“Just because something appears trivial does not mean it is any less powerful as a means of persuasion and outreach.”

This recent quote from a New York Times article called “What Michelle Obama Wore and Why it Mattered” caught my attention and resonates with me on a lot of levels. Having been the editor of a fashion magazine, I know that many people trivialize fashion’s role in society. However, it is an industry that influences all aspects of design and is truly part of our cultural reflection. It also feeds, houses and educates many people who are dependant on its economic success.

The same with the beauty industry. In 1992, a number of Canadian cosmetic companies banded together to create an organization called Look Good Feel Better for cancer patients. They offer clinics on hair and makeup with the belief that if a woman with cancer can be helped to look good, chances are she’ll feel better. http://lgfb.ca/en

Recently, I interviewed world renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders and he was talking about the luxury goods he designed. He told me about a recent posting that he had seen on Facebook where someone showed a beautiful photo of a luxury car. Someone posted the comment: do you know how many people can eat instead of this car? And someone else replied: do you know how many people did eat from this car?

Point taken. The New York Times quote applies to so many social media apps. And even to many tech inventions. Gaming may appear trivial but is hugely influential in outreach and not always in positive ways. Many top brands are trying to imitate the success of gaming in order to expand their growth.

If you’re a fan of the outgoing First Lady or even if you’re not, read the New York Times article by Vanessa Friedman. Style icon or not, Michelle Obama has definitely used her influence where and how she could, without delving into politics. That’s good work. It’s a good read. http://nyti.ms/2iJ3qYw

 

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