It doesn’t get more French than Saint Laurent – a sentiment which has been extended to its newest venture, a podcast entitled ‘Smoking’. Dropping weekly, the podcast will see guests in conversation within a “secret, smoky room within the Saint Laurent Rive Droite store in Paris“. Speaking on the plans, the brand stated that “The subdued lighting allows the guests to be completely uninhibited and open during their intimate exchanges as they broach every subject, even the most controversial, simultaneously reflecting the DNA of Saint Laurent.” Intriguing.
However, this isn’t the first time this year that we’ve heard about iconic maison’s making noise. Just a couple of weeks ago, Bottega Veneta took to the airwaves for its latest venture into sound – Bottega Radio. Launching an ongoing show on London’s very own NTS Radio, we’re now able to tune into the sweet sweet sounds of Bottega on a regular basis. The brand’s first show went live on the 7th April, and will become a monthly feature on NTS, where you can catch it on the Bottega Veneta app or NTS’ own site. For the debut offering, Tim Zha and Jazmin from Como La Flor set the tone with a curated mix of chilled electronic music and the brand even threw a launch party with live music and sets.
Similarly, we saw Balenciaga release a series of curated playlists on Apple Music back in 2020 – with playlists like ‘Demna’s Playlist’ and musical collaborative efforts with RuPaul. For each, the brand would also release a merch drop instore and online. The latest, with French artist Aya Nakamura, tapped into the typical tour merch aesthetic – embellishing vivid photorealistic images with wordart and co-branding.
But why all the noise surrounding fashion and sound? Well, as all arts are, the two are undeniably linked. Fashion shows, for one, would not be as impactful without the carefully considered tracks. It’s imperative for a brand to select a track that not only compliments the collection, but encapsulates its audience from the get-go. Classic vs. contemporary, lyrics vs. continuous beat, a chart topper vs. composing your own song; with so many options available, it seems almost too easy to get it wrong.
Perhaps this is why these fashion houses are honing their musical interests and endeavours outside of fashion week’s scheduled programming, then – choosing to explore and discover sounds all year round to better inform the fleeting shows. Another explanation would be that to exist in today’s age, brands have got to capture the attention of, and extend their audience by any means necessary. Or any sense necessary. Tapping into sounds offers brands the opportunity to expand their reach into new industries and markets, essentially furthering their reach and reputation.
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