Novelty Knitwear…Aberfield PR’s Influencer of the Week
In the PR industry, we’re well versed in coming up with national days, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Did you know it was National Pigs in Blankets Day yesterday? Presumably the property of some sausage company somewhere.
To be honest, they get right on my festive baubles. But today’s is an exception.
If you haven’t already noticed (and you must live under a stone if not), it’s National Christmas Jumper Day. Never have I seen so much festive knitwear – in the office, in passing cars, on a student clearly doing the walk of shame this morning, on every other post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Clients are complaining of being too hot, chief execs are wearing flashing light numbers, the newspapers and magazines are full of festive fashion features, and celebrities everywhere are posting selfies supporting the trend. And most of all, everyone’s wearing them with a big grin on their face.
And that’s why I’ve named Christmas jumpers as my runaway Influencer of the Week. Or rather, Save the Children, as the charity owns the rights to #XmasJumperDay.
It’s taken ownership of an already MASSIVE trend for wearing Bridget Jones-style woollens with strategically placed Christmas puds and captured the festive mood of the nation. As if we needed an excuse.
They’ve commissioned designers to create their own limited edition sweaters and got the backing of celebrities such as Myleene Klass and Gok Wan to provide further PR ammunition. However, their stunt this morning to break a Guinness world record for the most people dancing in Christmas jumpers was dubious. Room 101 for that one, PR team.
It remains to be seen how many people wearing these jumpers will actually be doing anything at all for the charity. They’ve set a target to raise a million pounds by exploiting the festive knitwear craze and encouraging workers to pay a pound to wear their jumper to work.
The big winner, though, is retail. Asda revealed yesterday it’s set to sell up to ten million novelty Christmas jumpers this year. John Lewis says sales have increased by 900 per cent on last year, Marks and Spencer by 300 per cent and ASOS by 150 per cent. It’s also helping to re-establish 80s favourite The Sweater Shop. Cheery festive logos and sweater patterns that once no fashionista would have been seen dead in are flying off the rails. It’s even trumping the onesie. Once the preserve of ironic hipsters and uncool uncles, festive jumpers have officially gone mainstream.