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Meet Brett Heyman of EDIE PARKER – Melissa Pastore (FGI NYC)

On June 27, the Next Gen Committee welcomed Brett Heyman, founder of accessories brand Edie Parker and a 2016 Rising Star Award winner, to FGI’s New York City headquarters. Over the course of the evening, Heyman talked about everything from her inspiration for her collections to how personalization is driving her business.

She also joked that her Rising Star Award is the first and only thing she’s ever won.Brett Heyman

Heyman was always obsessed with fashion but she had “pragmatic parents,” so she didn’t immediately pursue a career as a designer. Instead she did internships at Elle magazine and Armani, which helped her land a job doing public relations at Gucci after college. She later moved on to Dolce & Gabbana before returning to Gucci. She says her career in public relations gave her a “great awareness of the industry” and she saw an opportunity in the evening bag category. She was also able to leverage relationships she built throughout her career to secure editorial and red carpet placements for her bags, which helped establish her brand.

Heyman grew up in Los Angeles and loved buying vintage acrylic bags and always received compliments when she wore them. When she finally decided to leave her corporate job to start her own label, her beloved vintage bags were her inspiration.

It was also important to her to manufacture in the US and she eventually found a factory in Chicago. When it came time to name her brand, she named it after her daughter. “It took me so long to land on a name for her.”

Even though it was risky to leave a corporate job to start her own brand, Heyman says she launched Edie Parker when she was a “grown up” and she didn’t rush anything. “I had a good job for a while. If I try and fail, I can get another PR job. I had done my research,” she said. She said growing slowly has allowed her to be profitable since inception because she didn’t have the pressure of private equity investors.

Her business really took off in 2011 when she made a bag with her friend’s name on it as a 40th birthday gift. “It felt new. Personalization is everywhere now,” said Heyman. When she offered the personalized bag concept to her buyer at Bergdorf Goodman as an exclusive, it wasn’t warmly received. Heyman recalls the buyer telling her, “I think that’s so weird.” The Edie Parker “Bespoke” program ended up taking off, partially thanks to the support of celebrities and influencers. The Edie Parker website now features an interactive simulator to help customers design their personalized evening bags. The clutches are “truly handmade” for each customer and take about six weeks to produce.

Heyman says she now faces the challenge of expanding her business to avoid being a “one-hit wonder.” When exploring new categories, Heyman said she asks herself, “Edie Parker is for Friday and Saturday, how do we get the other days of the week?” Last year, Edie Parker expanded into the home category in an effort to move beyond the weekend and the evening bag category. Heyman says it makes sense for the brand because the home line uses Edie Parker’s core material of acrylic.

Another new endeavor for Edie Parker is its recently opened Madison Avenue flagship boutique. Even though it’s a “tricky time in retail” and Edie Parker has great wholesale partners, Heyman said she “needed a place where people could see the world of Edie Parker.” Heyman said the store is part of her plan to build her brand. Her philosophy is to “focus on what you’re good at and add slowly.” Heyman also touched on her philosophy for a healthy work-life balance.

After working for some “crazy women” earlier in her career, her company motto is to be nice to everyone. “I believed you could be serious and not be insane,” she said. “We’re going to do a good job, but we’re going to be people.”

Author: Melissa Pastore (Executive Member – FGI New York)

Contributing writer of Fashion Group International’s weekly iTalk and long time member of the Publications Committee.

Being a Rule Breaker – Christine Goetz (FGI Chicago)

I grew up with fashion do’s and don’t’s. There were unbreakable rules about when you can wear white, patent leather and matching. Offices had strict dress codes. My first business suit was a very expensive maroon wool, paired with a silk peter pan-collared blouse, topped off with a wonderful bow. I wore it with dark hose and a sensible heeled pump. There was a lot of black, some pinstripes and many shoulder pads. Experimenting with fashion in the corporate world just wasn’t done—there were rules.

Fast forward to this century, I worked in a modern office with an open floor plan and work pods, and there were still rules: no open toed-shoes allowed, no visible shoulders and no dresses or skirts without hose.

Thankfully, those days are long gone for me. For one, I work at a fair trade fashion company; a workplace more conducive to color, experimentation and individuality.

Maybe more importantly, I dislike being told what to wear. I like to wear what I want and feel best in. I never rocked that peter pan collar. I feel fabulous in a cotton fit and flare dress with an open-toed wedge heel. I wear what I like and feel good wearing.

Though as a mother with two daughters, I have stubbornly held on to some simple common sense fashion rules. Let’s call them Rules for the Rule-breakers:

  1. Bras are important—wear one if you need to—and it needs to be a good one that is properly fitted to your size and shape.
  2. Breathing is also important—if you can’t belly laugh, your clothes are too tight.
  3. Heels are fun, but walking is essential—choose your heel height based on your pain tolerance, activity and duration, pack a pair for comfort if need be.
  4. Eventually you will sit—double check your skirt length while seated.
  5. Cleanliness matters—don’t over launder your clothes, but they should be clean and well cared for.

Have fun with fashion, buy new judiciously, seek out fair trade, re-style your favorite clothes. There are no rules about colors or shoulders or toes!

dress_devonshire_redfans_m

Author: Christine Goetz (Executive Member – FGI Chicago)

As a mom of 3 with a successful 30-year corporate career under her belt, Chris decided to embrace big change by channeling her driven and positive spirit into growing Mata Traders, a fair trade fashion brand. Her ‘carpe diem’ motto is what inspires her to enjoy life’s many challenges. Her favorite fashion is anything colorful and comfortable, now that her corporate wardrobe is been replaced by fun Mata dresses. Chris’ professional background is finance and operations, with a strong track record of delivering financial results, while strengthening organizations, engaging teams and developing leaders.  She is a high-energy leader and entrepreneur, equally comfortable developing broad international growth strategies and leading day-to-day operations and supply chain.

When a Small Win Changes Everything – Claire Steichen (FGI New York)

When clients share their frustrations about corporate life, I often see benefits they don’t. One of these is that milestones and progress are easier to measure, which is why when my clients are working on longer term projects like job search, promotion, or shifting their team’s dynamics, progress can be hard to measure. Here are a few lessons from years of working (mostly) alone:

  1. Create interim milestones. Early on, I had a monthly income goal in my head. It seemed that if I could generate that, I was viable and I was also touching on something that resonated with my clients. I reached the number in year two and can still remember the major shift in my confidence that came from this small win.
  2. Evaluate your progress regularly. It’s easy to focus only on what’s not yet done, and that subconsciously hurts confidence. Make sure, every week, that you look at what you did and how it impacts the long term effort. My colleague Nadine Nicholson gave me a game changing tool early on. Each Friday, look at the week’s major accomplishments and ask: What is the accomplishment? Why is it important? What would further progress look like? and What are the immediate next steps? The exercise makes you feel on top of things, plus generates your To Do list for the following week.
  3. Don’t go it alone. John Kotter, a famous management guru, has eight steps for change management, two of which are about getting the support of others. The first is about getting a close team of advisors – get advocates or a good friend early on to help with accountability, bouncing ideas, and picking you up after the bumps.
  4. Shift how you view wins. Often a client will tell me that they got a ding letter. And I say, “Bravo! Until now, they haven’t even acknowledged you. This is progress.” No kidding. Big projects are like crossing the ocean in a row boat – when signs of progress that are comfortable and familiar are not there, you have to find another way to measure your forward motion.

A few years ago I came across a Peruvian proverb: “Step by Step, One Walks Far.” When you are tackling a big project, mindset is so important. Keep working, and look for when a small step generates a a big shift.

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.

Brand Entry to China: An Intro – Stan Pearson (FGI New York)

Every day we walk around with a personal computer in our hands allowing us to keep up with our friends, celebrities, and favorite brands. Whether they consider themselves influencers or amateurs, we are able to see where they vacation, their new handbag, and where they found the best avocado toast.   And you’d be lying if you said you weren’t checking Air B&B for rooms in the Maldives after someone you follow posted amazing pictures from their recent trip there. Whether it be through envy or inspiration, we are influenced daily by everything around us.

In the United States, we go to our nearest Bloomingdales on a mission to find something similar to a trend that caught our eye but this is not the norm for those in other countries. In fact this is a rarity in China where the average consumer does a majority of their shopping from their handheld device through social media channels such as Weibo and WeChat.

These platforms are similar to our Facebook and Twitter but not only do they dwarf their Western counter parts when comparing users, they are also shoppable. A Chinese social influencer, social media manager, or brand is able to create content and have followers immediately buy products without ever having to leave the app. The simplicity of this process leads to quick sales, but it is not only simplicity the Chinese shopper is looking for. Chinese consumers want style and quality, which is something people globally can agree on.

While it remains a communist country, Chinese brands have ramped up their presence on social media and rightfully so. China is equally obsessed with staying connected as American Millennials. In comparison, Facebook users spend roughly 50 minutes a day browsing through the site. WeChat, with equivalent shopping capabilities, accounts for about 30 minutes of daily browsing time. Weibo, the equivalent to Twitter, has 340+ million active monthly users users compared to Twitter’s 328 million active users.

Status-conscious consumers in the US and China agree that quality and brand recognition is very important when shopping for any item. A 2016 McKinsey China consumer report found that 55% of the 413 million online buyers in China use social media to research brands status and avoid knock-offs before buying.

In particular, Chinese shoppers tend to seek out U.S. and European brands to portray high status and the general quality guarantee that those brands offer, benefiting both parties.

Zhao Ji, CEO of Caixin Enjoy, a tech company that provides shopping tips, explains that the Chinese consumer not only wants high quality but something that will differentiate them from their peers. “Today’s young people, especially those born after 1990, care more for how the product will help to define and differentiate them.” Consumers in China will continue to buy from foreign brands because as Zhao says, “people today need something intangible… to help the buyer stand apart from the rest and even appear to be high-class.” In a 2015 study almost half of polled Chinese consumers agreed that, provided it was in their price range, they would “always pay for the most expensive and best product,” an increase of 20% since 2011.

As China continues to break away from traditions of their past, consumer spending continues to rise exponentially and disposable income is at an all-time high. The majority of the estimated 400 million Chinese millennials, raised during the “one child” era, come to the market with fewer debts, such as college loans. Known as a generation of little emperors and empresses, they are free spenders on travel, experiences and consumer goods.

It is now up to brands to embrace these energetic, dynamic and motivated customers by emphasizing experiences, individuality, and quality. Investing in international social e-commerce is the first step to success in a globalizing retail world.

Author: Stan Pearson (Executive Member – FGI New York)

Mr. Pearson brings nearly 30 years of experience in the asset management business; collaboratively built a variety of successful businesses, managed teams, and raised assets for equity strategies for business owners, with particular leadership experience in business development strategy, strategic positioning and relationship management.

Slow Style Manifesto – Christine Goetz (FGI Chicago)

Fashion is very personal. As an individual, I am purposeful, fun, optimistic and confident. My wardrobe is a reflection of who I am and how I choose to influence the world. I love wearing Mata Traders and advancing the conversation about fair trade and slow style. Here is our slow style manifesto:

We are makers. We are part of a surge in businesses that make things, every day. (We are not an app, cloud-based or iPhone compatible.)

Our design process is long, starting first with the design of textiles based on centuries old traditional fabric printing from India. Then clothing patterns and jewelry are developed, with each piece assembled or sewn by hand.  In this long process, we maintain relationships with our artisans, trades, cooperatives and seamstresses.

Through our business we support families and communities. We understand that our clothing comes from a person just like us: a person who deserves to be part of an industry that values her skills, treats her with respect and care, and pays her fairly.

Through her hands, fashion is an opportunity. Our artisans spend hours creating beautiful garments to become wardrobe essentials that boost spirits and infuse daily lives with joyful colors, patterns and stitching.

Intent and shared values always win over transactions and commoditization. Continuity and commitment trump quick wins. Skill development and business capabilities can be measured in years, not days.

Style is slow. It develops over time, thoughtfully, evolving with every year and with each garment carefully purchased. We have the opportunity to ask and know where our clothes come from. We don’t succumb to the chaos of fast fashion, and we know what a fine, handmade garment is worth. We know the influence of the consumer, and we choose to direct our purchasing power towards what is right. We don’t sacrifice style for ethics and we need not abandon our morals for fashion.

We are slow style. We are fair trade.

Author: Christine Goetz (Executive Member – FGI Chicago)

As a mom of 3 with a successful 30-year corporate career under her belt, Chris decided to embrace big change by channeling her driven and positive spirit into growing Mata Traders, a fair trade fashion brand. Her ‘carpe diem’ motto is what inspires her to enjoy life’s many challenges. Her favorite fashion is anything colorful and comfortable, now that her corporate wardrobe is been replaced by fun Mata dresses. Chris’ professional background is finance and operations, with a strong track record of delivering financial results, while strengthening organizations, engaging teams and developing leaders.  She is a high-energy leader and entrepreneur, equally comfortable developing broad international growth strategies and leading day-to-day operations and supply chain.

Your Story – Why it’s Key to Getting a Job You Love – Claire Steichen (FGI New York)

A recent client took a shot at giving me her elevator pitch, and it sounded like this, “Seven years at X bank, an internship at Y bank, all in selling financial products with good results.”  Even with how much I like her personally, I was not inspired.  The pitch was a cookie cutter list that sounded like hundreds of other people in her business in New York.
So I asked about her childhood, “Forget work. Tell me the stories your mom tells about what you were like.”  And she was off to the races.  That’s easy, she said.  My mom always says that when we were on the airplane, I would disappear down the aisle and come back half an hour later with a full inventory of who was going where, whom they were visiting, how many grandchildren they had.  Oh, and she got a glass of water for an elderly passenger because the woman couldn’t get the flight attendant’s attention, etc, etc.  Now THAT sounds like a salesperson.

Her enthusiastic curiosity about people is a unique ability — and we all have them. These are core talents that are like a well that keeps on giving.  Using these abilities each day gives us a sense of purpose, and is what makes us good at what we do when we are in the right job.

Learn to share the stories that highlight your unique abilities.  Whether it’s for promotion or job search, they help develop your brand and they help people see what you are capable of.

Connect one of your core skills to an impact you’ve had in your work.  For example, “I used to go around asking people all about their stories and what they need.  In my sales job, getting curious about my clients allowed me to customize solutions instead of pushing product. I grew existing accounts by 25% and expanded to 15 new clients in three years.”

Too many of us think that personal stories won’t sound professional.  On the contrary; if you link them to your work impact, they provide depth and make people remember you.

Enjoy the summer and please play with sharing your unique skills!

All my best,
Claire

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.

Listen To The Voices in Your Head – Katie McKenna (FGI New York)

I still remember designing my first collection while at university. Mood board after mood board ended up in the trash; nothing felt “legitimate” enough to be worthy of inspiring a collection. Everything that I put onto those boards represented what I thought should inspire me, but was inauthentic to who I am as a person and who I wanted to be as a designer. Running out of time and out of options, I finally decided to throw together something that would actually interest me: the rock & roll legends I most admired, lyrics from my favorite songs, screen shots of seminal music videos and street style looks sported by my personal style icons. In that moment, everything clicked.

It’s not that rock & roll inspired clothing isn’t available; I am definitely not reinventing the wheel with Pink Sheep Heiress. What I noticed, though, is that I could never find pieces that met all the criteria I was looking for. I wanted clothes that were edgy and fun, but also high quality and wearable in more than one everyday scenario. I wanted pieces that I would invest in because they were worth the investment, not because they were trendy or popular, but because they fit my body and made me feel good and look good. I keep all of my clothing American made because it’s more manageable for my small team and me to ensure that our high quality standards are met, while helping to bring more business to other small, independent fashion industry contractors based in the US. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to be a designer and started designing that I was able to create.

Whether you’re a designer, illustrator, forecaster, or even a buyer or account manager, you have to remain true to your own aesthetic and work under the influence of your personality as well as your mind. Chances are, if there is something you see missing in the current marketplace, other people are aware of that hole too and are waiting for someone to fill it with a new, enhanced product that isn’t currently available.

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

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)

international style

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.

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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.