Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Sparks Fashion Frenzy!

If we should take public opinion polls with a grain of salt, cognizant of sampling variation and error margins, what should we make of the consumer marketplace?

Well, when it comes to Sarah Palin, market trends may be leading political indicators.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, the Alaska Governor's setting off a fashion craze, from upswept hairdos to Naughty Monkey pumps (shown in photo below):

Sarah Palin

Fashion companies have discovered a lucrative new marketing vehicle: Sarah Palin.

Since John McCain chose her last month as his running mate, Gov. Palin's personal style has sparked a buying frenzy. Many women are snapping up her choices of shoes and eyeglasses and blogging about which brand of lipstick she wears. Hairstylists and wig sellers report sudden demand for her trademark up-dos. Indeed, the brands behind Gov. Palin's fashion taste have gone into overdrive seeking to cash in on the association.
Palin's choice of footwear appears to be especially significant:

Jay Randhawa, a brand director at House of Brands Inc. in San Diego, says he was surprised to learn that Gov. Palin was introduced as Mr. McCain's vice-presidential choice wearing a red pair of peep-toe pumps with 3½-inch heels. The shoes, marketed by his company's Naughty Monkey line, generally are geared to women in their early to mid-20s who go clubbing, he says.

"The age bracket we target is a little younger. It's a very edgy, very hip, very street brand," adds Mr. Randhawa.

Celebrities like Paris Hilton had been photographed in the brand's shoes, but seldom, if ever, a 40-something politician.

Mr. Randhawa says he realized that Gov. Palin's footwear choice offered the chance to pitch the Naughty Monkey line to a new demographic. The company quickly sent out emails to its retailers with a photo of the Alaska governor wearing the shoes and the slogan "I vote for Naughty Monkey!"
Checking around online turned up a blog post titled, "Sarah Palin Knows How to Work a Sexy Pair of Red Shoes."

I keep shaking my head about all of this.

For many, Palin's fashion sense may be more important than ideology, which in turn may
help the GOP capture the youth vote, a demographic analysts thought Barack Obama had all sewn up.

Photo Credit: "For her debut beside Senator McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin chose a slim black skirt suit with surprisingly sexy shiny red heels adorned with some serious hardware. Check out the French manicured toes! Her one accessory? An American flag pin, what else," Los Angeles Times.