International Shopping Series: Berlin – Olivia Allan (FGI Toronto)

I love to travel, and I love to trend spot. I say trend spot, because while I may not be a true shopaholic myself, I certainly am passionate about the art of shopping.

When travelling, I love to discover secret retail gems. One of the most memorable stores I have seen was an independent jeweller in Berlin. My friend had heard of them and finding the store was on our must-do list while we were there.

What made it such a must-do? They make blown glass pendants with dried dandelions inside. Super. Cool.

It was a bit difficult to find, which I’m sure was only due to our lack of familiarity with Berlin, and zero knowledge of German, but we found the store and thus began the hour long process of deciding which piece of jewellery to purchase.

I opted for a wrap watch with a compass charm, and a globe charm; very fitting of my vagabonda lifestyle. My friend opted for a necklace with a dandelion charm, which was the main reason we were in search of this store in the first place.

Sadly, in our haste to pack up our lives without waking our bunkmates in the wee hours of a dark Berlin morning, my friend left her necklace somewhere in our hostel room. Not to fear, Villa Sorgenfrei also sells online so she could (and did!) replace her necklace. My watch was a big part of my life until one day, after constantly carrying my bag around on my elbow and likely catching my watch on it every time, I realized that the compass charm had fallen off. The watch lost its charm (no pun intended!) for me so I’ve stopped wearing it. I want to replace it by visiting the store in person, but that’s likely another couple of years away.

I strongly recommend that you go, and also have a peek in their studio next door to watch the magic happen! You can stand on the sidewalk beside the store and peer through the window to see their production team hard at work creating these memorable pieces of jewellery.

If you don’t have a trip planned at the moment, then go check out their Instagram in the meantime for some eye candy. Sadly, this is a non-photo post, because I simply didn’t take a picture of my beloved watch.

Author: Olivia Allan (Associate Member – FGI Toronto)

Olivia Allan is a Fashion Buying professional based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she spent two years learning the ropes of the fashion industry in Milan, completing a Masters in Fashion Buying, and working in the Milan Buying Office for a major North American luxury department store, before returning to Canada in 2014. Olivia is passionate about travel, fashion, and food, and shares her stories on her blog FLIGHTS|FASHION|FOOD, and her photos on Instagram @flightsfashionfood.

The 4 Mistakes Job-seekers Make – Claire Steichen (FGI New York)

As a former cosmetics executive, I have spent the last 10 years coaching beauty and fashion professionals on crafting the career they love.  It’s amazing how consistently I see job-seekers make certain mistakes.  It’s not that candidates aren’t talented or smart — it’s that (please listen up!) job search and career management are a separate job from the job you do.  It’s frustrating but true.  Doing a job without learning the tools of career management means you are being complacent about your next job — you may do fine, but you are unlikely to hit it out of the park.  Here are four blind spots many of us have:

  1. Have no target — Most of us begin the job search by putting together our resume and looking on line for open job listings.  There are two problems.  First, a resume is a selling tool, not a diagnostic tool.  You craft your resume once you know what you want to do, so that you can highlight the experiences that are most relevant for that job.  This is also true for internal promotion.  If your resume is a list of mini-stories, then make sure you are sharing the ones that would position you well for the role you want.  Second, on-line jobs.  Forget that most of them are listed for legal reasons and get filled internally.  The bigger problem is that when we look at them, we subconsciously start to fit ourselves into them — most of us completely abandon our hopes and dreams, all for a kitchen soup job description that was written under pressure.
  2. Network without a message — The logical impulse is to think that networking is about getting to key people.  It is indeed important to know the key decision makers who can make your next job happen.  However, people can’t help you if they don’t know A) What you want and B) What you can contribute in that job.
  3. By-pass friends and family — When I hung my shingle nine years ago, I bought a book on selling by Zig Ziglar (his real name!).  In it he said that if you have a really great vacuum cleaner, why do you feel uncomfortable selling it to your friends and family.  If it’s so great, wouldn’t you WANT them to have it?  The same applies here.  If you know you could do a job, define what it is and tell everyone you know.  Positive messages are like batons in a relay race — people love to pass them along.
  4. Think it’s a done deal — This is the most heartbreaking of all.  A month or two into a job search, someone will get a hot lead.  Internal referral, great interview, enthusiastic follow up from the hiring team.  In their excitement, the person ignores other leads, which makes them focus too much and get anxious about the hot lead.  Suddenly there are a few days of radio silence from the hiring team.  The candidate begins to follow up too often and sound needy.  They may even get resentful and feel betrayed because the connection had been so great.  Eventually the candidate hears nothing or hears that the job went to an internal candidate.  And a month is lost.
Here is a better recipe for avoiding these mistakes:
  1. Take the time to assess your strengths (Strengths Finder 2.0 is a good start), write down how those strengths contribute to the team.  And really believe it.  Even if you are just starting out, think about high-school and college examples.  Use this knowledge to develop one or two job targets.
  2. Craft a message that tells people what you want and what contribution you could make to their organization.  This is true at your current organization for a different or more senior job.
  3. Share this message with key people when you can get to them, but start with people who know and respect your work.  And ask them who else you should be speaking to.
  4. Consider all leads as just one option.  For job search, have 6-10 active leads.  Yes, 6-10!  For promotion, make sure you have a couple of options.  Your boss may leave or get transferred, or someone else with more pull than your boss might get their candidate into the job you wanted.

Author: Claire Steichen (FGI New York – Executive Member)

As an executive and career coach, Claire Steichen works with Beauty and Fashion organizations to motivate middle and senior managers, and with individuals on crafting careers they love. Before becoming a coach, Claire was an Account Manager in sales at Givaudan, where she managed on-going client relationships with Avon, Estee Lauder, La Prairie and Victoria’s Secret. Prior to Givaudan, Claire worked as a Marketing Manager for L’Oreal and Christian Dior fragrance, where she oversaw the US launches of major skincare and fragrance brands.  Claire has her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she works as a coach with several executive education programs. Claire is bi-lingual in English and French, and is fluent in Spanish.

 

This One’s For Les Garçons: An Interview with Pierre Henri Mattout – Carmelita Bouie (FGI Los Angeles)

pierre-henri-mattout-at-his-saint-peres-pop-up-shop-at-bloomingdales-beverly-center

Founded in 2014 by Pierre Henri Mattout, PHM Saint Peres is a multi-brand online and retail store that focuses on men’s high fashion, and exclusive sneaker collections. Their flagship store is located 50, Rue des Saints Peres in the heart of Saint Germain des Pres in Paris, France. The store concept is a blend of Japanese avant garde designers, high performance and street wear.

Bloomingdales hosted the PHM Saint Peres Parisian pop-up shop in their New York and Los Angeles (Beverly Center) locations. I had the pleasure of meeting the savvy Frenchman at the Beverly Center location and discussed his young brand, fusing international labels with men’s street wear and his collaboration with Bloomingdales.

W+D:  Your background is with Calvin Klein and Victorinox, one’s very classic American style representing the “basics with clean structure,” and the other, much more outerwear… what made you want to fashion your pop-up to target street wear?

Pierre Henri Mattout: It’s actually my various experiences as a menswear designer that helped me shape my concept store. At PHM, tailoring, craftsmanship, the outdoor, and street are all very connected.

the-phm-saint-peres-collection-of-mens-street-wear

W+D:  Who are some of your fashion influences?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I’ve always been very inspired by Comme des Garcons for the way they put things together. Influencers like Nick Wooster and designer Pierre Hardy are also a huge inspiration.

W+D: Do the designers in your pop-up collection represent many of the places you’ve traveled to?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I haven’t been to all those places. Fashion is global today, though. It’s probably no coincidence that all the brands are coming from all over the world now.

W+D: Do you think European street style is different to U.S. street style?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I think street style in the U.S. is stronger and influences other places like Europe.

W+D: Has “street style” influenced your own personal style?

Pierre Henri Mattout: It did in some ways… I was much more polished / preppy but over the years my style has evolved to more casual / street…

The PHM Saint Peres collection of men’s street wear.

W+D: What’s your vision of the “PHM man” who shops and wears items from your pop-up?

Pierre Henri Mattout: This man is a free spirit. He combines a cool pair of sneakers with basic Chinos and light weight functional jacket from Arc’eteryx Veilance for example. I’m not trying to make it too fashiony, it’s more about creating tomorrow’s basics.

W+D: What’s your favorite international city and why?

Pierre Henri Mattout: New York City without hesitation. Because of the energy …. basically, anything can happen.

the-phm-saint-peres-collection-of-mens-streetwear

W+D: Why partner with Bloomingdales exclusively for your two pop-ups?

Pierre Henri Mattout: Bloomingdales allows me a presence nationwide, which is an incredible opportunity for a young brand like mine.

W+D: I love the combination of “exclusivity and accessibility” of the brands featured and that you’re helping to introduce and raise foreign brand identity to a U.S. audience … what’s next for you and the PHM brand?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I want to keep growing the PHM brand and reach a wider audience.

Author: Carmelita Bouie (Associate Member – FGI Los Angeles)
Carmelita Bouie is an entertainment & lifestyle marketing and communications consultant, having worked on entertainment marketing and public relations campaigns spanning theatrical, home entertainment and new media distribution. She is also the founder of FMA Worldwide (www.fmaworldwide.com), a fashion marketing agency that connects fashion stylists and costume designers to emerging fashion designers from around the globe. She’s currently the entertainment and fashion editor for the lifestyle magazine, The Awesome Muse (www.theawesomemuse.com) and is editor-in-chief of her own blog, Wanted+Desired Fashion Blog (www.wantedanddesired.com), which covers emerging brands and designers from the U.S. and abroad. Carmelita holds an MBA degree from Cornell University.

 

The Future of Fast Fashion – Olivia Allan (FGI Toronto)

Technology has a way of evolving beyond what we can imagine. Think back to the first cellphone – costly, bulky, and couldn’t hold a charge. Considering what we expect cellphones to do today, is it so crazy to imagine that 3D printing could become so mass market, that instead of buying a pre-made article of clothing, we could be able buy the design online and print it?

Fast fashion takes current trends, and makes them available immediately to the consumer. What better way to do this than 3D-print the style the minute it starts to gain popularity. However, in-home printing can’t happen overnight. As both consumers and retailers become more familiar with this new technology and its benefits, the market will gradually adapt.

Initially, consumers will print in-store. If the size or style is sold out, consumers will be able to request the item of their choice to be printed on demand. Fast fashion stores, known for having a plethora of the same size of the same style, will now only carry limited sizes in each style. Instead of taking home the item from the sales floor, consumers will simply receive a freshly printed item. Large stock rooms will be converted into printing centres to accommodate these requests on-site.

I predict: Within five years, consumers will have 3D printers at home and will be able to download designs from a store’s website. They will be able to customize options such as style, fit, pattern, size, and material. In-home printers are already affordable, but the average consumer lacks the technical skills to design 3D sketches in a computer program. Consumers will not begin by downloading the design for their wedding dress, instead starting with things such as lost buttons, and accessories, then moving to clothing as it becomes more mass-market.

Shapeways already helps the public buy, sell, and create 3D printed products, and Iris Van Herpen, a Dutch designer, presented her first 3D print in 2010. As a designer, she understands the need to embrace technology and incorporate it, rather than shy away from it as something unknown.

Do you think I’m a dreamer? Are you shaking your head? Think of the consumer appeal. I think the main driver behind this change will be the consumer’s desire to be different. We know that fashion trends are cyclical, but consumer trends are as well. Before the 1850’s, consumers instructed tailors on what to make for them; then designers started dictating trends. However, as Millennials grow as consumers, so might the consumer trend of individuality and bespoke pieces.

Retailers will benefit due to reducing the costs of manufacturing, shipping and logistics, unsold merchandise, and real estate for larger retail spaces. The environment will benefit because the materials used will be recyclable. Instead of throwing out old clothes, you can use the materials to print new ones.

The future of 3D printing is both exciting and unnerving. Technology can change quickly. While today it seems a far reach to claim that we will be printing our wardrobe in five years, history has shown us that it is entirely possible. The technology is there, and now as consumers and industry insiders, we need to explore the opportunities that it can provide.

Author: Olivia Allan (Associate Member – FGI Toronto)

Olivia Allan is a Fashion Buying professional based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she spent two years learning the ropes of the fashion industry in Milan, completing a Masters in Fashion Buying, and working in the Milan Buying Office for a major North American luxury department store, before returning to Canada in 2014. Olivia is passionate about travel, fashion, and food, and shares her stories on her blog FLIGHTS|FASHION|FOOD, and her photos on Instagram @flightsfashionfood.

Color Code: An Inside Look at Mister Rogers’ Sweaters – Lisa Lenoir (FGI Kansas City)

The sentimental feelings surrounding “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and its host, Fred Rogers, keep appearing on the Internet. Writers share nuggets of his special kindness and the show’s lessons of civility, all in an effort to be recharged and inspired.

One such piece looks at his sartorial choices. Owen Phillips of The Awl takes on the ambitious feat of charting the colors of Rogers’ cardigans worn on the show.

Mr. Rogers Sweater Colors

Owen Phillips develops a color chart of the Mister Rogers’ sweaters. Source: theawl.com

Phillips sought inspiration from Tim Lybarger, who has curated the homage to all things Mister Rogers in the blog, neighborhoodarchive.com. Lybarger, a high school counselor outside of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., told Phillips via email he decided to chart the sweater colors from each episode from 1979 to 2001 because  “such a resource didn’t exist,” and he “felt like somebody needed to do it…might as well be me.”

I remember well Mister Rogers walking through the door changing from his sport coat, singing his iconic tune, seamlessly transitioning into a comfy cardigan sweater and sneakers to sit and speak only with me — a friend in the neighborhood. Early styling as its best!

His attire reminded me much of my own father, who would wear cardigan sweaters and sneaks around our home. Mister Rogers felt approachable, not patrician or patronizing.

Lybarger said via email Rogers’ sweaters “evoke feelings of comfort, warmth, and trust.

“Fred Rogers often talked about how he’d film his programs as though he wasn’t speaking to a mass audience but rather to one specific individual, “ he said. “Kids trust Mister Rogers and the fact that he changes into these cozy sweaters for his television visits with young people just adds to their level of comfort.”

The choices of red, green, blue (light and dark), yellow, purple and gray appeared throughout, many of which were hand knitted by Rogers’ mother. But green and red appeared most often, with green outpacing the red tones by 74 to 54, respectively, according to Phillips’ analysis.

But, of course, Mister Rogers, would gravitate to green. Serendipitously, it aligns with the sentiments of Pantone’s Color of the Year: Greenery, which is a “refreshing and revitalizing shade” and “signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate,” according to the site.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says on Pantone’s site the color greenery provides “us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

Lybarger said via email everything on the program was “meticulously calculated” and had yet to find the “secret code” to the “why?” behind the sweater colors.

I think we just might have cracked the code.

Sidebar: 

While Fred Rogers’ sweaters evoked comfort and cozy feelings, today’s menswear cardigans send out different vibes — ones that marry high fashion with traditional aesthetics.

According to WGSN, spring’s cardigan maintains its traditional V-neck details but takes on a resortlike feeling, expressed in soft tones of ocean blues and olive and abstract stripes.

In local stores, the traditional hand-knit feel, with zippers or buttons, appears in private label Saks Fifth Avenue and Polo Ralph Lauren, respectively. The colors: black, navy blue and speckled gray.

Author: Lisa Lenoir (Executive Member – FGI Kansas City)

Lisa Lenoir is a freelance writer. She teaches fashion communication at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and is a Fashion Group International, Inc., member.

I THINK, THEREFORE I AM… I think… – Katie McKenna (FGI New York)

The path to becoming a lawyer is crystal clear: complete undergrad, ace the LSATs, earn Juris Doctor, complete clerkship, pass the bar, practice law. To be a doctor: bachelor’s degree, MCATs, medical degree, residency, licensure, certification. If the path to the aforementioned careers is a newly renovated highway, the road of entrepreneurship is a winding path outside the range of cell phone reception. The word itself dates back to the 1800s, thought to have been coined by the French businessman and economist Jean-Baptiste Say, but seems to be the go-to career for post-recession millennials entering the workforce during a time of economic turmoil. According to a 2015 report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), 27 million people, 14 percent of the American population of working age, identify as entrepreneurs. But what does that mean?

I’ve been running my own business for over four years, overseeing all facets from design and sourcing to manufacturing and quality control to PR and sales. My designs are sold in boutiques and online and have been worn by incredible people, so why do I struggle with feeling like a fraud; the child who sneaked into the grownups’ party?

Writing about fashion entrepreneurship, when I struggle to identify myself as an entrepreneur at all, actually feels freeing, because being a fashion entrepreneur means being equally badass businesswoman and insecure artist; constantly struggling internally to move forward with confidence without becoming complacent in my work as a designer. My right brain, the insecure artist, continues to tell me that I haven’t done enough, struggled enough or achieved enough to warrant a seat at the table, often overpowering my #girlboss left brain. After years of struggling to silence that voice, it is time to stop and come to peace with my inner selves and instead adapt a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ attitude. I may never feel like I’ve “made it” and for the first time, I’m embracing that. Good is the enemy of excellence, is it not? Maybe my drive to be better and continue to prove myself is the most inherently entrepreneurial part of me. So maybe I am a ‘legit’ entrepreneur after all . . .

Author: Katie McKenna (Associate Member – FGI New York)

Katie McKenna is the co-founder, creative director and designer of Pink Sheep Heiress, an American-made, rock & roll inspired luxury lifestyle brand. She formed Pink Sheep Heiress as a celebration of the musician’s life and for others who embrace the rocker style. Known for its colorful, leather designs and graphic prints, Pink Sheep Heiress creates affordable luxury items and artisan-crafted ready-to-wear for the woman who is her own iconoclastic tastemaker. www.pinksheepheiress.com

How to Layer Your Home Like a Designer – Kathy Fielder (FGI Dallas)

The art of layering your home so it looks truly designer can be a challenge and a tad tricky at times. With so many different elements in a room, it can sometimes be difficult to choose where to put your focus. However, with a few tips and tricks from KF, you can be layering like a designer in no time!

Today, our EIC, Kathy Fielder, is focusing on layering 4 essential parts to a living room – art, pillows, rugs, and windows. Seems easy enough, right? Give your home some depth and texture with the right kind of layering to create your perfectly refined and livable space.

LayerYourHome1

This living room has maximum depth and dimension and is inspiring! A perfectly crafted living space takes layering, texture, and color and meshes them together creating harmony. The woven area rug grounds the space, while the cowhide adds dimension to it and creates instant texture. Knowing how to group together pillows on your sofa is a key to creating a unique and personal space.  They add another layer and are a great feature gainst the dark upholstery.

Art can be one of the most intimidating features of a room to conquer, but it’s a definite must. No matter your budget, there is art out there that is right for you.

Design tip – A gallery wall looks well-curated and usually has such a personal feel that it is a showstopper.  Choose a variety of photos that appeal to you in different sizes and frames.  Layer by putting the smaller ones in front of the larger pieces. Make sure to space out enough so it isn’t so cluttered and chaotic looking. Use black and white photos for a more subtle gallery look that is still sophisticated.

Mirrors are another great wall feature and look beautiful when layered with other pieces of art, creating instant texture and dimension, while also expanding and lightening a space.  Conquer your gallery wall fear, and take your living room to the next level of modern chic!

LayerYourHome

Layering pillows seems simple, right? However, there is an art to grouping together colors, textures, and dimension. Normally in a bedroom, smaller pillows go stacked in front while larger pillows sit in the back. Think small to large, front to back.  Take textured accent pillows to complement your euro pillows. Different sizes and shapes will add depth and height to your bed.

Stacked and layered pillows on your sofa personalizes it and is fun! Added bonus, decorative pillows are easy to change seasonally and will transform your room in an instant.

Choose pillows you like, but remember they should be comfy too! Aesthetics aside, a pillows’ purpose is comfort! You want your sofa to be livable and inviting, so layering different pillows and textures is always a good idea.

This room is full of layers, patterns, and textures! The key is to take your time finding those pieces you love and making sure they complement each other nicely. Layering rugs can be difficult, so it’s important to take the time to find the right pieces that work with your style and scheme.

Window treatments are one element to a room you may never think about layering; however, layering curtains can elevate your room and make it look more sophisticated and put together. A sheer paired with a gorgeous panel over it give extra depth and fullness, while also being quite functional.

Not into so much fabric and like something more simple? Fabric shades are timeless, classic, and completely functional like these from Pottery Barn.

And, don’t forget…. outdoor spaces need the same texture and design inspo as indoors.  Window treatments outside on your deck can completely transform your space into something amazing and inviting.

Author: Kathy Fielder (FGI Dallas – Executive Member)

Kathy Fielder’s passion for beautiful design, quality and style is evident throughout her illustrious career as a designer, manufacturer, lifestyle expert, blogger, TV Host, and mother of two. Since starting her first design firm in 1998, Kathy’s talents and creative abilities have earned her countless awards as she has gone on to create many successful brands in high demand from retailers like Neiman Marcus, Horchow, One Kings Lane and Rue La La. Expanding her reach in 2016, Kathy launched KF Design | Life | Style – encompassing a wide variety of home, fashion and lifestyle products all made in Dallas, TX USA. Kathy’s Design + Style blog shares her latest lifestyle tips and inspirations. She can currently be seen as the Host of “The Fielder Report” on Designing Texas with Jocelyn White, which airs every month on WFAA Channel 8. An avid horse lover, Kathy also recently Chaired the 2017 Equest “Field of Dreams” Gala, benefitting disabled people and Veterans using Equine Therapy. Visit www.kathyfielder.com for the latest news, subscribe to her blog, and shop Kathy’s Boutique. Her retail store and studio, ibC Design Studio, is located in the Lower Greenville Avenue district of Dallas.

Staten Island is Having a Fashion Moment – Faith Hope Consolo (FGI New York)

Staten Island is going luxe. A billion dollar transformation is underway on the waterfront in St. George, where you’ll soon see a rival to Jersey City and Long Island City, but with the most impressive views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.

That view is now going to be sixty stories up, thanks to the $500 million New York Wheel, which will be the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel, with three-dozen pods for up to 40 people each, as well as a full bar car and one for fine dining. The Wheel’s Terminal Building is its own 100,000-square-foot retail, restaurants, and exhibition space, featuring a 5-acre green roof, great lawn, playground, and pedestrian walkways with sweeping views of the waterfront.

Around the corner, the $200 million, multi-phase Lighthouse Point Development is going up along Bay Street. Plus, Pier 1, St. George’s 775-feet-long public space across from the terminal and the National Lighthouse Museum, is being turned into a recreational area with a marina, in addition to the 90-nights of live entertainment being programmed at the $29 million Richmond County Bank Ballpark, when the Staten Island Yankees aren’t playing at home.

St. George’s new lease on life began in 2005 with City Hall’s $130 million renovation of the Ferry Terminal, basically untouched since being rebuilt in 1951 after the original 1886 structure burned down. Today, the Terminal features floor-to-ceiling glass windows that bring in panoramic views of the harbor, and has become a tourist destination on its own.

 

The Pièce De Résistance

The $350 million Empire Outlets development, in St. George, on Staten Island will be the jewel of the crown. The vision of owner BFC Partners was to bring the 100+ stores shoppers are clamoring for, plus dozens of new food concepts, to create a shopping destination for the 75,000 people who come through daily on the Staten Island Ferry, creating a place for residents, commuters and the 6,000 daily tourists who come for the views.

This will be the only luxury outlet center for New York City modeled after the successful examples in Europe, with a closely curated selection of global luxury brands on top of all the great American names to present an unrivaled mix of fashion and lifestyle labels.

So far, the development has signed its anchors and national mainstays. Dennis Basso and Jewelers On Fifth have already signed up to be here, along with a new large-footprint concept from Nike. American anchor brands that have already leased space in Empire Outlets include Nordstrom Rack, H & M, Banana Republic, Gap Factory, Columbia Sportswear, and Toys ‘R’ Us.

The 350,000 square foot shopping mall will have a 20,000 square foot event space and 40,000 square feet of dining, featuring an artisan food and beverage hall by MRKTPL, plus outlets from Manhattan-based concepts – Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Shake Shack by Danny Meyer, Two Boots Pizza, Wasabi Steak and Sushi to create a delicious mix that works for guests, commuters and the greater community. Empire Outlets will be the dining destination on Staten Island.

The city of St. George is changing, in terms of this new built environment, but also the culture; besides the St. George Theater and the Snug Harbor Culture Center downtown, there’s now College of Staten Island’s Technology Incubator, the new LaunchPads co-working space, and the former Department of Health building will re-open as a new media and tech center. Whole blocks are going high-rise and the density and mix are beyond impressive.

The 190-key hotel also part of Empire Outlets will be Staten Island’s first up-market lodging. The waterfront boutique hotel will provide extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline and will feature a full service spa and luxury amenities.

This waterfront district on St. George is putting Staten Island back on the map and Empire Outlets is becoming a real vibrant destination of its own. This project will redefine shopping on Staten Island and bring together arts, culture, sports, dining, experience, entertainment…. Empire Outlets, the only outlet centre in NYC.

Author: Faith Hope Consolo (FGI New York – Executive Member)
Recognized worldwide as the “Queen of Retail,” Faith Hope Consolo is renowned for her expertise as a consultant and retail broker who has been instrumental in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors across the nation – and beyond. As Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, Ms. Consolo is responsible for the most successful commercial division of New York City’s largest residential real estate brokerage firm. Consolo also has shared her insights as a guest instructor at colleges, lecturer for professional organizations and keynote speaker at far-ranging conferences, The Faith Report, her quarterly on New York City’s real estate industry that’s been published since 1986, and her Huffington Post column, The Faithful Shopper. Her columns regularly appear weekly in Real Estate Weekly, The New York Real Estate Journal, and TotalFoodService, while her commentary goes around the world in commentary she provides to journalist about the retail industry and the real estate market.

 

“This Color Makes Me Feel…” – Anna Nieman (FGI Boston)

Yes, color makes us feel happy, sad, sexy, confident, or gentle…and this list can continue. Yes, color has psychological and aesthetic power. If I feel a little sad on a Monday morning in unison with the grey color of the weather and the cloudy sky, I might think to wear my soft grey turtleneck  and silvery skirt.  It looks good with my complexion and with the weather. So I am in harmony with the universe today and I feel at peace. If I have an appointment with a client today, I will be wearing  a black suit and red lipstick.  The color black speaks with authority and commands respect.  The red lipstick says: “I am confident and I know what I am doing. Trust me!”

What color we chose says a lot to other people: it is good idea be aware of this gift of nature and relish it. I remember twenty years ago, when I started working as a fit model for a clothing company in Boston, during a fitting session I got the opposite of a compliment from  a designer.  I was trying on an olive-green shirt, and she said, “Anna that color make you look sick!”  I looked at myself in the mirror:  yes, oh!  “Yes. I look sick!” and my mood went down.

So to summarize my color experience: Ladies, enjoy COLOR. Use COLOR.  It’s hard to over-estimate its importance on mood and appearance!

Working with mature, sophisticated ladies a lot, and designing for them my special couture gowns and dresses, I encourage them not to be afraid.   Be assertive instead!  Show your natural beauty! This is  what color should do for us: make our eyes shine, our skin glow, our hair smolder and glisten!  I have a dress in my collection named “Color of my eyes,” a dress designed to transform itself to match each woman’s beautiful gaze!

This spring/summer fashion season is now in full  bloom of colors and pattern with flowers, so I am creating the Anna Nieman Collection “Bloom,” flush with flowers, sensual colors, and a sense of fulfillment and happiness–everyone’s ultimate goal!

Author: Anna Nieman (FGI Boston – Executive Member)

I grew up in the Soviet Union, specifically in the western part of Belarus which was Poland until 1939. I remember when I was about fourteen years old, my favorite thing to do was to read the Polish magazine—“Pshyyazulka.” (If you’re surprised that I remember the name, so am I: it’s Polish for “Girlfriend.) Though Polish was my childhood language, we were focused on the study of Russian in school, but because I loved to read about fashion, I taught myself to read in Polish, thinking that I would love to be a fashion writer and fashion designer. Time passed by and I became a freelance writer in both Russian and Polish newspapers. I emigrated to US in 1991. I could not speak any English at all, but I had the very good luck to became a fit model for numerous clothing companies in the U.S. I opened Anna Nieman Couture in 2010 in the Boston area and now working in my studio/boutique on creating a” Couture Style” for everyone. This is my idea about fashion: to bring art, integrity, and style to every dress. And I still love to write about fashion, expressing my ideas about beauty and fashion to the world.

Powder Room Pollyanna – Melanie Woodroffe (FGI Atlanta)

I am at a charity luncheon. Sitting at the table with me is a distinguished panel of educated women, both young and old. I am mesmerized by the young lady sitting directly across from me. She is wearing a gorgeous shade of merlot lipstick and she has bread crumbs completely caked to her lipstick.

An older woman on the opposite side of her notices too, she leans over and whispers something to her. I am sure it is to tell her that her lips are full of crumbs from her roll and I am right. She is mortified and instead of excusing herself from the table and heading to the ladies powder room, she whips out an enormous sack of cosmetics from her handbag, drops it on the table in front of her plate, nearly knocking over a full glass of water, and sending seismic-like vibrations throughout the rest of the table and then, she noisily digs through the bag for a mirror while the keynote speaker speaks through the rattling and clinking.

Everyone is staring at our table.

How many times have we witnessed something similar? We live in the day and age of an etiquette shortage. The excusing of one’s self to the ladies room to touch up lipstick or to powder the nose is no longer the norm. It’s sad that it never occurred to the bread crumb girl to excuse herself from the table to wipe the crumbs from her lips.

In her defense; in my younger days, before charm school, I may have reacted the same way!

Beauty etiquette indiscretions run rampant. So what do we do about them?

We lead by example. Our actions must positively pave the path! No glossing or glittering, no puffs of powder, or lining of the eyes in public settings.

Leave it all to the ladies powder room.

So, next time you come across a little etiquette folly, such as the young lady with the crusted lips; merely, discreetly and nicely tell her that she has a little something on her lips and quietly give her directions to the ladies powder room.

I am sure that she will appreciate your kindness and pay it forward!

Author: Melanie Woodroffe (FGI Atlanta – Executive Member)
Melanie is an Atlanta-based Published Copywriter, Blogger, IT Strategist and Social Media Content Curator.  As an FGI Atlanta Board Member, she oversees Social Media engagement and Web Content updates. She is also actively involved in community, and enjoys helping to build bridges between the fashion, beauty, art and interior design world, and connecting them to a cause!

International Style Institute: Tools Provided to Be a Fashion Stylist & Influencer – Carmelita Bouie (FGI Los Angeles)

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It can be hard knowing which filter to use for your photos on Instagram or which hashtag to tag it with. These days everyone is a brand. Social Media Marketing and content creation is a full time job, but it is such a lucrative necessity for any brand to be successful in connecting with its followers and audiences. I attended The International Style Institute conference was a great 3-day crash course for me… bloggers, influencers and marketers …or anyone looking to get into the digital influencing game! The 3-day course, sponsored in partnership with The Grove in Los Angeles, covered relevant topics to help a variety of influencers promote themselves as a brand: from fashion styling, lighting for photography, video creation and food staging.

The International Style Institute was launched in March 2015 in Los Angeles, CA by world renowned celebrity stylist, Anita Patrickson, and Simply Stylist’s Sarah Boyd. Patrickson and Boyd saw a budding interest from many who were interested in learning how to become a stylist, but had no resources available to them to learn how to do it. The 3-day intensive course gave information to attendees how cultivate their own style, understand their brand and build it into a successful career.

Everyone can find style, they said (OR I learned), in their everyday lives from the clothes we wear, to creating our home’s outdoor oasis, to expressing our individual perspective through various social outlets. Anita and Sarah were truly enthusiastic and dedicated to helping others to tap into their personal style and express it outwardly to an audience.

I experienced the 3-day session being a very interactive hands-on session where attendees get to do staging exercises and video demos to practice exactly what industry experts taught them in their lessons the day of. Anita and Sarah were non-stop energetic mentors to the attendees. They were so happy to share their industry expertise and styling tips and tricks to help each attendee discover and express their own personal brand interests.

Content creation has quickly become the most visible way to express your personal style in a range of verticals, but there are so many behind the scenes details to making a blog as impactful and profitable as possible. The International Style Institute brought top industry influencers, bloggers, professional photographers and site builders together to provide attendees tools they would need to know to start making their digital way.

Conference attendees not only included up and coming bloggers, but also celebrities and established digital influencers, who wanted to sharpen their craft. There was something that everyone could takeaway to immediately vamp up to their brand.

Celebrities in attendance included Olivia Culpo, Michelle Williams and actress, Monique Coleman. The conference ended with a sushi and sangria networking session sponsored by Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill at the Grove.

The next International Style Institute conference will be held in NYC this June 2nd-4th!

Author: Carmelita Bouie (Associate Member – FGI Los Angeles)
Carmelita Bouie is an entertainment & lifestyle marketing and communications consultant, having worked on entertainment marketing and public relations campaigns spanning theatrical, home entertainment and new media distribution. She is also the founder of FMA Worldwide (www.fmaworldwide.com), a fashion marketing agency that connects fashion stylists and costume designers to emerging fashion designers from around the globe. She’s currently the entertainment and fashion editor for the lifestyle magazine, The Awesome Muse (www.theawesomemuse.com) and is editor-in-chief of her own blog, Wanted+Desired Fashion Blog (www.wantedanddesired.com), which covers emerging brands and designers from the U.S. and abroad. Carmelita holds an MBA degree from Cornell University.

What is Pitti Uomo? – Hamza Khan (FGI Toronto)

Sometime around January, my Instagram feed gets wildly populated with menswear content. Endless images of style inspiration flood my screen, coming faster than I can dish out likes. At first, it’s hard to tell where this is happening, and why. Browsing through the images, the Italian architecture in the background is apparent. The one-odd images of the city seen are old-world beautiful, something to behold. And the caliber of images appear to signify a men’s fashion show, but the hash tags constantly make use of two words – “Pitti Uomo.”

The same thing happens again in June. This time, colorful ensembles and summer flair dominate digital media. Gelato is plentiful and smiles ear-to-ear. There is one thing I notice immediately. Not as many people seem to make it to the summer version of Pitti. Perhaps the hot summer days make it difficult to don those beautiful suits, albeit in linen or other summer friendly fabrics – hence the lower turnout. It seems a different vibe to the winter version, at least from what I can tell from the images and video. You’ll quickly notice familiar faces everyone flocks to – for pictures, handshakes, and bro-hugs. These are the Pitti regulars, celebrities in their own right through their sprezzatura and charming good looks.

Two Pitti Uomo’s in and I’m still confused as to what its relevance is. My online research tells me it’s a trade show but the images don’t add up. It’s hard to tell what Pitti Uomo is, outside of the glitz and glamour surrounding “The Wall,” another term I am constantly seeing. There’s only one way to find out. Make the pilgrimage.

The winter version captured my imagination, and that’s the one I want to experience. The moment I step on the train from Milan, I can tell this is going to be a special trip. The train is filled with an eclectic mix of styles, all elegant in their own right – ready to make an impression on the world’s stage of menswear. I was overwhelmed already, and it wasn’t until the second day that everything was put into perspective – and Pitti suddenly made sense to me.

Pitti Uomo is in fact, a trade show. Period. It occurs twice a year, once in the winter and then again in the summer. Manufacturers and brands related to menswear or lifestyle products descend upon Florence to showcase their season’s collections – for the upcoming season that is. That means if you’re looking to stock up for your store for F/W of a given year, you would need to visit the winter version of Pitti for that year (January) – in order to receive your orders in time.

Setting up an exhibitor stall is quite a financial undertaking, meaning those that do are hungry to showcase their products and push sales. Wandering the many stalls is actually time consuming and not effective. Using the Pitti Smart app, you can easily locate brands you’re interested in visiting, and just follow the directions to get there.

As I wander around, I come upon a large area and a tiny wall about knee high – spanning the landing leading into the main exhibition hall. I finally found “The Wall.” It is actually how I imagined it would be, but on a much grander scale. People are littered everywhere and there is hardly space to operate, without getting poked by a photographer’s lens. If you’re camera shy, this is not the place to be. Among all the gawkers, influencers, enthusiasts, journalists, and businessmen, – the photographers are jostling for position. Taking those fantastic shots for the digital world is no mean feat, and they’re definitely a strong presence around the wall. Thank you for bringing Pitti Uomo to our doorstep.

In all the madness of Pitti, I forget just how beautiful the host city of Florence really is. Truly a sight to behold, the beautiful colors of the Duomo and Ponte Vecchio effortlessly reflect off the clear waters of the river Arno. Walking along the cobblestone roads and experiencing the rich history of the city is a plus for visitors to Pitti Uomo. The local cuisine and shopping is not to be missed either. Most arrive with only days to spare, spent completely within the walls of the Fortezza de Baso, soaking up as much of Pitti as possible. If it is your first time, plan for a couple of days before and after Pitti – and take in the beauty of Firenze. It certainly stole my breath away.

Author: Hamza Khan (FGI Toronto – Associate)

Hamza Khan is a passionate admirer of menswear, and its resonating effects on a man’s lifestyle. In 2014, he founded Casa di Sartoria, an online menswear and lifestyle journal for discerning gentlemen. Writing aside, Hamza finds the business of fashion fascinating, and regularly consults with brands on growing their business for an ever-increasing digital world. Follow Hamza on Instagram or reach to hamza@casadisartoria.com.

Season-less Style – Germaine Caprio (FGI Chicago)

It’s tough living in the present when you always have to think about the future. We all need to look ahead, but when designing a fashion collection, it’s a must.

When I started MAJAMAS, I designed four collections a year. That meant spotting trends, seeking the latest colors and applying all this to a clothing line that would sell one year later. Sound glamorous? It was constant stress and very expensive and just like life, this model has changed.

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Maybe it’s the onset of fast-fashion, maybe it’s the internet, but we’re finding fewer and fewer retailers are buying ahead. Producing a full collection for them to view 8 months in advance seems pointless. In the past, our retailers would work with us at “markets” or big trade shows across the country to view our latest and greatest additions. Today, most of these retailers are buying in the season. They aren’t able to look ahead because predicting sell thru in the garment business isn’t what it used to be.

Customers have changed their buying habits and, in my experience, they’re not loyal to one retailer the way they used to be. More than ever, these retailers have to grab the interest of their customers so stocking up heavily in one particular style, even a great seller, could be a risk. The garment business has always been challenging but this latest wrinkle is making it really difficult.

As the supplier, we must make a style our retailers don’t pre-order because there’s still a very good chance they will want it in season. If we don’t have the stock, we don’t have the sales, so not producing some of these styles could really hurt us. On the other hand, producing a bunch of stock just to have it sit in our warehouse and not sell hurts us too.

No matter how you look at it, it’s risky business.

So what’s a clothing company to do? Don’t say quit because that’s always tempting but this year, I have decided to live in the present. We’re focusing on our best silhouettes like our soft, beautiful loungewear, our versatile activewear and our amazingly comfortable bras. For those who look for what’s new in our collection, we plan to keep you busy by introducing new pieces month to month.

My dad used to say, “Once you stop moving, you’re dead.” As simple as that sounds, it’s true in so many ways. If we stop creating collections, our buyers will lose interest and look somewhere else. If we put all our money into one assortment, we risk losing it on inventory that never gets ordered.

We are going big and going season-less!

Season-less fashion? I guess that’s where we’re headed here at MAJAMAS. I am going to take the risk. Yeah, I’ll still create a Fall 2017 collection for my best Mama retailers, but I’m making it smaller. For our ESSENTIALS customers I’m going to focus on the present, creating whimsical, basic styles that no wardrobe is complete without.

Author: Germaine Caprio (Executive Member – FGI Chicago)

Owner and designer of Majamas, I designed and patented the first nursing tank for new mommas back in 1999 and Nordstrom bought it. That jumped started me into the garment business and now Majamas produces four labels that sell all over the world. When I started Majamas, I gave little thought to the environment but now I realize how important it is to run a clean clothing company so our planet isn’t sacrificed for fashion. I am passionate about making beautiful, eco-friendly clothing and I believe we really can change the world one garment at a time.

Top 5 Legal Issues for Launching A Fashion Show – Victoria Watkins (FGI Chicago)

Fashion law is growing in its prevalence, and regular fashion weeks are primetime for the niche. Surely the niche is growing, but its presence has been longstanding in many areas. Fashion shows are a major example.

Are you planning to promote a fashion brand anytime soon? The tips below are critical considerations to get you started.

  1. Check your promoter. Know your cause.

In theory, anyone can produce a fashion show–but a reputable company is another story. With so many promotional groups and social organizations, doing some checking on the entities you plan to work with is a quick and easy way to avoid problems later.

  1. Are there riders?

In the music industry most notably, artists often provide “riders”. These documents go along with the performance contract and include special requests of the performer. Models may have these for fashion shows, as well as any other talent which might appear. Read these carefully–you could be up for some pretty interesting demands.

  1. Is your show insured?

Insurance is so important. You never know what could happen on a runway or in a dressing room during a change. Having insurance for the venue at a minimum, and the event depending on its size, is critical. Many insurance companies have agents who specialize in entertainment. This call is totally worth it.

  1. Is everything clear?

Whether you’re using music, photos, or just clothes, you need to make sure you have all the appropriate licenses and permissions required. An infringement suit is the last thing you need when trying to share style with the crowd. Having legal counsel near is definitely important here.

  1. Technology

The size of your show may determine how technology will impact it. Though larger shows may end up on television, even small shows can be recorded via small camcorders or cell phones. This is absolutely a consideration for what you allow your guests to do or have when entering the showroom. These days, technology is a big reason for infringement–as photos can be taken at fashion shows, sent to designers and hitting the cutting table all within minutes! Technology can be a plus, in promoting the show and brand, but it can also be a curse. Be sure you are careful about how it can impact your production.

Of course there are other matters to consider, but these are a few key points to get you started.

This article is not intended as legal advice and is soley for entertainment purposes.

Author: Victoria Watkins (Executive Member – FGI Chicago)

Straight Jeans vs. Skinny Jeans – Martu Freeman-Parker (FGI South Florida)

Guys you always have choice. You should never feel like you have to keep up with times by wearing clothes that makes you look or feel uncomfortable.  Please remember it’s all about your personal style and taste. Skinny Jeans are not for every man. And “Yes” I’m Pro Straight Jeans, but if skinny jeans are worn right, on the right body type they can be fashionable, stylish etc. I do not believe there is an age limited to how you should dress, but I do believe your body type should have a lot to do with what type of clothes you wear. I know I’m always pushing you to be a fashion lions by this topic is super sensitive.

Straight Jeans

Straight Jeans

Some days I want to walk around the city with spare pairs of straight jeans for those guys that got it wrong that day. It’s not their fault, it could be their egos, girlfriend or boyfriend giving them very bad advice. Or maybe they just got caught up in the moment when all the fashion sense was crushed by a pushy sales person in their favorite store. I really don’t know what happens, I just want to fix it. I’ve had this conversation many times with good friends and even total strangers. But some guys just don’t know the difference between Skinny Jeans and Straight Jeans.

Skinny Jeans

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The different between the two types for fits is the fabric content. Skinny Jeans has spandex in the fabric which allow the jeans to stretch and hug the body. Straight jeans has not spandex so no stretch. More and more men’s wear designers are moving towards stretchy fabric and a slimmer fitting clothes. Guys you can look just as stylish and on trend with straight jeans. My professional advice is to wear what makes you look your best. Try on both in your favorite brands and make your decision. Remember every jean is not for every man and your body type and personal style dictates whether you should wear Straight Jeans or Skinny Jeans. Now go and make the right decision.

Author: Martu Freeman-Parker (Associate Member – FGI Palm Springs)

Martu E. Freeman-Parker was born in Washington DC, and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she earned a BA in Fashion Merchandising/Consumer Services. She moved to New York City where she went on to gain experience as a freelancer in the Apparel industry as an assistant production manager, merchandising assistant, Fabric R&D, preproduction manager with many nationally recognized apparel companies, including Polo Ralph Lauren, The Limited, Victoria Secret Catalogue, Polo Jeans, Calvin Klein Jeans, Gap Inc., The Limited, Carter’s and Conde Nast Publications. Martu held permanent positions as Production Assistant for Women’s Sweaters and Swimwear at J Crew, Pre-Production Manager for Women’s knits at American Eagle Outfitters, and Men’s Department Design Coordinator at Urban Outfitter’s in Philadelphia Pa. Martu is an Adjunct Professor at Miami International University of Art & Design and a member of the Fashion Group International Inc. South Florida chapter. She operates her own Apparel Consultant Business M.E.F. Productions LLC, offering a wide range of services to businesses and individuals in the apparel industry. You can always hear her thoughts on the latest fashion trends on her fashion blog M.E.F. STYLE REPORT www.mefstylereport.blogspot.com.

The Ring’s the Thing: Art Deco for Everyday Wear from the House of Harlow – Donnella Tilery (FGI New York)

My fiancé usually groans at my large bobbles and spikes lovingly placed on my ring fingers. I’ve always loved dramatic accessories especially rings as I think they can express your personality whether you are wearing a suit, gown or nothing at all – yet show your style to the viewer. I am currently reviewing Spring 2013 collections and after searching Art Deco fashions ( my particular genre favorite) – I came across the House of Harlow 1960. The face of the brand – Nicole Richie works with the artisans on creating designs with specific detailing that fuses art deco with modern appeal to a style mavens’ liking.

 
I do think the site should be a bit streamlined for easier shop and click, with more cross image links to the shopping cart. I also want to request darker text as I scroll; as I found a few necklaces that caught my attention from their past season Fall 2011. Otherwise I think there is enough items there not to overwhelm you as you shop in Spring 2012 which is nice as you can easily forget your purchase in many shopping sites that offer hundreds of offerings.

Author: Donnella Tilery (FGI New York – Executive Member)

Donnella Tilery is a proud member of FGI since 2009 and the FGI Membership Committee Chair since 2012! Donnella produces and manages trade shows, fundraisers, sample sales, seminars, workshops, and product launches for brands that are focused on a luxury-driven consumer. Donnella is the  owner of Meet The Brand Events & Showroom – http://meethebrand.com and best known as the founder & producer of her signature event: New Jersey Fashion Week, the official fashion week for the state of New Jersey since 2010. – http://fashionweeknj.com. 

 

Snapchat Basics – Kelsey Bigelow (FGI Denver)

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Snapchat may seem like it’s filled with weird animal transforming filters and people Face Swap’ing with hilarious and terrifying results but it’s also a really unique social media channel. At its core, Snapchat is quick photos and videos (less than 15 seconds) that self destruct after 24 hours. You can add photos & videos to your “Story”, which everyone who follows you can see, or you can privately send them to specific people, where they are viewable only twice before they disappear. There’s lots of ways to personalize your snaps with text, emojis, stickers and filters, some of which are specific to the location you’re in. The story becomes a behind the scenes look at 24 hours in your business before going away forever. The only way to save a snap is to screenshot it and you’ll know exactly who’s saving your snaps.

Snapchat is not as easy to find new people to follow; you have to know someone’s snapchat user name or have their phone number in order to follow them. It doesn’t give you suggestions like Instagram does and there’s no search tool like you find on Facebook or Twitter. You can’t track the analytics of Snapchat either. You can see how many people view a certain snap and who they are but you can’t see where they came from or how many total people you have following you. It’s also not as intuitive to use as other channels. There are a lot of icons on a screen with little instruction on what they do.

There are two main reasons I like Snapchat. First, it is quick, candid messages. Unlike Pinterest or Instagram, it doesn’t feel overly curated. It’s also a channel that encourages a lot of posting on a particular day. Instead of flooding someone’s Facebook newsfeed or Instagram feed, it neatly packages your whole day into a story. It’s easy to skip videos or photos; if you’re bored you can even swipe a whole story and you’re on to the next person. Second, it forces you to get your message across quickly. Much like Twitter’s 140 characters or less, Snapchat gives you just 15 seconds of video to get your point across. You can rehearse and rerecord your videos until you get them right but if you’re presenting an idea, you really have to know what you’re going to say in 15 seconds or less.

Snapchat is still in its infancy compared to other more established social media channels and may change in the next few years.  For now, it’s another channel in our media arsenal.

Author: Kelsey Bigelow (Associate Member – FGI Denver)

 Kelsey Bigelow is the COO & co-owner of Denver Style Magazine.  She manages the magazine’s operations, including social media, local partnerships, and advertisers. Denver Style Magazine is committed to growing the retail industry in Colorado through a bi-monthly print publication as well as events, workshops and one-on-one business consulting. Prior to Denver Style Magazine, Kelsey worked as a fashion blogger and portrait photographer. She is passionate about helping solo entrepreneurs manage their businesses and find success. Follow along online at kelseybigelow.com or on Instagram @kelseybigelow

What Fashion Stylists Can Teach Us About Career Management – Claire Steichen (FGI New York)

I recently started working with a stylist.  Leaving corporate life, having two kids, starting a business, reintegrating to corporate life and getting eight years older can leave a girl in need of some guidance.  It has been wonderful.  Before working with Karen, I found myself spending time and money on things that ended up hanging, unworn, in my closet.  Without a vision and the right tools, I was adrift.  Now my clothes are aligned with the quality of service I want to deliver and I feel back on track.

Career management is similar.  We think we know what we are doing.  How could we not?  It’s our life and our career.  But like with clothing, we evolve over time.  Our needs change and the tools we relied on no longer work.  A simple roadmap — vision, milestones and information — can relax you, knowing that you are focused and moving forward.

Vision:  Many people feel ready to throw it all away this time of year, but very often wanting a new job is a distraction from the real issue — we want inspiration where we are.  What would it look like to feel more inspired at work?  What would you do next?

Milestones:  What do you need to demonstrate to make your next move?  Who are three people you need to connect with and convince that you are the right person?

Information:  Information is where I see most clients struggle.  They focus on one or two opportunities and don’t see all of the avenues that are actually available.  Are you aware of the innovation happening in your industry and which of your skills will be in demand?  Are you regularly talking with people at your company and outside of it?

In January we celebrate the new year, but biologically we are in hibernation.  My clients really begin to move in spring when nature’s energy wakes us up.  Why not use this more passive time to work on your roadmap.  You will be ready to move when the time is right.

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Author: Claire Steichen (FGI New York – Executive Member)

Claire Steichen is the founder and President of Clear Strategy Coaching, an executive coaching firm in New York City. Before becoming a coach, Claire was an Account Manager in sales at Givaudan, where she managed on-going client relationships with Avon, Estee Lauder, La Prairie and Victoria’s Secret. And prior to Givaudan, Claire worked as a Marketing Manager for L’Oreal and Christian Dior fragrance, where she oversaw the US launches of major skincare and fragrance brands.  Claire received her MBA from Columbia Business School, where she works as a coach with several executive education programs.

“IF I MUST” Pictorial Exhibit by Boswell Hardwick – Lisa Benedict (FGI Detroit)

“IF I MUST” is a photo exhibit by photographer Boswell Hardwick. Boswell teamed with luxury retailer Neiman Marcus-Somerset Collection to not only show case his iconic photos of Paris but to let Neiman’s juxtapose the photographs with models showing the latest in Parisian couture.

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Introduction – Boswell Hardwick: “The images are from archives that go back about 6 years – I have been printing and selling my Parisian images to a couple interior designers and collectors for about 2 years. I met the owners of Robert Kidd Gallery at an artist reception right after returning from a trip to Paris last spring where I did a shoot for designers Majesty Black. I showed them some of the images on my phone. They were pretty excited and after a couple more meetings we decided to partner to do an exhibition at their Gallery in Birmingham.

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I have a long relationship with Neiman Marcus so I reached out to them to see if we could do something together. They were very excited so the second exhibition was born in a 6 week span. It is so great to have the support of a luxury retailer and a solid gallery. My favorite thing about the Paris images is the gritty realness and the modernity – I will not shy away from cars, people or construction. I have an image of the Louvre and you can see the vapor trails in the sky – that gives it away as a modern moment – otherwise the image could have been captured 150 years ago- I also work with window reflections, the amount of detail and depth one can achieve is pretty incredible.”

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Author: Lisa Benedict (FGI Detroit – Associate Member)

Lisa is a Detroit native and a freelance writer who pens the blog, “Big Girl On A Budget” –biggirlbudget.blogspot.com. Lisa is also the lead blogger for The Styling Closet (thestylingcloset.com)
An MSU alum Lisa has a degree in English and has been published in the Lansing State Journal, Detroit Free Press, USA Today, InStyle, Glamour and Elegant Plus. Having been introduced to fashion by her grandmother, Lisa grew up going to fashion shows and later walking local runways as a plus size model.

 

The Future of Fast Fashion – Olivia Allan (FGI Toronto)

Technology has a way of evolving beyond what we can imagine. Think back to the first cellphone – costly, bulky, and couldn’t hold a charge. Considering what we expect cellphones to do today, is it so crazy to imagine that 3D printing could become so mass market, that instead of buying a pre-made article of clothing, we could be able buy the design online and print it?

Fast fashion takes current trends, and makes them available immediately to the consumer. What better way to do this than 3D-print the style the minute it starts to gain popularity. However, in-home printing can’t happen overnight. As both consumers and retailers become more familiar with this new technology and its benefits, the market will gradually adapt.

Initially, consumers will print in-store. If the size or style is sold out, consumers will be able to request the item of their choice to be printed on demand. Fast fashion stores, known for having a plethora of the same size of the same style, will now only carry limited sizes in each style. Instead of taking home the item from the sales floor, consumers will simply receive a freshly printed item. Large stock rooms will be converted into printing centres to accommodate these requests on-site.

I predict: Within five years, consumers will have 3D printers at home and will be able to download designs from a store’s website. They will be able to customize options such as style, fit, pattern, size, and material. In-home printers are already affordable, but the average consumer lacks the technical skills to design 3D sketches in a computer program. Consumers will not begin by downloading the design for their wedding dress, instead starting with things such as lost buttons, and accessories, then moving to clothing as it becomes more mass-market.

Shapeways already helps the public buy, sell, and create 3D printed products, and Iris Van Herpen, a Dutch designer, presented her first 3D print in 2010. As a designer, she understands the need to embrace technology and incorporate it, rather than shy away from it as something unknown.

Do you think I’m a dreamer? Are you shaking your head? Think of the consumer appeal. I think the main driver behind this change will be the consumer’s desire to be different. We know that fashion trends are cyclical, but consumer trends are as well. Before the 1850’s, consumers instructed tailors on what to make for them; then designers started dictating trends. However, as Millennials grow as consumers, so might the consumer trend of individuality and bespoke pieces.

Retailers will benefit due to reducing the costs of manufacturing, shipping and logistics, unsold merchandise, and real estate for larger retail spaces. The environment will benefit because the materials used will be recyclable. Instead of throwing out old clothes, you can use the materials to print new ones.

The future of 3D printing is both exciting and unnerving. Technology can change quickly. While today it seems a far reach to claim that we will be printing our wardrobe in five years, history has shown us that it is entirely possible. The technology is there, and now as consumers and industry insiders, we need to explore the opportunities that it can provide.

Author: Olivia Allan (Associate Member – FGI Toronto)

Olivia Allan is a Fashion Buying professional based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she spent two years learning the ropes of the fashion industry in Milan, completing a Masters in Fashion Buying, and working in the Milan Buying Office for a major North American luxury department store, before returning to Canada in 2014. Olivia is passionate about travel, fashion, and food, and shares her stories on her blog FLIGHTS|FASHION|FOOD, and her photos on Instagram @flightsfashionfood.

Facebook Basics – Kelsey Bigelow (FGI Denver)

The social media channel that seems to most often dominate the news, Facebook is used by both teens and baby boomers. It’s the channel that’s practically a requirement to be in the modern world. However, Facebook can be difficult for brands to find traction in. A few years ago, Facebook changed it’s page display algorithm. Instead of allowing you to be guaranteed to see all posts from business and brand pages you follow, Facebook wants you to pay to display your posts more on a brand page.

Still Facebook has features that other channels can’t match like the Facebook events feature. It’s free to create an event on Facebook and very, very easy. You can even connect your ticket selling app, like Eventbrite, to Facebook to automatically publish the information of your event. You can promote a specific event and it’s easy to invite your followers. Our website also has the ability to follow specific Facebook pages and share their upcoming events automatically on our website, without any additional work from us or the event hosts.

Facebook Live launched a few months ago; it’s a video streaming service that’s available for both business and personal pages. The live video streams only to your page followers instead of the whole world. This means you interact with people specifically interested in what you have to say. The biggest success we’ve had in using Facebook Live is to stream at the same time every week. As time has gone on, followers begin to notice that we’re always on at the same time and they start setting aside time in their week to join us. I would also recommend creating an agenda of what you want to talk about in your first few videos to keep yourself on track. We also promote our Facebook Live stream on other social media accounts, reminding people that we’re going live in a few minutes and sharing links to the video once we’ve finished.

Facebook also makes it easy to connect with other like minded people through Groups. There’s different groups for business owners, some private/invite only, some public. Some are large and some are very intimate. Local groups that are interested in meeting offline have been the most beneficial for me in terms of networking. It’s easy to find people interested in the same things as me and connect with them quickly.

Author: Kelsey Bigelow (Associate Member – FGI Denver)

 Kelsey Bigelow is the COO & co-owner of Denver Style Magazine.  She manages the magazine’s operations, including social media, local partnerships, and advertisers. Denver Style Magazine is committed to growing the retail industry in Colorado through a bi-monthly print publication as well as events, workshops and one-on-one business consulting. Prior to Denver Style Magazine, Kelsey worked as a fashion blogger and portrait photographer. She is passionate about helping solo entrepreneurs manage their businesses and find success. Follow along online at kelseybigelow.com or on Instagram @kelseybigelow

 

Dress For Success – Tricia Rivas (FGI Member At Large)

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The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. I don’t know what a time would look like if Trixies wasn’t giving back to our community and other non-profits that we adore! Dress For Success is more than just a non-profit to us; it’s a sisterhood.

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We recently spent the day with some beautiful women doing their hair and makeup for a luncheon and fashion show. Watching them put on these designer clothes did so much for our souls. I don’t know if they realized the impact that they were making around them, but it was something spectacular. The energy in the room could have made you fly. Watching them walk the runway with pride and hearing their stories of tragedy and triumph made you feel like you could overcome anything! I know we all left there with a skip in our step and feeling grateful for having the opportunity to spend the day with these she-reos!!!

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Author: Tricia Rivas (FGI Member At Large – Iowa)

Tricia Rivas is the owner of two Aveda Salons in Des Moines, Iowa. She has been a freelance makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, Aveda, as well as a makeup educator for Toni&Guy Cosmetic Art Team. Tricia has had the honor of doing makeup at Mercedes New York Fashion Week with Aveda and continues to do makeup for Kansas City Fashion Week every season with Xiphium Salon. When Tricia isn’t working at Trixies she enjoys shopping at local boutiques, spending time with family and friends and giving back to the community.

 

International Shopping Series: Berlin – Olivia Allan (FGI Toronto)

I love to travel, and I love to trend spot. I say trend spot, because while I may not be a true shopaholic myself, I certainly am passionate about the art of shopping.

When travelling, I love to discover secret retail gems. One of the most memorable stores I have seen was an independent jeweller in Berlin. My friend had heard of them and finding the store was on our must-do list while we were there.

What made it such a must-do? They make blown glass pendants with dried dandelions inside. Super. Cool.

It was a bit difficult to find, which I’m sure was only due to our lack of familiarity with Berlin, and zero knowledge of German, but we found the store and thus began the hour long process of deciding which piece of jewellery to purchase.

I opted for a wrap watch with a compass charm, and a globe charm; very fitting of my vagabonda lifestyle. My friend opted for a necklace with a dandelion charm, which was the main reason we were in search of this store in the first place.

Sadly, in our haste to pack up our lives without waking our bunkmates in the wee hours of a dark Berlin morning, my friend left her necklace somewhere in our hostel room. Not to fear, Villa Sorgenfrei also sells online so she could (and did!) replace her necklace. My watch was a big part of my life until one day, after constantly carrying my bag around on my elbow and likely catching my watch on it every time, I realized that the compass charm had fallen off. The watch lost its charm (no pun intended!) for me so I’ve stopped wearing it. I want to replace it by visiting the store in person, but that’s likely another couple of years away.

I strongly recommend that you go, and also have a peek in their studio next door to watch the magic happen! You can stand on the sidewalk beside the store and peer through the window to see their production team hard at work creating these memorable pieces of jewellery.

If you don’t have a trip planned at the moment, then go check out their Instagram in the meantime for some eye candy. Sadly, this is a non-photo post, because I simply didn’t take a picture of my beloved watch.

Author: Olivia Allan (Associate Member – FGI Toronto)

Olivia Allan is a Fashion Buying professional based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally from Vancouver, BC, she spent two years learning the ropes of the fashion industry in Milan, completing a Masters in Fashion Buying, and working in the Milan Buying Office for a major North American luxury department store, before returning to Canada in 2014. Olivia is passionate about travel, fashion, and food, and shares her stories on her blog FLIGHTS|FASHION|FOOD, and her photos on Instagram @flightsfashionfood.

Fashion Is Serious Business – Germaine Caprio (FGI Chicago)

When I tell people I’m a clothing designer, they think my world is filled with trips to New York, runway shows, and champagne but in reality, it’s nothing like that. Most of my days are filled with the stuff no one really wants to do; stuff like ordering fabric, following up with cutters, clients and suppliers, paying bills and making sure everyone is doing their job so our clothes get made and our orders can ship.

Designing and owning a clothing line is far from glamorous work.

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I’ve had faculty members from reputable design schools in Chicago visit our showroom. They want to know how to help their fashion students find work after graduating. “Perhaps lead them into a different major,” I say, sarcastically but when I really think about it, these students need to learn so much more than how to design a clothing collection. They need to learn about business.

I’m a firm believer clothing designers are born, not made and those who want to “learn” design will never get it but that doesn’t mean a person without an eye for design can’t work in the fashion business. There is so much more to it than matching prints with solids and whipping up unique silhouettes for a spring collection.

A successful independent clothing designer needs to know how to run a company and a successful clothing company needs to know not only how to make beautiful garments but how to sell them. They need a top notch website, a huge social media campaign to match and an eye for details. They need an army of reliable cutters, sewing contractors, fabric suppliers and logistic companies that can ship supplies across the country. They need knowledge of the customer experience so when a customer receives an order, she loves what she’s paid for and if she doesn’t she knows how to return it. The owner of a successful clothing company knows spending money on a swanky office isn’t as important as investing in the right employees who are smart, efficient and care.

There are thousands of extremely talented designers out there just waiting for that one big break and I’m thrilled the design schools are truly concerned about helping these talented young artists learn how to make a living from their craft. Schools need to help these students hone in on their markets and keep them from thinking the business of fashion is all about glam and bling. They need to encourage students to produce their clothing lines responsibly and show them being a part of the textile business doesn’t mean they have to produce their collections in China or outside of the United States.

Being successful in fashion takes a lot of hard work, dedication and common sense. Just like any business, there are bills to pay, boxes to haul, deadlines to meet and contracts to read.

So what advice do I have for young students majoring in fashion? “Pursue your passion and be open to exploring all the facets of the fashion business. You may not end up as the Head Creative Director at Christian Dior but there are many other jobs that play important roles in the clothing industry and companies out there needing smart, dedicated professionals to help them succeed in this tough industry.”  Plus, the champagne they serve at the runway shows isn’t that good anyway.

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Author: Germaine Caprio (Executive Member – FGI Chicago)

 

 

This One’s For Les Garçons: An Interview with Pierre Henri Mattout – Carmelita Bouie (FGI Los Angeles)

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Founded in 2014 by Pierre Henri Mattout, PHM Saint Peres is a multi-brand online and retail store that focuses on men’s high fashion, and exclusive sneaker collections. Their flagship store is located 50, Rue des Saints Peres in the heart of Saint Germain des Pres in Paris, France. The store concept is a blend of Japanese avant garde designers, high performance and street wear.

Bloomingdales hosted the PHM Saint Peres Parisian pop-up shop in their New York and Los Angeles (Beverly Center) locations. I had the pleasure of meeting the savvy Frenchman at the Beverly Center location and discussed his young brand, fusing international labels with men’s street wear and his collaboration with Bloomingdales.

W+D:  Your background is with Calvin Klein and Victorinox, one’s very classic American style representing the “basics with clean structure,” and the other, much more outerwear… what made you want to fashion your pop-up to target street wear?

Pierre Henri Mattout: It’s actually my various experiences as a menswear designer that helped me shape my concept store. At PHM, tailoring, craftsmanship, the outdoor, and street are all very connected.

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W+D:  Who are some of your fashion influences?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I’ve always been very inspired by Comme des Garcons for the way they put things together. Influencers like Nick Wooster and designer Pierre Hardy are also a huge inspiration.

W+D: Do the designers in your pop-up collection represent many of the places you’ve traveled to?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I haven’t been to all those places. Fashion is global today, though. It’s probably no coincidence that all the brands are coming from all over the world now.

W+D: Do you think European street style is different to U.S. street style?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I think street style in the U.S. is stronger and influences other places like Europe.

W+D: Has “street style” influenced your own personal style?

Pierre Henri Mattout: It did in some ways… I was much more polished / preppy but over the years my style has evolved to more casual / street…

The PHM Saint Peres collection of men’s street wear.

W+D: What’s your vision of the “PHM man” who shops and wears items from your pop-up?

Pierre Henri Mattout: This man is a free spirit. He combines a cool pair of sneakers with basic Chinos and light weight functional jacket from Arc’eteryx Veilance for example. I’m not trying to make it too fashiony, it’s more about creating tomorrow’s basics.

W+D: What’s your favorite international city and why?

Pierre Henri Mattout: New York City without hesitation. Because of the energy …. basically, anything can happen.

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W+D: Why partner with Bloomingdales exclusively for your two pop-ups?

Pierre Henri Mattout: Bloomingdales allows me a presence nationwide, which is an incredible opportunity for a young brand like mine.

W+D: I love the combination of “exclusivity and accessibility” of the brands featured and that you’re helping to introduce and raise foreign brand identity to a U.S. audience … what’s next for you and the PHM brand?

Pierre Henri Mattout: I want to keep growing the PHM brand and reach a wider audience.

Author: Carmelita Bouie (Associate Member – FGI Los Angeles)
Carmelita Bouie is an entertainment & lifestyle marketing and communications consultant, having worked on entertainment marketing and public relations campaigns spanning theatrical, home entertainment and new media distribution. She is also the founder of FMA Worldwide (www.fmaworldwide.com), a fashion marketing agency that connects fashion stylists and costume designers to emerging fashion designers from around the globe. She’s currently the entertainment and fashion editor for the lifestyle magazine, The Awesome Muse (www.theawesomemuse.com) and is editor-in-chief of her own blog, Wanted+Desired Fashion Blog (www.wantedanddesired.com), which covers emerging brands and designers from the U.S. and abroad. Carmelita holds an MBA degree from Cornell University.

 

Day in the Life – Katie McKenna (FGI New York)

In talking to aspiring designers and entrepreneurs interested in entering the fashion industry, the question I’m continuously asked is “what is a typical day for you?” but the truth is that such a day does not exist.

The business office and the distribution center for my company’s e-commerce sites (www.pinksheepheiress.com and www.sheepshades.com) are located in my hometown of St. Louis, MO, while my main showroom, pattern maker, the work rooms that manufactures all of the samples and product inventory, my sales team and PR/media, and web development teams are all based in the heart of New York’s Garment District. Earlier this year, we made a home on the West Coast at a showroom in the Los Angeles Garment District. I split my time between St. Louis and New York and recently have been frequenting Los Angeles more to stay connected to the shared showroom we are now a part of as well as the incredible stylists and costume designers who enjoy working with the brand.

Being an entrepreneur means having to simultaneously stay on top of regular tasks, fight the unexpected fires that will arise, and plan for the future all while staying true to your brand’s core values and overseeing the ‘big picture’ of the company.

Today, I met with my sales team to discuss strategies for Spring / Summer 2017, started researching Autumn / Winter 2017, worked on queuing imagery from our in-house editorial campaigns and those from media placements to the blogs, touched base with my creative team to discuss looks for our editorial shoot this weekend, followed up with buyers about orders for Autumn / Winter 2016, and talked to my web team about how to best optimize the site to sell the remaining inventory for Spring / Summer 2016. Before leaving my office for the day, I still have two additional meetings and need to do a bit more research for two projects currently in progress. One constant does remain: no matter what I’m working on or what city I may be in; I’ll be making at least one trip to Starbucks today . . .

Author: Katie McKenna (Associate Member – FGI New York)

Katie McKenna is the co-founder, creative director and designer of Pink Sheep Heiress, an American-made, rock & roll inspired luxury lifestyle brand. She formed Pink Sheep Heiress as a celebration of the musician’s life and for others who embrace the rocker style. Known for its colorful, leather designs and graphic prints, Pink Sheep Heiress creates affordable luxury items and artisan-crafted ready-to-wear for the woman who is her own iconoclastic tastemaker. www.pinksheepheiress.com

How To Wear A Poncho – Tori Johnson (FGI San Antonio)

In Anna Wintour’s Vogue “Letter From the Editor” in the November issue she talks about how fashion has reached a place of authenticity and realness. She mentions that there is still a place for “escapist fantasy” but it is a bit “out of step with the times.” I think the reemergence of the poncho as a trend is a perfect example of the point that Anna is making. While the poncho certainly makes a statement it still serves a practical purpose.

The poncho is by far my favorite cover-up for the season and is an excellent choice for layering. There is a variety of ways that it can be worn making it even more lovable. I’m showcasing one way below with this stunning plaid Theory poncho style over a sheath dress but let’s explore how to wear the poncho trend further.

Rememory Photography

Rememory Photography

Styling Tips

◦Watch your proportions: Play off the drama of an oversized poncho by keeping the other items you are pairing with it more fitted. For example, a sheath dress or skinny jeans. You don’t want to overdo it on the volume.

◦Keep it casual: I love how a poncho gives you a little extra umph but is so incredibly EASY! Pair with some skinny jeans and knee-high boots or even some flares and wedges. It’s even a great option for rainy days! Just add some rain boots!

◦Dress it up: There are also tons of dressier ponchos with embellishments, fringe and more that can be worn with dresses and are a stylish way to keep you warm at nice events.

◦Go short: Having a warmer fall day? Pair your poncho with shorts or a skirt (just make sure your poncho isn’t longer than your bottoms).

◦Belt it: I utilize belts all the time and love the look of a belted poncho! It brings the focus in to the waist but still gives you that boho chic look.

Author: Tori Johnson (Executive Member – FGI San Antonio)

Tori Johnson is the owner of sTORIbook Public Relations, fashion and lifestyle blogger of The sTORIbook, as well as commercial and editorial stylist. She provides strategic public relations, marketing and event counsel to clients in a variety of industries. In 2015, Tori was voted San Antonio Fashion Blogger of the Year as well as was named one Neiman Marcus’ Women Who Rock and served on their panel for their 2015 Project Beauty event. She has worked with a bevy of top names including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Lancôme, Armani Exchange, David Yurman, Target, and many more. In addition to her roles as public relations professional and blogger, Tori has served as Fashion + Beauty Editor for multiple local magazines.

Tweet, Tweet: Twitter Basics – Kelsey Bigelow (FGI Denver)

I was an early adopter of Twitter. I loved the quick text updates because you had to get an idea
across in 140 characters or less. As other social media channels popped up, I abandoned my regular tweeting. About six months ago, I picked it up again to see what it was like ten years after it’s inception. I fell back in love with Twitter and I think you’ll love it too.

My favorite things about Twitter are the easy ability to toggle between multiple accounts, the
ability to create lists of categories of people you follow, the easy search tool and the addition
of GIF Keyboard. Much like Instagram, I have separate personal and brand Twitter accounts.
Twitter’s easy toggling makes managing these multiple accounts so easy. Twitter also lets you sort the accounts you follow into lists, either public or private. For example, I have created lists for business accounts I follow as well as restaurants. I can quickly sort through my Twitter feed this way. Twitter also lets you search any text, making it easy to find other people talking about your industry or brands similar to yours. Finally, Twitter lets you include gifs in your tweets with the ease of GIF Keyboard. Gifs are sorted into categories or you can search for something specific, meaning you can totally add that funny Beyonce gif to your tweet to really help you get your point across.

To schedule and manage Twitter, I use Hootsuite’s pro version. It’s so easy to add links and photos and you can schedule posts in advance. Hootsuite creates streams for your channels (you can also manage Facebook and Instagram with Hootsuite as well as additional app plugins) which let you view your posts and any mentions other Twitter users have made to chat with you. You can respond right in Hootsuite and you can find and follow new accounts.

Hootsuite also lets you create streams that specifically follow keywords of your choice. This
allows you to respond to people talking about whatever your brand does. For example, we follow the term “Denver fashion” and can easily interact with anyone tweeting about fashion in Denver. As soon as someone writes a public tweet featuring those two words, we see it in our Hootsuite stream.

Twitter is a channel different from others because it’s not visual. It’s a text based. If you
struggle with creating graphics or taking photos, Twitter might be the medium for you.

Author: Kelsey Bigelow (Associate Member – FGI Denver)

 Kelsey Bigelow is the COO & co-owner of Denver Style Magazine.  She manages the magazine’s operations, including social media, local partnerships, and advertisers. Denver Style Magazine is committed to growing the retail industry in Colorado through a bi-monthly print publication as well as events, workshops and one-on-one business consulting. Prior to Denver Style Magazine, Kelsey worked as a fashion blogger and portrait photographer. She is passionate about helping solo entrepreneurs manage their businesses and find success. Follow along online at kelseybigelow.com or on Instagram @kelseybigelow

From The Red Carpet To The Big Screen – Barbara Schwartz (FGI Toronto)

While the name Harry Winston is practically synonymous with Hollywood red carpet events today, did you know that the company was the first jeweler to lend diamonds to an actress to wear to the Academy Awards? That was back in 1944, and the borrower was Jennifer Jones, who won the Best Actress award for The Song of Bernadette. My interest in Harry Winston was peaked when I learned that they designed a key piece of jewelry worn in my all-time favorite movie, Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious.

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RKO/The Kobal Collection at Art Resource, NY.

The Movie

This 1946 thriller stars Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a convicted Nazi collaborator, who is, herself, a patriotic American. Following her father’s trial, she is recruited by federal agent T. R. Devlin (played by Cary Grant) to help him infiltrate a Nazi organization in Brazil. As instructed, Alicia becomes romantically involved with Alex Sebastian (Claude Rains), to spy on him and his associates. On the evening she is to dine at the Sebastian home with Alex, his mother, and his comrades, Alicia (wearing an Edith Head-designed evening dress) meets with Devlin and his colleague Paul Prescott (Louis Calhern). He opens a jewel case holding a luxurious diamond necklace rented for the occasion and fastens it around her neck. (Does this remind you of the ruby necklace rented for Julia Roberts in 1990’s Pretty Woman?)

The Necklace

According to Hollywood Jewels (by Penny Proddow, Debra Healy and Marion Fasel): “Though there is no screen credit, the diamond necklace came from Harry Winston, whose trademark – leaf-shaped clusters of medium-size marquise, pear-shaped, and round diamonds – identified it. Here, the diamonds are set in flexible platinum mounts inspired by a holly wreath.” This necklace is an example of the company’s innovative technique of clustering, in which the design of a piece was dictated by the individual gemstones, rather than the metal setting, to maximize each gem’s brilliance.

The Man

Gemologist and astute businessman Harry Winston (1896 – 1978) founded the company in New York City in 1932. Still in operation, it continues to be the Jeweler to the Stars.

Author: Barbara Schwartz (Executive Member – FGI Toronto)

Barbara Schwartz is a costume jewelry historian, jewelry coach, and vintage costume jewelry collector. She sells her collection of unusual and beautiful American and European vintage jewels from the 1920s-1950s via her online boutique, TruFaux Jewels, in-person by appointment, and at special events. Barbara shares her passion for jewelry and fashion history through presentations and publications. Her articles have been published on the CJCI website and in ADORNMENT: The Magazine of Jewelry & Related Arts. Her own interesting story has also been featured in The Story Exchange.  Barbara is a member of the Toronto Fashion Group.
www.trufauxjewels.com

How Emerging Designers Can Partner with Bloggers to Grow their Brands – Lindsay Viker (FGI Arizona)

It can be so tricky get your fashion brand off the ground. You’ve probably spent countless hours bringing your vision for the product to life, you decided on your logo, you designed the hangtags, and you put together the line sheet, and may be thinking, now what?

It’s time for marketing!

It seems such an easy task, right? Set up some social media profiles, put together a website, send out some press releases. But, what do you do if still, after those countless hours of work, no one is biting?

One great way to reach your audience is to partner with people who already have a following of people who match your target demographic. I’m talking about bloggers! You’ve probably heard about the super-star fashion bloggers who partner with all the top designers and may be thinking to yourself, “How am I ever going to reach that girl with millions of Instagram followers?” Well, to be honest, you wont right away, but the good news is there a TON of different fashion bloggers out there in the digital world, and many of them would absolutely love to partner with your brand.

Below are a few quick ways to get your products in the hands (and on the Instagram profiles) of some style influencers.

  1. Find and follow them on social media.

Search hashtags, location filters, and suggested accounts for bloggers who seem to fit within your target demographic. Look at their style and see if it’s a good match for your brand. This person will essentially act as a brand representative, so you want to be sure it’s a natural fit.

Once you’ve found them, follow their social media accounts and give their posts some love! Hopefully, they reciprocate and follow you back. If not, try sending them a direct message, or emailing them through the address listed in their profile.

  1. Create an agreement that works for both of you.

All bloggers are different, so it’s only natural that they each have different ways for working with brands. Some will be happy to do a post in exchange for product, others will require compensation to feature your brand, and others may ask for a percentage of the sales they help you generate. Go in with what you are prepared to offer, but hear them out and work with them to find what works best for your budget.

  1. Share the content they are creating with your audience.

Having an influencer wear your product is a big deal. Be sure to share the posts they create on your social media channels, and list it on the press page of your. The blogger will appreciate the love back, and your audience will enjoy seeing an influencer wear your product.

 

Author: Lindsay Viker (Executive Member – FGI Arizona)

Lindsay Viker has had a passion for all things beautiful since she was a young girl. This passion led her to the fashion industry, and founding CoutureintheSuburbs.com in 2012. What started as a way to gain experience during her college years has turned into a mission to help people around the United States connect to their local community of artists. Active in her own community, Lindsay regularly networks with designers, artists, and entrepreneurs. She hosts events to help others improve their businesses, while belonging to professional organizations to help her improve her own.