Friday, February 10, 2006

Marketing Neo-Victorian Kitsch Fashion

Fifteen years ago, Michal Negrin and her husband left Kibbutz Na’an in Israel to pursue the city lifestyle in Tel Aviv.
Michal had a personal passion for kitsch and designed her own jewelry.
She opened a small stall in the Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall where she sold her own jewelry creations.
She positioned her jewelry as Israeli Victorian romance.
Her first designs were pieces embroidered with lace and small colorful glass stones, that quickly became a hit.
As her designs became more popular, demand grew, and she decided to expand her business.
She positioned her designs as Neo-Victorian glittering and colorful pieces of jewelry.
Her branding message to her customers is that they buy into "a world of beautiful colors, dreams and the imagination, not bound to any formal or classical forms, thus combining and mingling colors - all based on Negrin’s tender, romantic style."
She moved from her home into a workshop, with a small store attached.
In 1993, her first flagship store opened in the heart of Tel Aviv's trendy Sheinkin Street.
Since then, her empire has expanded by leaps and bounds, with twelve Michal Negrin stores at major shopping malls and centers in Israel, and 39 stores from Japan and Hong Kong to France and the United States.
Negrin's creations can also be found at the counters of the most prestigious U.S. department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Henri Bendel and Marshall Fields.

The stores are not just shops, but Negrin "meccas".
Each shop is designed as veritable Victorian oasis encompassing everything in the Michal Negrin lifestyle, from jewelry to clothing to home accessories, such as decorative pillows and printed fabrics sold by the yard – not unlike the Laura Ashley shops in the ‘70s and ‘80s.Production is done in her Israeli factory in Bat Yom, where 150 immigrants from the CIS are employed.

The Negrin designs have been embraced by high-profile customers such as Britney Spears, Demi Moore, Nicole Kidman, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Kim Bassinger, Uma Thurman, Dustin Hoffman, Joni Mitchell, Celine Dion and Jane Seymour.
Negrin jewelry has also featured in Britney's music videos and in the latest movie of Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Michal Negrin Designs Ltd. is still growing and expending.

What are its success factors?
  • Stong and unique product positioning - shameless kitsch adorned with floral designs, images of angels and drawings of elaborately made-up ladies, radiating Victorian boudoir romance.
  • Riding the current fashion wave for elaborate necklaces, chandelier earrings and baroque jewelry.
  • Marketing a lifestyle and not just a piece of jewelry
  • Consistant branding in all designs as well as outlets
  • Subtle PR - tasteful ads, word-of mouth, celebrity promotion

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