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Style for Sale

The heat wave has barely broken and we’re already talking about fall fashions. Or, at least, Saks Fifth Avenue is. According to The New York Times, the store has taken another tact with this year’s marketing because last year’s theme, “Wild About Cashmere,” was a bust. So this year, we have their “Want It!” campaign. Purses! Lipstick! Skinny jeans! Oh, how I lust for it all! But doesn’t that go without saying?

The heat wave has barely broken and we’re already talking about fall fashions.

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Or, at least, Saks Fifth Avenue is. According to The New York Times, the store has taken another tact with this year’s marketing because last year’s theme, “Wild About Cashmere,” was a bust.

So this year, we have their “Want It!” campaign. Purses! Lipstick! Skinny jeans! Oh, how I lust for it all! But doesn’t that go without saying?

Just last week I was in Paris, wandering around Galeries Lafayette along with swarms of others, pawing the new collections, sifting through leftover summer sale items. I only had one thought about the advertisement for the store, which is placed on the metro and in places throughout the city: It was the same ad I saw when I was there last August. It’s the profile of a gorgeous woman wearing a fitted turtleneck, hair tied back in a chignon, a model of the Eiffel Tower artfully tied to the crown of her head with a ribbon bearing the red, white and blue colors of the French flag.

When I saw it last year, I thought it was clever. This year, I think it’s even more so. The ad says everything – beauty, style, and the luxury of shopping in THE Parisian department store.

I’ve written previously about how far companies go to reach their target audience. This picture is worth a thousand lame ideas and gimmicks. Saks has the biggest selling point for its shop right in its name –Fifth Avenue. Tourists and fashionistas flock to this iconic avenue. And the store reeks of the glamour and decadence that we seek when we’re shopping at a premier Manhattan store. My aunt still has a wallet that she bought from Saks decades ago, pulling it out as proof of how fashionable she is. Why not play to that strength? It’s an image that never goes stale – Saks Fifth Avenue as a unique and lovely snapshot of the haute couture side of New York City.

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