedding style that will rent beyond a six-to-eight week period.
Contradicting the idea, eWedNewz has discovered one operator that went directly to brides for the answer.
According to Dante Zeller Tuxedo in New York & New Jersey, the new Avalon style received rave reviews at recent shows. “Many buyers commented that it would be a fabulous prom coat and also felt it would be a great choice for a fashion conscious bride & groom!” quoted Nick Pietroniero, owner of Dante Zeller in an interview conducted by My Fabulous Day.
Pietroniero and other savvy operators like him understand the power of celebrity branding and have jumped on board early to get a leg up on competitors that remain undecided. Some told eWNz they expect a shortage of product during peak season demand, as the Situation brand continues to grow. Currently the Situation has nearly 4 million Face Book fans and over a million on Twitter.
eWedNewz is watching the orders for the Avalon and the growing distribution for the style across the country. A commitment made by FLOW continues to resonate in the world of tuxedos. The company is investing a significant amount of money into all systems of manufacturing and technology including a relaunch of www.tuxedos.com that will be at the heart of connecting consumers to products in their local area.
eWedNewz continues to monitor this story closely and welcomes your thoughts. Post them here or contact us at Paul@eWedNewz.com or 516-312-0090
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