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Leonie Barrie | 11 April 2005

I was surprised to hear that the power of fashion brands, logos and labels continues to decline. A new survey – the Brand Keys Fashion Index – has found that several major league sports didn’t make the cut onto its top 10 list this year. Apparel logos, labels and trademarks are also declining in importance according to the majority of the survey’s respondents. Even fashion-conscious younger adults (21 to 34) appear to be rejecting the use of clothing as a statement about themselves.

Of those brands that did make it onto the list, Ralph Lauren moved up and Tommy Hilfiger (which fell from the list in 2003) made a return. First-timers included: Isaac Mizrahi, Kate Spade and Dockers. However, the Gap disappeared from the Top 10 list among both men and women in all age segments. Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, points out that The Gap has had problems identifying a meaningful positioning – but that the hiring of singer Joss Stone as the new face of the brand may help it better communicate the basic Gap values. He adds that: “If you disappoint your consumers, you're bound to see disappointing returns.”


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