Project Runway started its 6th season recently with a bang. The producers got the brilliant idea to bring back 8 top designers from the past seasons to have a “where are they now” face off: “Project Runway: All Star Challenge.” It debuted last Thursday on Lifetime.
The two hour special featured many of our favorite contestants from past seasons of Project Runway including my favorite reality star Santino. It was a huge lead in to the season premiere. I do not have many TV shows that I try to watch religiously, but Project Runway is one. This hugely popular show, hosted and created by Super Model Heidi Klum, made a surprising switch of networks from Bravo to Lifetime, but that hardly could keep diehard fans away.
Now, let’s get to how all of this is connected to niche marketing. The person who took top honors on this special All Star Challenge was the Daniel Vosovic (Season 2 finalist.) I wasn’t a huge fan of four pieces that Daniel designed, except for his black and white evening look for the red carpet which I did think was fierce. The judges for this special challenge were fashion editor Nina Garcia, designer Michael Kors, Heidi Klum and guest judge, legendary designer Diane Von Furstenberg.
While all of the four finalists created amazing designs, clearly worthy of a fashion week solo showing, what the judges said about Daniel’s collection struck me as something that could help any small business owner. Michael Kors said that what he liked about Daniel’s collection was that each piece was designed for the same woman. Designer Daniel Vosovic could see the face of his customer. He knew who his client was and designed his mini collection with her specific point of view. Whereas the other designers showed more versatility, Daniel’s collection was for a specific niche client. Daniel’s client would never rock an evening gown on the red carpet so he did not make one. Diane Von Furstenberg judged his red carpet creation as “perfect.”
The other challenge contenders were Korto Momolu (Season 5 finalist), Chris March (Season 4 finalist), Sweet P (Season 4 contestant) were also in the final 4. Daniel won $100,000 and a trip for two to Paris and a fashion spread in Elle Magazine. His first collection debuts in February 2010.
In the face of competition of equal quality, niche marketing is an excellent way to stand out in a crowded marketplace or on the runway.
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