By Paul Pannone
Since kicking off their 2014 campaign featuring the world-famous Coney island in Brooklyn, New York, The tuxedo world has seen and felt what’s been lacking in the business for decades: excitement. The tired tuxedo business has been beaten down by lower marriages, more competition and the general decline of formality since its peak in 2000.
FLOW launched their 2014 season at Coney Island last month. The images and product styles were well-received at industry trade shows.
It’s been over a decade of finger-pointing where manufacturers blame retailers for not buying and supporting new products, while retailers say there’s been nothing to buy. Redundancy and lack of innovation in style creation, leading to lack of advertising and marketing leads us to the current condition of a very ill business. That’s the bad newZ; the good newZ is that it’s changing. For some– they’re called front-runners– it’s already changed.
The world got its first look at FLOW’s 2014 Campaign last month. But This newZ source is preparing to announce a new designer known world-wide that will elevate the use of men’s tuxedos even further.
Excitement is building from eWedNewZ media sources who will only tell the truth. Jane Fort of Hurst Publications is a big proponent of formal wear for the men to go with new dress styles by magazine’s advertisers. Jim Duhe of Bridal Guide, also a big supporter and friend to formal wear, told eWedNewz he’s excited to see the new campaign.
“These images (and now video) are great; I cannot wait to share them,” Duhe told eWedNewz when FLOW launched 2014 last month.
Duhe and other members of the Wedding Water Cooler say they share in the excitement. Dorinda Duclos, wedding industry personality and member of thew cooler has also taken a liking to the business and manages to talk about tuxedos every Friday on a morning online show called Black Tie Follow Friday; a virtual gathering that includes music, food, laughs and fashion.
“How boring would it be if we didn’t have tuxedos?” Dorinda said when conceiving the weekly show.
Other esteemed members of the cooler including Steve Lang, owner and CEO of Mon Cheri, has actively been involved in promoting men’s formal wear. With popular brands including Tutera, Tony Bowls, Kathy Hilton and Ireland, James Clifford and others, Lang knows the importance of having a groom look his best on the biggest day of his life. Lang’s noted role in fighting online piracy and working together with other wedding industry groups earns him a special place in the wedding apparel fashion business and its well-being.
Active support given to the tuxedo business over the past two years is not by chance. Daily discussions involving the troubles facing the business, including the ongoing use of expired (I’m being kind) merchandise has hurt the business and will continue to do so unless the mentality of the store owner changes to meet the demand of consumers. Which brings us to the fun part of this story.
Jacqui Wordsworth of the WWC had this to say after seeing the video by FLOW. “Paul, that video is awesome and I’m guessing you chose the music! Great, Great, and Great. and it’s geared to please the female mind, which generally decides where her man is getting his tux. it has manly pleasing features too, don’t get me wrong. Data states that women buy differently than men do; with the background and surroundings being more important than the real product. Sort of a product with the feeling of the ad….so major score for FLOW. our business is all about buying the feeling, and your commercial hits the nail on the head.”
Wadsworth is a successful bridal retailer for many years and is well-aware of the difficulties in running a retail operation. In further discussion Wadsworth is exploring new ways of how tuxedos– owning them to rent in her store– will help compliment her dress business.
What do you say? Are tuxedos on a comeback road to recovery or on skid row?
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