Tom Ford’s Spring Summer 2016, a failed marketing experiment

With a much anticipated viral experiment teased for almost a month on social media after skipping the official fashion week calendar, on Friday during Paris Fashion Week, Tom Ford released online a high energy disco music video starring Lady Gaga and several models dancing to the music of Nile Rodgers.

“Having a runway show has become so much about the creation of imagery for online and social media and watching a filmed fashion show can be like watching a filmed play [which is never very satisfying],” said Ford in a statement. “It was a great deal of fun to do and I think that the video captures the spirit of the collection in a way that a filmed traditional show would not have.”

While it may have been fun and technically well planned, the video was a huge disappointment, reflecting a confusing marketing communications strategy by Tom Ford which has yet to replicate the success of its menswear in womenswear for his own label.

From the ultra-private / no cameras and limited audience presentation of his first womenswear collection in his New York flagship store 4 years ago, which featured celebrities instead of models, Tom Ford’s latest video may well have been ideal for an H&M collaboration collection but certainly not for a fashion brand which is positioned, at least from a pricing point of view at the level of Chanel, Dior and Hermes.

Lady Gaga’s ‘star’ appearance in Tom Ford’s ‘surprising’ video was also a disappointing choice, given her declining stardom and her bunch of extravagant fashion experiments.

Ironically, the release of Tom Ford’s viral video coincided with Raf Simons’ superbly executed Spring Summer 2016 collection for DIOR in Paris with a gigantic ‘mountain’ of fresh flowers installation in a set up near the Louvre, which was live streamed online. Rihanna stole the limelight of the show in a spectacular pink dress which turned heads.