1. In the last days prior to Fashion Week, what’s your state of mind and what are you thinking about?
A better question might be what am I not thinking about! We are a VERY small company, and so much goes into the presentation, that I’m involved in so many different things. The final days are always consumed with last minute changes to looks, fittings, alterations, more fittings… then there is the actual presentation…. Working with my PR team at Agentry to make sure it all goes down, and goes down perfectly… naturally, some things don’t work out the way we set out for them to but it always works out…. We call these the “happy accidents”.
As for state of mind… “tranquilo”… we try to keep things calm. What’s the sense for freaking out... it never accomplishes anything.
2. How important is social media to your business: are you everywhere – bricks-and=mortar, e-commerce, TV, Twitter and Facebook, 24/7, and are you live streaming your show?
It’s a huge part of who we are. We’re very active on Twitter and facebook…. We’ll soon be launching a tumblr… and of course, there’s our website, www.carloscampos.com. This summer we opened our first store in the US on Orchard Street in NYC…. So we are bricks, mortar and electricity and data! In this climate, you really do need to be out there, but everywhere…. no. These, are all great tools to build your brand… but at the end of the day, it’s the design, quality and vision.
3. Given the current economic picture, how confident are you about the spring season?
2011 has been a tremendous year for me and for the brand. With this energy and momentum we are very confident that spring could be our biggest season yet.
4. What do you think consumers will be looking for come spring?
Spring always brings a feeling of optimism, of rebirth and color. It’s what makes the season such a tremendous time for not only fashion. I think they will be looking for color, and colors that are a little different in tone.
5. Do you agree with the concept of buy now/wear? And, if so, what can be done to better facilitate that timing?
Buy now/wear and Hi-Low is so important now. I love the whole concept of buy now/wear; it’s a reflection of how people’s lives really are. But it all needs to be balanced with pieces requiring a longer burn… like a really great tailored suit. Sometimes you need to wait a little too… makes wearing it all the more fun!
6. Studies show that brands must create an emotional connection with consumers through a compelling story. Do you think you accomplish that with your brand and, if so, how?
Wow, yes of course. I always describe Carlos Campos brand as “Classic American Style with a deep Latin Influence.” It’s who we are because that’s who I am. I’m a Latin American- American. We consistently have woven this into our collections. It’s the classic American look that is filtered through the lens of Latin American culture. This story… is seen in the influences whether it be in the muse of the great Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda for Fall 2011 -- or in Spring 2012, being so deeply influenced by the colors of Mayan, Incan and Aztec culture. Narratives are big in Latin American culture – we love a good story!
7. Research also indicates that consumers have transitioned from conformity – embracing whatever trend is hot – to customization; something special for them. Is this true of your end-user and, if so, how do you accommodate that customer?
Our collection is really designed to be interchangeable with other aspects of the collection. It all goes together so, you can really create your own look…but, more importantly, we also really acknowledge that the most important component of any outfit is the person inside of it. Style goes so much deeper than just what is on your back, it’s also what’s on your mind. This truth is in our DNA… I often say that you don’t wear my collection as much as it wears you.