May 112013


For those who do not know, Ryan Holiday is the man behind marketing for American Apparel, and the media strategist behind people/brands like Tucker Max. He gave a Keynote at TNW conference in Europe 2013 about media manipulation. He should know. He wrote a book about it: Trust me, I’m lying

Ryan presents a small section of his journey as what can only be described as guerrilla marketing for the information age. He talks about some of his marketing campaigns for American Apparel and how they go picked by blogs and thus by the media. His whole point is to show how easy it is for crap to sell, and how the media and marketing world are in bed with each other, ultimately screwing over the consumer, which is you and me.

It is not just that Ryan uses some of the classic techniques of Guerrilla Marketing such as creating a controversy. Of course he goes above and beyond.

American Apparel Ad
American Apparel Ad 2012

In the first part, he talks about how he gamed HARO – Help A Reporter Out. The scary part is the way HARO is sold to the general public and to the journalists. For the journalists, it is a place to find sources and for the general public, it is a marketing machine. Sell yourself to the journalists and get free publicity. That’s definitely not the highest journalistic standard you’d expect from publications such as the New York Times. Minimal fact-checking, if at all. Ryan just calls them out.

For the icing on the cake, he uses his own story about how he essentially made a fool of the print media and makes it go viral! Starting from a story in Ryan is able to gather a bunch of “respected” media outlets to pick his story up.

The scary part is how easy it is to manipulate the media and how these images and concepts are in your face all day long with the progress of the internet and information becoming a cheap commodity that everyone competes for eyeballs.

American Apparel Older Model Jacky

He even talked about how he leaked some images and got it published on blogs online. Many of the marketing strategies that he mentions seem outright unethical but they have proved immensely successful. I suppose the whole debate about them and his strategies is part of his bigger picture of advertising for his clients.

I don’t know how I feel about the whole talk now – it is probably just aimed at a completely different demographic who don’t know much about him and he wants to get his name and brand out there, waiting for blogs to pick it up. Oops! It’s brilliant nevertheless. A small con as part of a larger con.


 Posted by at 3:44 pm
Sep 142012
Red Open Back Dress at Party

Glamorous open back dress at a party. Photo credit: Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

Open back dresses can be a great asset for a lady to rock a party. Open back dresses have increasingly been associated with prom, and indeed they can be a great prom dress, but that doesn’t preclude this from being an eye turner at a party or cocktail. The photo above is from a Hermes party before the start of the Fashion Week in New York, which attracts the who’s who of the fashion world. You can easily find open back dresses at any such cocktail event or party and it can be very popular among women who want to carry a classy and elegant look (although you can also don a sexy look with this piece of clothing).

Of course, like any other dress, an open back dress isn’t for everyone. You need to be able to carry off the look. Also make sure the dress is appropriate for the event. It is bold. It makes a statement. It is an eye-turner. If the event you want to go to is a networking event to meet potential future employers, you are probably better off dressing more conservatively. However, if you want to stand out and boldly stand out, the open back dress can be a great tool.

Types of Open Back Dresses

There are several different types of open back dresses. By this, I mean you have the option of wearing it with other pieces of clothing or accessories. You can go dig your wardrobe to find out what else you want to wear and are comfortable with.

Open Back Mini Dress

Open Back Dress

Photo credit: Julie Bridal Shop

This is one of the bolder looks that you can go for. It is a mini-dress, which means it shows off your gorgeous legs in addition to your back. Since your legs are clearly visible, make sure you wear matching heels with your dress, because if you don’t, the combination can be odd and even a turn-off.

Once again, dress for the occasion. This is not a conservative look and you want to turn heads, not roll eyeballs. Since this dress shows a good deal of skin, accessories are instantly visible. If you want to show off your latest bracelet or earrings, this is the perfect occasion to do so.

Here’s another open back mini-dress, this time in black, from the side and front views. This type of a look can also be used for a night-out on town.

Open Back Dress Short Black Side


Open Back Dress Short Black Front

Open Back Prom Gown

Open Back Prom Gown
Photo Credit: NewDresses2011

Open back prom gown is a usually reserved for a very specific event – the prom. However, although the name might suggest that it is a once in a lifetime investment, it is usually not. Open back prom gowns can easily be worn at a cocktail where you want to look more classy than sexy. It is definitely something which shows a lot of character.

These are prom long dresses, which means they cover you all the way down. The only skin you show is your back, so make sure it is well taken care of. Your hair is important when you don this look. Also, unlike the previous case, your legs are covered. This means you can go for more comfortable shoes because they don’t stand out in this outfit. However, long earrings that reach your shoulder certainly do, like the above picture. This is easy to understand – your shoulders and down is what attracts the attention of the eye and your earrings sit right on top of this sweet spot.

Once again, you don’t have to limit this look just for the prom – look for any appropriate event that it might be relevant to.

Open Back Clubwear

Open Back ClubWear

Photo Credit: HereComesTheGirls

This is the boldest look in this category. You can combine your typical clubwear with an open back, to make it all the more sexier than usual. Make sure you’re able to carry off this look and make sure you’re able to handle that extra bit of attention. If you want to really make heads turn and make a memorable impression, go for this.

It goes without saying that this isn’t for every occasion. I wouldn’t even recommend this for cocktails. Just go to the club with your girlfriends and have a blast.

Open Tie Back Dresses

Open Tie Back Dress

Photo Credit: Victoria’s Secret

These are another great category of open back dresses that I classify as “cute”. Don’t be deceived though – they can be as elegant as any other dress you’ve even owned. It can be playful, naughty, classy or sexy depending on the dress. They all do have one thing in common – that cute tie at the back that everyone is staring at and wondering how wonderful it looks!

You can change the level of ‘flirtiness’ of this great dress by choosing the colors well and selecting the right accessories. Earrings and bracelets go well with open tie back dresses. Make sure you’re prepared to sport this look.

Finally, if you just want to make heads turn, you can try the really sexy open back dresses, like the below.

Sexy Street Fashion Naked Back Dress with Short Leather Skirt

What are your thoughts on open back dresses? Do you wear them or dread them? Any other types I am missing here? Love to hear from you!

 Posted by at 2:18 am