Published on May 21st, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Joseph Panetta On The Success Of The BohoWrapsody & Marketing Female-Centric Retail Products
As the head of Left Of Center Consulting, Joseph Panetta is in a very unique position. Not only does he work with top brands, successfully marketing them to larger audiences, but many of these projects are for (and by) women. In turn, Panetta’s 30 years of work includes partnering on the Wonderbra, beyond projects related to color cosmetics, hair care and coloring, fashion accessories, fragrances, menopause supplements, feminine hygiene products, and pregnancy tests. As proven for decades, he “gets” how women shop, what motivates them to buy, and what they might like and when.
As an Air Force brat, Panetta was born in the Panama Canal Zone. His mother bought a traditional wool poncho. This ultimately led her to conceptualize the BohoWrapsody — formerly known as Posh Ponchos — in the mid-1960s, which Panetta now has on the market. The BohoWrapsody has a seam up the front and can be covered with easily-attached buttons, while being made out of eco-sustainable fabrics, lightweight, and breathable. In turn, the BohoWrapsody provides “easy elegance.”
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Panetta about the BohoWrapsody and plenty more. More on Panetta can be found on the website of Left Of Center Consulting, which is online at www.locc.me.
When did you realize that you had a passion for working with female-centric brands?
Joseph Panetta: My first fashion client in the early 90s. Marketing to men can be much more straight-forward. Appealing to women can be more complex and interesting.
Who was your first client for Left Of Center Consulting?
Joseph Panetta: I had just come out of years working with the world’s largest watch company, so my first client was Tourneau, the world’s largest watch retailer. The mission was to enhance the shopping experience.
Do you have a career highlight as a consultant that you are most proud of?
Joseph Panetta: Presenting a watch to Prince Charles at the Royal Hall in Harrogate, York, commemorating his 60th birthday and the restoration of the Hall that my client — a watch brand — underwrote.
How would you describe the Posh Poncho — now the BohoWrapsody — to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
Joseph Panetta: Imagine a woman on a beach. She needs to go to the restaurant to get lunch. She needs to cover up a bit — something quick & easy, elegant but not fussy, lightweight but not wrinkled, breathable but feels great on her skin. It needs to cover her bum but reveal other assets. Boho Wrapsody is called many things: a cover-up; a wrap; a shawl. Ultimately it is unique due to the many ways it can be worn. There are tons of cover-ups on the market and yet nothing quite like this.
Where did the BohoWrapsody name come from?
Joseph Panetta: There’s a line from a great book called Shantaram that goes: “Women walk like a symphony.” I love that line. The definition of a rhapsody is: a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free flowing in structure featuring a range of highly contrasting moods, colors and tonality. An air of spontaneous inspiration and improvisation define it. To me, that just sounds like an homage to women! Plus, it’s an elegant name without being too cutesy.
BohoWrapsody aside, what else are you working on at the moment?
Joseph Panetta: A re-branding project for a medical device in women’s healthcare. Also defining a brand position for a top typography developer and bringing an Australian eco-friendly cleaning products company to the U.S.
When not working, how do you like to spend your free time?
Joseph Panetta: I recently got a new puppy, so he takes up a lot of my free time! I live in California so we enjoy the outdoors. I’m also an avid car lover, so we like to go to car shows.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Joseph Panetta: Duran Duran for a recent birthday. Clean Bandit opened for them. Simon Le Bon still sounds just like he did in the 80s — remarkable!
Finally, Joseph, any last words for the kids?
Joseph Panetta: Eat your vegetables. No, I’m kidding. Probably the best piece of advice I received in the last decade came from a friend of mine who said: Do you. Meaning, be who YOU are. Do what you are hard-wired to do. Don’t fight it, judge it or expect someone else to do it too. Just do you and be good with that. It still resonates today.