Sunday, September 14, 2008

Will Parkas go Viral This Fall?

VP candidate or fashion icon: Palin's style sparks buying frenzy

Fashion companies have discovered a lucrative new marketing vehicle: Sarah Palin. Since John McCain chose her last month as his running mate, Palin’s personal style has sparked a buying frenzy. Many women are snapping up her choices of shoes and eyeglasses and blogging about which brand of lipstick she wears.

Hairstylists and wig sellers report sudden demand for her trademark up-dos. Indeed, the brands behind Palin’s fashion taste have gone into overdrive seeking to cash in on the association.

On Wednesday, issued a news release boasting that it has wigs and hair pieces “that reflect the new looks made popular by Sarah Palin,” along with style tips to “instantly” achieve the swept-back style.

“Obviously we’re going to get a jump from this,” says Joe Aronesty, owner of

In the past week, the company has sold about 25 Palin-esque wigs, ranging in price from $100 to the “Bargain Sarah Palin” wig for $46.

“And it’s not even close to Halloween,” Aronesty says. Early next week, Aronesty plans to send a newsletter to his 25,000 subscribers highlighting Palin wig options and styling tips.

Fashion firms have long boasted when celebrities and first ladies wore their clothing and accessories, of course. Jacqueline Kennedy lent cachet to Oleg Cassini gowns and Halston pillbox hats during the 1960s.

This year, the sight of Michelle Obama in a $148 black-and-white tank dress on ABC’s “The View” in June helped popularize Chico’s FAS Inc.’s White House-Black Market brand. But the prospect of having a national candidate who is a former beauty queen and in the news every day is even better for business, many fashion companies say.

Palin’s spokeswoman, Maria Comella, declined to comment on any aspect of the governor’s personal style.

Jay Randhawa, a brand director at House of Brands Inc. in San Diego, says he was surprised to learn that Palin was introduced as McCain’s vice-presidential choice wearing a red pair of peep-toe pumps with 3½-inch heels.

The shoes, marketed by his company’s Naughty Monkey line, generally are geared to women in their early to mid-20s who go clubbing, he says.

“The age bracket we target is a little younger. It’s a very edgy, very hip, very street brand,” adds Randhawa.

Not exactly Paris Hilton

Celebrities like Paris Hilton had been photographed in the brand’s shoes, but seldom, if ever, a 40-something politician.

Randhawa says he realized that Palin’s footwear choice offered the chance to pitch the Naughty Monkey line to a new demographic. The company quickly sent out emails to its retailers with a photo of the Alaska governor wearing the shoes and the slogan “I vote for Naughty Monkey!”

At Inc.’s shoe unit, sales of the red Naughty Monkey shoes shot up 50 percent, to thousands of pairs, says Randhawa.

Naughty Monkey Women's Double Dare Pump

1 comment:

Laree said...

This is what I wear:)