There’s always been politics in fashion, what might be less obvious is that there’s fashion in Daniel Andrews.
New research from the award-winning strategic insights consultancy Nature has found high consumer awareness of – and a willingness to buy – the North Face brand since the Premier of Victoria has been wearing it in front of the microphone during media conferences over the past year.
Unprompted awareness of North Face is double among the 44% of Australians who have watched Mr Andrews’ media conferences compared with people who have not tuned in.
Prompted awareness of the brand is highest in Victoria, at 62%, compared with 41% in other states.
The impact of North Face’s higher visibility is positive: 56% of people who have seen Mr Andrews’ media conferences say they are now likely to buy a North Face product in the future, compared with 41% who have not seen his media conferences – despite, or perhaps because of, Mr Andrew’s penchant for the brand often being the subject of satirical media coverage.
The brand has permeated youth culture as seen by the rise in memes and social media sharing of Mr Andrews in North Face since his first media conference.
Nature Managing Partner, Chris Crook, said: “Fashion is an intrinsic part of visual communication, and the wardrobe choices of our political advisors have been making headlines for years. Who could forget the controversy that came with Barack Obama’s tan suit in 2014?
“While it’s usually controversy that follows politicians and their fashion choices, we’re surprised, and just a little delighted, to find that Dan Andrews has had the opposite affect on North Face – despite they controversy that has followed him as a politician over the past 12 months.”
Nature Partner, Paddy Cain, added: “Not surprisingly, Australians’ political alignment had a strong influence on their feelings about North Face, with 15% of Labor supporters feeling positive about the brand. But twice that number of Liberal voters felt more negatively towards the brand.
“We can assume that the brand already had a political lean prior to Dan Andrews wearing it, but Dan has certainly had a tangible impact in creating further division between political parties and people being either fans or non-fans of the brand.
“I think one thing we can all agree on is that fashion will always find a role to play in politics,” he said.