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Before the Halston series was released on Netflix in mid-May, the history of the New York brand and its founder was a matter of study, especially on a commercial level. Indeed, there had been several attempts to bring the brand back up, but none had had a positive response. But where others have failed (including Sarah Jessica Parker), the power of Netflix has triumphed.
This is confirmed by the brand itself at WWD, declaring that sales have increased by 631% compared to 2019 and site searches have risen to 3200%. Robert Rodriguez, creative director of the brand, said it “is almost a rebirth“. He also said that the Netflix x Halston capsule has already been sold at 40% (the clothes in the capsule cost over a thousand dollars). The collection inspired by the series and co-signed by Halston and Netflix will arrive in the Neiman Marcus department store in August.
This is a fascinating case of imitation between reality and fiction. Almost completely involuntarily, the streaming giant and the New York brand have created a formula for success. That of reviving an entire archive and relaunching a brand. In a way not unlike the way The Queen of Chess fueled the search for 60s clothes.
We could quickly speak of a “Television Power” given up for lost in recent years. In fact, with very few exceptions, traditional TV has not been able to keep up with the speed and success of the many TV series produced by streaming platforms. Nonetheless, the format of all Netflix series, Halston included, remains a television format with episodes, famous actors, showrunners, and release date. A product that in the 90s or early 2000s could have come out of HBO or FX. This makes us understand that television could still represent a powerful resource for fashion brands. On the other hand, in Italy, Montalbano can still push many tourists to pilgrim to the places of the series, while Emily in Paris did raise searches for products that appeared in the series in less than 48 hours from the first episode.
A huge change if we think that the Devil Wears Prada ‘s colossus film had a hard time reaching a general audience. Halston could instead represent the new right balance and the new chapter of the dialogue between audiovisual and fashion which, at least in recent years, has been very fluctuating. And confirmation will come next fall when House of Gucci hits theaters. It is one of the most anticipated fashion films of the year, thanks to Lady Gaga’s presence. If, after the release, the search for Gucci archival pieces will skyrocket, it is not excluded that other fashion brands will look towards Hollywood or Netflix to boost their relevance in mainstream culture.
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