Sunday, November 23, 2014

Retail Stores: Invention Leads to Expansion

Nasty Gal Store, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
With online retailers Zappos and Nasty Gal opening brick and mortar retail stores this month, after 15 years and 8 years of respectively existing online only, it proves there is still an allure to offline retail shopping. But the execution of operating retail stores has evolved…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trends: The History of 3-D and Sculptural Fashion, 1950’s-Today

Vogue UK December 2008 photographed by Nick Knight

Fashion is an interesting medium of expression because in its most creative execution it can outwardly express a person’s inner thoughts, feelings, and emotions about their life or about the culture around them. Ways that highly creative designers have been able to convey these messages are through sculptural and 3-D designs. Sculptural design is when a designer uses abstract materials to construct a three-dimensional look or manipulates fabrics to create layers or add depth to a garment. Such designs carry deep meaning for the designer and are meant to invoke curiosity, dialogue, and fascination from consumers and observers of creative expression.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Origins: The History of Brand Licensing

Prada Eyewear, license held by Luxottica Group SpA
All good debates have two sides. The licensing debate is no exception, on one-end brands and manufacturers use licensing, as a way to enter product categories where there is consumer demand for a product, but the brand does not have the manufacturing expertise to produce the merchandise. The other side of the debate is that licensing cheapens the image of a brand making it too accessible to obtain by consumers. Brands who lean toward the latter prefer to hire the talent necessary to manufacture majority if not all product categories in house.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Passion Pays: The Beauty Business

Gigi Hadid photographed by Michael Avedon for Harper's Bazaar UK December 2014

In this month’s Passion Pays we’re breaking down the top 5 beauty companies who own the cosmetic and fragrance licenses for many of the fashion industry’s most notable brands. Brands such as Tom Ford, Dolce and Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, and more all depend on the companies in this list to manufacture, distribute, and promote their fragrances and cosmetics.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Inspirations: Art, Fashion, and Dreams

Paris in the Winter, 1948 photographed by Dmitri Kessler
Fashion and art are cut from the same cloth, because of how personal the end product becomes to its consumer. Fashion at its highest levels is created to express a vision that a designer has for their brand or the brand they oversee, and is bought by consumers in order to convey to the world who they are before they do or say anything. This dual expression is powerful because it connects two ideas that may have originated in different places and formed by various experiences, but become intertwined when the consumer buys into the vision of the designer. 

Art is similarly consumed in that the artist is not necessarily making its works of art for the consumer.  The art is made to express the artist’s preferences, experiences, and frames of reference and the consumer buys the art as a way to express an ideal that they want people to be aware of when someone enters their home, office, etc.

This idea played out in my purchase of the above photograph shot by a 45 year old Dmitri Kessel in 1948.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The History of Lanvin: 125 Years and Counting

The year was 1889 and the woman was Jeanne Lanvin.

The time in which something starts and the context surrounding the person who starts it will most times be the determining factors in whether it becomes a success and for how long it will be successful.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wearable Technology: The New Frontier in Fashion

Mae Yokoyama Solar Panel Necklace
IBM was the first major company, back in the late 1990’s to research and develop the possibilities of wearable technology. The goal in developing this technology was for IBM to make portable the most important functions of the personal computer they had created over 15 years before. Functions such as checking email, using voice commands, browsing the Internet all through using a hands-free wearable device. Although, these capabilities are standard today IBM’s curiosity in the possibilities of wearable technology set the precedent for the execution of products that are being offered in the category today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Origins: The History of Oscar de la Renta

45 years ago when Oscar de la Renta was 37 years old he bought the Jane Derby Company and started the journey of making his name into a brand and eventually into an American household name. His path is simple yet calculated in that he went from sketching for Cristobal Balenciaga to being a design assistant for Antonio de Castillo at Lanvin in the early sixties. And then he came to America.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Woman I Wanted to Be: Diane von Furstenburg

On October 28th, Diane von Furstenburg will release her latest book “The Woman I Wanted to Be” which reflects on the journey she has taken as a designer and as a woman to get to the place she wants to be in the fashion industry and in her life.

I am excited about this book for several reasons, primarily because DVF always celebrates and supports women and seems to have a gift for uplifting and supporting the unique attributes that make women special. Rather than promoting a message of conformity she has always exclaimed that our differences are what makes us special and that exercising the right to be who you are is what sets you a part in business and what sets you free as a person.