Fashion Marketing Fails


Written by Madeleine Cowley
06 Monday 06th June 2011

Four months later, Jose Jorge Balderas Garza or El JJ, accused of shooting Paraguayan football star Salvador Cabañas was brought in wearing a similar item in blue.

The traffickers’ penchant for polo shirts has led to Ralph Lauren gaining popularity amongst Mexico’s disaffected youth, the kids who see narcos as role models have no qualms about shopping for fakes. Originals sell for about £90, but there is now a roaring trade for knock offs selling on the streets at a fraction of the price. Generating the kind of success a label would happily do without and deterring those carefully cultivated core customers.

Reminiscent of the situation the luxury label Burberry found itself in when its distinctive plaid became synonymous with trashy fashion, adopted by the WAGS, Daniella Westbrook and so called ‘chav culture’. The brand had quite a task in rescuing the design from market stall imitations without coming across as raging snobs.

Burberry are not alone in this predicament, the recent past is littered with cases of brand hijacking.

A decade ago, athletic footwear specialist, New Balance became a firm favourite of Neo Nazi groups in Germany, who drew parallels between the big "N" on the side of the shoe and the SS lightning strike, a recognised Nazi symbol. New Balance opted to undermine the right wing hijackers by supporting the other side and sponsoring music events such as Rock Against Racism.


In Germany and elsewhere in continental Europe British boxing sportswear label Lonsdale is associated with the extreme right. The letters NSDA, as contained in the brand’s name, are taken by far right supporters to be one letter short of the initials of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party-the National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (NSDAP). Those who have appropriated the brand often wear a jacket over the label so that only NSDA is visible.

Lonsdale's clothing has thus been forbidden in certain schools in the Netherlands and German mail order giant Quelle threatened to remove the brand from its collection due to its affiliation with neo-nazi supporters. The sports label has in the past refused to stock German retil outlets known to be popular with far right groups and has tried to improve it’s image by sponsoring immigrant and gay rights campaigns.

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