Field Impressions: What I Saw

By preparing these past position papers and studying authors such as Heidegger, McLuhan, Geertz, Benjamin, and more, I have been able to observe the world in a way I hadn’t been able to before. When researching for my first and second field observation papers, I wanted to educate the CEO of J. Crew on how beneficial it would be for the company to implement an athletic wear collection as well as advertise using a celebrity endorsement due to the continuing success of large companies like Nike and Under Armour as well as lower tier companies who are also adding athletic wear into their collections. I was able to observe and study the “athleisure” trend that is becoming more and more popular. I was able to recognize that not only myself and my college cultured peers contributed to this trend but individuals in shopping malls, city street, and local cafes all contributed to the trend.

In my final paper, I wanted to be able to research on a whole different topic but still involve the mainstream companies, instead of fast fashion or luxury brands, like the J. Crews and Victorias Secrets.

 

Preliminary Conclusions*

The discussions in class, the thoughts and notions of various authors and my research on the position papers have contributed to open my mind and make me realize that our society doesn’t really change, concepts elaborated decades ago by Martin Heidegger or Georg Simmel are still valid.

I find really fascinating the fact that thanks to the globalization and technological progress, we live in a “global village” -to refer to Marshall McLuhan- that advocates the culture of the immediacy and gives us the impression to live in the most modern era with its own and specific issues whereas actually, real stakes and problems don’t change, simply because the true nature of the human being doesn’t change either.

We think that we are more cultivated or clever thanks to our knowledge of the past and the huge amount of information available, but we are not.

We think that we can examine and analyze the world and people around us as laboratory rats in order to establish universal truth whereas our judgement is distorted because subjective.

“All I know is that I know nothing”, simplistic but true, thank you Socrates.

Fieldwork

I did all of my fieldwork on the same company. I have stuck to Lilly Pulitzer for the streets and shops and pop culture paper. The question that I came up with was should Lilly Pulitzer open outlet stores for the cost conscious customer. I assumed that it would be a no brainer to people that they would want to see this since the dresses are pretty expensive for a cotton shift dress. But after what I saw and the articles I read, it’s the complete opposite. I picked this topic because I wear Lilly, but I could never spend $300 on a sundress. I have shopped the Target collection (which sold out in minutes) and find authentic dresses on Ebay. I never shopped Lilly with it’s original price tag, and assumed that others do the same, but it seems that out there women will pay whatever they want. I also found that women wear Lilly because they almost see the late Lilly Pulitzer as their spirit animal. She lived a lavish, fun and colorful life and that’s what these girls want. And that’s a big reason why sororities love it, other than it hides alcohol stain well. The position papers helped me look outside myself and opinions and realize that what I think should happen, doesn’t have to happen.

Field impressions:”What I saw”

Most of my field impressions that I did were all different companies however they were all similar in a way. Each position paper that I chose to write I pick a company that needed a solution to benefit an issue that is presented within their company.  My first position paper I wrote was on Victoria Secret and how it would be beneficial for their company to use plus-size model.  My second position paper I wrote was on Abercrombie & Fitch and how changing their marketing plan can make them appeal to a wider demographic. Then my third position paper I wrote on Lululemon and how a celebrity endorsement can increase their sales. My reason for picking these topics is because each three companies were brought in casual conversations with my friends that made want to analyze them some more.  For my final paper I decide to write about Victoria Secret again and lower their prices would be beneficial.  Overall the position papers help me gain a better understanding of this course.

What I Saw

While interning at PUMA this summer on their product development team I learned a lot. The most interesting thing, to me, that I saw was when I was in a fitting and they put the model in sweatpants that the rise was too low on him to be able to squat, run or do anything that involved working out. I was so confused why this was part of the new line so I was like wait why would a guy want to buy work out sweatpants when they can’t work out in them… and they told me that today people are wearing work out clothing while not even working out. I was like wow you guys are right! But i was surprised that they were actually making a sweat pant for that reason. So since then i have noticed how much i do that and how many people in my classes, when I’m out for coffee, in a grocery store, in a mall etc. how many people follow this trend. So for my fieldwork I just mentally noticed everywhere i went how many people were wearing athletic wear and weren’t in the gym. It was ALOT of people. So for my third paper I wrote about how PUMA can continue doing this with more “cool” looking athletic wear.. like how girls are wearing sports bras with cross crosses in the back or work out tanks with no backs just because they look cool and not because they are functional also with the influence Rihanna and Rickie Fowler has been on American consumers since they are so popular. So for my last paper I want to tie in my first paper on celebrities with my last 2 papers!

Field Impressions

For the first three papers, I chose my topics on events that were relevant in my life at the time. The first position paper I wrote was on Fast Fashion and how Forever21 needs to figure out a better way to fully grasp the concept. I chose this topic because I had recently gone to the mall and when I went in to Forever21, I felt the garments were dated. Secondly I wrote my paper on whether the H&M Balmain collaboration was too pricey for H&M’s customer base.  The reason I picked this paper was because the H&M Balmain collaboration has just made its big day beu and was covered on all forms of media. My most recent paper was on whether Gypsy Warrior should open and online store. Gypsy Warrior is small chain in the New Jersey/ New York area that needs to expand its brand by making a website. For my EOT paper I was planning on writing it on Fashion Media vs. Fashion illustration, how it has changed and how we still reference fashion illustrations. I was planning on using the knowledge that I learned from the previous papers to help me understand how to research for this paper but I might change the topic all together.  Possibly to something related to what I have already done but more specific.

Field Impressions: What I Saw

For my first fieldwork I looked at advertisements of Michael Kors in physical magazines as well as advertisements on social media accounts. I also looked at the clientele of Michael Kors in a local shopping mall. I chose this specific fieldwork because I was interested in showing the brand how they are marketing their advertisements towards the wrong clientele. For my third position paper my field work was looking mostly online. The understanding of fieldwork has helped me analyze and understand the world of fashion. For my EOT paper I intend to look at the Michael Kors brand again and social media. I will be making the brand aware of street fashions that are made popular from the streets and then made popular from social media platforms.

Fieldwork

For my fieldwork I chose to study the ZARA in the providence place mall and in particular their customer service. ZARA virtually does not have the best reputation for customer service. They send orders that are incomplete or defected and then when the customer calls to correct them they are not handled properly. So I decided to go and see how the in store customer service was handled. And in store the customer service was not horrible it just seemed as if they were not trained properly. So I used this fieldwork to provide steps ZARA can do to work on their customer service. And how it will benefit them.

Field Impressions

Most of the field impressions I found were quite familiar. It is if I did not have to go out and look. It came to me. For instance within the first position paper I simply walked in the providence place mall where I work and examined inside the stores. Also as a Millennial I am naturally social media savvy and nowadays the fashion brand has adjusted itself making their field of work more transparent towards consumers. Within my group last Tuesday a fellow student discussed how Snap Chat is becoming a trend even with the worlds most luxurious designers. For the final paper, I will keep in mind real time which is updated blogs/websites or news will keep me informed about my client which is the luxury clothing brand Gucci. I am explore the accessibility of luxury brand and its exclusivity that it tries to promote, and how it negativity effects their sales.

Field Impressions: What I Saw

I can safely say that the fieldwork I completed this semester has in fact helped me gain a better understanding of the fashion world. By breaking down and analyzing a specific issue that’s present in the industry I was able to gain an actual opinion on the matter. For my fieldwork I chose to discuss the role which sustainable and organic fashion plays in the industry. I chose to specifically talk about popular designer Stella McCartney and her line of sustainable and “vegetarian” products. I compared her way of production and design with the brands who promote fast fashion instead. Because sustainability is an ongoing issue in society by completing multiple topics of fieldwork I was able to collect all kinds of data that relate back to reasons behind why some designers choose to be sustainable while others do not. For my EOT paper I will also be comparing sustainability products to popular brands for example H&M, and why and how this certain brand should promote sustainability for their brand.