“For the past 30 years, I’ve gone out shopping on Black Friday and as retailers have started to do it earlier, I’m the one getting up at 4:30 in the morning,” admits Avon’s Director of Marketing for Fashion & Home, Michael Sengstack. “I haven’t purchased anything, but I watch people shop and it’s amazing to me to see what people are looking for, what they’re shopping for and who they’re shopping with. The other great place for me to people watch is at the airport. There’s a lot of great and really bad fashion at the airport. People at an airport are always going somewhere and it’s interesting to see if they are trying to be themselves or someone else.” Click HERE for more trendspotting tips he shares with host Evy DeAngelis on the latest episode of #AvonMakeItHappen.
EVY: Tell me what working at Avon means to you.
MICHAEL: I grew up in a small town in Southern Maryland. There were 6 girls and 2 boys in my graduating high school class. We had to drive to go to a department store half an hour away. Having the experience of not being exposed to a lot at a young age, but then learning and seeing and thinking … that was a special thing that when it came to Avon, it was this idea that here is incredible product and incredible personal experience that having the idea of having a relationship and building it and to me that’s so much about fashion and design and creativity — it should be accessible. It’s not about being elite unaffordable. It’s about bringing a premium experience to the masses in a personal way.
EVY: Share your favorite tips and tricks about trend spotting.
MICHAEL: It’s starting to connect the dots between what people are doing and the ultimate choices that they make. When people wear things with confidence, it’s truly an expression of themselves and their personalities start to come out. I think that’s a great way to have eyes peeled to what people are doing and how they are sharing a part of themselves. Put on something you love and go through the day. If someone gives you a compliment, when you get home, take a picture of yourself in the mirror and post that picture inside your closet. Every time somebody compliments you, take note of what they’re complimenting you on — it may be a color, it may be a shape, but once you start looking at all of those photos of you, you start to notice that pattern of what do people see in you and what’s flattering on you.
EVY: How does social media influence and affect your day job and life?
MICHAEL: It’s the face that people want to present to the world. A lot of social media is highly edited, but I think what’s fun is the authenticity that shows how you’re living your life. It’s a way to instantly get information; you can see what people are talking about. It’s essential to the way we communicate with each other now. People don’t shop a mannequin anymore. It’s truly about putting it together in your own way and it’s OK when your friend is wearing the same thing as you. You’re both wearing it differently.
EVY: What are some trends you’re seeing in 2018?
MICHAEL: I’m so encouraged by seeing a broader woman’s voice in media — from Wonder Woman to Ocean’s 8, I keep on seeing the woman’s voice in media. Also, I’m really looking at the millennial generation as a sharing consumer. They’re not buying as many things, but they’ll spend more money on something that will last longer. Fashion isn’t what young people are wearing; it’s what makes people feel young and important and having an industry that’s looking more broadly at the opportunity is exciting and a good trend.