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  -  Culture   -  Brand Strategy: Hot Girl Summer

If you haven’t heard of Hot Girl Summer, you may have been living under a rock for the past 2 months. Hot girl summer has taken over the social media sphere from Instagram to Twitter, Tik Tok to Snapchat. Thanks to rapper Megan Thee Stallion, women (and men) everywhere are living their best lives this summer. Welcome to your summer motto. Let us break it down for you and how your brand can have a hot girl summer, too. 

Hot girl summer is the mindset people around the world are putting themselves into for summer 2019. This is all about feeling confident in who you are, having fun and looking damn good while doing it. Hot girl summer is a saying to remind you that you can do anything you want; youare a badass! It is a way to remind ourselves how powerful we are, that there is room for us all to shine so bright you are going to need some seriously dope shades. That we can achieve any goal we set our mind to. It tells the rest of the world that we make decisions for our own happiness. This is self-care speak in the highest form. This is about body positivity, self-affirmation; this is a hip-hop feminist manifesto. It is a positive movement that we are totally getting behind. 

So how does your brand have a hot girl summer? This is an embrace of confidence, loving who you are and doing what you want without being affected by what others think. This is not taking no for a n answer. This is hyping yourself up and cheerleading your peers. When starting a brand, you will likely have many people that get what you are trying to do from the start, and often times, many people that will think you are certified insane for trying to do what you are doing. Often times, people don’t understand the new until you show them how much they have always needed what they never knew they wanted. 

As a brand owner, you really need to be your own champion. You need to believe in what you are building so hard that nothing can come in your way of succeeding. In an industry as cutthroat and ever changing as the fashion industry, hot girl summer couldn’t be a more appropriate battle cry. 

Way before hot girl summer was a thing, Rachel Shechtman, founder of Story, started a new concept-store, the original Story, in Manhattan’s Chelsea in 2011. Do you remember 2011? In New York, fashion companies and retailers were still holding major lay offs. The retail apocalypse had just started a year back, claiming store after store as its victim. According to Rachel in a recent BoF podcast, when she told most people about what she was doing, opening a store that would rotate themes and completely reinvent itself every month, most would offer a one-way ticket to an insane asylum. Fast-forward 8 years later, Story was acquired by Macy’s, who just rolled out the concept to 36 stores across the country. Rachel now holds the role of Brand Experience Officer for Macy’s and is also heading up The Market at Macy’s retail as a service initiative. Believing in her own insanity set up Rachel Shechtman, and her brand Story, to have the ultimate hot girl summer. 

Have you heard of Terez? If Megan Thee Stallion hadn’t coined hot girl summer, we are pretty sure Terez would have. This brand is all about feeling good about yourself, radiating happiness and energy. We had the pleasure of meeting the founder, Zara Tisch, in New York last year at the inaugural event for the Female Founders Collective. Her story is inspiring. Her active wear is exciting. Her upbeat personality is contagious. 

Terez’s story is also like so many. You build a product that you love and are proud of and bring it to big name retailers like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s or Lord & Taylor, confident that they will love it and buy every piece. Except, they say no. They don’t get it. They don’t believe your product will sell. They don’t believe in your market. They buy nothing. You walk out crushed. Is that it? Absolutely not. Zara kept beating down the buyer’s doors until she got a yes. She believed in her product that is made in New York and makes an immediate statement on any wearer. 

Zara told Forbes, “If you are passionate about your work, people will listen to you and receive it. We weren’t just selling merchandise. Our intention was to create a world of positivity and invite people in so they could share it with others. People could feel that.” Now, the mission to create positive experiences that radiate out to others has become the company’s driving force. Terez is dedicated to their brand story and the people who make it work. Their team is cultivated to feel inspired and fulfilled in order to bring out the very best of the brand. 

Terez recently launched maternity options on their site. Zara Tisch, a soon-to-be mom of three and a star in their maternity campaign, mentioned on an Instagram post that she has been used to wearing her line’s stretchy apparel throughout pregnancy in the past. This time around, though, she has two other expecting moms on her team that really drove home the need to make a product to specifically meet the needs of women during maternity. Frankly, as a mom myself, I can attest to the void of fashion that makes you feel great when you are pregnant. Terez’s allover leopard print, bump-friendly leggings and sports bra are the best maternity statement pieces we’ve seen in a long time. It seems like the entire Terez team are living the hot girl summer life all year round. 

Confidence is one of the most truly attractive qualities a person can possess. It pulls people in. The same goes for a brand. When you are confident in your brand messaging and purpose, consumers start to really feel the connection and can relate to your authenticity. If you are shopping your brand to wholesale buyers don’t forget what you stand for. Take feedback but do not let it break you. Champion your message and your brand with so much confidence that anyone would be crazy not to become a believer.

This industry is tough. Preserve your happiness. Preserve your confidence. Look really f*cking good doing it. This is what a hot girl summer looks like. 

Does your brand have a great hot girl summer story? We would love to hear it. Leave it in the comments or drop us an email!

We will be exhibiting at DG Expo Chicago next week from August 27th-28th. Make and appointment or stop by our booth to learn more about what Suite Creative Studio can do for your brand! Jessica Zyla will be co-hosting a Seminar 7 on August 28thfrom 12:00-1:00 pm on IRL Mistakes to Avoid as a Start-up. Register here!

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