By Paul Pannone
2011 saw the start of a turnaround for the dead tuxedo business and lack of interest from consumers that did not want to be caught dead in one. Since 2000 the word tuxedo got a giggle from most consumers that thought about something old and unsanitary from the old days. Slowly and with the help of some leaders in the occasions and advertising business, things are improving and offer hope for the future.
In the fashion business strong support from tuxedo proponents like Jim Duhe helped make a difference in 2011.
“The people in the tuxedo business are starting to come around and realize the world doesn’t revolve around them but they exist to serve the public. They must listen to what the consumer is saying and not try to force feed them what they think they might want. I’m happy to see some of the changes taking place this year and I will have more to say about it,” said Duhe in a recent interview.
Weddings are still the main business for formal wear but the prom market is an area where young adults are first exposed to the finer points of life. Celebration and reward for hard work, dedication and respect are the portal to adulthood and leading a good life. For years we’ve dealt with some really great people in the prom category and no one is more passionate than Linda Korman.
“You have to be passionate to deal with with the great group of young adults and help them see the options of dressing properly,” feels Korman.
Can you guess which one is Linda? Having her own girls go through the prom right of passage, Linda is very aware of the process.
Unequaled in the business, Korman’s passion and understanding of the prom market is amazing. Dress manufactures and nearly every segment of the market look to her ability and value her thoughts– except one. Linda and many other advertisers say they’re saddened to watch how the tuxedo deteriorated over the past decade. That’s why the turnaround they saw in 2011 was a cause for celebration.
Linda and other members of Heart Publications decided the tuxedo could not die. Tailor-made advertising and promotional packages were designed to encourage advertisers to show their lines for the future to get tuxedos in front of hundreds of thousands of potential grooms.
Enter Jane Fort;
The next scheduled issue of Teen Prom comes out December 27th and will feature all the latest dresses and tips for teens attending their prom next season. Anticipating the return of the tuxedo, the organization set out to find the latest styles and the most reputable people to make sure their readers were given the right information.
Jane Fort is the Editor in Chief, for TeenPROM. She became editor-in-chief of TeenPROM magazine in 1999. Under her helm, TeenPROM has expanded into the largest prom magazine on the market. In addition to prom, Jane is an expert in the teen genre and has been a mentor to teen girls as the editor of Teen, All About You, Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazines.
When Jane looked for tuxedos she turned to the highly respected 1888mytuxes – the same people who supplied tuxedos to Live! With Regis and Kelly for a decade. 1888mytuxes supplied formal wear products by Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Joseph Abboud and the Situation, made by the premier tuxedo manufacturer, FLOW Formal.
“We wanted to make sure we were using only the best products and get them on time,” says Jane Fort.
According to Fort tuxedos are a part of the right of passage that young adults need to be swayed towards, so that when they look back on pictures years from now they won’t be sorry for making choices that are not timeless.
Fort and others at Hearst Publications still adhere to traditional morals, standards and agree the tuxedo is an integral part of the process. The importance of tuxedos diminished along with Casual Friday and took an express train out-of-town when American production shifted outside the United States. But in that decade of decline tuxedos could be on a rebound, as a nation realizes the importance of our own sovereignty and looks to reestablish some of the jobs lost to oversea competition.
Look for Teen Prom magazine on the 27th of December.
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