Tamara Falcó’s commission to design her wedding dress has involved Sophie et Voilà in a media maelstrom with both positive and negative consequences. Since they released their famous statement announcing the breakdown of the agreement between the firm and the Marquise de Griñón, the Bilbao women in charge of the bridal clothing brand have faced public scrutiny for their decision.
Nancy Villanueva, CEO Iberia & Middle East of the Interbrand brand consultancy, has explained to La Vanguardia how Falcó’s controversy can affect not only Sophie et Voilà, but also the future firm that designs Falcó’s wedding dress.
“The impact has a double edge. On the one hand, the proactive communication of Sophie et Voilà has been aimed at protecting its brand, highlighting in its words factors such as its coherence, authenticity or differentiation, elements that nourish its equity before the different groups of interest”, explains Villanueva to La Vanguardia, who points out, however, the lost opportunity of the firm when deciding to terminate the contract with Falcó: “Regardless of the circumstances that have arisen, the brand sees the opportunity to generate an impact of visibility and consideration among new audiences by losing the showcase that meant dressing Tamara Falcó on the day of her wedding”, he comments.
The reasons that have led the firm to break its agreement with the Marquise de Griñón are well known. In the statement, the creatives explained that their client demanded a design very similar to that created by another firm, Chanel, and therefore another designer, in this case Karl Lagerfeld, and for reasons of work ethics and in favor of their own creative work, they did not they could make the model that Falcó requested. Far from being a dispute in which to choose sides – the firm is absolutely right to refuse these demands – the brand also suffers the consequences of the debate generated. And it is that leaving a bride without a wedding dress two months before the big event can also influence and unfairly the image of your firm.
Asked if these disputes between brand and client are often generated far from the media focus, the consultant warns that “any discipline that has to do with creativity and design is subjected to the debate on the limit between copy and inspiration.” However, the same expert adds that, ultimately, the ability of a brand to develop its own, recognizable and enduring style is what has brought the most iconic brands to the top: “being faithful to a specific DNA and Respect for the legacy is always a sign of good governance and a well-thought-out and executed strategy,” he says.
“There is no infallible manual for this type of situation. What Sophie et Voilà has tried with its proactive communication has been to control the story and, thus, anticipate the negative impact it would have had on its brand if the other party had launched its first message,” says Villanueva.
The brand that takes the baton faces a scenario of more scrutiny”
The controversy does not end here and despite the fact that it is now moving away from the Sophie et Voilà workshops, the focus is on a new protagonist: the brand that will now design Tamara Falcó’s wedding dress.
Although it is not known who will be the new designer in charge of the media task, the expert warns that this brand that comes into play also undergoes an impact that is difficult to control. “The brand that takes the baton faces a scenario of more scrutiny, but also of greater visibility and presence. It is an opportunity like few others to reach an audience that numbers in the millions,” says the brand consultant.